Sunday, May 24, 2015

Track reminder: end-of-season potluck picnic and awards

Hi everyone, I hope you've been enjoying the radio silence from me for the past two weeks. We have just one more event for the team this year.

Team Picnic: Sunday, May 31 - 11:30-3:00, Pleasant Hill Park

This is an all-are-welcome affair, for team athletes and their families. As school winds down and summer begins, it's a good way for everyone to say goodbye-for-now to teammates and to collect ribbons, awards, and advice from the coaches.

Bring something to grill for your family if you like, and a picnic-y dish to share on the potluck table. There's no signups for dishes: bring what you can and don't forget to take things home at the end! The team provides drinks (cold sodas and water), hot grills, and entertainment in the form of lost-and-found rummaging and the afternoon awards.

Site is Pleasant Hill Park, under the shady shelter next to the teen center, near the corner of Gregory and Cleaveland.

RSVP if you haven't already so we can plan drinks and charcoal:

Remember to bring plates, napkins, and utensils, too.

See you at the picnic!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Track news for the week of May 10

2015 season: that's a wrap

Friday and Saturday were our final events of this season: thanks to the volunteers for helping out and the athletes for giving us a lot of excitement. Competition at the diocese level is strong, and everyone should be proud of how far they've come this season.

I picked up leftover field event awards from our team at the end of Saturday's meet, and will bring them to the picnic.

Results from the meet will be posted at the Oakland diocese web site in due time. I'll add a link to them from our team pages and post on Twitter when they show up.

There's a little end-of-season bookkeeping that I'll be doing now, including contacting families who fell short on their volunteer time and are forfeiting their deposit. Unless you hear from me soon -- or your bank -- you may assume that your deposit check is shredded into a fine confetti. I hope to have this done by the end of the week.

Awards & Picnic

There are many unclaimed awards from past meets, including Sectionals, and a few personal bests awards as well. These will all be at the picnic as extra enticement to attend. Coaches will meet with athletes and hand them out.

RSVP for the picnic online through the signup site so we know how many drinks to purchase and which awards to get sorted:

The picnic is May 31, three weeks from today, at Pleasant Hill Park:

Picnic potluck lunch starts around 11:30am, with awards to follow around 1:00pm. Very casual, bring the family, and hang out with your track friends one last time before summer.

If you can't make it but a friend or classmate will, please have them check for any ribbons or awards for your athlete. Unclaimed awards wind up in a box on my front porch for a while this summer.

Track Shoe Amnesty Program

If you borrowed a pair of track shoes from the team this season and they are still in wearable condition, you can bring them to the picnic to drop off.

If you happened to buy a new or used pair this year, or have outgrown pairs littering up the closet floor, the team is happy to accept donations for future seasons. Thank you!

Keeping you busy this weekend

Now that your weekends are free again, here's some opportunities to fill them up.

The CTK Parish Festival starts on Friday the 15th and runs through the weekend. This is a fun social event with carnival-type games, food, and that most sacred activity: bingo.

You're bound to see more than a few CYO athletes past and present at the festival.

The 2nd Annual St. Catherine's Food and Wine Jubilee is on Saturday the 16th, at St. Catherine's school in Martinez, if your tastes tend towards the slightly more grown-up.

College Park Track and Field fundraiser is also on Saturday the 16th, at Concord Ford in Concord. They will give CP $20 per person that comes in and leaves their contact details with the dealer. Be sure to mention the CP Track & Field program.

Many of our athletes go on to run for College Park and other area high schools. You can help keep those programs afloat with a small sacrifice of your time and email address.

Keeping you busy this summer

Pleasant Hill hosts a 5K "fun run" the morning of the Fourth of July, and you'll see good turnout from CYO coaches and athletes there. It's a loop around the downtown area, and then you're in a perfect spot to see the parade.

De La Salle has a summer track day camp held on campus for a week or two, for athletes going into grades 4 through 9. There was a Groupon last year that knocked a bit off the registration cost.

CYO cross-country starts up in August. It's low-key and lots of fun, with meets held along marked trails in local parks. Expect email about this program later in the summer.

Volunteers for 2016

Coming back to track next season? We have many openings for team-level jobs to help with general administration.

I highly encourage families to step up while I can train you in the relative calm of the post-season. All of these positions are essential.

Also, we're always on the lookout for parents willing to train as assistant coaches next year. With a team our size, we can use the help to keep practices running smoothly. About 2-3 coaches per practice group is a comfortable amount of crowd control/cat herding.

Working either a team job or being a certified coach or coordinator fulfills your volunteer obligations for the team. The glamour and glory come for free.

Thank you

Since the coaches and I won't see you for a few weeks, thank you for helping us make this a successful season! We appreciate the sacrifices you've made working the meets, and getting athletes to practice.

The coaches and I take genuine pleasure seeing your children grow and improve, and will gladly take credit for their future successes. I hope CYO was positive for them, and that they remembered our number one goal: having fun.  (Hopefully, fun enough to recruit friends for next season.) Thanks again for helping us keep this program going.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Reminder: diocese events this weekend

Hello all, just a quick reminder about the diocese meet events this weekend.

Volunteer Assignments for Saturday are online

I'll be by the snack shack at the start of the meet to check people in, and at the middle of the day for the same.  Our team has relatively few positions to fill this weekend, and I appreciate your help in keeping the meet going.

Friday 800m/1600m events at Moreau High School, Hayward

The distance events are this Friday on Hayward, in the following order:

Coaches Meeting 6:00 pm
1600 Meter begins at 6:30 pm

1600 METER —
3 4 5 6 7 8 GIRLS
3 4 5 6 7 8 BOYS

800 METER —
3 4 5 6 7 8 GIRLS
3 4 5 6 7 8 BOYS

Please dress warm if you are attending this event, especially athletes. Layer up and keep your muscles warm.

Saturday parade and events at Granada High School, Livermore

All the remaining events will be held at Granada High again on Saturday, after the opening parade. If you have an athlete in the 4x100m, it will start right after the parade and awards conclude. This always seems to take a little while to get going. As the first team alphabetically in Section 1, we lead the parade. Exciting!

Meet program:

Meet event locations:  (same as last week)

Unless you are working a volunteer shift or have an early event, you do not need to be at the meet first thing. However, please take into account that this meet is very popular, with teams from the entire Oakland diocese represented. The lot usually fills up in the morning, and lines at the gates will be long.

There is an admission fee at this meet, and the diocese typically sells T-shirts right near the main entrance to the field. The snack shack will be doing brisk business, too, I'm sure.

Our team will be encamped in the away-side stands near the entrance to the baseball field and surrounding lawn area.

Like any meet: listen for the calls. Reporting to races is the priority. Check in at field events when they are called. Remember that the event order is unusual at this meet. If an athlete needs to be in two places at once tell me or a coach and we can get them checked in at a field event.

That's enough: have fun!

I've taken more than enough of your attention. Coach Trish will be at Friday's events, and I'll be there nice and early on Saturday. In all the excitement, remember to have fun! That's the most important part.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Final Sectional results are up

Thanks for your patience everyone. Final results from Thursday and Saturday's events are up on the league's page:

I've pulled out the results for our team into two PDFs:

Places first through third are highlighted as progressing, with fourth-place highlighted as alternates. Congratulations to qualifiers, and well done to everyone -- I think I have a new batch of personal bests to put together!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Track news for the week of May 3

Sectionals complete, on to Diocese

Thursday and Saturday were our sectional championships. Congratulations to everyone who competed, regardless of final placement. Results and ribbons should be coming soon. We'll surely have a backlog of them to hand out at the picnic, too.

The top three finishers in the Sectional events should advance to the finals, with fourth place as an alternate. The usual disclaimer about alternates applies: they aren't guaranteed to compete, but it's a good idea to show up. They are placed according to a random rotation among the three sections on meet day.

The only exception that I'm aware of is the 4x400m relays. The top three fastest boys and girls teams overall from Saturday will progress, independent of grade.  Citing tradition, the diocese only runs two heats of this event.

The Sprint Medley is run by grade, as usual.

Final practices Tuesday & Thursday

Our last two! Tuesday at Pleasant Hill Middle, Thursday at College Park, 5:00-6:30pm. All athletes on the team are welcome to attend, not just finalists.

Friday: 800m and 1600m events

Friday, May 8 at Moreau High School, Hayward, 6:00pm start (first race 6:30pm)

Top finishers in the distance events get to travel to Moreau High on Friday evening. This is a different location than past seasons.

School site: Moreau Catholic High School
Google maps:

Athletes who ran in and placed in both the 800m and 1600m at Sectionals had to select one of these events to compete in this Friday. They were asked this question when they finished their 800m on Saturday. I'll send that around to coaches in case anyone needs a reminder.

There's no admission fee to Friday's races. Athletes should be in uniform and remember their names in lieu of wearing a sticker.

Saturday: parade and remaining events

Saturday, May 9 at Granada High School, Livermore, 8:30am start

Same song, second verse. Back to Livermore if your athlete qualified at Sectionals. There's an all-diocese "parade of champions" before the meet which our team leads, as we come earliest in the alphabet in the first section. All team athletes are welcome to march in the parade.

Here's most of the program, minus the diocese event records:

I recommend you keep a copy close at hand. The officials at this meet are even bigger sticklers about missed calls than the league. I still get mixed up on the event order at this meet.

If an athlete is waiting with the clerks for a race, a coach or I should be able to check them in at a field event. Athletes still need to be prompt about reporting right after their race, though.

There's the same small admission fee to Saturday's event: $4 and $2. This is listed in the program. Arrive early and beat the lines. Look for the CTK group in the same place, by the away stands near the baseball field.

Athletes should be in uniform, and will not need stickers. Those are just done by our league to keep our results organized.


Did your athlete make it to diocese? Congratulations! Expect to be contacted about volunteer assignments for Saturday. This will go online via Signup Genius as soon as we know what positions our team needs to fill.


Have you RSVP'd yet? Please do:

The team provides cold drinks and hot charcoal grills: you bring something to grill for your family and something to share with the team. Salads, fruit -- picnic fare, nothing fancy.

Picnic is from around 11:30-3:00 on Sunday May 31 at Pleasant Hill Park. We should have the fires hot by noonish, and we'll start awards around 1:00pm. All team athletes welcome -- not just qualifiers.

Our site is the covered tables near the youth center, at Gregory and Cleaveland:

Look for the team banner, and the Lost & Found collection airing out on a tarp.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Reminder: Sectional Meet on Saturday, May 2

Just a quick reminder that the balance of the DVCL Sectional Championships is this Saturday, May 2 at Granada High in Livermore.

The meet starts at 8:30am sharp, and they call the 4x100m relays early, so plan to arrive early, and then try to be there a bit before.

Order of events is different than practice meets, so please have a copy of this on hand:

Sectionals are popular, and our team usually gets together in the away-side stands or the lawn near the corner where the 200m races line up. It's less crowded back there. The team's banner will be hung near our encampment.

I labeled an old Google Maps shot to show how the meet is usually set up:

Volunteer assignments are linked from our team site and listed on Signup Genius:

Remember to Bring
  • Cash for the gate: $4 for adults, $2 for kids and seniors - exact change if you can manage
  • Extra cash for programs, the snack shack, maybe a winery on the way home :-)
  • Water and sun protection
  • A copy of the order of events
When You Arrive (early!)
  • Check in with Gina or Mike at the Snack Shack if you have a volunteer job or are an assigned "fill-in" person.
  • Have your athlete(s) check in with their coaches. The league reversed course, so Coach Trish has stickers for athletes to wear.
  • Find a spot to sit: you can be with the team or on your own, but listen for the calls. This is vital.
  • All tents and umbrellas need to be in the back rows of the stands, or on the lawn where they don't block views and traffic. There's a camera system at the finish line, and the area opposite is supposed to be kept clear.
Meet Rules
  • Athletes check-in on the softball field behind the snack shack for races and the field event locations as usual for jumping and throwing. No parents or coaches may be in the clerk area or helicoptering around the field events. You may escort athletes to the gate, but not go beyond. Marshals are stationed at each gate to gently yet firmly turn you away. Pestering a meet official will get your athlete disqualified.
  • Check-in ONLY when the grade is called. Events will close. Races take priority. If an athlete is jumping/throwing and hears their race called, they need to:
    1. Tell the event official that they have a race and which race it is
    2. Get to the clerks behind snack shack, sign in, and stay there
    3. Return to the field event as soon as their race is over
I can't over-emphasize the value in paying attention to the calls. There is only one heat of each race, and athletes who don't show up to the clerks will forfeit their lane to the alternates. The league meet is usually a tightly-run operation and calls should come quickly.
  • Alternates check in as soon as the race is called. Alternates in races need to stay put with the clerks. You won't know if you're running until the head clerk closes the event or all the regular athletes check in. I would recommend staying until they are actually walked out to the start line.
Most Importantly

Have fun! It's awesome if your athlete places, and I hope they do. This is a best-of-the-best meet from our section, and the competition will be strong.

Please keep your athletes focused on what matters: trying for personal bests, hanging out with their teammates, and enjoying the day. Whether they leave the track with a first-place finish, or just a pat on the shoulder and a "maybe next time," keep always your senses of sportsmanship and perspective.

See you at the track.