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