Saturday, February 23, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 25 Feb 08

Greetings Track Families,

We've had three week of practice now and there are 239 kids currently signed up which might be a record. With so many kids, it's taking the coaches a little longer than usual to learn all of the names. I hope that I haven't wounded any athletes yet by calling them the wrong name.

Two Practices This Week
We'll have two practices this week as usual:
  • Tuesday, Feb 26, from 5-6pm at College Park HS
  • Thursday, Feb 28, from 5-6pm at College Park HS
I have to be out of town this week on business so no one will be making dubious weather forecasts before each practice and updating the web site. Generally, if it's raining hard, we will not practice. If there are only "light scattered showers," then there will be practice if the coaches judge it safe.

Soccer Players on the Field

Last Thursday I found out that College Park has double-booked the soccer field with Heritage Soccer Club. Our field permit is for both the track and the field so I was surprised. However, the club also has a permit so I guess we'll have to share. The club will warn its coaches that large numbers of kids will be using the track and ask them to be careful around the edges. Should safety start to be a real problem, we will deal with it somehow.

In the mean time, our own athletes need to keep their eyes open and not walk across the soccer part of the field during practice. I know there are lots of Heritage (and other soccer organization) players on our team so maybe our kids will find it entertaining while waiting (say) for their relay team's turn.

Meet Volunteer Jobs Posted

The meet jobs for the Mini Meet, 4 regular meets, the Relay Meet, and our Qualifying Meet are now posted on the web site under Volunteers. These mostly reflect those parents who signed up for jobs at the two sign-up nights. There are still plenty of openings left for all of the meets, especially the Mini-Meet on the afternoon of March 8.

The spreadsheets you see posted are Google documents that are reposted almost immediately after one of us makes an edit so you can always check back to see the latest openings.

Help Wanted

If you signed up late for the team, please examine the openings (especially for the Mini Meet) and send an email to our Volunteer Coordinators, Greg and Trish Brown, at, specifying your preferences and they will try to fit you in. If you do not contact them, Greg, Trish or one of their assistants will eventually assign you jobs.

Remember that the point of the Officiating Clinic on Tuesday, March 4th, and the whole team Mini Meet is for new parent volunteers to learn how to efficiently run a meet. So even if you don't know how to be a relay judge, go ahead and sign up for something. Only a few of the jobs require much experience, and we'll show you what to do.

There are blacked out spaces on the spreadsheets reserved for other parishes in all of the meets except our team-only Mini Meet. So don't ask for a blacked out job!

Leaving the Team?

If your child and track have turned out not to be a good match, please let me know and do not disappear. This is for two reasons First, I want to give you your money back, or at least as most of it. Second, we want to remove you from your volunteer jobs so that we can replace you. The former is good for you; the latter is essential for the team!

Have fun this week,


Carl Godkin
CTK/St.C/St.S Track & Field Coordinator

Monday, February 18, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 18 Feb 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Practice Schedule
We'll practice twice this week again, on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 until dark at College Park.

As we mentioned at the parent meet a couple of weeks ago, running shoes are vital for your athletes' comfort, health, and performance. I still see some of our kids at practice in basketball shoes and skateboard shoes. Please put your kids into running shoes. Even more important , please have your runner WEAR those running shoes to practice.

Spikes can be worn on College Park's track if your athlete has a pair. I have replacement spikes in my red bag. No, spikes are not required for our team. Some kids will insist that they must have them, but it's not true. Don't buy their hype. If you do get spikes, only pyramid style spikes 1/4" inch or shorter are allowed in CYO competition. Talk to your coach if you want any additional input.

Team Roster
Full alphabetical roster with contact info: (send email to to request)
Coaches roster by grade with less info: (send email to to request)

Late Sign-Ups

We have 229 kids signed up at the moment, and we will only accept new sign-ups through the end of this week.

Don't Like Track After All?
If our track program is not working for you or your familiy for whatever reason, I am happy to issue refunds for your fees and either return or shred your volunteer deposit check. Please let me know and provide a mailing address where the refund check is to be sent. By dropping formally, we will know to remove you from the volunteer assignments you may be leaving behind. I am happy to give back at least partial refunds well into the season, so there's no hurry.

Miss Past Track News?
If you are joined us late and want to read past email newsletters, please check the News link on the team web site. The mechanism I'm using to archive these mails is a "blog" which makes me feel extremely trendy indeed. Look out, we could have a podcast next season! (No, I wouldn't do that to you.)

See you on the track,


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Track Workouts for the week of Feb 18

Hi Coaches,

I've just posted the week's workouts under "Workouts" on the team web site.

Generally, we're now going to follow a pattern from now through the Qualifying Meet:
  • Each age group will practice relays every third practice. All kids participate.
  • HJ & SP will see 5th graders every third practice, and 6th-8th graders on the other days..
  • LJ will see each age group every third practice. There are two pits, so more kids can do long jump than other field events at practice.
  • Distance and two kinds of sprint workouts will generally be available on non-relay days.
Here are some guidelines, especially for field events:
  • Please don't send the exact same kids to the same events every time. We have (for better or worse) a very large team and we want everyone to get a chance to try any of the field events that interest them. It's a buffet!
  • Start figuring out who will do which field event workout while we're waiting in the bleachers since I don't want to spend a lot of time "transitioning," especially with daylight at a premium. You might find it encourages kids to come to practice on time.
  • Assistant coaches, please help the primary coaches with both of the above.
Road runs can start whenever Coach Paul feels it's time, which may be Tuesday. All assistant coaches who signed up for road runs are highly encouraged to be ready to go on Tuesday and from now on. We'll have just the oldest kids go on road runs Tuesday, so losing kids and kids lagging behind should be less of a problem than when we have the younger kids go.

Coach Jeff (and not me, after a lot of years!!) will be leading most of the sprint workouts. He's going to be leading technique-related workouts that emphasize starting stance, explosive starts, reaction time, sprinting body mechanics and conditioning (repeat workouts of 180-200m and 75m-100m distances). His workout will generally start at the first relay exchange (hey -- now we're talking like track people!) and he will need some assistance.

Coach Sharon has traditionally lead the middle-distance workouts and will continue to do so. Sharon -- I'm generally going to give you two lanes in the middle of the track (starting Thursday) and not provide a specific workout.

I am going to wander around the track, helping or filling in where I can. This Tuesday there are 92 4th and 5th graders doing a relay workout so I'll probably stick an oar in there, perhaps taking some of the rookies onto the field to work on handoffs while Diane takes the veterans on the track.

As usual, if you have suggestions, I am all ears. As I told the parent meeting, my main goal is to have the kids have enough fun that they come back next season and perhaps carry their enjoyment into high school.

See you on the track,


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Error on Handout at Parent Meeting

I made a mistake on the General Information Sheet handout distributed at the parent meeting. In fact, there is more than one.

The actual dates for the League Championship Meet are
  • Friday, May 2nd, venue TBD
  • Saturday, May 3rd at Granada HS, Livermore
The actual dates for the Diocese Championship Meet are
  • Friday, May 9th, venue TBD
  • Saturday, May 10 at Granada HS, Livermore
Sorry for the confusion!


Monday, February 11, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 11 Feb 08...

Greetings Track Families,

We'll practice twice this week:
  • Tuesday, Feb 12, from 5pm to dusk at College Park HS track
  • Thursday, Feb 14, from 5pm to dusk at College Park HS track
Parent Meeting Handouts Posted
For those unfortunates who missed the parent meeting, the handouts are posted
on the team web
site under Handouts. Thank you for coming if you did make it.

Besides the information on the handouts, our main news is that with DVC unavailable this season, we'll be doing more driving. The meet schedule is not ready yet (and of course you'll find out here when it is) but the venues are likely to be Ygnacio Valley HS in Concord, Freedom HS in Brentwood, and Granada HS in Livermore. There's a chance, thanks to CTK track parent Sandy Jones, that we could find ourselves at Riverview Middle School in Bay Point at times too. (Before you write in and ask, "What about XXX or YYY?," please realize that the league coordinators have thoroughly researched all of the obvious and most of the not-so obvious tracks. Sandy's idea was one we hadn't thought of yet, but DVC, DLS, CVHS, CPHS, and other local tracks were all ruled out for one reason or another.)

Meet Jobs
I've typed in all of the meet jobs you signed up for before the season began and I will be working with our volunteer coordinators to fill in the gaps with those who signed up late. I hope we'll have all of these posted soon.

Job Openings
There are two key team jobs that we could use volunteers for:

First Aid Coordinator -- In the past, we've had two parents with first aid training share this job. We would like one of you to be available at the meets in case there are first aid needs. Typically, this just involves band-aids and ice packs in most cases. The team has a big first aid bag that I bring to every practice and meet. Contact me if interested. (At least three of our coaches have considerable first aid training but they are often occupied at the meets.) Sharing this job would count as your complete volunteer requirement.

Data Entry -- We type in results at the meets into Excel macros using 10-key pads. If you would like to help with, probably working three or four half-meet shifts, please let me know. This job would complete your whole volunteer requirement also.

If you are signed up for something else, we'll remove you from those jobs and fill them with other parents.

Team Roster
If you are interested in viewing the team roster, there are two views available that I will keep up to date during the season. I didn't want to post them directly on our web site to help you keep your contact information a little more private. Instead, I've published some Google spreadsheets with URLs I will send you upon request.

(You'll notice the text size on the latter is a little larger so that yours truly can read them sans spectacles!)

Late Sign-Ups

We have 214 kids signed up at the moment, and all of them are apparently in Coach Diane's 4th/5th grade boys group. This number moves around a lot and we will still accept new sign-ups through the end of next week. Tell your friends, especially if they are speedy!

See you on the track,


Saturday, February 2, 2008

CTK Track News -- First Practice This Week!

Greetings 2008 CTK/St.C/St.S Track Families,

Welcome to another fun season of CYO track featuring the mighty combined team of Christ the King, St. Catherine, and St. Stephen parishes! I'll be sending (at least) a weekly email for the rest of the season with news about the team, meets, and so on.

We will be practicing at College Park High School this season, generally on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 5pm. We'll finish up by 6pm until the time changes in March; please don't be late picking up your athletes after practice.

Our first two practices will be:

Tuesday, Feb 5 5-6pm at College Par High School track
Thursday, Feb 7 5-6pm at College Park High School track

Dress warmly for practices at College Park. Even though your kids are probably like mine and pretend not to feel the cold, PLEASE send them to practice in sweats.

Athletes should wear running shoes, sweats, and bring a water bottle. Ideally, they should bring all of these things home afterwards too.

Parents should walk their athletes down to the track and either come to the track for pickup at 6pm, or meet us shortly after practice ends at the gate to the parking lot.

Weather might concern you so here's our plan: We practice on an all-weather track, so it's possible to practice no matter what the weather. However, in the interest of keeping all of the coaches from quitting, I cancel practice if the weather is particularly bad. I will post an announcement about practice on the front page of the web site ( by 4pm if practice will be canceled. Please check if you have any doubts.

Parent Meeting
Don't forget the Track Parent Meeting on Thursday, February 7th, at 7pm in the Christ The King Parish Hall. We hope that at least one parent from each family will come and learn more about the program, meet the coaches, and get their questions answered. There are some changes this season that you will want to be aware of so I hope even veterans will come.

Web Site
Our team web site has a map (on the Directions page), a schedule of events (on the Schedule page), and lots of other information. Once the webmaster gets caught up, you will be able to double-check your volunteer assignments, view the team roster, and even view meet results. The
web site address is at the bottom of every mail you get from the team this year. Please visit

Mailing List
For no extra charge, we can add other email addresses to this mailing list if your family wants multiple copies. Likewise, if you want to drop an email address, please let me know.

Late Sign-ups

We will accept late sign-ups until about February 21st. If you have friends who are interested, please invite them to check out the web site or even to come to practice. Kids not (yet!) signed up for the team are welcome to practice with the team to see if they like it SO LONG AS A PARENT stays at the track during practice. (That's because I don't have a medical release and if anything should happen, we'd have a problem.)

See you on the track and the parent meeting,