Sunday, April 30, 2017

News for the Week of April 30th

Qualifying Meet Results
The kids had a great meet and a lot of them made it to the next round, the Sectional Meet. A preliminary list of our qualifiers is here. If an athlete placed 4th, you may see an "Alternate" flag in the far right column. That means he/she would not get to run unless one of the other Qualifiers did not show up, which happens fairly frequently. Note that 4th place finishers in the 800 m, 1600 m, and all field events will get to compete and are not alternates.

If your athlete qualified and will not be able to compete, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can get an alternate into the event. The final list of Qualifiers won't be out until Wednesday morning after a Coordinator's Seeding Meeting Tuesday night.

If your athlete was on a Qualifying relay and won't be able to compete Saturday, let me know as soon as possible so that we don't have 3 other teammates make the trip for nothing!

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come to practice this week (and next), not just qualifiers.

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, May 6th at DVC at 8:00am (1st event 8:30). Note the location change--the schedule on our website said differently!

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 may also be 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.

Sectional Meet Volunteers
If your athlete is competing, please be prepared to help out. If you're behind on your shift obligations, this will be your chance to catch up. Otherwise, you might want to check out the list of qualifiers and see if another family wants to split a meet job. We'll know what our team job assignments are Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Expect a Signup Genius invite!

Team Picnic
Our team picnic and awards ceremony will be Saturday June 3rd at Pleasant Hill Park. More in the next newsletter!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

News for Qualifying Week

We've got lots of them! If your athlete hasn't been at practice for the last week or so, chances are their primary coach has something for them.

Qualifying Meet, Saturday 4/29, YVHS
Arrive by 9AM. Last year's Qualifying Meet explanation is still applicable. Read it here. Notes from our Sectional Coordinator:

To participate in the up coming qualifying meet each athlete must have participated in 2 of the regular season Practice meets. (I have incorrectly been saying that all could participate, but just not move on. -Greg)

All Relay Teams must be grade pure and gender pure.  No mixing grades or gender to make a relay team.

Exception: 4x400 you are allowed to mix grades.  Must be gender pure.  The relay team participates at the highest grade level of the 4 athletes.  (for example a team of one 8th grader, two seventh graders and 1 third grader runs as an 8th grade team).

Long Jump, Shop Put and Softball Throw are Open events.  Please keep all field events open until the 15 minutes following the conclusion of the 200M.

High Jump athletes must compete when their grade group is called.  If an athlete checks out to compete in a running event, they must return to high jump within 15 minutes of the conclusion of their race.  Word of advice: please try to keep your high jumpers at the event as long as possible.  Many times they could have completed their High Jump competition before their running race.  Athletes returning to High Jump after a running event usually perform poorly on their remaining jumps.

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.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

News for the Week of April 16th

Hope everyone had a good Easter. We're back to our normal practice schedule, weather permitting.

Mary Chatterton Memorial Relay Meet, Saturday at DVC
Athletes and Coaches should arrive: 8:00 am.
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
See you at the track!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

News for the Week of April 9th

Practice Meet #4 at College Park
...was a challenge and a success! Despite intermittent rain and rookies in some volunteer positions, we persevered and got through it. Although I've coached for quite a while, that was my first attempt at helping to run a meet and let me assure you, it is not as easy as it looks. Thanks to all the volunteers and especially Meet Director Mike Moore.

Easter Break
Normal practice tomorrow, Monday. There is no practice Thursday and no meet this weekend. Enjoy the holiday!

Marty Mart Scholarship
The Oakland Diocese awards a $500 scholarship to one 8th grade athlete each year. The application form and further information is posted here.

Looking ahead, the Relay meet is Saturday 4/22 at DVC. That meet is just what it sounds like--all relays. It's a lot of fun for the kids. We mix and match across gender, age group, and parishes to form teams as necessary (or as desired). The week after that is the Qualifying meet at YVHS. That is open to all athletes. At that meet and the Sectional meet, an athlete has to place in the top 3 (usually) to advance. All athletes are encouraged to continue coming to practice even if they have not advanced. The last meet is the Diocese meet on May 13th.

See you at the track.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

News for the Week of April 2nd

Meet #4 April 8th at College Park
Our team is hosting this meet. Mike Moore is our Meet Director. We still need to fill some key volunteer positions to make this meet run smoothly: Head Timer, Finish Line Coordinator, Away side Head Timer, and Away Side Finish Line Coordinator. If you have any experience at the finish line or as a timer, please consider signing up for one of these positions!

Meet #4 is the last "regular season" meet. Remember that athletes must compete in two out of the four regular season meets to be eligible to advance past the Qualifying Meet. Everyone is allowed to compete in the Qualifying Meet, but to advance to the Sectional Meet, you must place in the top 3 of your age group at the Qualifying Meet and must have competed in at least 2 regular season meets. (For the 800m, 1600m, and field events, usually the top 4 advance.)

Seven-Up Club
Remember also 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.

Important: Relay Meet Location Changed
I have just learned that the Relay Meet on April 22nd has been moved to DVC instead of Freedom High in Brentwood. That's much more convenient for us as long as everyone gets the word!

Easter Break
There is no meet the weekend of April 15th and there is no practice on Thursday April 13th. Enjoy the holiday!