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