Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sectional meet details, part 2

Qualifying meet results are up

The raw results from the qualifying meet are posted online now, and linked from our team's schedule page:

Results for our team are posted on

Remember that athletes at this meet were placed overall in their event by combining times for all the heats run in that grade. We had many personal bests set this weekend, which is always the main goal. Qualifying is nice, but improving is better.

Volunteers for Saturday needed

I've sent out an email to families with athletes who qualified to compete on Saturday. Please help out if you can. All volunteers earn credits toward their end-of-season total, and the gratitude of myself and the league. We'll start assigning open jobs to qualifying families soon so I can get a list of names to the league.

Volunteers must checked in by 8am on Saturday. Be early! Our team gets fined for every no-show volunteer.

If you're working, please dress for the weather conditions in Livermore and the prospect of wind.

Sectional meet details

There's no fee on Friday, but there is an admission fee on Saturday. Exact change will make the gate volunteers very happy.
  • $3 for adults and high school students
  • $2 for children ages 6-12
  • Seniors are free
  • Athletes in uniform are free
  • Coaches with current CYO cards are free
Track shoes need to be out and ready for a spike check at the entrance gate.

Programs will be $1 on Saturday, for as long as they last. They tend to go fast. Inside you'll find the order of events and lists of league records in various events.

Approximate start times for the events are also included, but these are guesses at best. Last year we got behind, and then swung way ahead of schedule. Once you are at the meet, I'd stay there. Meets are unpredictable animals.

Order of events

It's a little different than what you're used to. This is done mostly to make sure athletes can get to their field events and to see if you're paying attention.

Friday night, 6:00pm start:

1600m is run: girls grades 3-5, then boys 3-5, girls 6-8, boys 6-8

Saturday morning, 8:30am start:

Run-offs, to settle some ties (none from our meet)
4x100: girls 3, boys 3, girls 4-8, boys 4-8
400: girls 3-8, boys 3-8 as usual
50: girls 3-5, boys 3-5 as usual
100: girls 8-3 (downward), boys 3-8
800: girls 3-8, boys 3-8 as usual
200: girls 3-8, boys 3-8 as usual
4x400: girls 5/6/7/8, boys 5/6/7/8 (see below)
Medley: girls 3-8, boys 3-8 as usual
Coaches' 4x100: always unusual!

The 4x400 relay is special: the top three fastest teams overall by gender will progress to the diocese meet next week, regardless of grade. This year, the girl's field is pretty thin, and we may combine all 4x400 in the girls at once. The boys' 4x400 is fuller, and will probably be split up, but again, progression goes to the three fastest boys' teams overall.

The Medley is even more special this year, as I now hear that it's an official diocese event. To the best of my knowledge, this will be run in gender and grade order.

After the Medley, the coaches from all teams come out to run a highly competitive 4x100 relay. It's like the running of the bulls in Spain, with a slightly lower chance of someone being gored. Slightly. It's not to be missed!

Field events have their own calling order, and they will close as soon as they have run through the athletes in a grade. There are parallel venue for every event, so these move more quickly than our practice meets.
Long jump (short pit): girls 3, boys 3, girls 4, boys 4, girls 5, boys 5
Long jump (long pit): girls 6, boys 6, girls 7, boys 7, girls 8, boys 8
High jump venue #1: boys 5 & 6, boys 7 & 8
High jump venue #2: girls 5 & 6, girls 7 & 8
Shot put venue #1: girls 7 & 8, girls 5 & 6
Shot put venue #2: boys 5 & 6, boys 7 & 8
Softball venue #1: girls 8-3 (downward)
Softball venue #2: boys 8-3 (downward)

Granada High is high tech

Results on Saturday will be electronically timed, and are usually posted on the big scoreboard by lane number. Do not hang out around the finish line area, as it upsets the finish-line camera and its caretakers. Final results will come later, along with awards.

If you have out-of-town friends and relations, a live streaming webcam should capture the day:

You may not be able to pick out faces, but the red, blue, and yellow shirts of our three parish teams are pretty easy to spot at a distance.

Granada is a very nice facility, and we're fortunate to be able to use it for our championships. Please show your gratitude by picking up your litter after the meet, and some extra besides.

Sectional meet details

Hello everyone -- thank you for your patience. The list of qualifying athletes for this weekend's Sectional championships is up and posted on the league's web site:

A direct link to the Google docs spreadsheet is:

A team-specific document and the full results will follow. Our priority right now in the league is getting the lists settled for Friday and Saturday but I do have the full results from our meet.

A few frequently-asked questions:

What the heck am I looking at? Who are all these kids?

This past weekend, there were three qualifying meets designated A, B, and C. By luck of the draw, we were meet "A."

The top finishers from each meet in each event are listed on these results. These are the athletes who will compete again this weekend against one another.

Lane assignments are done according to finish times and if we moved an alternate up to fill a space. Don't worry too much about what lane someone is in or why we have gaps in some races. I'll be happy to bore you with those details in person if you like.

If your athlete qualified: congratulations!

If your athlete did not qualify: darn!

If you have some who did and some who did not: good luck with child-care this weekend!

I see "Lane 10/11/12 or Alt1/Alt2/Alt3" next to my athlete: is that a lane? Are we going?

This means your athlete came in fourth at our meet, and is an "alternate" for the event. In case one of the regular athletes cannot compete, alternates are moved up at the meet. To be an alternate is to exist in a state of not-knowing. It's very Zen.

Alternates are never guaranteed to compete, but if they are able to attend the meet, they should check in at the event when called and stay there. The "Alt 1" athlete is first alternate, and will be the first to be assigned into an open lane. "Alt 2" is the second alternate, and so on.

Alternates will not know if they are placed in the event until the meet day, when the head clerk decides it's time to dismiss the athletes. I have seen alternates disappointed at the last moment when a scheduled athlete shows up, and I have seen alternates surprised at the last moment when they are placed. It's truly an unknown.

Just to keep life interesting, at the Sectionals meet, the 800m, 1600m, and field events compete with the top four qualifiers. All athletes listed in field events, the 800m, and 1600m will compete.

Why don't I see my athlete in the relay team listing?

Space reasons, mostly. If your athlete ran on a relay team that qualified, they should expect to run again, or hang out as alternates, hoping that another team won't compete and will free up a lane. If an athlete won't be able to attend, the coaches can swap in an athlete and the relay team can carry on.

I know of at least one younger girls' team that is going to be short an athlete due to First Communion activities, and some of the older boys who won't be able to attend on Saturday. Life happens.

Coaches may make relay substitutions from the same grade, gender, and parish to take their places on the teams. Remember that second graders are actually third graders now.

Substitute athletes do not need to come from the pool of individual qualifiers. Any athlete of the matching gender/grade/parish may be swapped in at the coach's discretion. This is a good reason for athletes to keep coming to practice! It lets us know you're still around.

Oh no! My athlete qualified but we have First Communion/a wedding/a trip/a thing!

If you know for sure you aren't going to make it, please let me know the athlete and the event(s) that they will be missing. If it's far enough in advance, I'll let the league know, and we'll move the first alternate up to take their place. The league's list will be updated over the course of the week as this happens, and I'll try to keep our own team list in sync.

Missing sectionals is not the end of the world, but we would like to know if it's going to happen to give another athlete a chance to step up. Again, life happens.

Volunteering? Event times and order? Admission Fees? I have a million questions!

And I have a million answers. Watch for yet another bonus email soon.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Track news for the week of April 27

Qualifying meet complete


That was just about as close as close could be. We had to be off the field by 2:00 for a soccer game on Saturday, and my watch said 1:45 as we were getting the final packing up completed. Thanks all around to the many volunteers who stepped up to help and those who stayed extra shifts, and to the athletes for giving it their best.

Practice Tuesday and Thursday this week

Practice is open to everyone, regardless of their performance on Saturday.
  • Tuesday lacrosse games will keep us off the track again, so meet on the blacktop
  • Thursday meet at the track
Ribbons, personal bests, and the final Seven-Up Club awards of the season will be handed out at practice, to entice you to come back and keep us company. Only four practices left!

Sectional meet Friday May 2 and Saturday May 3

For those athletes who are fortunate enough to place, I've already got your weekend plans figured out.

All the team coordinators will meet on Tuesday night to review the meet results and to place athletes in the Sectional meet this coming weekend. We'll get them posted as soon as we can. I know the wait is excruciating.
  • 1600m event Friday evening at DVC, 6:00pm
The Sectional 1600m event is held Friday evening at DVC, starting at 6pm. I will be there, and I'm sure a number of the coaches will be, too. If your athlete placed well in the mile this Saturday, please keep Friday evening free.

The order of events is typically the younger grades first, and then the older grades. Each grade will run in their own heat.
  • All other events at 8:30am on Saturday at Granada High, Livermore
The remainder of the events will be held on Saturday morning. If you're new to Granada, make sure your GPS is up to date. Construction a few years ago did away with the previous exit from 580.

Saturday events will start at 8:30, so leave plenty early and double-check your directions. There will be a line at the gate and the parking lot will fill up. It's tradition!

Athletes who have track shoes (spikes) need to have them ready to be checked at the gate. Only 1/4" or 1/8" pyramid-style spikes are permitted. I have extra spikes and wrenches to replace worn or missing ones.

There may be an admission fee at Saturday's event, but I'm not yet certain. It would be a good idea to have some cash on hand just in case. Athletes in uniform and coaches with cards are admitted free.

There's also a super-size snack shack at Granada, which (alas) does not serve free goodies to coaches and coordinators... but I do keep asking.

Granada High

Sectionals and the Diocese meet are very popular. To get a little breathing room, our team usually sits  near the end of the "away side" stands by the large ball field and shot put areas. Look for our banner on the front of the stands.

All parents are reminded to be good sports, and that officials, coaches, coordinators, and every other person working at the meets is a volunteer. Extend them your kindness and courtesy, even if they've made a decision that doesn't favor your athlete.

Always keep perspective. Your kids won't remember their marks next year, but they never forget our own bad behavior.

Granada is often windy, and sometimes chilly. If you are bringing a tent or umbrella to put in the stands, you need to arrive very early to set up in the back rows, and pack bungee cords or rope to tether it down. Coordinators arrive to setup at 7:00am if you need a definition of "early."

Here's a map of last year's meet:

Race check-ins should be in the softball field near the main parking lot entrance. Only athletes and assigned volunteers are allowed in the clerk area, and athletes can report only when their event is called. Field events are run the same way: athletes report to the event only when their grade opens.

Also, only assigned volunteers can be on the field. This is enforced under penalty of disqualification, and the league really means it. Don't risk it! Pack a pair of sport binoculars and watch from the stands.

Volunteers at Sectionals

I bet you thought you were done for the season, didn't you?

Families who have a qualifying athlete should expect a polite email about helping at the Sectional meet on Saturday. Our team will be assigned some aspect of the meet to run, and if you have an athlete participating on that day, you may get to participate, too.

Time worked at Sectionals counts towards your credit for the team, and should take you into the coveted "bonus shifts" territory for the picnic prize drawing.

Volunteers are expected to arrive early, and check-ins should be at a table along the side of the snack shack. Friday night's mile event may not need volunteers, but we absolutely love spectators and teammates to come and cheer.

I'll find out Tuesday night about our team's assigned volunteer requirements for this weekend.

Not going to Sectionals?

If your athlete has First Communion, or didn't qualify, or you have some other conflict, then your meet season is done for 2014. Please enjoy your weekends back with my blessing.

Even if your meets are done, CYO carries on. Practices go through May 8, and we still have the end-of-season picnic on May 31. No doubt this is already in giant red letters on your calendar.

If your athlete can't wait until next season, CYO has a cross-country program, too. Practice and signups are in August. Meets are on Friday evenings at regional parks starting in September. It's lots of fun, great conditioning, and perfect for kids who can't stop running. Expect an email reminder as summer starts drawing to a close.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Track news for the week of April 20

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is enjoying the break from track. Now our season starts drawing to a close.

Practice this week, Tuesday and Thursday

MDUSD is on break this week, which means that we should have the College Park track and field largely to ourselves. The main parking lot will be gated shut, so please use the loop in front of the high school for dropoff and pickup, or to park if you're staying.  

Drive slowly as athletes and adults adjust to the temporary change.
  • Tuesday meet in the bleachers at the track
  • Thursday meet in the bleachers at the track
Qualifying meet Saturday, April 26 at Ygnacio Valley High

The start of the championships begins this Saturday. Due to an afternoon soccer game scheduled at YVH, we are going to have to run a super-efficient meet. I'll need everyone's cooperation to get us done on time.

Please arrive at YVH no later than 8:30 on the 26th. We are trying for a 9:15am start time.

Although we cannot take the track before 9:00am, we can still use the blacktop, the quad area by the gym, and the grassy field for warmups. Have your athletes check in with the coaches when you arrive so they can get their stickers and start stretching.

We're going to try to get all first-shift volunteers to sign in outside the track, while we are setting up. I'm going to try to get all the mile runners from all parishes registered in advance, too.

Once the gates open, we will have very little time to get going. All volunteers need to get into position quickly, and everyone else must head into the stands. There's no camping out on the field at this meet.

If you're able to pitch in and work, especially in a job you're experienced with, please let us know. Even registering in advance as a "fill in" for a specific position will help, and veteran clerks, timers, and judges will keep us on track.

The volunteer list will come out as soon as possible. Watch for a notice on Twitter and the web site.

All official diocese events need to get done in the time allotted. This may force us to run the final relays out of order, to ensure the fastest 4x400 teams will compete. Please listen for the calls. As time allows, we'll run the Medley and 4x400s in the elementary grades.

Qualifying results: be careful!

As you are working this weekend, take extra care to print neatly, to record accurately, and to ask questions if you don't understand how to do something. All stations have a two-way radio: don't be afraid to use it! I love to come visit.

A small snag in record-keeping this weekend may cause an athlete to be penalized because we can't read a distance, or a time was copied down incorrectly. All the coordinators will gather together for a seeding meeting to sort out who will be in the Sectional championships next week. Confusing or illegible results cause untold drama.

Results will be posted after the seeding meeting, and will take a few days for final corrections and cancellations to trickle in. We'll be working hard behind the scenes to get our final list of qualifiers settled.

Missing a meet?

Starting with Qualifying, missing a meet means your Saturdays just freed up for the rest of season. (I'll let you decide if this is a good or bad thing.) We'll hope to see your athlete at practice, but missing the Qualifying for any reason ends their participation in the championship meets.

If your athlete runs on a winning relay team but will miss a later meet, let their coaches know at once so they can find an alternate for the team. Coach contact details are on the team web site:

Meets after qualifying

The Sectional championship meet is May 2nd and 3rd, and the Oakland Diocese championship meet is May 9th and 10th. Athletes need to place highly in their events to compete in these meets.

Distance events are run on Friday night for both of these meets. If you have a distance runner making championship plans, make sure you set aside Friday evenings.

Team picnic: something's missing...

We have the site, we have the date, we have lots of lost and found to give back, but what we're missing is YOU. Please plan to bring your family to the end-of-season potluck picnic and awards extravaganza.
  • What: CTK/SC/SS track team picnic
  • Where: Pleasant Hill Park, site #3 (next to the teen center): see map
  • When: Saturday May 31, 11:30-3:30ish
Bring something to grill for your family and a dish to share with everyone. The team provides ice-cold drinks and hot charcoal grills for cooking.

Coaches will have a chance to offer some parting words of advise to their groups and pass out any leftover ribbons from the season. We'll gather for special team awards and recognition, including the Super-Helpful Volunteer Families Prize Drawing. Lost and found will make an appearance in its entirety before I make our annual donation to Goodwill.

Lots of food, lots of fun -- please come share it with us.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Track news for the week of April 13

Meet #4: the end of the practice meets

Saturday was the last of our "practice" meets this season. It was a big meet, with the usual assortment of big-meet issues, but we had glorious weather and a lot of happy kids.

Now we're coming up on the close of the season, but first...

Easter break

All CYO activities stop this coming weekend starting on Holy Thursday and continuing through Easter Sunday. No matter how you celebrate spring, please enjoy yourselves, and enjoy having your Saturday morning back. I'm planning some extreme sleeping-in, followed by too many jellybeans.

Practice this week: Tuesday only

We have just one practice this week, on Tuesday:
  • Tuesday, April 15: meet on the blacktop at 5pm: watch out for foul balls!
  • Thursday, April 17: no practice
  • Saturday, April 19: no meet
Practice resumes at the track on Tuesday the 22nd. If you're in town, come join us. College Park will be on break, so you will need to use the loop in front of the school for dropoff/pickup.

Qualifying Meet, April 26 at Ygnacio Valley High

After Easter, we'll start preparing for the qualifying meet on the 26th. There are a number of differences at this meet from the ones we've held so far. In fact, there's so many of them that I've written them up online. Lucky you!

Please read through them when you have some time to spare, especially concerning how we place the top athletes. I know it's a lot to read, and I'm happy to answer questions.

Volunteer Schedule for Qualifying

We'll be able to get the volunteer schedule out as soon as we know where all the parish teams will be running that weekend.

An afternoon soccer game is scheduled at YVH on the 26th, so we may need to take some shortcuts to make sure the meet completes on time. This will be a challenge, but I think we're up to it.

Life After Qualifying

Sectionals and Diocese

Athletes that place will move on to the Sectional meet, starting with the 1600m event on Friday night, May 2 at DVC. The rest of the events will be on Saturday at Granada High in Livermore.

Athletes that place at Sectionals go on to compete at the Diocese championships the weekend after. It's another Friday/Saturday meet, and details for both weekends are on the schedule page:

The Diocese meet is usually live-streamed on the Internet, so it's a great way for out-of-town relations to see the meet.

Last practice May 8

No matter how your athletes perform at the next meets, Tuesday/Thursday practice will continue at College Park until the final meet. Practice is always open to everyone on the team, regardless of qualifying status.

Team picnic May 31

Our final event of the season is the team potluck picnic. It's Saturday, May 31 at Pleasant Hill Park, next to the new teen center. Fun and food for all, lost-and-found reunions, and some special end-of-season awards from the coaches, too. Please plan to attend!

CYO cross country

CYO has a cross-country program, starting in August and running through early fall. Coach Matt Milton heads this program up. If you're looking for a break from AYSO soccer, why not check out cross country? Practices and meets are held in area parks, and it's a very low-key program. It's also one of CYO's fastest-growing sports.

Call for coaches

A number of our senior coaches are making a well-earned exit from CYO as their own children age out of the program and head on to high school. I know I've approached a few of you this season about joining up next year in a coaching role. If you ran track Back In the Day or are a runner now, the team would be grateful for your time, your expertise, and your commanding Mom and Dad Voices. It's a great way to be involved with your kids, and to share something that you love to do with them. 

Athlete trivia quiz time: Two of our coaches ran for an area CYO team. Can you name the coaches and the team they ran for?

Keep perspective!

Now and in the weeks to come, please remember my CYO mantra: keep perspective.

The championship meets can be exiting or even stressful, but in the end, we're trying to provide a fun, fair chance for athletes to show off their skills. They've had a nice long practice season in all sorts of weather, and are prepared.

You can be prepared, too. Applaud for everyone. Console the athletes that fell short of their goals. Be kind to families from our team and from other parishes. Be especially kind and cooperative with the coaches, coordinators, and other volunteers. We're all working for the same goal.

Bring snacks to enjoy in the stands, find shade, be comfortable, and enjoy your day out.

Every child you see is the most important person on the track to someone in the stadium. Athletes will be nervous, boisterous, scared, rowdy, and excited... probably all at once. Keep perspective! They're just kids. Help them have fun by having fun ourselves.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Qualifying Meet Rules

The Qualifying meet is the first of three weekends of championships. There's a number of rules and tweaks we make starting with this meet...

Clear the field, clear the track

We have to crack down on athletes camping on the field, and coaches and parents on the field without authorization. Now more than ever: stay in the stands unless you're on the field to sign in or compete.

All pop-up tents and umbrellas need to be off the field -- set up camp in the back row of the stands, or outside the track fence.

Coaches can not be on the field shouting split times, and athletes cannot pace alongside their buddies. Both are grounds for disqualifying the athlete.

Second grade promotions

Starting at this meet, all second-grade athletes automatically become third graders. They will line up with and compete as third graders for the remaining meets. This is pretty cool news for second-graders.

No away-side sprints, no track sharing

To ensure that all athletes are getting a fair rest period, and that all timing and judging is done the same way, the 50m and 100m events will be run on the "home" side of the track, in the standard order -- girls 50m, boys 50m, girls 100m, boys 100m. This unavoidably pushes out the length of the meet.

Also, we won't run multi-grade heats, except for a little combining in the mile. Even then, the heats will be kept small and be single-gender.

Field events will close by grade

When a field event closes to a grade, it's closed. Listen for the calls. I know this is tricky with our anemic PA system in the vast open spaces of YVH. Sit where you can hear the announcer, especially if your athlete is going to do a field event.

Athletes must check in to a field event when it opens to their grade so we know they intend to compete. They can leave to run a race, but have to report back right after to finish up.

We will be periodically gathering up sheets from the field events after the final calls are made. Once the sheets leave the event, it's closed to that grade.

Here's a simplified call sheet for the meet if you want to follow along with the announcer:

Race events close, too

We can't squeeze in athletes after the sheets leave the clerks' clipboards. Listen for the calls, and don't be late.

Three individual events, maximum

The "two and one" rule applies at all our meets, but is enforced at the qualifying meet with the possibility of disqualification. Don't risk it!

Athletes may compete in at most:
  • two individual races and one field event, OR
  • two field events, and one individual race
Relay participation does not count toward the three, but there's special relay rules, too...

"Pure" relay teams

Relay teams may now only contain athletes of the same gender, parish, and grade. This means the end of mix-and-match teams, and is tough news to swallow for smaller parishes in the league.

On our team, St. Catherine and St. Stephen's athletes tend to suffer the most from this rule, but every team in the league has to obey it. It makes all multi-parish coaches equally grumpy.

Strict relay judging

At this meet, we disqualify relay teams for passing outside the zone or their lane, or for impeding other teams. Dropped batons and lousy passes are still fine, as long as they're in the zone and not in another team's way.

Extra relay judge volunteers will be stationed at the corners to help out.

Relay teams qualify as a group

This is a strange one. When a relay team qualifies, it is the team that progresses, regardless of the athletes within that team. So, if "Our Lady of Example" has the fastest 4x100 team of 5th grade girls, a spot is reserved for them at the Sectional meet. Their coach has the option to run different girls the following week on that team, if they so choose.

What this means for you: if your athlete runs on a victorious relay team but will miss the Sectional meet on May 3rd, tell the coach right away. We can try to find a substitute athlete to swap in, obeying always the team-purity rule.

In general, coaches try to keep successful relay teams together, because they've earned it. This rule lets us do swaps due to illness or other issues.

4x400 relay restrictions

As if that wasn't enough, only the topmost teams overall progress in the 4x400 event, regardless of grade. I believe we allow athletes to "run up" for this event as a higher grade without affecting their other events, but I will get clarification from the league to be sure.

This relay has sparse participation in general, so I don't think this is inconveniencing anyone.

Combined results and eliminations

Normally we place athletes according to their finishing position in their heat -- which popsicle stick they are handed at the end of each race.

At qualifying, the final placement is determined by overall best time across all heats. Starting at this meet, holding the #1 stick still means an athlete finished first in the heat, but not necessarily in the event. We don't do seeded heats at the qualifying meet.

In all events, only the top three finishes overall will progress to the Sectional meet the following week. We won't know the top three until all the results are processed by the league.

Athletes and coaches: please don't hover around the recorders' table! Patience, as they say, is a virtue. Do your best to be virtuous and not annoy the recorders and proofreaders. We'll disqualify anyone who's annoying the recorders.


The fourth place finisher in events is called the "alternate," and if one of the top three is unable to compete at Sectionals, the league has a process to choose an alternate to step in.

There is never a guarantee that an alternate will compete. The assignment of alternates into a competition position is hashed out at a coordinator's seeding meeting, and is done through a rotation process both arcane and mystical.

All events may have alternates, even relays. Specific events handle the placement of alternates differently. You'll see all the qualifiers and the alternates when the results are posted online.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reminder: Meet #4 tomorrow at Ygnacio Valley High, 9am check-in time

Just a reminder that our final practice meet of the season is tomorrow at Ygnacio Valley High. Please look over the volunteer schedule posted on the site. We always welcome volunteers on the day of the meet.
The YVH administration also wants to pass along that no athletes may be in the stadium before 9am tomorrow. We've been permitting early team warm-ups, but we've been politely-yet-firmly reminded that this is not OK.


Setup crew and volunteer check-in: You're exceptional people already, so you -- and only you -- are allowed in early. I'll see you at 8:30 tomorrow on the track. We'll open the gate for you, no secret handshake required.

Your athletes may come in with you if they would be otherwise unattended, but they need to be super, super quiet. I recommend sitting on the field while setup takes place, and NOT jumping around the bleachers. The neighbors will appreciate it.

Coaches, athletes, and everybody else: Gates will open at 9am, and you may come in then. We're still going to try for a 9:30am start, so please help us out by checking in and getting positioned as quickly as possible. If you're not scheduled to work, please give priority in line to those who are, so we know what positions have openings.

Saturday is supposed to be our largest meet yet. Please be patient, be kind, and enjoy the nice weather we have on tap. See you then!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Track news for the week of April 6

Meet #3: what a difference a week makes!

It was nice not seeing Ygnacio Valley from under an umbrella. We had lovely weather and everything ran pretty smoothly. Thanks again for your time and your help. There's nothing like a day in a downpour to help us appreciate the sunshine.

Results, ribbons, and rewards

Ribbons for meets #1 and #2 have been handed out at practice, as have personal best awards for those two meets. Ribbons for the relay meet are out for sorting now, and will appear at a future practice. I'm working on getting the relay meet's results online. Our mixed-parish/mixed-gender approach plays havoc with

If your athlete is missing a ribbon, have them check with their coaches first. If it's still missing, please email me the athlete's name, the meet date and the event ("Long Jump", "50 meters", etc.) and I'll handcraft an artisanal replacement from my stash of extras. Ribbons are given for the top three places in the heat.

The first of this season's "Seven Up Club" awards should be coming soon, too. Athletes who attempt seven or more different individual events in a season earn a patch of awesomeness. There's two meets left to try to earn this award.

Volunteer confusion and changes

We had a lot of confusion this past week about shifts, and which meet we were running, and in some cases, where the meet was being held.

All of this information is on the team web site, and this should be your first stop to settle questions of when-and-where:

The current volunteer assignments are linked from there when they're assigned. You don't need to wait for your reminder call to check them out. I'll put up a note on Twitter when we have the next assignments online.

If you need to cancel, please let Gina know early in the week so she can remove your name from the schedule. By Thursday night, we should have a nearly-final list.

Meet-day volunteers are welcome and encouraged as always. Thanks to everyone for pitching in when we need you to help the meets run smoothly.

Meet #4: April 12 at Ygnacio Valley High

This coming Saturday is our last meet before Easter. It's deja vu all over again as we return to the hospitality of Ygnacio Valley. This looks to be our largest meet yet this season, and is the last of the "practice" meets. Things get a little more serious at the qualifying meet on the 26th.

Practice this week: Tues, Wed, Thurs

We have our final bonus Wednesday this week:
  • Tuesday, April 8 meet on the blacktop at 5pm in case lacrosse has a home game.
  • Wednesday, April 9 meet in the bleachers at 5:00
  • Thursday, April 10 meet in the bleachers at 5:00
Thanks to all of you for your patience as we try to coexist with the high school teams.
Easter week

CYO activities stop for Easter weekend, starting on Holy Thursday, the 17th. There is no practice on the 17th, and no meet on the 19th. We'll start practice back up on Tuesday the 22nd.

College Park will be on spring break that week and the large parking lot will be gated shut. You may use the loop in front of the school for practice.

If you're away on spring break, we'll miss you, but have a good vacation, and don't eat too much candy because...

Qualifying meet, April 26 at Ygnacio Valley High

...the championships are coming. The qualifying meet is the first "serious" meet of the season, and we have a number of changes that we make at that meet, mostly related to relay teams and placement in races. I'll write these up for your Easter break reading.

Athletes should be thinking about what events they want to compete in at the qualifying. The limit of three individual events is enforced at the qualifying meet, so choose carefully.

Whether the qualifying meet turns out to be the final one of the season for your athlete, or the start a championship attempt, please remember that having fun is the main goal, always. Support your athlete and celebrate their accomplishments no matter how they place in their events.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reminder: Meet #3 this Saturday at Ygnacio Valley High

Hello everyone -- there seems to be some confusion about the meet schedule since we shuffled the relay meet around.

Just to clarify:
  • Meet #3 is at Ygnacio Valley High this weekend. Martinez schools are on spring break this week.
  • Meet #4 is next Saturday, April 12, also at Ygnacio Valley High
  • Easter is the weekend after: no meet on April 19
  • The qualifying meet is April 26, again at Ygnacio Valley High. MDUSD and Catholic schools are on spring break this week.
Spring break, first communion, and other life events may prevent you from attending meets -- that's OK. Life happens. However, athletes must compete and place at the qualifying meet to be eligible to move onward. I'm obligated to remind you that first communions and family trips to Hawaii are a higher priority than track meets, even the qualifier.

That said, the qualifying meet is the very last chance for you to complete your volunteer hours, so please look at your calendars carefully, and if you'll be away, be sure you're volunteering this week or next to make up the balance of your commitments.
After qualifying comes the sectionals, and then the diocese championship in May. Practice remains open to all athletes on the team, regardless of qualifying status. There will be more about these in newsletters to come, don't worry.