Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Relay teams on the qualifying list

As many of you have pointed out, the relay teams on that qualifying list I sent around earlier are only listed under the athlete who ran fourth on the team. The full results should have all the teammates listed, but I don't have those yet. Everyone gets points for attention to detail. :-)

The qualifying relays from our team are:

3rd Grade    CTK    4x100 Relay    Boys
3rd Grade    CTK    Sprint Medley  Boys
6th Grade    CTK    4x100 Relay    Boys
7th Grade    CTK    4x100 Relay    Girls
7th Grade    SC     4x100 Relay    Girls
7th Grade    CTK    Sprint Medley  Girls
8th Grade    CTK    4x100 Relay    Boys
8th Grade    SC     4x400 Relay    Boys
8th Grade    CTK    4x400 Relay    Boys
8th Grade    CTK    Sprint Medley  Boys

Usually, the same athletes run together at Sectionals that ran on the qualifying teams. If an athlete can't make it, the coaches can make substitutions. Please let them know now so they can plan and start rounding up substitute runners.

Email contacts are on our team site:


CTK/SC/SS qualifiers list

I've just posted the list of qualifying athletes who are moving on to compete from our team on Thursday and/or Saturday:

Races started in lanes have a lane assignment. Lanes listed as "Alt" are alternates, and there are up to 3 per race. Alternate #1 will be the first substitution in for a missing athlete, then alternate #2, then alternate #3.

Note: relay teams do not show all the members of the team, just the 4th leg. The full team does appear in the meet results.

Field events and distance events have neither lane assignments nor alternates. Everyone shown in those events will compete.

I also have posted a scanned copy of the order of events from the program. It's different than our normal meet order, so consider bringing a copy with you to the meet. Programs usually sell out fast at the gate.


Despite what this sheet says, I have been assured that athletes do not need stickers this weekend. As long as they remember their names, we're in good shape. All events have pre-printed sheets with the athletes names.

We're working on volunteer assignments now. Expect an email from either me directly, or from Signup Genius when they are ready. Families with qualifying athletes should anticipate another day on the field helping out.

I'll post the full results from our meet as soon as they are available -- stay tuned.

Sectionals update

Hi families, a quick update...

Results coming soon

I attended the league seeding meeting last night, which places the top finishers from the qualifying meets into their events. Our three parishes are well-represented, and you should be proud of your athletes for their hard work.

In general, the top three finishers overall in events are moving forward. Fourth place is an "alternate," which means that athlete becomes a substitute in case another seeded athlete can't compete on Saturday. Alternates are not guaranteed to run. They report to the event, and then bite their nails until last call to see if they get a lane assignment.

In the 800m and 1600m, it's the top four finishers. It's the top four in field events as well. Since all four are in automatically, there's no alternates for these events. Everyone listed in the final results will compete.

I hope to get these  today, and posted online right after.

Mile on Thursday at YVH

The 1600m event will be on Thursday at YVH, starting at 6pm. Order of events is:
  1. Girls grades 3-5
  2. Boys grades 3-5
  3. Girls grades 6-8
  4. Boys grades 6-8
Older kids especially should plan to dress warmly to wait their turn. We cannot use a PA system at this meet, so it's very important that athletes pay attention to what's happening and not miss their race. Arrive early and remember the Treat Boulevard traffic.

There should be no admission fee charged at Thursday's event.

Practice Thursday at College Park

We have enough coaches to cover, so if your athlete is not participating in the mile event, practice will be at College Park as usual this week.

Remaining events on Saturday at Granada High, Livermore

All other events will start at 8:30am sharp on Saturday, May 2 at Granada High in Livermore.

There is a small admission fee on Saturday. The usual breakdown is $4 for adults, and $2 for seniors and school-age children. Exact change will be greatly appreciated by the gate volunteers.

Athletes in uniform and coaches with their current cards are free.

There's also a "spike check" at the gate. Athletes with track shoes need to present them for inspection. They are looking for 1/4" (or smaller) pyramid spikes. I have extra metal spikes of this style and wrenches if we need to do a replacement.

The gate will be very, very busy on Saturday. It's impossible to arrive too early. The 4x100 relays start calling at 8:10am. Please don't miss your races because you are stuck in line.


We have a few assignments for Saturday, and for the Diocese meet as well. Gina and I will get these online soon.

That's it for now. I'll have more when the results show up.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Track news for the week of April 26

Qualifying complete

Saturday marked the start of our championship meets. I know there were a number of PRs set on Saturday. Those, more than a top finish, are always the goal, because it means improvement.

Special thanks to the volunteers who stepped up and worked extra shifts above and beyond their team requirement, to ensure that we got out of the meet on time. Double extra thanks to the timers and recorders who battled timing system headaches, and to everyone as we gave a new app-based camera system a trial run.

What's next

All the coordinators get together for a seeding meeting on Monday night to review the results before they are published. I know the wait is difficult, especially for the events where we had multiple heats.

Practice is open to all athletes. We have only a handful left!

Tuesday we're at Pleasant Hill Middle as usual.

Thursday's practice is up in the air. See below...

Sectional Meet

The Sectional Meet is this coming weekend: the qualifiers from this past Saturday will go on to compete. Their families will be signed up help out at Saturday's meet in Livermore. We'll assign families via Signup Genius once I get our team assignments on Monday night.

In the interest of time, the 1600m event is not held on Saturday. We run each race in their own heat, which takes about two hours overall.

Due to scheduling drama this year, the 1600m event will be held Thursday April 30, at Ygnacio Valley High, starting at 6pm sharp. The league wants athletes to arrive 45 minutes early.

Treat Boulevard traffic is completely awful at that time of day if you're coming from the Pleasant Hill side of 680. Please plan your drive time accordingly. It takes me about 15-20 minutes from downtown Concord to come up Oak Park Boulevard, which may be a better route.

The coaches and I need to figure out how this change affects practice. I'll be helping conduct the 1600m, and I'm sure coaches of qualifiers will want to be there too. Stay tuned for updates.

Awards & Picnic

We have ribbons for Meet #4 to be sorted and distributed, we'll have PR ribbons from Saturday, and (I hope) a few more 7-up patches as well. And there should be ribbons from Qualifying, too. We'll keep bringing them to practice, so please keep sending your athletes in to claim them, and maybe get a little exercise as well.

Unclaimed rewards can be gathered at the picnic on May 31. I hope you're planning to attend, and have RSVP'd:


This is lots of fun, and super low-stress. We recognize some athletes with special team awards voted on by the coaches. We also hold the super-helpful volunteer family prize drawing, marvel at the lost and found pile, and eat far too much.

The picnic is for the whole team and families.

Thank You!

If your family is done for the season, thank you for your support and your time, and for helping out with CYO. It takes a lot of cooperation to make these weekends a success, and a lot of patience to stick out a four- or five-hour meet. I hope your athletes had a good time this season, and will think about track next year, too.

In late summer, CYO also has a cross-country program: think track, run in a park. This is getting more popular every year, and if you're looking for a change from soccer -- and your athlete wants to tackle some distances -- cross country would be worth a look. You'll see a lot of familiar faces, and will get email about signups when they come around, typically in August.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Qualifying Meet

As threatened, here's an overview of this Saturday's meet. I'll spare you the long-winded version, though you can read last-season's email online if you're having trouble sleeping.

Saturday will run almost the same as our practice meets, with a few changes:
  • Second graders are promoted. All second graders and younger now compete as third graders.
  • No middle-shift 50m/100m. All events have the same finish line this week.
  • Relay teams must be "pure." We can't run a mixed-parish relay or form co-ed teams. CTK, St. Catherine, and St. Stephen are different parishes.
  • Placement is overall in the event. No matter how many heats we run, there will be only one overall first, second, and third-place finisher. The popsicle sticks indicate how an athlete finished in the heat, not overall.
General Meet Rules
  • No extra people on the track or field. Only checked-in volunteers and athletes being staged for an event may be on the field. Coaches and families need to camp in the vast open spaces of the DVC stands. This is good practice for Sectionals, when athletes are disqualified (!) for loitering.
  • No pacing or calling out split times. Since everyone will be in the stands, this won't be an issue, right? Stay away from the track in general and you'll be fine.
  • Keep perspective, and have fun. Make frequent use of the Golden Rule, and remember this event is for the athletes' enjoyment, not their adults.
Athletes, please remember...
  • Compete in at most 2 races and 1 field event, or 2 field events and 1 race. Don't run in three races, or try to sneak a fourth event in. Your results will get scratched, and you may be disqualified from the day. Relays never count towards this total.
  • Listen for the calls. Check in at your field events when they open for your grade. Stay with the clerks when you check in for a race.
The final list of qualifiers will come out after all the coordinators get together for a seeding meeting. Then we'll move into Sectionals, and start wrapping up our season.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Track news for the week of April 19

Meet #4 recap

Saturday's meet was the end of our practice meets. It was certainly a nice day, and I hope everyone enjoyed DVC again. I appreciate everyone helping out to keep the meet going, especially families who had completed their commitment but worked extra anyway. You'll be in the prize drawing at the end of the season.

Remember that all the helping out is really to benefit the kids and to keep the meets safe and fun. Trust me when I say that track meets feel much longer when you're sitting in the stands. (Wait until high school.)

Events this week

Practices as usual on Tuesday at PH Middle and Thursday at College Park. Cross your fingers that we have no more lacrosse surprises this season.

The Qualifying Meet is Saturday the 25th at DVC, and I'll have a special email out about this soon.

If you're missing the meet on Saturday due to other commitments like first communion or soccer, then your meets are probably done for the season. Attendance at the Qualifying meet is mandatory for individual events. As a diocese-based organization, CYO especially encourages you to prioritize holy sacraments over short sprints!

There's a chance that some athletes could be called on as substitutes for qualifying relay teams, so please don't block track entirely from your mind and schedule.

We need volunteer help this weekend, too. Please consider picking up a bonus shift or two so we can run the meet and get everyone home on time.



Regardless of qualifying status, all athletes on the team are welcome and encouraged to come to practices as usual. Our last practice is Thursday, May 7.

Also regardless of qualifying status, you'll keep getting peppered with these emails until the end of the season. Consider it a free gift to you from the team.


Starting with this weekend's meet, we're into the final championship weekends. All the practice that the athletes have done over the season gets put into play on these weekends.

All the practice you've done as volunteers gets called upon, too. These are the weekends when we're especially careful with how the meets are run and results are recorded.

The top three finishers overall place at the championship meets, which is a change from our normal "fastest in the heat" finishes at practice meets. This can be a hard concept to grasp for athletes, especially rookies. ("But I got the #2 popsicle stick. How come I came in fifth?") In track, we always stress the importance of setting personal bests over crossing the finish line first.

After Qualifying

The first weekend in May is the Sectional meet, and the following weekend is the Diocese championship. Some events are held on Friday night in the interest of time, so look at your calendar and the team schedule page:


Sectional Meet:
  • Friday, May 1: 1600m event at DVC
  • Saturday, May 2: remaining events at Granada High, Livermore

Diocese Meet:
  • Friday, May 8: 800m and 1600m at Moreau High School, Hayward (new location this year)
  • Saturday, May 9: parade and remaining events at Granada High, Livermore
If you find yourself in Livermore on May 9, there's an Olympics-style parade of athletes at the start of the meet that's a fine photo op. All team athletes are welcome to participate in the parade whether or not they are competing in the meet.

Picnic, Sunday May 31

We started our on a Sunday and we're going to finish on a Sunday. The Team Picnic is at Pleasant Hill Park in our usual spot. RSVP online so we can get a general sense of how many drinks to purchase:


This is open to the entire team and team families, and is truly a the-more-the-merrier activity. Plus, it helps the Lost and Found pile get thinned out before its annual trip to Goodwill.

Next season team jobs

Remember that we have a number of team positions that need to be filled next season, while I'm still available for training:


If you can help out, I strongly encourage you to sign up.

I know that managing uniforms or balancing the team checkbook doesn't have the glamour of scooping up softballs or raking out long jump pits all day in the hot sun. I'm sorry that every team position can't offer that kind of excitement!

They're very necessary, though, and I'd like to entrust them to families that have been around the track at least once, so to speak. Take a look and let me know if you have questions.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Track news for the week of April 12

Relay meet recap

Despite a wet start to the week, we ended in sunshine and fine weather at DVC for what may have been the shortest relay meet ever. Despite the small numbers, there were many exciting finishes and excellent effort on the track yesterday, with only a flaky PA system to contend with.

Thanks to the volunteers who navigated the unfamiliar shift arrangement. Our first experiment with Signup Genius was a success, at least from the coordinators' perspectives. I juggled far less email about signups, changes, and cancellations this week than usual.

Practices this week

Assuming cooperative weather, we're back on our normal practice locations:
  • Tuesday, April 14 at Pleasant Hill Middle, 5:00-6:30pm
  • Thursday, April 16 at College Park, 5:00-6:30pm

Ribbons from the March 28th meet went out last week, and should arrive at practice soon. I also have a handful of Seven Up Club awards to distribute. Athletes have two meets left to try to earn one of these exclusive, high-fashion accessories.
Practice Meet #4, Saturday April 18 at DVC

The final practice meet of the season is coming up Saturday at DVC.

Athletes need to compete in at least two practice meets to be eligible for the Qualifying Meet on the 25th. If you've only been to one practice meet so far, then you need to attend this one as well for Qualifying.
  • Setup: 8:00am
  • First Shift: 8:15am (note earlier time)
  • First Event: 9:00am
  • Away-side: 10:00am
The St. Isadore/St. Joan of Arc team from Danville/San Ramon is hosting this meet. Please give them all the courtesy, cooperation, and flexibility you can. I'll be attending a first communion ceremony that day, but know you're in good hands with the St. Isadore coordinators.

The jobs assigned to our team appear online here:


I'm playing around with the format on the site, since St. Isadore's likes to arrange the shifts differently.

All of the positions on this sheet need to be filled by CTK/SC/SS volunteers.

The signups forms lock down the day before the event so we can get schedules out to the teams.

Future Event Signups

While you're in the volunteering mood, you can also:

Sign up for the Qualifying Meet on April 25:

Claim a team job for next season:

RSVP for the end-of-season picnic:

All the team's signups are now linked from the top of our Schedule page:


Qualifying Meet, April 25 at DVC

On the 25th, we'll be hosting a Qualifying Meet. This is the first honest-and-for-true "real" meet of the season, and as a consequence, we have the run the meet pretty tightly.

I'll recycle and re-send last year's post as we get closer, but in short:
  • Attendance is required to be eligible for the Sectional meet on May 1 & 2
  • First and second graders are promoted into third graders via CYO magic
  • Events -- especially field events -- will close down by grade: no latecomers
  • Relay teams members must be a single parish, gender, and grade
  • Top overall finishers qualifies in each grade and gender's event
Athletes may attempt any events in which they are eligible -- no third-grade high jumpers, for example, but it can be a new event to the athlete, too.

Athletes cannot do more than three individual events: the usual 2 races and one field, or 2 field and one race. I have to scratch their results if they go over. Relays are unlimited, provided they follow the single parish/gender/grade rules.

Sectional and Diocese Meets

The Qualifying is the start of the process that picks the fastest of the fast to send to the Sectional meet on May 1 and 2.

From the Sectional, the top finishers go on to compete at the Diocese meet May 8 and 9.

"Top finishers" means the top three places overall in an event, plus an alternate. Alternates are not guaranteed to compete, but alternates in field events usually have better odds.

If your athlete is on a qualifying relay team but cannot make the Sectional meet: we are allowed to make substitutions on relay teams for another athlete of the same parish and gender.

So, athletes who missed Qualifying could still be called upon to substitute into a relay team. We've had cases where someone was not able to run at sectionals, and we brought in a substitute leg on the relays.

Once we complete the Qualifying meet, coaches who put a successful relay team forward will be very interested in the availability of athletes in their groups for the final two weekends of our season.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Track news for the week of April 5

Events this week

Happy Easter everyone! If you're in town, we have practice this week and a meet on Saturday.
  • Tuesday practice at College Park, 5-6:30pm
  • Thursday practice at College Park, 5-6:30pm
  • Relay meet at DVC on Saturday
Groups will be small this week. If stormy weather threatens, check @ctktrack on Twitter by 4pm on practice days for status.

Mary Chatterton Memorial Relay Meet, Saturday at DVC
  • Setup: 8:00am
  • First shift: 8:30am
  • First race: 9:00am
Remember to use Signup Genius to claim volunteer positions for this meet. Registration will close as we get close to meet day. Our team is currently short on our obligations for this meet.

The relay meet is special. We have four events only this week, and they're all relays, with no individual races and no field events.

Event order is:
  • 4x100m - the same relay we know and love from practice meets
  • Medley - double our normal sprint medley, the distances are 200m, 200m, 400m, and 800m
  • 4x200m - another doubling, every athlete runs 1/2 lap
  • 4x400m - our usual and the final event of the day
Despite there being only four events, the overall meet length is about the same, owing to the general chaos of staging and your meet director trying to remember how all the events work.

We will still run girls in an event first, and then boys, with an eye toward filling all lanes in the track for each race.

There are no limits to the number of races an athlete may be in this week. Opportunists might even be able to run in the same event twice.

Free Agency

This week, we'll have a special "Free Agent" loitering area set up for athletes in search of a relay team. Coaches are urged to look there to round out relay teams.

This means we'll see multi-age and -parish teams this Saturday. It's all good, and it's all for fun. The only two rules for relay teams are:
  • Girls' teams must be all girls: co-ed teams count as a boys' team
  • Team run as the grade of their oldest athlete
If it happens that we have four kids in the Free Agent area, they will be instantly transformed into an impromptu relay team and put out on the track. This is always quite a spectacle.

Awards and Results

I just picked up the ribbons from Meet #3 this past weekend, so those will go out for sorting soon. I also will be gathering up the personal bests, and getting out our first round of "Seven Up Club" patches. Awards are handed out at the end of practice.

All team results are linked from our team's page on Athletic.net:


If you notice a mistake, please let me know and I'll try to correct it. I have caught some cases where an athlete has been keyed in under the wrong parish, or a result is assigned to the wrong athlete.

Future Events
  • Practice resumes: April 7 & 9 at College Park (weather permitting)
  • Relay Meet: April 11 at DVC
  • Meet #4: April 18 at DVC
  • Qualifying Meet: April 25 at DVC
  • Sectional Meet: May 1-2 for Qualifiers
  • Diocese Meet: May 8-9 for Sectional qualifiers
  • Team potluck picnic & awards: May 31

Friday, April 3, 2015

Call for team volunteers

Hi all -- this is a reminder that I'm retiring as coordinator after next season, so this is a call for volunteers to step up and start taking over parts of our team administration.

Signups for these positions are now online:
Sign Up Now!

Team jobs for 2016

Some of the coordinator roles are shared with other team families. To ease the transition, I'm turning these into full volunteer positions for next season.

Each job will complete a family's volunteer requirements. You will not need to work at meets.
Roles that need to be filled are:
  • Treasurer: manage team's bank account; pay permits, fees, and invoices; issue refunds; document all expenses; collect and file receipts; report to CTK parish accountant
  • Uniforms and shoes: store, inventory, order, and distribute team and coach uniforms; manage donated track shoe supply and spare spikes and wrenches
  • Lost and found: collect, inventory, and publish lost & found each week, and reunite with owners when possible; bring to picnic and donate leftovers to charity
  • Webmaster and data manager: update the team and league web sites; set up meets and process results on Athletic.net
  • Awards: pick up league ribbons, assemble and distribute to coaches; make personal bests ribbons from Athletic.net results; track "seven up club" members per season; keep and order supplies
The team also needs someone to be my assistant coordinator next season:
  • Coordinator: set up permits for practice; manage team roster and health forms; represent team in league meetings; team communications via email and Twitter; attend practices and meets; take coaches out for pizza at the end of the season (crucial!)
I am working with the league to move our meet-hosting duties to another team. Christ the King and friends have hosted for at least ten years, and I think it's time to share our good fortune with our fellow teams.

If you are interested in any of these jobs please send me an email via info@ctktrack.org

CYO depends on volunteers 

My family has come back to CYO year after year because of the positiveness of the program and the selfless dedication of the people involved. If your family has enjoyed the CYO experience, please consider giving back your time and talents to keep it running strong.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Remember: no practice Thursday April 2

Everyone remember that there is no practice Thursday, April 2 for the Easter weekend.

Many families will be gone over spring break next week: you do not need to notify me or the coaches. We'll see you when you get back.

If you're around, though, we will be having practices. Since College Park is on break, we'll give the dust bowl a pass and meet at the CP track on both days, for next week only.
  • No practice Thursday April 2
  • No meet over Easter weekend
  • Practice on Tuesday April 7, at College Park
  • Practice on Thursday April 9 also at College Park
  • Relay meet Saturday April 11 at DVC
Practice groups are historically pretty small this week: it's likely we'll do things a little differently. Meet in the usual place and listen for announcements.

There's probably going to be another sport practicing on the field next week, so the facility and main lot should be open. If the large lot is closed, you can park in the loop in front of the school for drop-off/pick-up. Drive carefully if you're using that lot.

If we see you next week, then we'll see you next week, otherwise have a good Easter vacation.