Monday, May 4, 2009

CTK Track News for 4 May 09...

Greetings Track Parents,

Can you believe it's the last week of the season?

The Sectional Meet was a lot of fun and there were a lot of very competitive races. Our athletes did very
well and I just finished sorting zillions of medals and ribbons to hand out on Tuesday at practice.  

Our volunteers were in evidence all around the track -- thank you all!  I would particularly like to recognize 
some (I think all) of our double-shift volunteers who braved the elements to work the entire meet: Kent
Sasaki and Dan Wanket worked at the finish line all day; Marc Mitchell and Kelley Timbrell shared the
starter duties all day; Gina Ruotolo (who was at least dry behind her microphone) announced all day;
Carol Monti provided first aid all day long. Special thanks also to Dave Muhlenkamp, who is a clean-up
crew by himself without peer.

This Week
It's our last week of practice (sob!).  We'll practice twice as usual.
  • Practice, Tuesday, May 5, 5-6:30pm, College Park HS track
  • Last Practice, Thursday, May 7, 5-6:30pm, College Park HS track
  • Diocesan Championship Meet (1600m & 800m races), Friday, May 8, 6:30pm, James Logan High School track, 1800 H St., Union City.
  • Diocesan Championship Meet (all other events), Saturday, May 3, 8:30am, Diablo Valley College track
Diocesan Championship Meet
Qualifiers for the Diocesan Championship Meet are those athletes who finished in the top 3 in their
events except for the 4x400m.  In every case but the sprint medley, 4th place finishers are
alternates for the Diocesan Championship Meet.  Check with the results posted here though
there still may be some errors to correct. 

On the web site's home page you can read the section entitled Diocean Championship Meet Preview for
more details about the Diocesan Championships.

Results on
I'm having trouble getting corrected results for the Qualifying Meet last weekend so that I can update with those results.  I will sort it out one way or another this week, and will upload the Sectional
Meet results.  (I know some folks are big fans.)

Volunteer News
We will be assigned a few jobs at the Diocese Meet this weekend, probably in the area of field events.  If you
are interested in helping out, please contact our indefatigable volunteer coordinator, Trish Brown, before she 
contacts you.  We have not yet been told which and how many jobs we'll have to perform.

See you on the track,


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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Important Sectional Championship News

Hi everyone,

I have three important items of information:

1. The Friday night races will start at 7pm, not 6pm, as previously scheduled.  Apparently DVC has their own track meet Friday afternoon which won't be over early enough for the scheduled start.  (They didn't tell us until last night.)  We hope to be on the track at 6:30pm and racing at 7pm.

2. There will be a $3 admission charge on Saturday for adults. High school students will be charged $1. Seniors, young children, athletes, and coaches with a 2009 CYO Coaching Card are admitted free.  (There has always been admission fee for the Diocese Championships, but charging for the Sectional Championship was last year's innovation.)  The cost of using DVC has gone up significantly this season, perhaps due to the track and field renovation there.  Yes, even meet volunteers have to pay admission, alas.

3. Trish Brown, our volunteer coordinator, is looking for volunteers to help run the Sectional Championship Meet.  We have several jobs that need to be filled for Saturday.  Please contact her at if you can work. If your child is running and you don't volunteer, please expect a phone call! If you want to see what jobs are available, look for "CTK" or "SC" or "SS" on the overall schedule here . Hearty thanks to all who have already volunteered!

If you are not a weather watcher, you might be surprised to learn that there is a 50-80% chance of rain Friday evening and Saturday. But we all realize that we need it, even if the meet is a little damp. So dress accordingly!

See you on the track,


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

CTK Track News for the week of 27 Apr 09

Greetings Track Families,

We had another beautiful day at the track on Saturday.  Once again, many families went above and beyond
the call of duty and volunteered the whole meet or came out of the stands to fill in where needed.  Thank
you so much!

Who Qualified?
I have not posted the Qualifying Meet results yet; they will be available late tomorrow evening along with
a list of qualifiers and alternates for the Sectional Championship Meet.  The parish coordinators from
the whole league will be meeting tomorrow evening to go over the meets (there were three qualifying
meets, by the way) and deal with various appeals, etc.  After that's all settled, the qualifiers and 
alternates will be set for next weekend.

As I said before, the top four finishers in the 1600m and field events qualify and compete next
weekend.  The top three finishers overall (i.e., regardless of heats) in the other events (including 
relays) qualified and 4th place is an alternate.  The coaches may substitute runners on relay teams
of the same parish and grade and gender if one of the runners is unavailable next weekend.

If your child possibly or definitely qualified but cannot compete next weekend, please let me 
know ASAP.  If your child was on a relay team that possibly or definitely qualified but cannot
compete next weekend, please let your child's primary coach know ASAP so they can work on
finding a replacement.

Practices This Week
We'll have two practices this week as usual, and everyone is welcome.  We won't have ribbons 
ready until Thursday most likely, but there will be ribbons down to 6th place which may be some
consolation to non-qualifiers.
  • Practice, Tuesday, Apr. 28, 5-6:30pm, College Park HS track
  • Practice, Thursday, Apr. 30, 5-6:30pm, College Park HS track
  • Sectional Championship Meet (1600m races), Friday, May 1, 6:00pm, Diablo Valley College track
  • Sectional Championship Meet (all other events), Saturday, May 2, 9:00am, Diablo Valley College track
Lost and Found Bonanza!
We picked up another huge collection of lost items at the end of the meet Saturday.  Please check
the Lost & Found page on the web site for your treasures.  It's not just the kids: One team left all their relay 
batons behind.  (Last year, another team's coordinator left his wallet and keys behind at one of our 
meets!)  If any of that collection belongs to your family, let me know and I'll bring it to practice or
leave it out on my porch for you.

Picnic Coming
Make sure you've marked your calendar for the Team Awards Picnic on Sunday, May 31, from 11am
until 3pm at Pleasant Hill Park.  One tradition we have is to salute our departing 8th graders, and
recognize those who have been with the team since they were in 2nd or 3rd grade.  CTK Track Team
trivia:  Name this year's four 8th graders who have been on the team since 2nd or 3rd grade.   We
will also have our annual drawing for extra-helpful parents.  Will you be a winner?  I hope you all
can come, if only to admire the final appearance of this year's mountainous Lost & Found collection!

See you on the track,


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

Monday, April 20, 2009

CTK Track news for the week of 20 Apr 09...

Greetings Track Families,

I hope those of you who were away last week enjoyed your break.  Now back to your regularly scheduled track season!

Saturday's Meet
Thanks once again to all of our volunteers who helped run our meet so smoothly on Saturday.  If you looked up at the bleachers during the meet, you might have noticed (as I did) that they were nearly empty.  That's because all available parents had been put to work around the track.  We greatly appreciate those who worked double shifts.  I especially want to thank the setup and cleanup crew (both of them!) who helped schlep all of the meet equipment across the parking lot Saturday.  If you were wondering why the parking lot was closed, informed sources tell me that DVC is hooking up the solar panels now.

As of 8pm Sunday evening, the results of Saturday's meet are still not available so are not posted yet.  You'll see them soon after I do!

We have only three more weeks of practice!  We'll practice twice this week:
  • Tuesday, April 21, from 5-6:30pm on the grass field behind the baseball field at College Park.  (We have to stay off the track due to a CPHS lacrosse game at 5pm.)
  • Thursday, April 23, from 5-6:30pm at College Park HS track
  • Qualifying Meet, April 25, at 9am at Diablo Valley College track
Qualifying Meet
Next weekend is our Qualifying Meet.  It's called that because athletes must qualify through this meet to advance to the Sectional Championship Meet and afterwards to the Diocesan Championship Meet.

New families interested in the details of this process should check the home page of our web site where I've attempted to explain everything.  If your family has been involved in the past, it's pretty much the same this season.  If I have failed to make something clear enough, please don't be afraid to ask.

There are three things not mentioned there (now that I think of it!)
  • Athletes who cannot attend the Qualifying Meet cannot qualify to run in the Sectional Championship Meet.  Of course, some athletes have to miss each meet due to other family or personal commitments and there is an appeal process for athletes who feel they would have qualified had they been able to run.  However, since this is CYO track, the only acceptable grounds for appeal is attendance at some religious event which is usually their own or a sibling's first communion, but may also be a funeral, wedding or confirmation.  (No one's ever asked about a bar mitzvah -- I have no idea how that would play!)  Please speak to me in advance of the qualifying meet if you feel this may apply to one of your children.
  • If your athlete is not able to participate in the Qualifying Meet, PLEASE tell your child's primary coach as soon as possible.  There are restrictions on relay teams next weekend (see the web site) so the sooner your coach knows who will be missing, the better.
  • If your athlete fails to qualify in any of his or her events next weekend, they are probably done with meets for this season but they are still VERY welcome at practice for the remaining two weeks.  We may give precedence to the qualifiers who need to practice field events, but all are welcome.  Some of the kids like the practices more than the meets and there's no reason for them to stop coming to practice if they still want to.
I want to repeat just one thing that's also on the web site:
  • If your athlete qualifies (even as a member of a relay team), but will be unable to attend the Sectional Championship Meet, please tell ME right away.  Next Monday evening there will be a seeding meeting and knowing who can't make the Sectional Championship Meet ahead of the meet is a great help.
Picnic Coming
As kids finish their season with us, I want to remind everyone to mark their calendars for Sunday, May 31 when we'll have our annual Team Picnic where we hand out way too many awards.  More details are coming on that, but I hope you'll save the date.

See you on the track.  (Or near the track on Tuesday!)


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

Monday, April 6, 2009

CTK Track news for the week of 6 Apr 09

Greetings Track Families,

Thanks once again to all of our fabulous volunteers for the efficiently run meet yesterday.  It was good running weather
and there were lots of good performances that will translate into lots of ribbons for our athletes.

Schedule at a Glance
This week we'll practice just once and take a short Easter break:
  • Practice, Tuesday, Apr. 7, 5-6:30pm
  • No Practice, Thursday, Apr. 9
  • No Meet, Saturday, Apr. 11.
  • No Newsletter next Sunday (Can you beat that as an Easter present!?)
  • No Practice, Tuesday, Apr. 14
  • Practice, Thursday, Apr. 16, 5-6:30pm
  • Meet #4, Saturday, Apr. 18, 8:30am at DVC
Lost and Found
I have an enormous lost and found collection this season.  Please check out the Lost & Found
page on the web site: and let me know if you want anything
brought to practice.  Or I could leave your treasures out on the bench on my front porch if
you prefer 

All items in the Lost & Found collection go up for grabs at the end of the team picnic.

The results from yesterday's meet have been updated once and posted on the web site on
the Schedule page.  I will upload the revised results to shortly  Please let me 
know if you find problems and I'll do my best to correct them.  

A long time ago when my oldest son (now in 11th grade) was a second grader, he ran a
mile so slowly that the timers recorded his three lap time.  It took him a few years to
"beat" that time.  Don't let this sort of tragedy befall your young runner -- report mistakes
you find in the results!

Happy Easter to all,


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

Monday, March 30, 2009

CTK Track News for the week of 30 Mar 09...

Greetings Track Families,

Thanks to all of the volunteers who worked so hard to make the relay meet a success.  

Meet Results
The results are posted in the usual places.  First, complete results are always posted the day after each 
meet at .  Second, results for our team (plus some of the other

Ribbons from the relay meet will be awarded for 1st through 5th places by overall place by grade, and not
by heat as at our regular meets.  Since we had multiple heats of certain relays in some grades (especially
3rd, 5th, and 6th grade boys!), kids whose team won their race may not receive a ribbon if their team
was not among the overall five fastest in their grade.  

Also, we don't award our Personal Best ribbons for relays though we still owe lots of kids Personal Best ribbons
for Meet #2.

This Week
We'll practice twice this week as usual, and our next meet is Saturday morning as usual:
  • Practice, Tuesday, Mar. 31, 5-6:30pm, College Park HS track
  • Practice, Thursday, Apr. 2, 5-6:30pm, College Park HS track
  • Meet #3, Saturday, Apr. 4, 9:00am, Ygnacio Valley High School track
However, our next meet will be at 9am (not 8:30am!) at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord,
and not at DVC.  If you go to DVC, you'll find a CYO track meet, but you won't find our team!

Athletes and first shift volunteers should plan on arriving at Ygnacio Valley HS by 8:30am and the
setup crew should arrive at 8am.

No Dogs
I am told there was a dog or two on the field Saturday at DVC.  It almost goes without saying that
dog waste on these fancy artificial turf fields is a terrible idea.  Please ask anyone with a dog you see 
on the track from now on to take their four legged friends outside the fence.

Calling All Volunteers!
We are reaching the part of the season where a lot of our most experienced volunteers have almost
worked their quota which means that I get to remind you of our end-of-season drawing for the extra 
helpful.  Yes, it's back.

For the past few years we've tried to reward our extra-helpful volunteers who work more than the 
minimum number of shifts at our meets by having a drawing at the picnic for gift certificates to a
local restaurant.  For each shift you work above the five required, we give you a "ticket" for the drawing
which is held at the picnic.  So the more shifts you work, the greater your chances.

Trish Brown, our volunteer coordinator, tells me that she could use some extra help for the second
shift this coming Saturday.  If you are available, please send her an email (
and let her know. If you check the web site Volunteers page, you can even request specific open 
jobs when you write to Trish.

By the way, at least a couple of people checked in on Saturday for the second shift but then
left immediately, saying they couldn't stay. If you have to leave, you have to leave, but it doesn't 
count as a shift worked unless you check in AND actually work! (I know: we're cruel.)

To further butter you up, we get lots of positive feedback from the other parishes who really
like the way we run meets. As you know, we put a lot of work into making the meets run
smoothly so it's nice that the other teams notice.

Finally, as the weather gets warmer you'll want to bring sunscreen and/or a hat and some
water for yourself to the meets. We can't have you collapsing over your rake in the long jump

Easter Break Coming
As is our custom, we'll take a break over Easter. There will be no practice on Thursday, April
9 or Tuesday, April 14, and no meet on April 11. (So this week will be a regular week followed
by two single-practice weeks.)

Sorry for the longer email this week, but we gotta have those volunteers!

See you on the track,


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

Sunday, March 22, 2009

CTK Track news for the week of 23 Mar 09...

Greetings Track Families,

With the season well under way, and the team population stabilizing at 245, I'm very happy with the way things are going.  We have had great cooperation from our parent volunteers at our meets, and I think we ran a pretty efficient meet on Saturday.  Thanks for all of your hard work!

This week we'll practice twice as usual and then we'll have our annual relay meet.

This Week
  • Practice: Tuesday, March 24 from 5-6:30pm at College Park HS track
  • Practice: Thursday, March 26 from 5-6:30pm at College Park HS track
  • Relay Meet: Saturday, March 28 at 8:30am at Diablo Valley College
Mary Chatterton Memorial Relay Meet
The relay meet is a fun variation from our normal meets where all we do are three relay events.  In order they are
  • 4x100m
  • 4x400m
  • Medley Relay - 200/200/400/800m
Another difference from the usual meets is that the coaches won't be asking their athletes which events they want to do this weekend since everyone at the meet will get to participate in all three, even if that involves mixing teams from the various parishes present.  The number of athletes at this meet will also be 50% larger this week because the league holds two meets instead of three.  We'll co-host the meet with St. Mary's, and we'll be running against St. Francis, Holy Rosary, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Anthony, Queen of All Saints, St. Agnes, St. Monica and St. Perpetua.

A word of warning: You might think that since there are just three events, this meet will be over a lot earlier than the others.  With more kids and everyone doing these longer relays, however, it doesn't really work out this way.  It's a bit of a circus and a whole lot of fun.

For the quantitatively inclined, the league started keeping records for the relay meets in 2006.  CTK holds quite a lot of these relay records.  How many will fall this year?  Records are at

Lost & Found
The Lost & Found page on the web site is starting to bulge.  Please see if any of the fine things there are yours.

I have about three pairs of size 9-1/2 running spikes if anyone is interested.  Parents often give me running spikes their kids have outgrown and I try to pass them along to kids who I think might make good use of them. I've mostly given out my spikes from this year but if any of the older kids with feet this size are interested, have them see me.

See you on the track,


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

[Short] CTK Track Update

Hi again track families,

Just three reminders:
  1. Our meet is at DVC this Saturday.  An earlier edition of the schedule said we'd be at Ygnacio Valley this weekend.
  2. Our meet starts at 8:30am this Saturday.  Until two days ago, the schedule said 9am.  Athletes and first shift volunteers should arrive by 8am.
  3. If your athlete wears spikes, the spikes themselves must be 1/4" or shorter pyramid spikes.  Needle spikes are absolutely not allowed in CYO competition for safety reasons.  If you are unsure, ask a coach.  I have hundreds of legal replacement spikes that your kids can have.  And as I said at the parent meeting, spikes are not required by any means, no matter what your child tells you.
See you on the track,


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

IMPORTANT -- CYO Track - Meet start time changed...

Hi everyone,

Due to the tight schedule for the DVC stadium/track, our next three meets at DVC will start at 8:30am, not 9am.

  • All athletes and first-shift volunteers should arrive at 8am.
  • Set-up crew should arrive at 7:45am
  • I will adjust the meet volunteer schedule a little later (when I'm not at work -- shhhhh!) 

In order to make the meet run a little more quickly, we will make a few changes:
  • We'll run just two heats of the 1600m -- 2nd-5th grade & 6th-8th grade
  • Use assistant coaches as extra shepherds to get 4x100 staged more quickly.  
  • We'll use the "waterfall start" for the 800m races to reduce the number of heats
As the season goes on, our new volunteers become experienced volunteers and the meets generally go a little faster anyhow.  Let's see if we can run those late relays this week!



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

CTK Track News for the week of 16 Mar 09...

Greetings Track Families,

If you can believe it, we're entering our seventh week of the track season already. 

We'll practice twice this week as usual, and extend practice until 6:30pm. As usual, we're very appreciative if 
you pick up your children promptly though we always keep two coaches at College Park HS parking lot until
the last athlete is picked up. Try not to be that last pick-up!

  • Tuesday, March 17, from 5-6:30pm, at College Park HS track
  • Thursday, March 19, from 5-6:30pm, at College Park HS track
Next Meet
  • Saturday, March 21, at 9am at DVC
Note: We may be moving future meets up 30 minutes to an 8:30am start due to an apparent misunderstanding
about how late we may stay at DVC. Our league coordinator is working with DVC on this right now. In any
event, we'll be taking steps to make the meet move a little more quickly so we have time for the late relays.
More on that later...

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


Results for Saturday's meet are now available in two place. First, the complete results are posted on the Schedule
page of the web site (along with the results of the two other meets the league held Saturday).  Select the View
button in the results column. Second, almost all of the results except for the relays are available on

Ribbons for Saturday's meet will be available at practice this week, probably on Thursday. Personal best
ribbons will also start to appear shortly, and we'll have Starburst awards again this week.

Remember to keep an eye on your mail box later in the week in case the meet start time
for this Saturday's meet at DVC changes.

See you on the track,


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

Sunday, March 8, 2009

CTK Track News for the week of 9 Mar 09

Greeting Track Parents,

We had beautiful weather for the 2009 Mini-Meet and I thought the meet ran just about as well as we could have hoped.  I hope your kids enjoyed themselves and are eager to try again next week.

The Mini-Meet results will be posted this week.  (Actually, results are starting to appear now  Remember, we don't have ribbons for the Mini-Meet this year, but we'll be awarding ribbons after all of the rest of our meets.  We'll also be awarding personal best ribbons to recognize improved performances throughout the season.  And for the old-timers, Starburst awards start Tuesday!

Two Practices This Week
With the start of daylight savings this weekend, we'll have a little more daylight to work with.  This week practice will go from 5-6:15pm at College Park HS as usual.  Next week we'll extend a little further -- to 6:30pm -- which is as late as we'll go for the balance of the season.

Practices this week are
  • Tuesday, 3/10 from 5-6:15pm at College Park HS
  • Thursday, 3/12 from 5-6:15pm at College Park HS
Please note that all of the coaches have a mandatory meeting Thursday evening so please be on time to pick up your kids!

One more request:  A number of parents like to walk the track while the kids practice.  With all of the soccer players, and the 250 kids on our team doing a wide variety of events, the track is a very, very crowded place.  Perhaps you'd consider running bleachers instead as your workout?  

First "Real" Meet Next Weekend
Next Saturday, March 14, is our first regular season meet and it will be very similar to the Mini-Meet except that we'll have more company.  We'll be hosting the St. Ignatius (again), St. Monica, St. Agnes, and Queen of All Saints teams.  The meet will be held across the street at Diablo Valley College. 

The first gun is at 9am, but 
  • All athletes and first shift volunteers should strive to be there by 8:30am 
  • The setup crew should be there at 8am
  • Please tell your athlete's primary coach if your athlete will be absent or late to help in relay team planning
  • If you cannot make your work assignment for this (or any other meet), please find a replacement or contact our volunteer coordinators as a last resort.
Contact info for the primary coaches and volunteer coordinators is on the Staff page of the web site.

Schedule Being Finalized
If you had written down our schedule on your own calendar earlier in the season, please note that it has slightly changed.  We'll be at DVC for every single meet from now on, except for Meet #3 on April 4, which will be at Ygnacio Valley HS (my alma mater!).

Event Variety & Late Relays
Please support the coaches as we encourage your kids to try different events at the first few meets.  Each athlete will have his or her favorite events but we want them to try longer or shorter distances once or twice.  If your child just does the 50m, 100m, and softball throw every week, they are missing out on the full track and field experience!

We normally run two relay races (Sprint Medley and 4x400m) at the end of our meets.  If you are working the second shift anyway, please encourage your kids to run these events.  We didn't run them at the Mini-Meet, but will do so the rest of the season.  These relays are my favorites since we seem to be left with the more dedicated kids from all of the teams present.  And since many of the kids have left, ribbons are often easier to come by!

See you on the track,


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

Monday, March 2, 2009

CTK Track news for the week of 2 Mar 09

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 afternoon's team Mini-Meet!

Practice Schedule
We'll practice twice this week until 6pm.  Starting next week, we'll go until 6:15pm.
  • Tuesday, March 3, 5-6pm-- College Park HS track
  • Thursday, March 5, 5-6pm-- College Park HS track
Mini-Meet News
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.  We try to get the kids to wear black shorts to make more of a uniform, but it's by no means a requirement.

The Mini-Meet starts at 1pm, but all athletes and first shift volunteers should be there by 12:30pm.  The setup crew should be there at 12 noon.  We will wind up this meet by about 5pm, regardless of where we are in the progression of events.

Kids will be signing up for events this week at practice.  If your child won't be attending the Mini-Meet, please make sure he or she knows that so that they can tell their coach.  We have the kids sign up for events ahead of the meet since they are limited to two running and one field event or one running and two field events at each meet.  (Relay events don't count; kids can always run in all of the relays though of course we always need teams of four.)  We find that having the kids sign up ahead of time makes it easier for everyone at the meet and focuses them a little bit.  Signing up for events ahead of time is not required nor is it binding since the kids are not really signed up for anything until they register with a clerk of the course for a running event or at a given field event at the meet.

There will be one difference from previous Mini-Meets in that we won't award ribbons this year since I'm almost out of the extra ribbons we used to give out for this meet.  We'll record times and distances though, just like at our regular meets.

As has become a tradition, we've invited the St. Ignatius CYO track team to our Mini-Meet.

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. Thanks 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 emeritus, and I will be putting on our annual Officiating Clinic especially for parents new to the team who will be working at 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.
  • Thursday, March 5, 7pm at Christ the King School, room 222 (6th grade classroom)
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. We always have an opinion.
Slightly Off Topic Department
I worked as a clerk of the course at a big high school meet on Saturday and saw at least a dozen alumni from our team who now run for various area high schools.  Athletes from our team now run for De La Salle, Carondelet, Alhambra, College Park (though not at this particular meet), Acalanes, and Berean Christian High Schools.  Will your kids still be track athletes in high school?

Pleasant Hill Middle School has been nominated for a complimentary field renovation through a Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes contest. There is a judging period through April 30th where one hundred fields will be selected and then voted on by the general public until May 31. These votes will determine the thirty finalists that receive a rebuilt field. I don't know if they'll rebuild the track too, but the field itself sure could use it. If you're interested in casting a free vote, visit

See you on the track,


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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

CTK Track News for the week of 23 Feb 09...

Greetings Track Families,

We're beginning week 4 of the track season already.  It's also the last week we will accept late sign-ups which is not a
moment too soon as we now have 243 kids on the roster, a new record.  However, I think those who were at practice
on Thursday will agree things were actually less chaotic than they were the first two weeks since we didn't find a high
school soccer game going on and the high school track team was closer to being finished when we got there.

Workouts will start to get more complicated this week.  As always, the practice plan is posted on the Practices
page of the web site.  (Tuesday we'll introduce field events to a few athletes while the rest do circuit training.
On Thursday we'll work on relays with the younger age groups while the oldest kids do an interval workout...)

Our first meet, the Mini-Meet, will take place on Saturday afternoon March 7 at College Park HS.  Along
with all of our athletes, we'll have the St. Ignatius team joining us in what has become a pre-season tradition.
There will be one change this year with regard to the Mini-Meet that I hope won't be too distressing:  I am
out of the extra ribbons we usually awarded at this meet so we won't be giving out ribbons this time.  But the
ribbons will start flowing the week after for sure!

Mark your calendars:
  • Tuesday 2/24: Practice 5-6pm at CPHS
  • Thursday 2/26: Practice 5-6pm at CPHS
Looking ahead to the following week:
  • Tuesday 3/3: Practice 5-6pm at CPHS
  • Thursday 3/5: Practice 5-6pm at CPHS
  • Thursday 3/5: Officiating Clinic 7pm at CTK 6th grade classroom
  • Saturday 3/7: Mini Meet 1pm at CPHS
More on this next weekend!


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

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CTK Track news for week of 16 Feb 09...

Greetings Track Families,

Practice Schedule
We'll practice twice this week again, on Tuesday and Thursday from 5 until 5:55pm at College Park.  If it's rainy, you can check the web site after 4pm to find out if practice has been canceled and replaced by ark building.

Team Roster
Full alphabetical roster with contact info: [Ask Carl]
Coaches roster by grade with less info: [Ask Carl]

Late Sign-Ups

We have 231 kids signed up at the moment, and we will only accept new sign-ups through the end of next 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.

Help Wanted
I am looking for one more First Aid Volunteer for our meets. In the past, we've had two parents with first aid training share this job and this season I'd like to have a third volunteer to share the duties.  You would need to be available at some of the meets (schedule to be worked out) for our first aid needs. Typically, this 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. Sharing this job would count as your complete volunteer requirement.

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. 

Past Results
Veterans of past seasons might want to explorer 2007 (partial) and 2008 results at our site:
As we begin competition in 2009, I'll do my best to get those results up too.  More details about this on the News page.

See you on the track,


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Info for Data Entry volunteers

Hi Data Entry Volunteers,

You are getting this email since you were imprudent enough to volunteer for data entry at our meets this season.  Thank you so much!

If I have added you to this list in error, please respond right away so I can remove you from the list.

There are seven of you who are new to the program (or at least this job) and two wily veterans so I will explain how this works.

While the kids think that a track meet is all about running, jumping and throwing, you will soon find that a meet is really an exercise in moving paper around.  Very briefly, kids sign up for their events by reporting to the clerk of the course area (for running events) or to a field event when they are called.  Volunteers at those venues write down each kid's name and number (4 digits unique to them in our league) on a clipboard. For running events, the completed event sheet travels via a shepherd to the starter (bang!) and then to finish line recorders who write down times and places.  The field event sheets stay at the field event until the event closes for a particular grade.  After results are recorded, the sheets passed to data entry where you or one of your colleagues will enter the results.

Data entry is done in Excel by entering each athlete's number and time (or distance or height) for each event.  You sit up in the press box (at DVC) or in a tent (at Ygnacio Valley or College Park) trying to keep the glare off the laptop screen.  There will generally be two data entry volunteers working at once.  Ideally one will be from our team and one from another team in the league.  

Most of our meet jobs divide each meet into two shifts.  With data entry, we'll use slightly later shifts since there's really nothing to do besides setting up the computers until results start coming in so there's little reason to get there early.  However, data entry is not usually finished until a little while after the meet ends.  Therefore our two shifts are 9-12 and 12-2:30.  The second shift is shorter since it is always a little less popular.

As I said, there will be two data entry people working at a time and hopefully only one of them will be a CTK volunteer.  Since it's a big problem NOT to have two people going at the same time, I always assign a "lead" and a "helper" for each shift.   The "lead" person can expect to work their shift for sure, and the "helper" has about an even chance of working or not depending on the other parishes.  At the end of the day, I expect each of you will be on the roster 3-4 times as either the "lead" or the "helper." 

For right now, I have four action items for you:
  1. Let me know if you do NOT want to do data entry at our meets.  
  2. If you had already signed up for other meet jobs and happen to have the dates, shifts, and jobs handy, please email them to me so I can remove you.  We will try to find and remove you from these other jobs in any case, but you'll save us time if you tell us what you signed up for.  If you didn't sign up for any other jobs, telling me that will save me time also!
  3. Watch out for another mail from me with an announcement of a data entry training class, probably to be held at CTK one weeknight evening around the beginning of March.
  4. Visit [Ask Carl] and indicate your availability for each shift of each meet. Please try to list as many times you are available as possible, even if you'd prefer all morning shifts in the first couple of meets!  I will make the schedule as fair as I can once I hear from everyone.
Please ask away if you have any questions.  Thanks again for signing up for this key job!


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


This season we'll be using to post individualized results for everyone on the team.

Visit to see our team's page and you can explore last season's results.  Let me know if you find any problems with the results.  I have already fixed some.

One thing you might find curious is that some of the results posted are (depending how you look at them) either corrected or uncorrected.  The gold standard for timing a track event is what is called "Fully Automated Timing" (FAT) while we mostly have hand-timed events instead.  There is a slight correction applied to hand times when compared with "FAT" times.  If you see a little "a" after a time, it means it's from a meet where FAT was used.  Last year we used FAT at the daytime portion of the Sectional Championship and Diocese Championship meets only.  (Actually, we also had FAT results from the Relay Meet last year, but I have not loaded up relay results -- yet.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Welcome (#2) to CTK Track Coaches...

Hi Track Coaches,

(If I've mislabeled you as a track coach, or if you'd prefer coaching-related mail to go to a different address, please let me know.)

One month ago I sent a "Welcome" mail to the coaches who had volunteered (or had been volunteered) before the season began.  Since the number of coaches has now swelled to 36 adults and an as yet unknown number of high school helpers, I thought it was time for another one.

First of all, thank you for volunteering your time and talents to the team.  I hope you enjoy being around the track as much as I do.  If you have never coached track before, welcome aboard.  If you have coached before, welcome back!

There are three requirements to coach with our team (or, in fact, any team in the diocese):
  1. Fill out a Volunteer Application.  I am still missing this form from many of you.  The form is available as a PDF from the Handouts page of the web site.
  2. Complete the Safe Environment Training as outlined on the home page of the league web site .  If you did this online training in 2007, it's time to do it again.  But if you did it in 2008, you're covered for this season too.
  3. Attend the CYO Philosophy Meeting, also outlined on the home page of the league web site . Save Thursday evening, March 12, for this mandatory meeting.
If you have any questions about any of this, please ask.

Coaching Roster
I've put together a roster posted it here: [Ask Carl]. It's sort of incomplete since I'm not sure where we'll all be.  But it gives the primary coaches an idea of who is helping out on which days.

After some discussion with some of our new (and eager!) primary coaches, we've redesigned the workouts for the beginning of the season to be simpler and to emphasize conditioning.  We'll be doing circuit training for the next three Tuesdays and fartlek-style conditioning for all athletes on the next two Tuesdays. We will not be starting field events  until week 4 (week after next) this season.  We are hoping to lay down a nice "base" of fitness before we start to work on individual events and relays.

Our specific workouts will be posted on the Practice page every week.  Week 3 should be just like Week 2 but I'm not posting it yet in case we decide to make changes after actually trying it!

Thanks again for your help.  See you on the track,


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

CTK Track news for the week of 8 Feb 09...

Greetings Track Families,

I have heard rumors that there are some of you who do not read every word of the exciting weekly track newsletter.  While I would never question your devotion, I will endeavor to keep it shorter this season.  (I know: you'll believe it when you see it...)

We'll practice twice this week:
  • Tuesday, Feb 10, from 5pm to 5:50pm at College Park HS track
  • Thursday, Feb 12, from 5pm to 5:50pm at College Park HS track
Remember to check the team web site after 4pm on practice days if it's rainy.

Coaches -- I will send you another email tomorrow evening about the workouts we've planned for the next few weeks.  We're going to try some different things this season...

Running Shoes
...are HIGHLY recommended.  We're seeing a number of kids who are wearing skateboard (not good) or basketball shoes (not as bad) to track.  They should all be wearing running shoes.  Local shoe stores such as Athletic Outpost in Walnut Creek, Fleet Feet in Pleasant Hill, and Roadrunner Sports in Concord will all give you 10% off if you tell them your child is on a track team.  (Athletic Outpost's owner is Tim Ketron, one of our assistant coaches and the father of two kids on our team.)

Parent Meeting Handouts Posted
For those unfortunates who missed the parent meeting, or who didn't get a handout since the Parent Meeting Handout Coordinator underestimated the turnout, all of the handouts are posted on the team web site under Handouts. Thank you for coming if you did make it. 

For the old-timers, the main news is the DVC will be our home for all but three meets this season.  (The Mini-Meet will be at College Park of course, and two of our other meets will be at Ygnacio Valley HS.)  So you'll burn a lot less gas getting to track meets this season.

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 is a key team job that we could use more volunteers for:

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.  Ask me (at practice or via email or telephone) if you have questions.  Filling this job with reliable people is among our most difficult challenges.  While it doesn't sound particularly attractive right now, you'll be sitting pretty in the shade at meets if you volunteer for data entry!

Team Roster
The team roster is at [Ask Carl].  I have added new kids since last week and fixed a bunch of errors.  Let me know if you find any mistakes.  There is a second page called "Stastistics" that looks at the numbers in each group, by parish, and this week only, by T-shirt size.

Late Sign-Ups

We have 221 kids signed up at the moment.  This number moves around a lot and we will still accept new sign-ups for another couple of weeks.  Tell your friends, especially if they are speedy!

See you on the track,


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

Sunday, February 1, 2009

CTK Track news for week of 2 Feb 09...

Greetings 2009 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.

Parent Meeting
Don't forget the Track Parent Meeting on Monday, February 2nd,
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.  If
you have friends who may be interested in signing their kids up too, invite them
to the meeting.  I dislike long meetings (ask any of my co-workers) and intend
to finish up by 8:15pm if possible, though we'll stay around to answer questions
as necessary afterwards.

We will be practicing at College Park High School this season, on Tuesdays
and Thursdays starting at 5pm.  We'll finish up before 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 3  5-5:45pm at College Par High School track
Thursday, Feb 5  5-5:45pm at College Park High School track

Dress warmly for practices at College Park.  Even though your kids probably claim
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 the end of practice, 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.

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.  You can even
check your volunteer assignments and view meet results.  The
web site address is at the bottom of every mail you get from the team
this year.  Please visit

I do not want to help you get more spam or junk mail, so I do not put a link to the
roster on the web site.  However, it's always there in case you need it to arrange
job swaps or car pools at [Contact Carl for URL].  If I have managed to misspell
your name on confuse your contact info, please let me know.

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 26th.  If you have friends who are interested, please invite them to the parent meeting, or to check out the web site or even to come to practice.  Kids not actually signed up for the team are welcome to practice with the team to see if they like it as long as a parent sticks around 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,


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

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2009 CTK/SC/SS Track Sign-up Announcement

Greetings 2008 Track Parents, 

Sign-ups for the 2009 Christ the King, St. Catherine, and St. Stephen CYO track season will take place on Thursday, January 22, and Monday, January 26, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at Christ the King School in the 6th grade classroom.  The address is 199 Brandon Road, which is at the corner of Brandon and Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill.

We'll begin practice on February 3rd, and we plan to hold the usual Tuesday and Thursday practices starting at 5pm.  I expect we'll
be practicing at College Park High School track this season.

There will be meets every Saturday from March 7th until the diocese meet on May 9th, except for the Saturday before Easter (April 11th).  The track at DVC is supposed to be available for meets again this season although our meet schedule is not ready yet.

The fee this season is $60 for each athlete, with no multiple child discount any longer.  (Families finding this difficult should contact me privately.)   Please bring your calendar to the sign-ups as we will once again expect you to sign up for four volunteer work assignments and leave a $50 deposit to encourage you to follow through.

As usual, we are very interested in having parents (experienced or not) sign up to coach with us.  We usually end up with almost 200 kids on the team and coaching so many athletes requires plenty of help.  We are particularly interested in finding parents with experience in our field events (long jump, high jump, and shot put) or who are willing to join us for distance workouts ("road runs").  Please contact me if you have any questions.

If you are interested in more information, please contact me or check the team web site, at

(I have your email address from last year's Christ the King, St. Catherine, and St. Stephen track season.  This is meant to be a one-time mailing unless
you sign your athlete up again. I know that some of you will receive more than  one notice and that some of your kids have passed 8th grade.)

We are looking forward to another great season on the track.

Best regards,

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

2009 Track Team Info for Coaches

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all of you for volunteering to coach track this spring.  (No, it's now too late to get out; the doors are locked.)

I'm happy to say that I've got a bunch of dates set for various things and that we have six primary coaches.  In
possibly the best news of all, DVC has reopened so we'll be having a number of meets there as in years 
past.  It has just 8 lanes, which may not be enough for the league and diocese meets, but we'll see 
what happens.

Important Dates
  • January 22 and 26     6:30-8pm    Sign-ups at CTK in room 222 (6th grade classroom)
  • January 28                7pm           Important - Coaches Meeting at CTK in room 222
  • February 2                7pm           Parent Meeting - CTK Parish Hall
  • February 3                5pm           First Practice at College Park HS
  • March 7                    1pm          Mini Meet at College Park HS (tentative)
  • March 12                  6:30pm      Diocese Training/Certification for Coaches (mandatory)
I usually manage to recruit parents to help out with sign-ups, but it's always nice to have some coaches
there too.  If you can make one night or another, that would be great.  90 minutes only!

If you want to have any input into this season's coaching plan, please come to the meeting January
28.  I think we could do a lot of things better.  I would REALLY appreciate if all of the primary coaches
at least could make it.  I would like it if every single coach could come though so we'll all be
somewhere near the same page as far as our general plan of battle goes.

The parent meeting is actually before the season starts this year, as that's the only night I could
get the Parish Hall (or Rooms A & B).  I'd really like to be able to introduce all of the primary coaches.
In the past, I gave all of the primary coaches speaking parts but I may not make them do that this
year since three of them are new.  While this meeting is vital for parents new to the program, we
have a lot of returning parents come since they always have questions or maybe just like meetings.

The other mandatory non-track event is March 12 and is the Diocese "Certification Meeting" which
is mandatory if you want to get a coaching card which is supposed to allow you onto the track
at meets.  If you've ever coached anything before you
know that every youth sports authority (including the Oakland Diocese CYO) puts on something
like this to go over the basics.  It's at least at CTK -- the poor St. Michael's coaches have to 
come up here from Livermore!  More on this meeting later, but please mark your calendar.

Primary Coaches

Val Gebhart will return to coach 2/3 boys again.  Thanks!
Mike Stone will coach the 6/7/8 boys.  Thanks, Mike!
I will coach the 4/5 boys

Karen Sandri (with Alice Burns) will coach the 2/3 girls again.  Thanks, ladies!
Trish Heaney will coach the 4/5 girls.  (I think we discussed this...)  Thanks, Trish!
Tamara Johnson will coach the 6/7/8 girls.  Thanks, Tamara!

Trish & Greg Brown will coordinate our volunteers again.  Thanks, team!


I am sending this to just those folks who responded to my email and expect more coaches to join us,
both new and used.  In particular I understand several veterans of the team (high school students)
may be joining us.  Youth coaches have been great helps in the past and I think the kids really
like working with them.

I'll be sending out a general email to everyone from last year's team announcing sign-ups in a 
couple of days, so you may get another email shortly. Speaking of email, please let me know if
you want mail to you (in your role as coach, at least) to go to another different or additional
email address.  It's the least I can do.

I have updated the web site, including contact info for the primary coaches.  In order to cut
down spam, your email address is not on the site in plain text, but is obfuscated.  Do "View
Source" on the Staff page if you want to see what I mean.  This helps prevent web crawlers
from harvesting your address, or at least that's the theory.  If you don't want your phone number
shown, or if you prefer a different number instead, please let me know.  I wouldn't worry too 
much about unwanted track calls though -- I think I get most of those.

One little detail I need to settle is how much to charge this year since I only have a verbal agreement 
from the College Park Athletic Director at this point and no field permt yet.  I don't expect a problem
getting it, but you never know.

If you have any questions ahead of sign-ups or our meeting, please let me know.  

On behalf of all of the kids you'll work with this season, thank you very much for offering your time
and talent to our program.  Happy New Year, by the way!