Sunfair 2015

Great job at today’s Sunfair Invitational cross-country meet. Here are the preliminary results.  Official results should be posted to later on tonight. See you at practice Tuesday.  Last regular season meet is two weeks from today.

Girls Results Sunfair 2015

Girls Results Sunfair 2015 sheet one


Boys Results Sunfair 2015 3rd-6th Grade

Boys Results Sunfair 2015 3rd-6th Grade

Girls Results Sunfair 2015 7-8 Grade

Girls Results Sunfair 2015 7-8 Grade

Boys Results Sunfair 2015 3rd-6th Grade

Boys Results Sunfair 2015 3rd-6th Grade b

Girls Results Sunfair 2015 b

Girls Results Sunfair 2015 b

Youth Track Season – Getting ready for the inaugural season in Yakima

SunCityHarriersLogo.jpgI wanted to post about the upcoming track season since we have been getting a few phone calls and inquiries. Here is what we have going on:

1. We are in the process of getting our team USATF certified.  This is important because it allows us to run in meets but from a logistical standpoint we then fall under USATF’s insurance which allows us to practice at track facilities.

2. Once this is in place we should be able to finalize when and where we are going to practice (we are hoping for West Valley and Eisenhower high school) but this is contingent on the tracks and days being available. We do have both a plan “B” and “C” if our first plan doesn’t pan out.

3. Our tentative start-date will be the end of April and we plan on running (pun intended) the season for about eight weeks.  It will be a later practice as we would have to run after the high school practices are done.

Please don’t hold us to any of this as this is the first time we have attempted to run a track team so there will be some moving pieces.  We do have two seasons of cross-country under our belt.

We have submitted our team paperwork and it is our goal to have the dates for planning purposes by March.

Last, in terms of events and training that will be offered, we will be having both sprinting events as well as long distance training.  Other field events, jumps and hurdles will be entirely dependent on getting qualified coaches in these events as well  as having a facilities that have the implements to do this.  If you are certified in any of these events and would be willing to coach, please reach out to me on Facebook or call me at 941-5191.

Coach Erik


Saturday workout and Apple Ridge Invite

Dear Sun City Harriers,

We are nearing the end of our “regular season” and I wanted to pass along some information regarding Saturday’s optional workout, next week’s Apple Ridge Run Invite, and the “post season” Junior Olympics meets.

1. Saturday Workout:
We will again host an optional Saturday morning long run at Cowiche Canyon this Saturday, October 18th at 9 am. Like last week, we will meet at the lower trailhead of Cowiche Canyon for a 40- to 45-minute run with refreshments to follow. (Directions: From 40th Ave., turn west at W Powerhouse Rd., next to Fred Meyer. Take the second left onto Cowiche Canyon Rd., follow for about 2 miles until you reach the trailhead.) Everyone is welcome!

2. Apple Ridge Run Invite:
The final race of our “regular season,” the Apple Ridge Run Invite is scheduled for Saturday, October 25th. The race director is encouraging parents to bring and ring as many cowbells as possible. Bring them and ring like crazy! Unless I hear otherwise from you, I will enter all eligible Sun City Harriers in this race.

Here is the race schedule:
10:15 – Team arrives at Apple Ridge Run
11:00 – 2nd Grade and Under Boys Race (1.0 miles)

11:20 – 2nd Grade and Under Girls (1.0 miles)

11:40 – 3rd-6th Grade Boys (1.0 miles)

12:00 – 3rd-6th Grade Girls (1.0 miles)

12:20 – 12:30 – Awards (top 10 in each race get ribbons and team winner of 3rd-6th grade races get a traveling trophy)
Here are directions to Apple Ridge Run on Naches Heights:

  1. From HWY 12 West (heading towards Naches), take the 40th Avenue Exit into Yakima.
  2. Stay on 40th Ave. for about 1.5 miles and take a right on Summitview.
  3. Continue west on Summitview for almost 10 miles (towards Cowiche).
  4. While on Summitview, you’ll eventually head down a steep grade into the Cowiche Valley (before you get to the city of Cowiche). At the bottom of the grade on the right is a log cabin called the Summitview Cowiche Veterinary Clinic. Take the right just past the clinic on Weikel Road.
  5. Stay on Weikel for nearly a mile and turn right on Zimmerman Road.
  6. After a mile up Zimmerman, turn left on Naches Heights Road.
  7. Stay on Naches Heights Road for a ½ mile and turn left onto Wherry Road (there’s a big red sign there to welcome you).
  8. After a ¼ mile down Wherry Road, you’ll see the course and signs for parking.


Cowitchee Practice 2014 Kate

Two little Harriers enjoying the great running trails in Cowiche Canyon last Saturday

3. Junior Olympics XC Meets:
The Junior Olympics Youth Cross Country season kicks off Saturday, November 15th at the Association Championships at the Big Cross Course in Pasco, Washington. The top 30 finishers and the top 3 teams will advance to the Regional in Seattle on November, 22. Registration for the Association Championships closes Wednesday, November 10th. So if you plan on participating in this meet, make sure you join USATF soon! Maps, course information, registration link and all other meet information is now available online at

Go Harriers!
Erik & Aleah Mickelson

Updated Race and Practice Schedule: What’s Next!

Congratulations, we’ve made it to the half-way point in the season!

Aleah and I have been debating the Richland Invite for a couple weeks, and we’ve decided against promoting Saturday’s Richland Invite as a “team-effort” meet. Our reasons for this decision are:

1. The kid’s race is only 0.5 miles in length – this is much shorter than our standard race distance and therefore not ideal for our older runners.
2. The other option is the 3.0 mile Citizen’s race – this is much longer than our standard race distance and therefore not ideal, either.

A Sun City Harrier, Brayden Packard, won the boys mile at the Sunfair Invitational for the second straight year Hayden Drury won last year)

However, there are some families planning to drive to Richland for the meet. If you are interested, here is the link to the race information, course map, and registration form. The kids race is open to kids up to 13 years in age.

For families choosing not to attend the Richland Invite, we are offering an optional Saturday morning workout at Cowiche Canyon at 9 am. We’ll be doing a longer steady-state run on the lower trail. We believe this option will be more beneficial to our runners in the long term, as it will help boost their aerobic fitness level and prepare them for the final race of the regular season at Apple Ridge. It will also benefit the kids gearing up for the Junior Olympics meets, since the race distance is longer for the J.O. meets.

Think of our XC season as two parts: regular season and post season. The regular season ends October 25th with the Apple Ridge Run in Cowiche. The post-season begins with the Inland NW Regional Qualifier XC meet. The regular season is comprised of local XC meets; the post season is a series of qualifying meets overseen by the USAT&F (the governing body of all USA track and field and cross country events, including the national and Olympic level) that starts with a qualifying meet for individual runners and teams in the Inland Northwest association.

This year, the Inland NW Regional Qualifier XC is scheduled for Nov. 15, 2014. The meet location was recently moved from Spokane to Pasco. Due to its new location, we are encouraging as many Sun City Harriers as possible to attend this meet. We will also be encouraging any Wenas Valley runners as well as anyone else from the local middle schools after their season is over to compete as well. There will be a number of high-quality runners from the Spokane and Tri-Cities areas in attendance.

Because we have a small association, nearly everyone who competes at the association meet will qualify for the Regional Meet. The Regional XC Meet is being contested on Nov. 22, 2014 at Lower Woodland Park in Seattle (a very hilly course which is why we are running as many hills as possible at Franklin right now). The competition will increase significantly at the Regional Meet, as it will comprise the best youth runners from Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. I would still expect many Harriers to compete well, as we have many very talented, driven runners. The top 25 runners and three teams from the Regional Meet qualify for the USATF National XC Meet, scheduled for Dec. 13th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  We would love to field at least two teams for the first Association meet in Pasco and maybe even Seattle (perhaps four if we can get Wenas to combine with us).

To compete in USATF events, athletes must become USATF members, which costs $20.00 per year. Here’s a link for more information about USAFT membership Also of note: the race distances for USATF races increase in length. Ages 8 & under run 2 km (1.2 miles) ; Ages 9-10 and 11-12 run 3 km (1.8 miles); Ages 13-14 run 4 km (2.4 miles); and Ages 15-16 and 17-18 run 5 km (3.1 miles). This is the reason starting this week we are increasing the distance in our workouts and encouraging the optional long runs on Saturday mornings.

In summary:

  1. We’d love to see you this Saturday morning at 9am for a 45-minute run at the lower trailhead of Cowiche Canyon (From 40th, turn west at W Powerhouse Rd., next to Fred Meyer. Take the second left onto Cowiche Canyon Rd., follow for about 2 miles until you reach the trailhead.)
  2. If you love to compete and run fast, please join us for the USATF Association XC Meet in Pasco. It would be awesome to have 25-50 Harriers join us for the post-season!
  3. If you know any potential Harriers (especially middle-schoolers) who would like to continue their season, let them know we’d love to have them join our team for the Junior Olympic series.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Sincerely coaches Erik & Aleah

41st Annual Sunfair Results

Here are the official Results of Sunfair:

Official results are not up yet but I took a few pictures of the results.  A few things of note:

1. The clock on the 6th grade and under race was started 20 seconds late.  The times I have posted are correct but many kids thought they had run faster.

2. On the 7th-8th grade race, they accidentally sent the kids on an extra dog-leg making them run about 100 meters farther.  My guess is take off 45 seconds to a minute to get the true time.


6th grade and under: finishers 1-47


6th grade and under finishers 48-96


6th grade and under finishers 97-129; Top 12 of 1.5 mile race


It’s Race Day Tomorrow!

Kara Goucher, leading US women's marathoner sets her gear out before she runs every race.

Kara Goucher, leading US women’s marathoner sets her gear out before she runs every race.

Tomorrow is race day. Race day in the Mickelson household was an amazing time for me growing up. I started running track at age eight and cross-country at the age of ten so it is in my blood. I also had amazing parents who understood being an athlete. My dad ran track and field for the University of Washington and knew what it took to get an athlete ready in the morning so he engraved this into me with my mom always making me a good breakfast in the mornings.

The first thing on race day is to ALWAYS know your schedule. It is also imperative to know it the night before. So for tomorrow this means we all know pictures are at 8am tomorrow morning. Former Yakima Herald photographer Andy is doing our pictures and giving them to us AT-COST! This means he is volunteering his time and will post the pictures for free-download. Also, warm-up will be at 8:30 for Kindergarden-2nd grade and a half-hour later for 3rd-6th grade and 9:30am for 7th and 8th grade.

Second, make sure you have your young harriers uniforms set out (gold shirts) as well as shorts, sweats, running shoes and a sweatshirt so you are ready to roll come wake-up time.

Third, plan your breakfast ahead of time. Mom, dad or harrier what are you going to eat? Please do not eat donuts, or any fatty food for breakfast. Fats take several hours to digest and will be rolling around the harrier’s stomach come race time. Aleah and my favorite pre-race food is toasted peanut butter toast (two pieces) about two hours pre-race or workout. Perhaps also have a banana since these have a great nutrition source as well. We would strongly recommend eating nothing at least an hour before the race. If your harrier does need something this soon to the race make it super-simple, fast digestible carbohydrates (Gatorade or equivalent, banana, Gu packets (without caffeine), white bread with jelly, etc.

As always, have fun on race morning. Your child may “freak-out.” No worries, this is a really safe environment to learn and grow. Some harriers want to win or place tomorrow. For others we want them to just run the entire way. Others hitting the start AND finish line will be the victory.

If you have any questions feel free to call or text Aleah (833-5952) or myself (833-5951).

Harriers, harriers, harriers!

See you tomorrow,

Coach Erik

Is my child in the right group at practice?

Wow, we have an amazing group of harriers.  We are in week three of practice, and compared to last year, the kids are doing a better job at drills, the enthusiasm is greater, and everyone seems to be having fun.

Here is one of our younger harriers who is doing great in her current group of peers.

I had several parents and kids ask me today at practice if they can move up to a new group. The quick answer to this question is “yes.” If you are looking for a more challenging workout, just ask your coach and we can shift you up a group for a practice or two and see how you fare. Likewise, if you think your child would benefit by moving down a group, talk to us about this too and we can see if this is better for them too.

Every child is different. In our family’s case, we have to push our kids because they would be content jogging a half-mile and calling it a day.  As parents, we walk a fine line between encouraging our children to try their best and pushing too hard, when running turns into punishment.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether your child is in the right group at practice:

  1. Are they having fun? This is the most important thing we can stress in youth athletics. If they are not having fun, we’ve missed the mark. Of course, there are times when a child gets a side ache or just has a bad day, but there should always be some sort of enjoyment.
  2. Are they able to finish the workout?
  3. Are they competitive to a degree?  This will look different depending on your child. For example, I was born with a competitive streak but several of my children couldn’t care less for competition. Still, we want to place kids in a workout group where they can work together as a group to accomplish a goal – finishing an interval in a certain time, for example. A bit of competition can motivate us to perform better than our best solo effort. I feel it is important for my children to be exposed to competition, as this will help them perform under pressure later in life: In high school, college, and the job market.

See you Thursday!

Coaches Erik and Aleah

Time Trial Results 2014 – Franklin Park

The harriers competed well last Saturday.  I’m sorry it took awhile to compile the results.  A few kids accidentally ran a shorter distance, cutting off the last portion of the course.  There were a couple blank cards, too.  These times and places are a close approximation. If you happen to know you finished before or behind someone on the list, or have your accurate time, we can add edit the data accordingly. Also remember that a group of older runners ran 1.5 miles and they started five seconds late. Saturday September 20th at 11:15am 80 degrees, no wind and warm

1.0 Nathan Stephenson 7:10
2.0 Ty Dauer 7:21
3.0 Aiden Waddle 7:35
4.0 Nathan Johnson 7:44
5.0 Zachary Wagner 7:55
6.0 Ben Wagner 8:02
7.0 No name 8:02
8.0 Bryce 8:12
9.0 Lucy Sawyer 8:36
10.0 Gwen 8:44
11.0 Paul Lally 8:47
12.0 Mary Mickelson 8:50
13.0 Lorenzo Alvarado 8:51
14.0 Kate Mickelson 8:56
15.0 Liam 9:00
16.0 Joy Lally 9:02
17.0 Haiden Drury 9:04
18.0 Mack Stephenson 9:05
19.0 Brent Johnson 9:07
20.0 Jacob LaMay 9:10
21.0 Dannika Goethel 9:23
22.0 Kiara 9:40
23.0 Freya White 10:22
24.0 June 10:28
25.0 Sean Mefford 10:33
26.0 Jackson Powell 10:38
27.0 Henry Robbins 10:45
28.0 Lane Dauer 11:09
29.0 Julia Johnson 11:23
30.0 Ava Alvarado 11:33
31.0 Lizette 11:51
32.0 Laurel Heesemann 11:58
33.0 Brena Baker 12:04
34.0 Claire Branch 12:06
35.0 Tyrell Waddle 12:08
36.0 Riley Christenson 12:42
37.0 Cadence Day 12:54
38.0 Kara Mickelson 13:06
39.0 Emma Welch 13:16
40.0 Anna Wilkinson 13:27
41.0 Leah Knudson 13:29
42.0 Jaxon Beck 13:48
43.0 Brandon Shaw 13:56
44.0 Mitchell Moos 15:09
45.0 Amy Poehner 15:20
46.0 James Branch 15:22
47.0 Shephard Lally 15:33
48.0 Kennedy Day 15:40
49.0 Bailey Christenson 15:56
50.0 Austin Watten 16:20
51.0 Kennedy Day 17:52
52.0 Angelina Woodall 18:38
53.0 Lydia Woodall 18:39

Updated Race Schedule

There has been a few minor changes but this is the current race schedule as of today for the rest of the season:





DATE                            MEET                 LOCATION                  TIME


Saturday, September 20                   Team Time Trial                  Franklin Park                                        11 am

Yakima, WA

1 mile 1st – 6th Grade

1.5 miles 7th Grade and above

Saturday, September 27                   Sun City Harrier Invite       Franklin Park                                        9 am

Yakima, WA

1 mile 1st – 6th Grade

1.5 miles 7th – 8th Grade

Saturday, October 4                          Sunfair Invitational             Franklin Park                                        8:45 am

Yakima, WA

1 mile 1st – 6th Grade

1.5 miles 7th-8th Grade

2.0 miles 9th Grade

3.0 miles 10th -12th Grade

Saturday, October 11                        Richland Invitational          Carmichael Middle School                10:10 am

Richland, WA

0.5 miles K – 5th Grade


Saturday, October 25                       Apple Ridge Invite              Apple Ridge XC Course                     TBD

Cowiche, WA

1.0 miles


Saturday, November 15                    Inland NW                            Mead High School                              TBD

Regional Qualifier               Spokane, WA


Saturday, November 22                    Regional XC Champs         Woodland Park                                    TBD

Region XIII                           Seattle, WA


Saturday, December 13                    2014 XC Nationals              Myrtle Beach                                       TBD


Just got off the phone with Yakima Sports Supply. They are finishing up our t-shirt order right now and I’ll be picking them up tomorrow morning. We’ll be handing them out at tomorrow’s practice. We ordered several extras so if you haven’t yet signed up, if you turn in your registration tomorrow we can get you a shirt (registration is $30)!