Sunday, March 27, 2011

CTK Track News for the week of 28 Mar 11...

Greetings Track Families,

I have to admit that I am surprised that we managed a nearly complete track meet on Saturday.  I fully expected that we would have to call off the meet.  However, thanks to willing volunteers from our two teams, and weatherproof athletes, we did it!  Thanks very much to all of our volunteers who braved the elements yet again.  I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some sunshine.

This Week at a Glance
Now is a good time to tell you about (or remind the veterans about) our "Extra Helpful Parent" drawing.  Simply put, if you work more than five shifts (not counting the Mini Meet, or the Sectional Meet, or the Diocese Meet) at our meets this season, every extra shift you work will earn you a "ticket" in our Extra Helpful Parent drawing which has become a tradition at the team picnic at the end of the season.  We award gift cards for local restaurants to several lucky (though hard-working) families who go above and beyond.

We started this program a few years ago because, frankly, we didn't want to "use up" our most valuable and experienced parent volunteers early in the season and be left with a bunch of rookies later in the season.

With that in mind, please feel free to email Katy (our extra-helpful volunteer coordinator) to sign-up for any jobs you see open for Meet #4 (April 2nd), the Qualifying Meet (April 9), or the Relay Meet (April 30).

Now, a little bit of fine print:  Right before the beginning of the meet yesterday, the St. Isidore / St. Joan of Arc coordinators decided to have a quick parent meeting due to a little "negative feedback" that they had received about the whole idea of holding the meet yesterday under the liquid skies of Danville.  We told all of the parents that we intended to carry on with the meet regardless, but if they thought that it was a bad idea, then they could sign out of their volunteer jobs and be on their way.  If you took us up on the offer and left the meet at that point, please write to Katy and she will give you credit for having worked your shift anyway.  It was lousy weather a lot of the time, and we respect your decision to make it an indoor day.  We ended up with plenty of volunteers, many of whom were not signed up to work at all.  Finally, if you worked yesterday but never signed in, please ALSO write to Katy and she'll add another tick mark next to your family's good name.  Once again, thanks.  I hope you had fun like I did.

YV Students For Hire
Since Meet #4 sees us back at Ygnacio Valley High School, you once again have the opportunity to hire Ygnacio Valley student-athletes as replacement workers.  As before, the donation is $20 per shift.  (You pay Coach George Francis at the meet.)  If you plan to take George up on this fundraiser, please let me know by Wednesday so that we can help him plan.  As always, there will be extra students on hand for those better at making last-minute decisions.

Still More Pictures
If you haven't checked out the pictures on Shutterfly lately, there are some great ones again this week.  Thanks, Paul!  (Next week, maybe we'll see if he can shoot in sunlight.)

See you on the track,


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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Meet #3 volunteer assignments posted...

Hi Track Families,

Meet Volunteers
We received our volunteer assignments for Meet #3 from the meet hosts, St. Isidore & St. Joan of Arc, and Katy and I have transfered assignments to a new sheet which is now posted on the Volunteers page of the team web site.

Note that we have fewer jobs than usual this week, but all of the jobs that we do have are important so please make sure that you check for your name.  You should get the usual reminder phone calls later this week as well.

SI/SJA apparently runs their meets without a shift change (which we normally have) though we have assigned our volunteers assigned in two shifts, with some overlap as usual.  SI/SJA asks that first shift volunteers report by 8:15am (which I find kind of early), but I interpret that to mean that they are doing their utmost to start on time.

Please allow a little extra time this weekend to get to the meet, which is at San Ramon Valley High School and please sign in with a CTK volunteer check-in person when you arrive.

I'm sure that they will do a few other things differently than we normally do and that we can learn some tricks from them to use in our future meets.  

Results from Meet #2
I still have not received results back from Meet #2, but I will post them when I get them.  Perhaps the paperwork is still drying.  

Practice Today
It is going to be a wet week.  Please check for a practice update on the front page of the web site by 4pm today and Thursday.

See you on the track,


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

CTK Track News for the week of 21 Mar 2011...

Hi Track Families,

Several years ago, I cancelled the Mini Meet due to expected bad weather and the day turned out to be beautiful.  Ever since then, I have been very reluctant to call off a meet or even a practice lest the weather prove me over-cautious.  After Saturday's outing at Ice Station Ygnacio, I don't expect any of you will consider me over-cautious in the weather arena again.  All I can is that at 6am when we made the decision to go ahead, the weather forecast looked relatively benign until noon.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thank you very much to the many heroic parents who fulfilled their volunteer responsibilities admirably despite the conditions.  It was impressive.  If any of the second-shift volunteers are concerned that they somehow lost volunteer credit due to the early cessation of festivities, fear not: I have asked Katy to credit everyone who was signed up for Meet #2.  (I even asked her to give extra credit to a couple of stalwarts who went above and beyond.)  Thank you again!

This Week
Practice - Tuesday 5pm-6:30pm at College Park HS track
Practice - Thursday 5pm-6:30pm at College Park HS track
Meet #3 - Saturday 9am at San Ramon Valley HS track

Our meet this week is with the only team bigger than ours, the combined forces of St. Isidore  and St. Joan of Arc.  Last year, we hosted our meet with them so this year, it's their turn.  This will result in volunteer assignments being changed from what is currently posted since they are in charge of assigning the jobs.  Katy and I will try to match our parents to their existing jobs where possible, but it pains me to say that some of you on the Meet #3 Volunteers list may wind up unemployed next weekend.  Please stay tuned.  I will send out a special email when the updated jobs are posted.

Looking ahead, our schedule for Meet #4 has changed since I first published it.  Instead of traveling down to Livermore to run at Granada HS, we'll be back at Ygnacio Valley HS (have I mentioned it's my alma mater?) on April 2.  Let's see if we have better weather for our return.

Last Chance for Refunds
We are aware that there are a number of athletes signed up for our team who have not shown up for practice or meets in some time, if ever.  If your child is one of these athletes, please send me a message by Friday, March 25, if you want to make it official that they are not doing track.  If your child drops after that date, I will have paid our league fees and your chance at even a partial refund will disappear.  Poof!

It's been a long time since we've had such great pictures from our meets, and now there are even more since Demaris Cleland has joined Paul Nuti in posting pictures on Shutterfly.  If you haven't received an invitation (possibly since you joined the team late), contact Paul at to request an invitation.  Paul even took a few pictures Saturday at YV.  Thanks, Paul and Demaris!

CTK Parent Education Talk
I was asked to let you all know about an upcoming talk:  On Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 7pm in the Church, Christ the King School’s Parent Teacher Group will sponsor a talk by Dr. Glenn Brassington, entitled, “Excellence is No Accident: Mental Skills Training for Success and Creativity in Academics, Sports, and the Performing Art.”  Read more

See you on the track,


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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Using For DVCL Results

This is for parish coordinators and their helpers who want to know how to post their team's results on

There are two cases:

1. Someone else posts the results

2. You Post the results

After each DVCL Meet, Gil sends the coordinators the results in a spreadsheet that contains all the results for each of the meets.  Usually, there are three meets per weekend.  And usually, there are three sheets in the spreadsheet file per meet.

If you're at a meet with CTK, I will take care of posting the results to when they are available, so you're case #1.  If you're at a meet with St. Mary, David Burnash can usually be counted on to post results.  Otherwise, talk amongst yourselves and decide who needs to post each meet's results.

Case #1 is simpler, so we'll start there.  If you fall into Case #2, start with the steps below which everyone must do.

For Case #1, there are really just three steps:

1. Introduce your team to
2. Upload your roster (and keep it updated)
3. Enter your schedule (and adjust it)

Case #2 adds one more step:
4. Upload meet results

Introduce Your Team
If your team has not used before, you may need to introduce the team to the site first.  When I was getting started, they created a whole hierarchy for CYO Track.  Here's the hierarchy for CTK:

  • Youth Clubs
  • CYO
  • Oakland CYO
  • Diablo Valley
  • Christ the King

You don't really need to know any of this, but you do need to know that considers our teams "youth clubs."  If your team includes more than one parish, you need to make a decision whether to list them separately or as one big team.  If you want to post relay results that are mixed between your teams (as CTK does), then make it one big team.

Follow the instructions and sign up as a coach for your team.  It leads you right through the process.  I believe that if someone has already done that, then you'll need to get their permission.  (I can't test this unfortunately.)

The next two steps are to upload your roster and to enter your schedule.

Upload Your Roster
To upload the roster, again, just follow the instructions.  Basically, you need to make a spreadsheet similar to the one we all send to Gil at the start of the season.  You'll just need each runner's name (first and last in separate fields), their gender (M or F), and their grade.  After you upload it, you can edit it later to add new team members or fix spelling errors.

Enter Your Schedule
There are simple instructions for entering your schedule.  The site keeps a list of meets for each date.

Entering the schedule is a little tedious, unless someone has been there before you.  If already knows about your meet, then you can just select it from those on the 
calendar and you're done.  Otherwise, you just need to name the meet, list it's location, and city.

A couple of years ago when we started using, we decided that our meets would have names like this:

Mary Chatterton Relays - YVHS

If you enter meets, please follow that form.  Otherwise, just select them if they are already on the schedule.  (Since we all go to the same Sectional Championships or Diocesan Championships meet, you ought to be able to select it since I've already entered them.)

Upload Meet Results

First, you'll need a program that I wrote that you can download from our web site:

Navigate to this location in a browser:

Download this program: convert_to_hytek.exe

Put it somewhere you can find it again.  You'll be running it from the command line (i.e., from a DOS or CMD window).  

Next, open the results spreadsheet and save the three sheets in "CSV" format.  For instance, if you are working with Meet #2, you might save the sheets in three files called 


Open a CMD window (Run -> cmd) and then change directories to where the convert_to_hytek.exe and three CSV files are using the "cd" command.

Then, type this (or cut and paste it):

 convert_to_hytek < meet2_track.csv > meet2_track.txt

You should either get some error messages or else (we hope!) something like
356 records converted.

If you get error messages instead, you might be able to figure out what's wrong
from there. Most are just warnings which you can ignore if they are about
misinterpreted garbage lines from the CSV file. But you might get some that
will indicate things to correct in the CSV file before rerunning convert_to_hytek.

Note that Excel can edit a CSV file.   In other words, if there are problems, fix the line(s) with the problem(s) and then re-save it and try again.

If you still have problems, please send me the error message or whatever response you get from running convert_to_hytek. If you think you're doing everything right but it's still not working, you can send me your CSV files and I'll try to convert them myself.

One thing that might happen is that convert_to_hytek.exe might not run on your PC if you are way behind on patches or have an old OS. Dave's running Vista and didn't have problems. I'm using XP Pro. You could try running "depends.exe" on the convert_to_hytek.exe program if that means anything to you.

After you make your three "txt" files, you are finally ready to upload the results to  Select the meet on the site, and choose "Upload Results."

It is a bit tedious, but works fine in my experience.  Here are some things that you need to do along the way.  The process is done by following the tabs on the Upload page left to right.  You can go back and forth and even upload the results more than once if you totally mess up.
  • "Meet Divisions" are school grades for us.  For each meet, you'll need to "Edit Meet Divisions" and make 2nd through 8th grade divisions.
  • Teams - You may need to match up team abbreviations.  It will make some wild guesses but get most of them right.  Sometimes "St. Michael" might end up as "SM" in the results, for instance, and you can associate "SM" with St. Michael if St. Mary was not at your meet.
  • The "Athletes" tab is where you can connect "M. White" from the results to "Mary White" from your roster if necessary.   Select your team and see how many of the results you can clean up. 
  • Under "Events," there is not usually much to do.  Mainly you'll need to make sure the shot put size is correct.  (We use 6 lb shots for the girls, and the 5th and 6th grade boys.  We use 8 lb shots for the older boys.)
  • Under "Timing Mode," you'll just pick "Hand" unless your meet was at Granada where most events will be "FAT" (for fully automated timing).   But even at Granada, you may have hand-timed the 1600m and will certainly have hand-timed any short sprints run on the opposite side of the track.
  • Finally, you'll reach "Publish."  Just do it.
Note that you can edit results later when you discover errors.  

Good luck!

CTK Track News for the week of 14 Mar 2011

Greetings Track Parents,

I hope you have fun yesterday at the meet.  The weather was perfect, I thought, making it a nice day to be outside.

Thanks to all of the parents who worked at yesterday's meet.  We had pretty good coverage but can do better.  If you find that you are scheduled for next weekend's meet but cannot make your work assignment, please either find your own replacement or at least notify Katy, our volunteer coordinator, earlier in the week than Friday.  Of course there's nothing you can do if you or your athlete wakes up sick on Friday or Saturday and we try to have extra volunteers on hand for that.

Yesterday many parents worked meet jobs for the first or second time.  You will find that our meets will go faster and faster as the season continues and we all become a little more efficient.  Think of it as one more competition - how early can we finish?  Last season we finished one of our meets at about 12:35pm which would mean knocking an hour and forty minutes off our time from yesterday.  We can do it!

This Week
For the remainder of the season, we're extending our practice time to end at 6:30pm to take advantage of the extra daylight we were given by last night's time change.  Here's the schedule:
  • Practice: Tuesday, March 15, 5-6:30pm, College Park High School track
  • Practice: Thursday, March 17, 5-6:30pm, College Park High School track
  • Meet #2: Saturday, March 19, 9am, Ygnacio Valley High School track
As usual, athletes and first-shift volunteers should be at the track on Saturday by 8:30am.  We'll begin the meet with first heat of the 1600m race at 9am.

Meet results are posted for yesterday and you can reach them from the "Schedule" page of the web site.  Let me know if you spot errors.   Yesterday's results will eventually make their way into  We will have ribbons this week at practice (usually on Thursday) along with Starburst awards again (usually on Tuesday).  Personal Best ribbons will debut soon as well.

Speaking of the "Schedule" page, you'll notice that the rest of the meet venues are filled in now.  We'll be visiting San Ramon Valley HS for Meet #3 and then Granada HS for Meet #4 before returning to DVC for our Qualifying Meet on April 9.  Meets #3 and #4 will require changes to the volunteer staffing (for the better!) that I'll discuss next week.

Lost & Found
Part of the fun of cleaning up after the meets is all the cool stuff we find around the track.  This week's treasures are now listed on the Lost & Found page of the web site, where they will remain until the team picnic after the season ends.  If you spot something you'd like back, send me a note and I'll try to bring it to practice.  

A lot of the kids on the track team wear track spikes at the meets.  These are great for running, but a sure way to visit our First Aid tent if the kids wrestle or otherwise roughhouse.  I will speak to the kids at practice this week (they listen quietly with their hands folded in their laps whenever I speak at practice...) but please reinforce this. 

Spikes are only for racing, long jumping, and high jumping.  Kids should wear them to practice without special permission from the coaches for a number of reasons.  And they should be very careful around that they don't poke themselves or their teammates.  Kids are only allowed to wear 1/4" or shorter pyramid style spikes.  I have hundreds of replacement spikes that I am happy to give to the kids at meets, by the way.  Don't both buying any.

Hire A Ygnacio Valley Student-Athlete To Work Your Shift
For the past couple of years, Ygnacio Valley High School athletes have been required to pay a substantial fee to participate in high school sports.  The YVHS track coach, George Francis, who himself used to be a CYO track coach, has invented a fundraiser to help his students pay their sports fees.  For $20 per shift, you can hire a YV student to do your job at the meet.  Please let me know by Wednesday night if you are interested in this offer so I can give George some idea how many of his athletes to have on hand Saturday morning.  Lots of parents from our team and other league teams participated last season and they raised about $6000 this way.  (Please don't do the math on how this affects your $50 work deposit!)  They always have extra kids on hand so you can hire them Saturday morning without a "reservation." too.

See you on the track,


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

Friday, March 11, 2011

CTK Track Update

Hi parents,

Tomorrow is our first "real" (or at least non-mini) meet.  

There are a few guidelines that I probably failed to mention at the parent meeting or in an email this season.

The only people allowed on the track or the field during any of our meets are athletes, coaches, and parent volunteers.  Parents who are not working should remain in the stands, or outside the fence surrounding the track.

The way we tell who is a volunteer and who is just a stray parent is by handing out little volunteer stickers to parents as they sign in for their jobs.  Of course, we'll have parents from other parishes helping and they will have their own volunteer stickers.  All coaches will be wearing diocese-issued ID cards as usual, making them easy to identify.

Please help by cooperating with this league rule.

Otherwise, the meet tomorrow at DVC starts at 9am.  Athletes and first shift volunteers should arrive by 8:30am.  The setup crew should arrive at 8am and do not need stickers.  (The setup crew can sign in AFTER they are done.)

Meet Schedule
The rest of our meet venues are now posted on the Schedule page of team web site.  Over the coming weeks, we'll be visiting Ygnacio Valley HS, San Ramon Valley HS and Granada HS in Livermore.

Finally, most of you should have received an email from parent Paul Nuti, a CTK parent who is taking and posting pictures at several of our meets.  I looked through his collection from the Mini Meet and there are plenty of great pictures.  (If you did not receive an invitation, please contact Paul at

See you on the track (at least if you're working...),


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

Monday, March 7, 2011

CTK Track News for the week of 6 Mar 2011

Greetings Track Families,

Thank you VERY much to everyone who helped out at the Mini Meet on Saturday.  I think the meet went very well.  Unfortunately we had a number late cancellations and no-shows among the meet volunteers, but many of you stuck around for a second shift and helped double (or, the case of one enterprising family, quintuple).  I want to also thank our experienced volunteers who passed on their knowledge to the newer volunteers.

Meet Results
I have typed in a lot of the CTK/SC/SS Mini Meet results on which we'll use all season.  (We have results since 2007, for the history buffs!)   Our part of the site is here:

If you spot any obvious errors, please report them and I'll try to fix them.  We did have a few races where we didn't get all the times, and the places for each race are listed by heat, and not consolidated.  I will get the rest of the field events typed in and maybe the relay results too when I get a chance.  We don't have ribbons for this meet, but we will for the rest of the season.

First of all, we have apparently had our last practice on the date of a home lacrosse game.  We were caught off guard on Tuesday but it is not scheduled to happen again this season.

This week we'll have a sort of unusual practice schedule.  
  • Practice - Tuesday 3/8 -  5-6:15pm - College Park HS track
  • Practice - Thursday 3/10 - 5-6pm - College Park HS track
Starting the following week, the rest of our practices will be 5-6:30pm since we'll go on Daylight Savings Time next weekend.

Please note the 6pm finish on Thursday.  All of the Coaches have to attend a league "Coach Certification" workshop on Thursday evening after practice so please be extra sure to pick up your kids on time that evening.  We always keep one male and one female coach at College Park until all of the kids are collected and it would be nice if we didn't have to wait around for once.

Next Meet
Our first league meet will be at Diablo Valley College track (right across the street from where we practice) at 9am on Saturday, March 12.  Meet assignments are all posted and you should receive reminder phone calls later in the week.  We will have help at the meet from the other parishes running in the meet, but everyone assigned to work needs to do their part.

The meet will be just like Saturday's effort except for two things:
1. We'll run the boys' 50m and 100m races on the opposite side of the track at the same time as the girls will be running on the "home' side.  This really speeds up the meet.
2. We'll finish up with some relay races that we didn't have time for at the Mini Meet.

Our guests this week at DVC will be St. Ignatius (again), St. Francis of Assisi, St. Agnes, and Queen of All Saints.

See you on the track,


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