2017 Track Season Schedule

Sun City kids do drills at a practice in 2016. Drills and core work will be a key component of the pre-season in 2017.

I’ve figured out how to make all of this snow go away here in Yakima . . . start thinking about track! I was joking with a Sun City parent the other day at church that it started snowing the day after we left for cross-country nationals December 8th and the snow & ice hasn’t left yet.  Coaches Casey, Aleah and I always strive to improve year over year and as we go into our third year of track this is no different.  Here is the upcoming schedule for this track season:

Pre-Season

Pre-season will run & drill (pun intended) from February 27th – March 29th.  (Cost is $40 per child)

Pre-season is geared toward runners ages 9-14 or if your child has previously done Junior Olympics in either track or cross-country before.  We will be doing the preseason at Franklin Park Monday and Wednesday nights from 5-6pm for this month.

If your child has never done track before this is NOT the time to start track.  We use this pre-season to build on what we have previously done in other Sun City seasons.

This one-month season will be very heavy on drills, strength-work, and basic speed drills which will be geared toward all track athletes whether one plans on doing sprints, throws, or distances. The reason for the 9-14 year window is we want to keep everyone in one large group.  It is also because most older kids need a little more to get into shape compared to younger kids come track season.

April

April will be off but we will be having informal Saturday runs for anyone interested at the upper parking lot at Cowiche Canyon every Saturday morning at 9am. There will be no cost for this but there is a high probability of free popsicles after practice. Coaches Casey and I will also posting workouts this month for anyone wanting to get in some pre-track workouts.

Regular Season

Regular track season will be from April 24th- May 20th. This is what we are gearing up for EVERYONE. This season we will be able to offer both sprints, distances, throws, and long jump. Practices will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6-7pm.  Wednesday will be the only day sprints and long jump will be offered since we are short coaches in these events. Monday and Friday will be distance only practice.  We are still waiting on formalizing where we are going to practice but more than likely it will be Franklin Track. The cost for the regular season will be $40 with a $10 discount for each child in the family down to $20. We will have a home meet this year on May 20th at one of the local schools and this will finish up the regular season.  A Sun City t-shirt will be included in the registration fee.

Post-Season

Post-season for track will run from May 22nd-July 9th.  There are a number of track meets we will be attending this year which will be:

  1. Portland Track Festival June 3rd-4th
  2. Seattle on June 11th
  3. Junior Olympic Association Finals in Tri Cities June 24th
  4. Junior Olympic Regionals in Spokane July 8th-10th (different events are on different dates depending on the athlete, most kids only compete one or two days)
  5. Junior Olympic Nations is in Lawrence Kansas this year July 27th-30th (the Mickelson family will be going to this as long as one of our kids qualifies for it since our kids are at the top of their age groups this year)

Cost—The cost for the post-season is $75 per athlete and includes a black Sun City racing singlet.  If you have one of these from previous seasons you may take off $10.  We are not sure how many coaches we will have for the post-season.  We will for sure have distance coaches and be able to coach sprints one day a week. After this, it will depend on turnout, volunteers, and participation.

Communication

For new families who have not been part of Sun City in the past, we are a very Facebook heavy group of coaches and parents.  The best place to post your questions is on Facebook so everyone can see your questions and our answers.  You can always IM (instant message) me (Erik) or even call or text my cell (941-5191).  Looking forward to a great 2017 track season.  We will start posting every week or so going forward getting ready for the season.

Coaches Erik, Casey, and Aleah

PS In the coming months we are excited to announce a volunteer throws coach who has multiple state titles and competed for a major division 1 school back in the day . . . stay tuned!

Can’t wait to see what it is going to be like in 2017!

Welcome to the Extended Season

Welcome to the extended season, Sun City Harriers! This post is meant for the “newbies” who have never gone to Junior Olympics Regionals before. I’m a “why” person so please read to the end but I will do my best to explain the “why” behind what we are doing.

Up to this point in our training, we have been working on building a “base” for our Harriers. This is essentially a base level of fitness on which to build the next phase of our training. Over the next four weeks, we will add more anaerobic training (higher intensity training) while continuing to work on general fitness. In the final 2 weeks before Regionals, we will shorten the training and focus on building speed.

Our goal for the extended season is first and foremost for the Harriers to have fun. If we miss this goal, it doesn’t matter how fast we run. Next to having fun, we would like the Harriers to learn the discipline of training and racing well.

The regular season provides an opportunity for all athletes to try out the sport of cross country. The extended season is likewise the perfect setting for young aspiring athletes to learn how to seriously compete. So here is our post-season schedule:

1. October 29th – Rain City Invitational at Seattle’s Woodland Park. This meet was wasn’t originally on our schedule but we decided to add it to give our Harriers another opportunity to race the Junior Olympic distance (2k, 3k, and 4k). Woodland Park is a very hilly course and there will be a number of teams from Western Washington there.
2. September 12th – Inland Northwest Association Finals at Spokane’s Mead High School. This mostly flat course is the beginning of the Junior Olympic series. All meets from this date forward are required because they are qualifying meets. The top 35 in this race qualify for Regionals the next weekend in Portland. Honestly, most races at Association have fewer than 35 runners (except for perhaps the 12 & under age group which sometimes has up to 40 runners.) Our goal is field several full teams at the association meet. (A full team requires 5 scoring runners.) If parents are unable to travel but kids still want to compete, we may be able to help transport athletes to Spokane. The meet doesn’t start until noon this Saturday so we’ll be leaving Yakima early and coming back the same day after the races.
3. November 19th – Regionals meet in Portland. This is the championship meet for the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The top 30 individuals and 5 teams in each race qualify for nationals in Hoover, Alabama (suburb of Birmingham). This cross-country meet will be the fastest meet for youth this year, which is why we like to bring our Harriers to the meet. By running against the fastest runners, you understand what it takes to get to this level and can build up to it the next year. Typically this race will have about 40 runners in the 8 & under age group to about 110 runners in the 12 & under age group. If travel to Portland is too pricy, talk to coaches Aleah or myself. Scholarships are available to help families travel to meets like this.
4. December 9th – Junior Olymjo-picture-for-extended-season-2016pic Nationals. We have a few athletes gearing toward this meet. I also believe our 8 & under, 10 & under, and 12 & under boys as well as 10 & under girls team have a chance to qualify IF we could get a full team of five athletes competing all the way to Regionals. A team must have a minimum of five athletes and can have a maximum of eight. Both Coach Casey and myself have already bought tickets to Alabama and will be making the trip whether we have one or twenty athletes qualify.

In cross country it is difficult to predict how your child will place in a particular meet based on previous times. The difficulty of a particular course, race day conditions, running surface and footing dramatically effect a runner’s finishing time. Coach Casey has compiled a list of times from previous national and regional meets to give you a rough idea of where your child might place at both the Association and Regional meets. Please just understand there is a definite margin of error to it. ALSO and more importantly, we all plan on getting faster over the coming weeks as our form and fitness improve. Use your own judgement whether to share it with your child (everyone is different).

In conclusion, it is not too late to register if you or your Harrier (or even a Wenas Valley runner) would like four or five more weeks of running (eight for nationals). It has been a pleasure watching parents and athletes build relationships over the season. I think back to my years running on a youth club team. I am still friends with some of those guys.

See everyone at practice Monday at 5pm.

Please feel free to call if you have questions as we understand by the time you get to this point in the season there are more to things than what kind of popsicles are you going to have? 941-5191

First Practice and Parent Meeting Handout

Great seeing everyone for the first practice of the season!  Here is the handout from the parent meeting if you missed it:

SUN CITY HARRIERS 2016—Parent Meeting

Welcome to the 2016 Sun City Harriers Cross-Country Team.  What is on this handout is all information that is also on our website www.suncityharriers.com. In terms of communication, we are most active on FaceBook (Sun City Harriers), second we post to our website, and third you may always grab a coach before/after practice or call Erik at 509-941-5191 or Aleah at 509-833-5952.  Have a great season!

Meet Schedule

September 24th (Sun City Home Meet at Franklin Park, I accidentally put the 23rd on the brochure). Meet is on Saturday.

October 1st (Sunfair Invitational at Franklin Park)

October 8th (Travel meet to Cascade Striders in Bellevue at Wilburton Park, 12400 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005), there is also a two local road-race that weekend (Saturday at Sarge Hubbard Park & Sunday in East Valley if you do not want to travel to Bellevue for the meet).

October 15th (Apple Ridge Invite), I had the date wrong on the brochure. I had the 22nd listed and it is the 15th. This is also the last day of the regular season.

Post-Season Schedule

November 12th (Once again I got the dates messed up, I accidentally put Sunday on the brochure), this meet will be in Spokane at Mead High School.  Usually all participants qualify from this meet to Regionals.

November 19th – Region 13 Championship Meet in Portland Oregon

December 10th – National Championship Meet in Hoover, Alabama.  Must place in top 30 at regional meet in Portland to qualify.

Practice Times

Monday: 5:15-6:30 at Franklin Park (2101 Tieton Dr, Yakima, WA 98902; meet by the Rotary Pavilion)

Wednesday: 5:15-6:30 at Kissel Park (3000 W Mead Ave, Yakima, WA 98902; meet by the big toy)

Friday: 5:15-6:30 at Franklin Park (Full-Season only athletes)

* Warmup starts for group 1 and full season members at 5:15, the other half is at 5:30. Check out the page on groups for full explanation.

* Friday practice this year replaces last year’s Saturday practice and is geared for kids training for the post-season.

If your child is five and under, they can run in group 3 but a parent/guardian must run with them and oversee them at all practices. These parents love doing this by the way!

Regular Season, Full Season, and Extended Season: What’s the difference?

Regular Season: Sept. 12- Oct. 12th: 5:30pm – 6:30pm on Mondays & Wednesdays only; $40, t-shirt, all local meets, and popsicles!

Extended Season: Sept. 12-November 20th: 5:15pm – 6:30pm; Monday, Wednesday, & Fridays; $70, t-shirt, all meets (local, statewide, and post-season), and popscicles!

Post-Season: $40, Oct. 16th-November 20th, same time as other practices (remember daylight savings). Three practices a week, shirt, and all post-season meets. We say the season ends on November 20th. There will be a handful of athletes who decide to go to nationals in Alabama but this is the exception, not the expectation. The last meet for the post-season is November 20th for everyone.

Those running in the post-season must have a valid USATF card which are good from last track season or cross-country season for previous athletes. For new athletes, they run about $30.

If you are interested in being a coach, contact coach Erik. We need ten coaches for the ideal coach/athlete ratio.

$10 discount for each additional child (i.e. first child is $40, 2nd is $30, 3rd is $30, etc.

Training Groups

How do practices work and what group does my child fit in?

We have always had different groups of Harriers at practice.  This year, we have three distinct groups:

Group 3–Coach Aleah and Tracy’s group strive to learn the basics of running XC, build fitness, have fun, and play a few games. These kids wouldn’t mind running in a meet but only if there is a special prize like a ribbon or ice cream afterwards. Most kids range in age from 4-9. If your child is five or under, parent must practice with the child. (Only practices Monday & Wednesday)

Group 2–Coach Erik helps these harriers start to think about being serious about running but still never forgets about the game and popsicle at the end of practice. Age range for this group is 6-12.

Group 1–Former University of Oregon XC Duck, Coach Casey helps these harriers develop speed and endurance to run fast and compete well. This group is designed for runners interested in competing in USATF local and regional meets and maybe even the national meet. This group meets the full-season and practices Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

*Kids can always change groups at anytime, first practice we usually split kids up via age and then move them around based on how they are doing.  We try to push them but not discourage them in terms of groups that they are running in.

Information on the different groups at practices

  • Regular Season: Sept. 12- Oct. 12th: 5:30pm – 6:30pm on Mondays & Wednesdays only; $40, t-shirt, all local meets, and popsicles!Extended Season: Sept. 12-November 20: 5:15pm – 6:30pm; Monday, Wednesday, & Fridays; $70, t-shirt, all meets (local, statewide, and post-season), and popscicles!
  • Post-Season: $40, Oct. 24th-November 20th, same time as other practices (remember daylight savings). Three practices a week, shirt, and all post-season meets.We say the season ends on November 20th. There will be a handful of athletes who decide to go to nationals in Alabama but this is the exception, not the expectation. The last meet for the post-season is November 20th for everyone.
  • Those running in the post-season must have a valid USATF card which are good from last track season or cross-country season for previous athletes. For new athletes, they run about $30.
  • If you are interested in being a coach, contact coach Erik. We need ten coaches for the ideal coach/athlete ratio.
  • Download registration form off suncityharriers.com
  • $10 discount for each additional child (i.e. first child is $40, 2nd is $30, 3rd is $30, etc. if you get it post-marked by September 5th, take another $5 off each child).
  • $5 discount per child if post-parked by September 5th plus your child gets their shirt sooner!

Welcome to fall Harriers

The leaves are beginning to change, which in our family means cross country is just around the corner. This is the first week the registrations have begun coming in the mail.  I have had a lot of phone calls and text messages about costs and registration so I will go over that again.

We have both a regular season and a post-season in cross-country.  Anyone can do one or both.  If you register BEFORE September 8th, there is $5 discount on the five-week regular season.  So if you think ahead and get this to us, it will be $30.  If you wait until September 9th, the price rises to $35 for the regular season.  We order our jerseys in bulk and save quite a bit of money which is why we can offer this discount.  This years jerseys will be fitted tank tops just like track season.

If you choose the full season, it will extend to the post-season and you get a $10 discount if you register by September 8th so it is $50 instead of $60. This also includes the jerseys as well as the registration fees for USATF meets.  When we run in the post-season, our team has to pay to register each athlete. Likewise, we also have a post-season only route which we have had several people enquire about because we have several people running with their local middle school team and once that season is over they will be joining us to run in the Junior Olympics.

Here are the forms we will need to have before your child can practice: Waiver-and-release-form-2015 & Registration Form 2015 Cross Country Sun City Harriers .  The brochure for the season is: 2015 Cross Country Brochure .

We still need one more volunteer coaches to help with groups two.  We have head coaches in these groups but if you have the time, we would love to have someone commit to this.  If you can’t commit to two days a week, perhaps you do one day a week and team-commit with another parent.

Last week one of the highlights was when a parent who knows very little about running volunteered to help.  This is perfect!  Remember, youth don’t expect coaches to be perfect, they want us to be available for encouragement and guidance. 

We will be mailing out to everyone on last year’s list some brochures. If you already registered, please give these out to a “future” Harrier you think might be a good fit with our team.

T-minus 1.5 weeks until our first practice at Franklin park September 15th at 5pm.

Keep on running!

Coach Erik

PS I’ve had a lot of phone calls.  If you have questions, feel free to call or text at 941-5191 and I’ll try and get back to you.  You can also drop by the brochures off at our house in our mailbox if you are by Franklin Park and want to save a stamp.  Last, if you are chronic procrastinator and haven’t mailed in your registration yet, please send me a message on Facebook so I can add your child to the t-shirt order we are placing on Wednesday.

Cross country season starts in less than two weeks Tuesday September 15th at 5pm at Franklin Park.

Cross country season starts in less than two weeks Tuesday September 15th at 5pm at Franklin Park.