Sunday, March 30, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 31 Mar 08...

Greetings Track Families,

Most of our team's athletes will be returning from Spring Break this week and we'll be back to a regular practice schedule:

We'll practice twice this week:
  • Tuesday, April 1, from 5 to 6:30 pm at College Park High School track
  • Thursday, April 3, from 5 to 6:30pm at College Park High School track
Relay Meet
Our meet this week will be on Sunday at 12 noon at Granada High School in Livermore. This special meet will consist of just three relay events; there will be no field or individual running events. The relays are (in order):
  • 4x100m
  • Medley (200/200/400/800m - note this not our usual Sprint Medley)
  • 4x400m
The relay meet is a lot of fun. Granada High School has a great facility including the Lynx finish line system which times racers using a video system which (I am told) is connected to the scoreboard. It's a pretty fair distance away (30 miles from my house) so you might want to consider carpooling with teammates.

Please tell your primary coach if your athlete cannot make it. This is especially important for relays since the coaches will be attempting to set them all up ahead of time. By the way, you'll note that I ask this EVERY week and yet (for my 6th - 8th grade boys at least), I am typically missing quite a few runners who never bothered to call or write. Help keep my blood pressure under control -- tell us if you're not coming to a meet!

Meet Jobs
Trish & Greg, our volunteer coordinators, asked me to point out that the volunteer assignment spreadsheets online usually have TWO pages. Apparently some of you have looked at just the first page and, not seeing your name, assumed you were not working. Please check both pages. Having said that, please note that the relay meet volunteer assignment spreadsheet has just ONE page.

As usual, if you see an opening for this week's meet that you'd like to fill, please email Trish & Greg at Thanks!

Lost & Found
There are a number of new treasures listed on the Lost and Found page from Saturday's meet at Heritage HS. See anything you like? Items from the lost and found collection make a public appearance at the team picnic (have you saved June 1st yet on your calendar?) and then are given to charity.

Team T-Shirts
If your athlete has not received a T-shirt this year, please let me know. Most have been distributed. If your athlete has managed to lose his or her shirt somehow, I have a few gently used T-shirts I can provide you as replacements.

Personal Best Ribbons
If things go well, Personal Best Ribbons will start to appear very soon at practice. These fine yellow ribbons are awarded to athletes who improve on past performances and often helps boost the morale of kids who find themselves out of the range 1st - 3rd place ribbons the league awards. Please be patient. I have some very able volunteers who will be helping me but I've got to get the ball rolling before anything happens.

See you on the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

CTK Track News for week of 24 Mar 08...

Happy Easter to all of the CTK/SC/SS Track Families!

We don't have a meet today (as you know) and there's no practice on Tuesday.

Distance runners should definitely be running on the side (accompanied by parents, right?) to maintain their fitness, and I'll see those of you not on vacation this week at practice Thursday.
  • Thursday, March 27, from 5 - 6:30pm at College Park HS track.
Note the later ending time -- we'll be going until 6:30pm for the rest of the season.

Meet #2
Our next meet is at the end of most school's spring break:
  • Saturday, March 29, at 9am at Heritage HS track
Please check your calendars to see if your family is going to be on vacation that day and let your runner's primary coach know if your athlete won't be there. Please arrange to switch with someone who will be in town if you are scheduled to work.

Relay Meet
The following week is our relay meet. The relay meet has just three relay events for all grades. It's a lot of fun and this year our meet will take place on Sunday (note SUNDAY) afternoon (not MORNING) April 6, at Granada High School in Livermore. This is the venue for the Saturday portion of our League Championship Meet and the Diocese Championship Meet later in the season so I hope you all can make it.

I just reworked the relay meet volunteer schedule after consulting with our co-hosts at St. Michael/St. Charles. If you recall, many of you signed up to work this meet back when it was just a list (without specific jobs) and scheduled for Saturday morning. Please check if you are available to work Note that I moved many of the names I recognized into actual jobs and scheduled other parishes to do many of the jobs too.

By the way, this track has an electronic timing system so we'll need fewer volunteers than usual. I'm told they even have the Lynx timing system hooked into the scoreboard so times appear just each race just like the Olympics. Should be fun!

See you on the track, but not until Thursday,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Saturday, March 22, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 17 Mar 08...

Happy St. Patrick's Day,

Scientific studies reveal that more people read last week's email than ever before since it was so short. I imagine there's a message there for me; let's see what happens this week.

I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that parents from our team found many different ways to reach Freedom High School yesterday. If you had not noticed, there are directions on the web site to all of our venues. Heritage High School is the site of our next meet and it's in the same area. Do yourselves a favor and take the Highway 4 Bypass Road to Balfour, turn right, and go up the hill to find Heritage on the left. Your onboard GPS system may not believe you are on a road part of the time, but trust me: it's the fastest way.

We'll practice just once this week as Easter approaches. CYO rules prohibit practice on Holy Thursday through Easter and I have kept alive my predecessor's tradition of skipping the Tuesday practice after Easter as well. So the next two practices are:
  • Tuesday, March 18, from 5 - 6:15pm at College Park HS track
  • Thursday, March 27, from 5 - 6:30pm at College Park HS track. Note later ending time!
Meet #2
Our next meet is at the end of most school's spring break:
  • Saturday, March 29, at 9am at Heritage HS track
Please check your calendars to see if your family is going to be on vacation that day and let your runner's primary coach know so he or she doesn't expect him or her for the relay when you're on a beach in Maui. Please arrange to switch with someone who will be in town if you are scheduled to work.

Speaking of meet assignments, Trish and Greg Brown, our volunteer coordinators, plus your humble correspondent will be out of town over Easter and during the early part of the following week. Mails and phone calls won't be returned until we return. For that reason, please look ahead and make volunteer assignment changes early.

By the way, thanks for all of the help at yesterday's meet. Many of you worked extra shifts and extra hard to make our meet go smoothly. Those of you who stayed clear to the end saw how we typically end our meets: we have a heat or two of the 4x400m relay which always seems like a party to me for those runners who stick around. Yesterday we used all 8 lanes.

Lost and Found

The Lost and Found page on the web site is now open for business has some real treasures. Please check it out.


Results for Saturday's meet will be posted when I get them. I expect it will be Monday evening since there was a Sunday meet today.
Ribbons for Saturday's meet will be handed out on Thursday, March 27 in all likelihood. Yes, we'll be tracking personal bests this season but it always takes me a little while to get that engine going. I have some skilled helpers, but it runs on data I have not collated quite yet. But we'll have yellow Personal Best ribbons as in the past.

Happy Easter to all! But first, I'll see you on the track Tuesday,


Sunday, March 16, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 10 Mar 08

Greetings Track Families,

A very short note this week -- no really! I am capable of brevity. Just watch.

Two practices this week:
  • Tuesday 3/11 from 5pm to 6:15pm at College Park HS
  • Thursday 3/13 from 5pm to 6:15pm at College Park HS
First Regular Meet next weekend:
  • Saturday, 3/15 at 9am at Freedom High School, Oakley
There are directions on the web site. Athletes and first shift volunteers should arrive at 8:30am. The elite setup crew should arrive at 8am. First gun at 9am if humanly possible.

Please check your volunteer assignments on the web site under Volunteers -- Meet #1. Please attempt to trade with another family (or convince your spouse or teenager to work for you) if you are scheduled but cannot make it. We will have helpers from the other parishes participating but definitely rely on the CTK/SC/SS parents for many key positions. Thanks in advance.

On behalf of our volunteer coordinators and myself, we would like to extend a big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped the Mini Meet go so smoothly. We definitely appreciate those who stuck around for the second shift when their relief never showed up. Please know that your extra service was greatly appreciated, as was your cheerfulness. Extra service from our volunteers does not go unrewarded either -- we have a drawing at the picnic for those who work more shifts than they have to. More on that later.

We will have ribbons on Tuesday from the Mini Meet and should have Starburst Awards on Thursday if things go well. Results will eventually be posted as soon as the highly-unpaid volunteer now typing them in finishes. And personal best ribbons too, in this best of all
possible worlds...

Final note: Please help the coaches by encouraging your kids to try different events at the first
few meets. It might take a few tries to find the sweet spot that most kids have.

See you on the track,


Carl Godkin
CTK/SC/SS Track & Field Coordinator

Monday, March 3, 2008

Track workouts for the week of Mar 3...

Hi Coaches,

The workout plan for this week is on the web site and I'll have hard copies for the primary coaches at practice Tuesday. I also have a bunch more stuff for each of the primary groups concerning the meet.

I have a few more quick things for you regarding practices and next weekend's Mini Meet.

Limit Athletes At Popular Field Event Workouts
If you read the workout plans, it says that 12 athletes per practice can go to HJ or SP. Do your best to only send athletes from your groups to these events when its their day. Event coaches should not be afraid to shoo away extra athletes. Please get me involved if there is a problem and I'll help arbitrate if necessary.

Long Jump is also supposed to be limited to 12 kids per pit.

Sign Up Athletes for their Mini Meet Events
Use any down time while waiting for practice to begin or after the cool down lap to get athlete's signed up for this weekend. I've tried to make the meet entry sheets simpler than they used to be. It's very useful to know if an athlete is going to miss the meet so circle "Absent" on the sheet and help your relay team planning that way.

Each athlete can do no more than 2 running and 1 field event, or 1 running and 2 field events. Relays don't count in this as we expect everyone to do the 4x100m race if they are at the meet. Late relays are entirely optional and we may not even get to them this Saturday.

This is an AFTERNOON meet; let's make sure everyone is aware of that!

St. Ignatius Is Coming!

Well, not the actual saint, but I invited the St. Ignatius team to our Mini Meet again this year. It will make it a more realistic meet with another parish present and besides, Wendell, their coordinator, is a heckuva nice guy. Let's make them welcome.

Keep Off the Soccer Field
Let's continue to remind the kids to keep off the soccer field, which is surrounded at College Park by yellow lines. (There won't be any soccer going on this Saturday during our meet; I checked.)

See you on the track,


Sunday, March 2, 2008

CTK Track News for week of 3 Mar 08

Greetings Track Families,

By this time next weekend many of you will have experienced your first CYO Track Meet. Here's hoping you and your kids enjoy yourselves at next Saturday's team Mini-Meet!

Practice Schedule
We'll practice two this week as usual, but we'll extend the practices by 15 minutes to celebrate the increased daylight we'll have in March:
  • Tuesday, March 4, 5 - 6:15pm -- College Park HS track
  • Thursday, March 6, 5 - 6:15pm -- College Park HS track
Volunteer Alert
Expect a reminder phone call from the volunteer coordinators (or one of their helpers) regarding your work assignment. Please note that they may have assigned you a job if you signed up late or perhaps we moved you from your original assignment to fill a more urgent need. Thank in advance for your flexibility.

Please check the Volunteers page on the web site for the Mini Meet volunteer positions. If you are not signed up already but are available to work (especially in the second shift, and especially if you are experienced), please contact our volunteer coordinators, Trish or Greg Brown ( to let them know where you can help. This is a training exercise for our "real" meets so we expect everyone to help out. Thanks!

Officiating Clinic

Tom Spain, our meet director, and I will be putting on our annual Officiating Clinic especially for parents new to the team who will be working meets. While most of the meet jobs can be learned on the job, please try to come to the Officiating Clinic for a preview and overview that you might appreciate knowing about. If you are an experienced meet volunteer who is willing to come to the clinic to talk about any of the events, please contact me.
  • Tuesday, March 4, 7pm at Christ the King School, room 223 (7th grade classroom)
T-Shirts Coming
Your athlete's T-shirts should be available at practice Thursday or at the mini-meet on Saturday. If not, kids may wear last year's T-shirt or anything they like since this is just a practice meet for our team. Stay tuned.

Which Events Should My Kids Do at the Meet?
The two most frequently asked questions I hear at this time of year are
  • What is the order of events?
  • Which events should my kids do?
The first one is addressed on the front page of the web site. I also have little cards to hand out that summarize the same information.
The second question is more subtle but you and your kids will quickly come to your own understanding. Here are our guidelines:
  • We encourage kids to pick different events over the first 3 meets as far as possible. What we don't want is for kids to decide coming into track that they are sprinters and only ever run the 50m and 100m races. Since each athlete is allowed to do 2 individual running events and 1 field event (or else 1 individual running event and 2 field event) at each meet,they can try out quite a lot of distances. Relays do not count in this -- kids can do all three relays each week if they want.
  • On the other hand, it is useful for the coaches to find out who is fast for planning relay teams. We usually build relay teams strictly on a merit basis with the fastest 4 kids on the "A" relay team and the second fastest on the next team and so on. However, some kids improve more than others so these things are not set in stone until later in the season. Anyway, I often encourage everyone to do a 100m race in the first couple of meets just so I get all their times.
  • Every athlete is expected to run in the 4x100m relay near the beginning of each meet. It's important that you alert your primary coach if your athlete is not coming to a meet so that the coach can adjust the relay teams.
  • If a kid just isn't sure what to do, his or her coach will help.
Meet Schedule Ready Soon
The schedule for the remainder of our meets will be ready very soon. Unlike all of our recent seasons, we'll be traveling further afield because our local tracks are unavailable for a variety of reasons. On the plus side, we'll be visiting some very nice facilities!

See you on the track,