Sunday, December 11, 2016

2017 Registration

Hello CTK/SC/SS Track families. It is almost time to register your athletes for the upcoming season.

Signups for the 2017 season will be held at Christ the King Church on Thurs 1/12/17 and Tuesday 1/17/17 from 6 pm to 8 pm. (The exact room is TBD.) The following three forms must be turned in (paper copies will be available at signups): Family form (1 per family), Medical Permission (1 per athlete, signed by parent), and Concussion Awareness (1 per athlete, signed by parent and athlete). In addition, we need a copy of birth certificate for each new athlete.

Practices will be on Mondays and Thursdays at the College Park High School track. Practice is from 5pm to 6:30pm (or dark). The first practice is on Thursday, February 2nd.

Cost is $80 per athlete, plus $15 for a uniform shirt if needed. Sweatshirts are also available for $35.

Volunteering: the team is 100% volunteer-run and every family is required to contribute a certain number of hours to make the program work. There is a $150 volunteer deposit per family that is returned/shredded if obligations are met. See Volunteer Obligations and Refunds. We currently have a dire need for a Volunteer Coordinator and more coaches. Please email if you can help out in either role.

Feel free to spread the word about the team--lots of kids makes it easier to form relays!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Picnic Reminder

Pot Luck Picnic and Awards, Pleasant Hill Park, Saturday May 28th 11:30 AM

Please come to the picnic and RSVP. Bring your own entrĂ©e to grill and a side dish to share. The team provides drinks and hot coals. Remember to bring utensils, plates, and napkins.

We have lots of unclaimed ribbons (and some medals!) from the season, plus 7-up Club patches, various special recognition awards, a "helpful family" prize drawing, and two Athlete of the Year trophies to bestow!

The kids (and child-like coaches/parents) usually play some kickball, soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, or football while waiting for lunch.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 9, 2016

News for the Week of May 9th

2016 Season: That's All Folks
We had our last meet last weekend. Our team garnered a few firsts, a lot of personal bests, and one meet record! Congratulations to all who competed in the Diocese meet and to all our athletes who worked hard and improved over the course of the season.

Results from the meet will be posted at the Oakland diocese web site at some point. When they are, I'll try to import them to to keep the kids' statistics complete.

Awards & Picnic May 28th 11:30-3:00 Pleasant Hill Park
RSVP for the picnic online through the signup site so we know how many drinks to purchase and which awards to get sorted:

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 Saturday May 28 at Pleasant Hill Park. We should have the fires hot by noonish, and we'll start awards around 1:00pm. Note that there are awards for Sportsmanship, Team Spirit, Effort, etc. in addition to performance-based awards. We'd like to see all athletes and families at the picnic. Some awards are more likely to go to athletes who are known to be attending, so RSVP!

There are also many unclaimed ribbons and medals from past meets and two lost & found team sweatshirts that will be available at the picnic.

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/spikes from the team this season and they are still in wearable condition, you can bring them to the picnic to drop off.  If you happen to have outgrown pairs littering the closet floor, the team is happy to accept donations for future seasons. Thank you!

Off-Season Events
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.

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

Volunteers for 2017
Coming back to track next season? We have a few critical openings for team-level jobs to help with general administration. And I've added a signup for coaches. Please sign-up if you can help.

Working a team job or coaching fulfills your volunteer obligations for the team.

On behalf of the coaches, thank you for helping us make this a successful season! We appreciate the sacrifices you've made working the meets and supporting the team. We take pride in seeing your children grow and improve, and will gladly take credit for their future successes. I hope CYO was a good experience for them, and that they had fun. If so, we could use some word-of-mouth advertising so we can field more relays next post-season!

Hope to see you all at the picnic.

Monday, May 2, 2016

News for the Week of May 2nd

Sectionals complete, on to Diocese
Thursday and Saturday were our sectional championships. Congratulations to everyone who competed, regardless of final placement. I plan to post results to tonight. The list of athletes who qualified to go on to the Diocese Meet is here. Ribbons should be coming soon. We'll surely have a backlog of them to hand out at the picnic, too.

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.

Diocesan Meet
Order of events and other info is here.
800m and 1600m events
Friday, May 6 at Moreau High School, Hayward, 6:00pm start (first race 6:30pm)

Parade and remaining events
Saturday, May 7 at Granada High School, Livermore, Arrive at 8:00am, parade starts 8:30

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.

There's the same small admission fee to Saturday's event: $4 and $2. 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 Saturday May 28 at Pleasant Hill Park. We should have the fires hot by noonish, and we'll start awards around 1:00pm. Note that there are awards for Sportsmanship, Team Spirit, Effort, etc. in addition to performance-based awards. We'd like to see all athletes and families at the picnic. Some awards are more likely to go to athletes who are known to be attending, so RSVP!

Our site is the covered tables near the youth center, at Gregory and Cleaveland. Look for the team banner.

I think that's it for now.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sectional Meet

Sectional 1600 m Race
Ygnacio Valley High School
Thursday, 4/28, arrive by 5:15, 1st call 5:45, 1st race 6:00
Admission: free

Sectional Meet
Granada High School, Livermore
Saturday, 4/30, arrive by 7:45, 1st call 8:10, 1st race 8:30
Admission: $4 adults, $2 Seniors (65+) and kids (5-13)
Note that they intend to charge admission for volunteers (think of it as a donation to a good cause) but not for coaches with badges and athletes.

At both meets, spikes are limited to 1/4" pyramid shapes. Nothing longer and no needle shapes. There will be a spike check at the entrance gate on Saturday.

I omitted relay qualifiers from my last email. These are the teams that qualified:

4x100 Relay.Girls 3rd Grade 2nd Place   CTK
4x100 Relay.Boys 5th Grade 3rd Place   CTK
Sprint Medley.Boys 7th Grade 4th Place SC
4x400 Relay.Boys 7th Grade 1st Place   SC

If your athlete was on one of those teams and cannot make it on Saturday, let your primary coach know so that he/she can try to scare up a replacement.

The complete list of qualifiers is here.

Here is the order of events for both days of the Sectional meet: Sectionals Order of Events

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 coaches, parents, or spectators are allowed on the track, infield, or staging area at any time.
  • Athletes should stay off the infield when they are not competing.
  • Everyone should enter the track area through a manned gate--no fence hopping.
  • 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
  • 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.
Have Fun
It's always worth a reminder that in this league and on this team, sportsmanship, effort, friendship, and fun take precedence over winning. So encourage your sons and daughters to put forth their best efforts and let the chips fall where they may.

See you on the track!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

News for the Week of April 24th

Qualifying Results coming soon
Results from the Qualifying meet won't be officially released until early Wednesday morning, after a seeding meeting Tuesday night. In general, the top three finishers overall in events are moving forward to Sectionals. 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 are no alternates for these events.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come to practice this week (and next), especially if you may have qualified. Practice is at the usual times and places. We should have ribbons from meet #4 to hand out. Also, results from Meet #4 and the Relay Meet are on You can also get to team records and season records by athlete from our home page.

Sectional Meet
The 1600m event will be on Thursday at YVHS at 5:30pm (1st event 6:00pm). Coaches will split up and cover both this meet and practice at CPHS. The order of events is:
  1. Girls grades 3-5
  2. Boys grades 3-5
  3. Girls grades 6-8
  4. Boys grades 6-8
There should be no admission fee charged at Thursday's event.

All other events are on Saturday, April 30th at Granada High in Livermore at 8:00am (1st event 8:30).

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. Please arrive before 8:00am, especially athletes in the 4x100 relay. The 4x100 relays start calling at 8:10am. Please don't miss your race because you are stuck in line.

Meet Volunteers
We have a few assignments for Saturday, and for the Diocese meet as well. Gina and I will get these online soon. If you haven't fulfilled your 2 meet volunteer commitment, please do so. You can hire a Granada HS student to fill in for you by giving me a check for $50 at practice, made out to CTK Track.

I have two CTK sweatshirts that were left at Meet #4.
You should have received a Signup Genius email about the team picnic on May 28th.
You should have received a Signup Genius email about Team Positions for next year.
Here's the advance scoop on the Diocese Meet.

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

News for the Week of April 18th

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 5.

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.

Qualifying Meet
Don't forget that this weekend's Qualifying meet is at 1:00 pm (athlete and coach arrival time) at Granada High School in Livermore. Last year's Qualifying Meet explanation is still applicable. Read it here. One addition: even if an athlete has not managed to make one practice meet during the season, he/she can still compete in the Qualifying meet, but will not be eligible to move on to the Sectionals.

Starting with this weekend's meet, we're into the final championship weekends. All the hard work that the athletes have done over the season pays off as we taper for peak performance 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. On that subject, there has been a request that volunteers make sure that every meet result includes an athlete number (not just a name) and that relay results include 4 athlete numbers for each team.

The top three finishers overall earn a place at the next championship meet, which is a change from our normal "fastest in the heat" finishes at practice meets. This can be a hard concept to grasp for younger athletes. ("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 weekend after Qualifying is the Sectional meet, and the following weekend is the Diocese championship. For the Sectional meet, the 1600 will be run on Thursday evening at YVHS. For the Diocesan meet, both the 800 and the 1600 will be run on Friday evening. See the meet schedule on our website.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

News for the Week of April 11th

Ribbons from the Relay meet are still waiting on results to be processed. As soon as we get them, we'll hand them out.
    Practice Meet #4, Saturday April 16 at Granada HS

    The final practice meet of the season is coming up Saturday in Livermore. Athletes and coaches should arrive by 8:30. First event is scheduled for 9:00 am.

    Qualifying Meet, April 23 at Granada HS

    Because of difficulty finding a venue for this meet, it is an afternoon affair. The meet is scheduled for 1:00 - 5:30 pm.

    There are some stricter rules starting with the Qualifying meet. I'll recycle and re-send last year's post next week, but in short:
    • First and second graders are promoted into third graders via CYO magic
    • Field events will compete by grade and gender: no latecomers, listen for your call
    • Relay teams members must be a single parish, gender, and grade
    • Top 3 finishers in each grade and gender for a given event qualify to compete in the Sectional meet the following weekend
    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 April 28th and 30th.

    From the Sectional, the top finishers go on to compete at the Diocese meet May 6th and 7th.

    "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.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2016

    News for the Week of April 4th

    The Mary Chatterton Relay Meet was lightly attended (by both athletes and coaches), but successful with a lot of good runs and teamwork. Results and ribbons from this meet are a little delayed because the league data czar was on vacation.

    Practice Meet #3 at Ygnacio Valley High this Saturday. Gates open to athletes and coaches at 9:00am. Our team is hosting this meet. Jake Otsuka is our meet coordinator.

    If you have signed up to volunteer at Meet 3 and you'd like to hire a YV student to take your place, let me know and give me a check for $50 at practice this week, made out to "Ygnacio Valley High School Athletic Boosters." (Write small.)

    Remember that athletes need to participate in 2 of the 4 practice meets to advance past the Qualifying meet.

    Seven-Up Club
    I may have failed to mention in previous newsletters that we award a handsome patch to every athlete who has competed in at least 7 different individual events over the course of the 4 practice meets and the Qualifying meet. This is to encourage kids to try new events, even ones they might not excel at.

    Practice is at the usual time and places: Tues PHMS, Thurs CPHS, 5:00-6:30.

    See you on the track!

    Monday, March 28, 2016

    News for the Week of March 28th

    Happy Easter everyone! If you're in town, we have practice this week and a meet on Saturday.
    • Tuesday practice at Pleasant Hill Middle School, 5-6:30pm
    • Thursday practice at College Park, 5-6:30pm
    • Relay meet at Ygnacio Valley High on Saturday
    Mary Chatterton Memorial Relay Meet, Saturday at YVHS
    • Athletes and Coaches should arrive: 9:00am
    Remember if you are signed up to volunteer at the meet and you intend to hire a YVHS student to sub for you, you need to bring me a check for $50 at practice this week. Make it out to Ygnacio Valley High School Athletic Boosters.

    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.

    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

    At this meet, there is usually 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
    • Teams 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 have ribbons from meet 2 ready to hand out at practice this week. Personal best results from the first two meets have been assembled and will be converted to ribbons soon. This year, to make the result compilation more automated, I've made the executive decision that, contrary to past practice, the first time an athlete does an event, that constitutes a personal best and gets a ribbon!

    See you on the track!

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    News for the week of March 21st

    That's 2 practice meets down and only 2 to go! Be aware that to advance beyond the Qualifying meet, an athlete must have competed in at least 2 of the 4 practice meets. The Warpath meet and the Relay meet do not count.

    Practice this week on Tuesday only (5:00-6:30 at PHMS). Enjoy the long Easter weekend. (And make your athletes do a little running!)

    Our next meet is the Mary Chatterton Relays at YVHS on 4/2. You can hire a YVHS student to take your place volunteering at the meet for $50. If you'd like to take that option:
    1. First sign up for a job on Sign-up Genius, then
    2. Email Gina ( and me ( of your desire to hire, and
    3. Give me a check for $50 made out to "Ygnacio Valley High School Athletic Boosters" no later than practice on the Thursday before the meet.
    You must get the check to me by Thursday at the latest: we have to get our numbers to YVH so they can find a helper to give up their Saturday for you. Emailing Friday night is too late.

    Results and awards

    The results from meet #1 are up at I should be faster for meets 2-4 now that I've done it once. Ribbons from that meet will be handed out tomorrow at practice (and subsequent practices). Personal best ribbons will be a little delayed, but they're coming!

    Please keep in mind that all the marks are hand-timed and hand-measured by you, our fabulous volunteers. The quality of the results lies literally in your hands. No pressure!

    There are some rough spots as we all learn the mechanics of timely button-pushing, tape-reading, and popsicle-stick-dispensing. The key goal is fun for the athletes, not a drawer full of ribbons. Keep perspective, and enjoy the meets.

    See you on the track!

    Sunday, March 13, 2016

    News for the Week of March 13th

    Tuesdays at PH Middle, 5:00-6:30
    Thursdays at College Park, 5:00-6:30

    We're on our dual-locations for the rest of the season. Tuesday at Pleasant Hill Middle School, Thursdays at College Park. Practices are 5:00-6:30pm thanks to extra daylight.

    Twitter (@ctktrack) or the front page of the team site for weather updates by 4:00pm on practice days.

    Meet #1 Recap

    Our first official CYO meet of 2015 is in the bag! Here's what happens next:
    • Results from the meet are keyed in by the league and will be sent to coordinators
    • After we've corrected any obvious errors, they get published online
    • I'll clean them up and post to our team page on  
    Thanks to all the families who helped out at the meet. Your participation was greatly appreciated.

    The first meet always has a few rough edges. Meets should take a little less time each week as volunteers hit their stride along with the athletes.

    Remember to keep perspective! This is all about the athletes having fun, and they had plenty of that. I checked.

    Ribbons and other Paraphernalia

    The league manages our meet results. The top three finishers in each race heat and field event should receive a ribbon at a future practice. Placement at practice meets is determined by grade and gender: if we combined heats at the meet, the results are sorted out afterward.

    Our team tracks personal bests, and hands out special gold ribbons. Returning athletes who broke their own records from previous seasons will get a ribbon at practice. You get a ribbon for breaking your personal record, not for setting an initial PR, therefore you don't get a gold ribbon the first time you do an event.

    Finally, we have a special "7-up Club" for athletes who compete in seven or more different individual events during one season. Relays don't count towards this total. There's a fancy embroidered patch that we'll give out at the end of the season.

    Meet #2: Saturday March 19, Dougherty Valley High in San Ramon
    • Athletes/Coaches arrive: 8:15am
    • First event (my guess): 8:45am
    Looking ahead
    • No practice 3/22 or 3/24 and no meet 3/26 (Easter week)
    Volunteer News

    Our Web Admin, Bem Jones-Bey, has added a Volunteering link on the website, that links to Sign Up Genius and to a comprehensive how-to doc for all the various meet jobs, Track 101. Check it out. Even if you thought you knew what you were doing, this doc will probably teach you something.

    Thursday, March 10, 2016

    Extra Meet and Practice News

    Meet #1 Reminder

    • Dublin High School
    • Volunteers, athletes, coaches arrive: 8:00am
    • First event starts: 8:30am
    • Estimated finish:  1:00pm (I'm an optimist.)

    Check in with coaches at arrival to get a numbered sticker. This high-tech mailing label needs to be worn in a visible place all day to register for events and have times and placings correctly matched up with athletes.

    If an athlete is dressed in layers -- recommended! -- then put the sticker on their uniform, or whatever they plan to run in.

    Remember to bring water -- just water -- in a bottle labeled with your name on it. Keep your stuff together, and take it home at the end of the day! Snacks and other beverages should stay in the stands.


    Athletes choose the events at the meet, with guidance from coaches. Jumping and throwing sign-ins are done at the event location, and race sign-ins are on the field near the start/finish line. There will be big signs set up for each grade on the field. Look for volunteers bearing clipboards.

    Order of Events

    50m – grades 2-5 only 

    Sprint medley relay 
    4x400m relay

    Field events all open at once:
    Long jump
    Softball throw
    High jump –
    grades 5-8 only
    Shot put – grades 5-8 only

    For running events, girls run first, starting with grade 2 and working up through grade 8, then boys run the same event, in the same fashion. Both running and field events "open" at certain points through the meet: listen for the announcements. Running events close quickly -- athletes should report to the field to sign in as soon as they hear their event open.

    Running events take priority. If an athlete is waiting their turn at a field event and they hear their race being called, they need to let the field event official know they need to leave to do a running event, then report to the race clerks to check in. They should return to the field event after their race.


    Shirts will be distributed prior to the meet on Saturday. For those not at the meet, there will be other pick-up opportunities next week at practice.


    Practices from now on will be 5:00 - 6:30 pm.
    Tuesdays will be at Pleasant Hill Middle School starting 3/15
    Thursdays will still be at College Park High School

    Sunday, March 6, 2016

    Track News for the Week of March 6th

    War Path Recap
    I hope everyone had fun on Saturday. We got a little wet, but then again nobody got heatstroke--there's always an upside. We'll try to get in more relay practice and field event practice this week so that athletes are more comfortable with those events for our next meet.

    Our regular meets are conducted much the same way, but results are recorded on paper, typed into the computer afterward, and then posted online. The paper feathers are a War Path exclusive.

    Uniform Pickup

    Uniform shirts and team sweatshirts will be handed out at practice Tuesday and Thursday. Look for a table at the bottom of the stairs from the parking lot. They will also be available at the meet on Saturday, starting at 8am. 

    We'll hand out the ordered sizes first, and then we can make swaps for unworn items (trying it on is fine.) Parish assignments are fixed, so we can't swap one parish's shirt for a different one.

    Why is our shirt red/yellow/blue? Shouldn't it be blue/red/yellow?

    Our team is technically three teams: Christ the King, St. Catherine, and St. Stephen. Parish assignments are done according to a sacred trinity of CYO rules:
    1. Athlete's school, if they attend the parish school, otherwise
    2. Athlete's parish, if they attend religious ed/faith formation classes, otherwise
    3. Athlete's home address
    You let me know if your athlete fell under rule #1 or #2 on your registration forms. Those who aren't attending school or RE at a parish are assigned by rule #3.

    It is entirely possible for public school classmates to run for different parishes, solely based on geography.  

    Nothing has changed. We are still one team made of three parishes: we practice and hold meets together. Only at the end-of-season championships does it matter, and only then when we're forming relay teams.

    Meet on Saturday, March 12, Dublin High School
    • Volunteers, athletes, coaches arrive: 8:00am
    • First event starts: 8:30am
    • Estimated finish:  1:00pm
    Volunteers are committed for the entire meet, but athletes can come for just the first half or just the 2nd half in the case of schedule conflicts. Just let your primary coach know when that's the case.

    Note that whereas dropping off athletes for practice is perfectly acceptable, for meets that's not the case. It is impossible for coaches to keep track of all the athletes at a meet and so parents should plan to stay and provide a "home base" in the stands for their kids. Food and drink other than water should remain in the stands. At some meets, athletes and coaches are also expected to stay in the stands except for athletes whose events have been called. In any case, the team will drop bags and extra clothes in one area on the field or in the stands and athletes should be encouraged to hang out there when not competing so it is easier for coaches to find them when events are called or relays need to be formed.

    Looking ahead to next season, and beyond

    I know we've barely begun, but we're already looking ahead to 2017. If your athlete likes CYO track and you enjoy running, please consider joining up as an assistant coach next season.

    Most coaches follow their own kids through CYO, and move on to greener pastures after eighth grade. Our three parishes have been very lucky to have parents willing to volunteer their time as coaches, but we can only continue as long as we keep bringing in new ones to help out. A good loud mom/dad voice is a benefit, as are senses of humor and perspective.

    Team coordinators also follow their kids through CYO, and next season will be my last. Our team needs someone to step up as coordinator in the 2017 season while I'm around to smooth the transition (assuming I've learned something about the role by the end of the season).

    Please think about it!

    Thursday, March 3, 2016

    Volunteer News

    Volunteer Jobs Update

    New and exciting changes for this season!

    Our Division Coordinator has assigned the volunteer jobs for ALL parishes. This has streamlined the volunteer assignments for all teams and also brings notable changes.

    Our volunteer shifts are for the duration of the meet. We had been the only parish that had split every shift and now we are consistent with the other teams. We will still have some half shifts, but most of our shifts are from the beginning of the meet to until the event closes.

    Where is the Middle Shift?
    The new assignments did not include any middle shifts. So far we only have one meet with a middle shift, Meet #2 and hopefully Meet#3.

    What is a Middle Shift?
    The Away Side of the track where either the boys or girls run the 50m/100m simultaneously with the Home Side of the track.

    How does this affect you?
    With no middle shift, this has reduced our volunteer requirement 5 shifts to 4 shifts (equals 2 meets in new format). But, if we regain those middle shifts, we will need volunteers to fill them.  

    Do I really have to volunteer ALL Day?
    You only work until your event closes. In past seasons, parents would sign up for a double shift and split it. Ygnacio Valley High School will also have the “Rent a Student”, where you can pay a high school track student to work for you. This is a fundraiser for their track team. I will send more info about renting a student when it becomes available.

    When and how do I sign up?
    Sign Up Genius is set to go live this Friday at 6 am for ALL the meets. Look for Sign Up Genius emails with a link to each meet.

    Thank you for donating your time and talent. CYO Track and Field is 100% volunteer fueled and would not be possible without your support.

    God Bless You,
    Gina Marks
    Volunteer Coordinator
    "You are rewarded not according to your work or your time, but according to the measure of your love." – Saint Catherine of Siena

    Tuesday, March 1, 2016

    Track News for the Week of February 29th

    Practice this week: 5:00-6:05ish at College Park

    Updated Meet Schedule
    There should be an updated meet schedule on the website very soon. Dates have not changed, but some TBD locations have been filled in and start times are filled in. The schedule is here:

    War Path Invitational
    Our first meet is this Saturday, 3/5, Ygnacio Valley's "War Path" invitational. Uniforms not required: regular running clothes are fine. The team pays the entry fee for all of our athletes, but there is a charge for spectators too. We won't need volunteers for this meet, but look for an email soon regarding signups for the meets that start the following weekend.

    Remember to bring:
    • Cash for gate admission ($2 per spectator) and some extra in case there's a snack table
    • Appropriate weather protection: sun hats and/or jackets, sunblock, sunglasses (or more likely rain gear this weekend!)
    • Something soft to sit on, like a stadium cushion or old blanket
    • Optionally: a cooler of healthy snacks like fruit, yogurt tubes, pretzels: nothing too heavy
    If you plan to bring a pop-up tent or umbrella for shade, please set up in the back row of the bleachers so you don't block anyone's view. Pack bungee cords or tie-downs, as Ygnacio Valley can be windy, especially in the morning.

    There is no smoking or alcohol permitted at this or any CYO event.
      Athletes should:
      • Have a light breakfast
      • Wear sunscreen and running shoes
      • Be on time to warm-up with the team
      • Be willing to try events and have fun
      We want to get the team together on the basketball court no later than 8:45am.  The courts are between the stadium and the school. Coaches will warm the team up and get a head count.

      The team is paying admission for our coaches and registered athletes.

      Find a seat when the gate opens, and we'll bring the team in when we're warmed up. They'll find you in the stands.

      New to track meets?

      Don't worry: meets are pretty predictable, even if they don't look it.

      Field events start when the meet begins. There will be announcements over a PA system or bullhorn calling different age groups down to participate. Events at this meet are:

      High Jump
      Long Jump
      Shot Put

      In CYO, we limit shot put and high jump to 5th graders and older, for safety.

      Athletes check in at the event when their age group is called, provided they're not already lined up for a race (or are on the track!) High jump and long jump will be visible from the stands, but the shot put ring is tucked out of the way outside the main stadium fence.

      Running events follow an order, usually done from youngest athletes to oldest.

      These stage (line up) on the field. Last year there were hurdles with signs attached per age group. The same PA or bullhorn should be used for calls for these events.

      The event order is:
      1. 1600m  (4 laps, "the mile")
      2. 4x100 Relay   (every runner carries the baton 1/4 of a lap)
      3. 400m   (1 lap)
      4. 100m   (a short dash along the straight)
      5. 800m   (2 laps = 1/2 mile)
      6. 200m   (1/2 lap)
      7. 4x400m Relay  (every runner carries the baton 1 full lap)
      A key tip: if an athlete is waiting at a field event when their desired race is called, they should leave the field event to go run.

      Running events determine the pace of the meet, and won't stop if an athlete is busy at long jump or in the bathroom. Paying attention to the calls is a track meet survival skill. If you miss your call, you miss the race. Oops!

      Which event?

      That's pretty much up to the athletes and their coaches. This week is a little looser, just to get everyone to see how it all fits together. Unless the coaches have something specific in mind, I'd encourage a go ahead and try it attitude. Cross country athletes especially should not be scared of the distance events.

      Everything will look a little rough this weekend. That's OK. Think of this as a practice, not the Olympic tryouts.

      No Parent Meeting
      I got three responses of interest in a parents' meeting, so I'm not going to schedule one. Feel free to email me questions and I'll either answer directly or in the next newsletter.

      Sunday, February 21, 2016

      Track News for the Week of Feb 21

      Practice this week, 5:00-6:00pm

      Full disclosure: These newsletters are shamelessly copied and modified from last year's gems by Mike Clemens.

      The Golden (Track) Rule

      The number one rule in CYO is the Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated.

      This means being quiet during announcements, listening to the coaches during practice, and respecting all your teammates. Our practice groups are large, and track is very social, but there's never a good time to tease, belittle, or harass anyone else.

      CYO publishes a code of conduct (PDF) that everyone is expected to read and follow. You can add "teammates" anywhere that you see the word "opponents."

      Athletes: if you're having problems during practice, please tell your coach as it happens. They're in the best position to correct it, and to let me know the names of who was involved.

      Anyone who finds that they cannot follow the Code of Conduct will be asked to leave the team, with their fees forfeited. That would be unfortunate, so please be kind.

      Volunteer News

      We hope to have the volunteer schedule posted in the first week of March. We're still waiting for final meet information from the League. We'll let you know when you can start signing up. If you have questions in the meantime, you can email

      Monday, February 15, 2016

      Track News for the Week of February 15th

      Hello families, it's time again for this week's news...

      Safety at College Park

      There are lots of other sports going on inside and outside of the track stadium. Remind your athletes to walk around the outside of the track fence to get to the stands. Don't cut across the field during games or other teams' practices. And look both ways before stepping onto the track--a good rule for volunteers and spectators as well as athletes.

      During lacrosse practice, we get to add dodge ball to our list of skills. Please make sure your athletes keep their eyes open for the occasional missed pass.


      ...have been ordered. We'll let you know when they come in and are ready to be picked up.

      Track not working out?

      Hopefully things are starting to get a little smoother for your athletes. The first few practices can be chaotic until the groups settle in.

      Sometimes track isn't a good fit, though, and that's OK. You may drop from the program with a full refund if you notify me via email by February 28. Your deposit check will be shredded, and we'll remove you from the volunteer sheets.

      Starting March 1, the fees refund drops to 50%, with the deposit check shredded.

      Dropping on or after our first meet on March 12 means a forfeit of both your fees and deposit.

      Uniform costs are refunded at 100% or 50% as above, provided you haven't picked them up yet. Once handed to you, the uniforms and sweatshirts are yours to keep.

      Don't just vanish. Let me know if you need to withdraw an athlete from the team so we can update our records and handle any refunds you're entitled to.

      Upcoming Event: "War Path" Invitational, March 5

      It's hard to believe, but we're halfway through February already. That means our first event is coming up.

      Ygnacio Valley High School holds a special all-comers track meet each year to help raise funds for their track team and for new equipment. Provided we have good weather, we'll attend this meet as a team again this year. The team will pay the admission fee for our registered athletes and coaches.

      I highly encourage everyone to come out if they can. It's a very low-key event, with no volunteer requirements. It gives everyone a chance to see how meets work. Think of it like a special Saturday practice.

      We don't need our uniforms for this meet since it's not a CYO function. Regular running clothes are fine.

      I'll send more reminders as we get closer to the event.

      Wednesday, February 10, 2016

      Track news for early February

      Practices continue Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:00 until dusk (~5:50).

      Weather Watch

      If the forecast calls for rain, I will post any cancellation of practice by 4:00pm on the team Twitter account (@ctktrack). Those tweets appear on the front page of our web site, too. If there is no tweet, practice is on!

      Sharing at College Park

      Although we have permits for practice, the stadium belongs to College Park, and we sometimes need to wait patiently for high school games to complete, or will practice at the same time as other teams. College Park track team will be starting up soon, too, which include some CYO alums.

      New Family Meeting

      If there is enough interest, we will schedule a family information meeting at Christ the King in Pleasant Hill. This would be a brief presentation of things to know about how the season works, how meets work, and how the various meet jobs work. Please email if you'd like to come to such a meeting.

      Late Signups Still Accepted

      We're still taking signups at practice and we're still collecting missing birth certificates, concussion forms, payments, and deposits. If you haven't received an email reminder, then you probably don't owe anything.

      Saturday, January 30, 2016

      Late Signups, Practices

      Some quick updates for the next few days:

      Late Signups

      Missed signups? Bring the paperwork and two checks (1. $125 volunteer deposit and 2. $75 per athlete plus $15 per shirt) with you to practice. Requirements are on the team site:

      First practice Tuesday February 2, 5pm at College Park track

      You may park in the large lot under the solar panels and then walk your athlete down to the track. There are stairs near the school-side corner of the lot, and a paved path leading along the side of the baseball field to the stadium. Athletes should resist the urge to run up and down the hillside and climb fences.

      Please walk your athletes down to the track to avoid anyone wandering off. We are planning to meet in the stands as usual. Athletes need to stay off the track until instructed by a coach.

      Practice ends at dusk, which is around 5:45pm right now. Parents are welcome to stay and watch from the stands.

      If you have turned in all your completed paperwork, adults do not need to stay at practice, but do need to be back in time for pickup. Please don't make your athletes suffer the embarrassment of being the Last Kid Waiting with me and the other coaches.

      Being Prepared

      Athletes should come to practice:
      • On time. We only practice until dusk, which comes fast at this time of year. I know that religious education goes until 5pm for some families. It's fine if you need to be a bit late.
      • Dressed appropriately. It can be cold and windy at the track. Dress in layers, and label your team sweatshirt and anything else that could be easily mixed up. Our Lost & Found pile historically starts at first practice.
      • With water to drink. A reusable sport bottle with plain water is the best drink, and the only beverage allowed on College Park's track and turf -- no sports drinks. Label the bottle, too!
      • Wearing running shoes. Flats, basketball shoes, and skate shoes (Vans) are not running shoes.
      Athletes never need track shoes ("spikes") at practice, and generally don't need them at all.

      See you soon!