How much running is too much for the Harriers?

This last weekend we went hiking and my youngest daughter Kate wore her 2013 Junior Olympic Association t-shirt.  The shirt had on the back of it all of the names from our cross-country team that ran in the Junior Olympics that year.  We had six athletes and of those six, 50% were my children.  We did have seventy kids turn out for cross-country that season but of that, only six went onto run in the Junior Olympics and in that meet only one went onto qualify for Regionals in Oregon.  To put things in perspective, last year we sent fifteen kids to nationals in Alabama.

Not only did we only send six athletes to the first Junior Olympic meet, our kids were demolished from the kids from Spokane.  This was 100% my fault as coach because I had spent all season preparing our kids to run the mile which is the distance for all the local cross-country meets in Yakima.  When they get to the Junior Olympics, the distance goes from 2k up to 4k so our kids did not have the endurance or experience to compete at this level.

Driving home from Spokane that fall in 2013, Aleah and I were flabbergasted at how two state-champion high school runners could have kids that did so poor in a cross-country meet like this.  What we failed to realize at that time was what allowed both of us to be state champions in high school was the years of hard work and discipline that was started back in middle school. Our kids did exactly as one would expect after eight weeks of training in a sport that they had never competed before in their lives.

We are very excited to be entering our fifth cross-country season September 11th. The great news for you is your coaches have four years of experience to look back upon in coaching and training of what has worked and what has not worked training kids ages 5-14 in cross-country. I want to write on one lesson we learned last year that we will be applying this year of cross-country: no two-workouts in one day!

In 2013, our kids did not practice enough.  Last year in 2016 we had multiple kids come down with injuries because of over-training. The overtraining did not happen at cross-country practice that Casey, Aleah and myself run, but it happened outside of practice.  I have two primary examples:

  1. Mileage Club—My wife and I are huge fans of the local mileage clubs in elementary and middle school in Yakima.  The downside though is kids 14&under are not prepared to run 2-4 miles at lunch and then five hours later come to cross-country practice and do a hard workout.  If he/she does this, eventually after a few weeks their bodies start to break down. So what are you to do if your child runs and loves mileage club?  You have two options. The first option is on days when we have cross-country practice is to have your child “walk” during mileage club.  Walking is always a great cross-training and is very low impact so if they walk during mileage club, they should have not problem doing the workout that afternoon.  The second option for the child that insists on running in mileage club AND practicing with Sun City in the evening is to practice in the Orange group.  The Orange group coached by Coach Aleah is for beginning runners.  It has a lot of rest and because these practices seldom go over two miles in a practice it would be okay for your young runner to double-up in this way.
  2. Middle School Runners—The second area that we have seen injuries and burnout is with our middle-school runners. This is the first year, we have changed our registration to just have a “Middle-School” option on sign up. We are assuming athletes like my two oldest daughters will run the entire middle-school season with their schools and then transition to Sun City once their season is over mid-October.  My 14-year-old is insisting on still coming to practices with Sun City because she feels her school won’t run her far and fast enough (which she is probably right).  However, when one doubles up on workouts the young harrier enters the “danger-zone” of injury. What we are doing with Kara this year is she will run Mondays with Sun City since her middle-school doesn’t practice this day.  Also on Wednesdays and Fridays when she does practice with her middle school, we have made it really clear she can only do drills, the game, and help coach the Orange group.

If your young athlete falls into one of these two groups and you have questions, please talk to coaches Casey, Aleah or myself to make sure your young harrier’s health is good.

Looking forward to the first practice of the year on September 11th.  Enjoy your summer!

Coach Erik

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

Boys Results Sun City Cross Country Meet 2016


Overall Results Boys
Place Name Time Age Group Team
1 Brayden Packard 05:08.0 14 & U Sun City
2 Sam Anderson 06:32.2 14 & U Wenas
3 Nathan Johnson 06:32.9 12 & U Sun City
4 Kian Compton 06:36.3 8 & U Sun City
5 Nathan Shipley 06:38.4 10 & U Sun City
6 Daniel Teerink 06:46.6 12 & U Sun City
7 Colton Worley 06:51.4 8 & U Sun City
8 Nathan Stephenson 06:53.9 12 & U Sun City
9 Cameron Teerink 06:58.7 12 & U Sun City
10 Zachary Wagner 07:09.5 10 & U Sun City
11 Adam Rutger 07:11.5 8 & U Sun City
12 Caleb Burton 07:12.4 12 & U Sun City
13 Jacen Reyes 07:15.1 8 & U Sun City
14 Spencer Johnson 07:16.3 10 & U Sun City
15 Eric Swedin 07:27.4 12 & U Sun City
16 Shepherd Lally 07:30.0 8 & U Sun City
17 Riley Delaney 07:41.4 12 & U Sun City
18 Coen Johnson 07:42.7 8 & U Sun City
19 Riese Delaney 07:43.2 10 & U Sun City
20 Paul Lally 07:47.8 10 & U Sun City
21 Brent Johnson 08:02.7 8 & U Sun City
22 Cedar Thorpe 08:03.9 10 & U Sun City
23 Hudson Gaskell 08:08.6 8 & U Sun City
24 David Cardon 08:09.9 8 & U Sun City
25 Ryan Thompson 08:21.2 8 & U Wenas
26 Lewis Slowe 08:36.7 8 & U Sun City
27 Temple Asher 08:37.7 8 & U Sun City
28 Mack Stephenson 08:42.4 8 & U Sun City
29 Noah Collins 08:46.1 8 & U Sun City
30 Alex Schmidt 08:46.9 8 & U Sun City
31 Ryan Shipley 08:52.1 8 & U Sun City
32 Jared Boschker 08:54.8 10 & U Sun City
33 Henry Johnson 08:55.9 8 & U Sun City
34 Noah Gonzalez 08:56.4 8 & U Sun City
35 Casey Smith-Apperson 08:58.6 8 & U Sun City
36 Joseph Boschker 08:59.3 8 & U Sun City
37 Owen Gamache 09:02.3 6 & U Sun City
38 Murphy Jackson 09:06.6 12 & U Sun City
39 Anthony Ehlis 09:10.7 6 & U Sun City
40 Nathan Lund 09:23.9 6 & U Sun City
41 Sean Mefford 09:24.6 10 & U Sun City
42 Theo Cochran 09:31.2 8 & U Sun City
43 Tristan Temple 09:36.7 10 & U Sun City
44 Wolfgang Nelson 09:41.0 6 & U Sun City
45 Ethan Worley 10:05.8 6 & U Sun City
46 Samuel Gonzalez 10:10.7 10 & U Sun City
47 Jonah Treverspowers 10:11.2 8 & U Wenas
48 Jaxon Beck 10:28.1 10 & U Sun City
49 Zachery Smith 10:30.1 6 & U Sun City
50 Jayse Gasca 11:08.1 10 & U Sun City
51 Matthew Gonzalez 11:22.0 6 & U Sun City
52 Spencer Lybbert 11:25.3 10 & U Sun City
53 Liam Braid 11:32.3 8 & U Sun City
54 Canon Day 11:45.9 6 & U Sun City
55 Tanner Clark 12:05.2 12 & U Wenas
56 Noah Harveaux 12:07.7 14 & U Sun City
57 Joseph King 12:14.1 8 & U Sun City
58 Veselin Hrle 12:19.5 6 & U Sun City
59 Romeo Shriner 12:58.9 6 & U Sun City
60 Benjamin Boschker 13:32.1 6 & U Sun City
61 Korban Gross 15:26.3 6 & U Sun City

*There is a mistake on the spreadsheet listing several Wenas runners as Sun City. It was corrected in the age group results.

Age Group 6 & U Place Overall Place Name Time Team
6 & U 1 37 Owen Gamache 09:02.3 Wenas
6 & U 2 39 Anthony Ehlis 09:10.7 Wenas
6 & U 3 40 Nathan Lund 09:23.9 Wenas
6 & U 4 44 Wolfgang Nelson 09:41.0 Sun City
6 & U 5 45 Ethan Worley 10:05.8 Sun City
6 & U 6 49 Zachery Smith 10:30.1 Sun City
6 & U 7 51 Matthew Gonzalez 11:22.0 Sun City
6 & U 8 54 Canon Day 11:45.9 Sun City
6 & U 9 58 Veselin Hrle 12:19.5 Sun City
6 & U 10 59 Romeo Shriner 12:58.9 Sun City
6 & U 11 60 Benjamin Boschker 13:32.1 Wenas
6 & U 12 61 Korban Gross 15:26.3 Sun City
Scores: Sun City 15 points; Wenas no score
8 & U 1 4 Kian Compton 06:36.3 Sun City
8 & U 2 7 Colton Worley 06:51.4 Sun City
8 & U 3 11 Adam Rutger 07:11.5 Sun City
8 & U 4 16 Shepherd Lally 07:30.0 Sun City
8 & U 5 18 Coen Johnson 07:42.7 Sun City
8 & U 6 21 Brent Johnson 08:02.7 Sun City
8 & U 7 23 Hudson Gaskell 08:08.6 Wenas
8 & U 8 24 David Cardon 08:09.9 Wenas
8 & U 9 25 Ryan Thompson 08:21.2 Wenas
8 & U 10 26 Lewis Slowe 08:36.7 Sun City
8 & U 11 27 Temple Asher 08:37.7 Sun City
8 & U 12 28 Mack Stephenson 08:42.4 Sun City
8 & U 13 29 Noah Collins 08:46.1 Sun City
8 & U 14 30 Alex Schmidt 08:46.9 Sun City
8 & U 12 (10) 31 Ryan Shipley 08:52.1 Wenas
8 & U 13 33 Henry Johnson 08:55.9 Sun City
8 & U 14 34 Noah Gonzalez 08:56.4 Sun City
8 & U 15 35 Casey Smith-Apperson 08:58.6 Sun City
8 & U 16 (11) 36 Joseph Boschker 08:59.3 Wenas
8 & U 17 42 Theo Cochran 09:31.2 Sun City
8 & U 18 (12) 47 Jonah Treverspowers 10:11.2 Wenas
8 & U 19 53 Liam Braid 11:32.3 Sun City
8 & U 20 57 Joseph King 12:14.1 Sun City
Scores: Sun City 15; Wenas 49
10 & U 1 5 Nathan Shipley 06:38.4 Sun City
10 & U 2 10 Zachary Wagner 07:09.5 Sun City
10 & U 3 14 Spencer Johnson 07:16.3 Sun City
10 & U 4 19 Riese Delaney 07:43.2 Sun City
10 & U 5 20 Paul Lally 07:47.8 Sun City
10 & U 6 22 Cedar Thorpe 08:03.9 Wenas
10 & U 7 32 Jared Boschker 08:54.8 Wenas
10 & U 8 41 Sean Mefford 09:24.6 Sun City
10 & U 9 43 Tristan Temple 09:36.7 Sun City
10 & U 10 46 Samuel Gonzalez 10:10.7 Sun City
10 & U 11 48 Jaxon Beck 10:28.1 Sun City
10 & U 12 50 Jayse Gasca 11:08.1 Sun City
10 & U 13 52 Spencer Lybbert 11:25.3 Sun City
Scores: Sun City 15
12 & U 1 3 Nathan Johnson 06:32.9 Sun City
12 & U 2 6 Daniel Teerink 06:46.6 Sun City
12 & U 3 8 Nathan Stephenson 06:53.9 Sun City
12 & U 4 9 Cameron Teerink 06:58.7 Sun City
12 & U 5 12 Caleb Burton 07:12.4 Sun City
12 & U 6 15 Eric Swedin 07:27.4 Wenas
12 & U 7 17 Riley Delaney 07:41.4 Sun City
12 & U 8 38 Murphy Jackson 09:06.6 Sun City
12 & U 9 55 Tanner Clark 12:05.2 Wenas
Scores: Sun City 15
14 & U 1 1 Brayden Packard 05:08.0 Sun City
14 & U 2 2 Sam Anderson 06:32.2 Wenas
14 & U 3 56 Noah Harveaux 12:07.7 Sun City
No team scored

2015 Results

2014 Results

2013 Sunfair Results

Girl’s Results Sun City Cross Country Meet 2016

Age Group Place Overall Place Name Time Team
6 & U 1 54 Shealyn Compton 09:54.4 Sun City
6 & U 2 67 Brynn Compton 11:47.6 Sun City
6 & U 3 71 Sarah Slowe 14:31.0 Sun City
6 & U 4 72 Gioynna O’Brine 16:05.7 Wenas
Score: Neither team scored
8 & U 1 9 Joy Lally 07:13.5 Sun City
8 & U 2 26 Zophie Hopkins 08:09.6 Sun City
8 & U 3 34 June Sawyer 08:26.2 Sun City
8 & U 4 35 Marlee Stormo 08:26.6 Sun City
8 & U 5 44 Naomi Braid 09:00.0 Sun City
8 & U 6 48 Allison Teerink 09:11.4 Sun City
8 & U 7 49 Brenna Gamache 09:14.6 Wenas
8 & U 8 50 Holly Orth 09:19.5 Sun City
8 & U 9 55 Cianna Gibb 09:59.8 Wenas
8 & U 10 56 Kennedy Day 10:01.1 Sun City
8 & U 11 60 Anya O’Brine 11:06.7 Wenas
8 & U 12 63 Madelynn Smith 11:23.9 Wenas
8 & U 13 64 Mya Nelson 11:24.8 Wenas
8 & U 14 66 Payton Erickson 11:45.6 Wenas
8 & U 15 70 Miriam Carrol 13:34.0 Wenas
8 & U 16 73 Lucie Lybbert 16:08.8 Sun City
Scores: Sun City 15; Wenas 47
10 & U 1 5 Olive Clark 06:58.7 Sun City
10 & U 2 6 Yobi Ruark 07:00.5 Wenas
10 & U 3 12 Natasha Kalombo 07:39.4 Sun City
10 & U 4 14 Isabella Escamilla 07:40.7 Wenas
10 & U 5 16 Kate Mickelson 07:49.3 Sun City
10 & U 6 17 Kamiya Newkirk 07:49.8 Sun City
10 & U 7 18 Charlotte Smith 07:52.0 Wenas
10 & U 8 20 Erica Nass 07:59.7 Wenas
10 & U 9 22 Jocelyn McCoy 08:00.8 Sun City
10 & U 10 27 Abigail Cardon 08:11.1 Wenas
10 & U 11 29 Marli Brennan 08:14.3 Sun City
10 & U 12 30 Rosen Baird 08:16.6 Sun City
10 & U 13 31 Lucy Sawyer 08:17.1 Sun City
10 & U 14 32 Sophia Ehlis 08:22.8 Wenas
10 & U 15 38 Nora Emmans 08:41.8 Wenas
10 & U 16 40 Cadence Day 08:47.2 Sun City
10 & U 17 42 Eliza Cardon 08:49.5 Wenas
10 & U 18 45 Siena Bellamy 09:00.3 Wenas
10 & U 19 47 Haley Burton 09:08.5 Sun City
10 & U 20 51 Claire Branch 09:19.9 Sun City
10 & U 21 52 Alexia Roque 09:34.3 Sun City
10 & U 22 53 Hailey Newkirk 09:43.8 Sun City
10 & U 23 62 Elizabeth Carroll 11:23.6 Wenas
10 & U 24 68 Karis O’Brine 11:55.4 Wenas
Scores: Sun City 24; Wenas 31
12 & U 1 1 Ciera Reyes 06:15.8 Sun City
12 & U 2 2 Hannah Hilton 06:30.9 Sun City
12 & U 3 3 Avery Hartman 06:36.2 Wenas
12 & U 4 7 Kieryann Mattson 07:01.9 Wenas
12 & U 5 10 Jaisha Gibb 07:26.0 Wenas
12 & U 6 13 Jozi Eller 07:39.7 Wenas
12 & U 7 15 Izzy Ehlis 07:48.6 Wenas
12 & U 8 19 Chloe Covell 07:56.3 Wenas
12 & U 9 21 Kylee Boschker 08:00.1 Wenas
12 & U 10 28 Lauren Thomas 08:12.8 Wenas
12 & U 11 33 Chaeli Williams 08:25.7 Wenas
12 & U 12 36 Madelyn Cardon 08:31.1 Wenas
12 & U 13 37 Claire Emmans 08:32.6 Wenas
12 & U 14 (10) 39 Mary Mickelson 08:44.8 Sun City
12 & U 15 (11) 41 Chloe Anderson 08:47.3 Wenas
12 & U 16 (12) 43 Savannah Smith 08:59.1 Wenas
12 & U 17 46 Lizzie Beck 09:03.1 Sun City
12 & U 18 57 Cassidy Smith-Apperson 10:10.2 Sun City
12 & U 19 58 Lauren Harveaux 10:44.7 Sun City
12 & U 20 59 Audrey Harveaux 10:46.1 Sun City
12 & U 21 61 Isabella Lybbert 11:21.7 Sun City
12 & U 22 65 Brenna Baker 11:43.9 Sun City
12 & U 23 69 Emily Boschker 12:10.6 Wenas
Scores: Wenas 25; Sun City 36
14 & U 1 4 Kara Mickelson 06:53.6 Sun City
14 & U 2 8 Courtney Maison 07:08.2 Sun City
14 & U 3 11 Anna Emmans 07:36.2 Wenas
14 & U 4 23 Taylor Poor 08:02.4 Sun City
14 & U 5 24 Taylor Dewey 08:06.7 Sun City
14 & U 6 25 Julia Johnson 08:08.4 Sun City
Scores: Sun City 15; Wenas no score

Last Year’s Results (2015)

2014 Race Results

2013 Sunfair Results

Yakima announced as host city for Inland Northwest Cross Country Junior Olympic Association Finals in 2017 & 2018

We have some very exciting news to share. Two months ago, Sun City put in a bid to host the 2017 and 2018 Junior Olympic Cross Country Meets. It was announced last night at the Inland Northwest meeting that the meets will be in Yakima for the next two years!

What does this mean? Logistically, Sun City athletes don’t have to drive to Spokane or Tri-Cities for the next two Association meets in 2017 and 2018. It also means that the Region 13 Regional Meet in 2018 will be at our home course and there will be 500+ runners from Washington, Oregon and Idaho will descend on Yakima and Franklin Park as they try to qualify for Junior Olympic Nationals. It will be a great time to showcase our city and course to the rest of the region the next two years.

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 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.

So what is the first practice going to look like next week?

One week from today we will have just finished the first cross-country practice of the 2016 season at Franklin Park. What is practice going to look like?

Those who have ever run track or cross-country with Sun City before know we are prone to start on time. Literally.  When the iPhone hits 5:30, the whistle blows and the kids are off on their five-minute warm-up. If you are late, no worries. The kids can run across the park and join the group wherever they are at in their jog.

This year, coach Casey will be doing an earlier warm-up for those that want a longer warm-up and this will start at 5:15pm so you will hear two whistles (one at 5:15 and one at 5:30).  This first whistle is geared toward the kids who want to run a little more or already know they are working toward the Junior Olympic Post-Season.  If you are unsure, don’t worry about this, you can hop in at another practice. Kian, Kate, Kara, etc. this first whistle is for you. 😉

After we finish our five-minute warm-up in the Western side of Franklin Park we move into the stretching and drill portion of our practice at 5:35.  Drills are a key component of the Sun City Harriers. What we do during drills is practice running properly using our arms, knees, etc.  Everyone knows how to run but very few people naturally have beautiful form.  We finish drills with strides and sprints.

At 5:50 we split up into three groups.  Group 1 is for our fastest kids (usually 10-14 years of age) with previous running experience. Group 2 is coached by myself for most kids except for the young ones. Group 3 is coached by coach Aleah and Tracy primarily for kids 8 and under. Kids are allowed at any time to change groups and coaches will frequently suggest kids jump from one group to the next from day to day. Coaches will spend the first two weeks creating groups.

At 6:20, our workout finishes, and at this time we finish all our Monday and Wednesday practices with a game (Sharks and Minnows, Steal the Bacon, Capture the Flag, etc.). For those that want a little more, they can skip the game and Coach Casey closes with some sprints.

At 6:30 we close our workout with a team cheer and Pospcisles.

Parents, please run and walk as much or as little of the warm-up, drills, and workout as you would like.  Some kids like you to be in their groups while others not so much (then us coaches would love to have you join another group!) If you have a child that is five-and-under you do need to accompany them at practice them then entire workout every day.  What else? Bathrooms are on the opposite side of the track so they are a trek from where we are practicing. Make sure your young Harrier brings a water bottle as we will have several water breaks.

It’s going to be a great season. See you next week!

Coach Erik

If you don’t have it yet, here is the link to the registration form: Registration-Form-2016-XC

Updated 2016 Schedule for XC (Minor Changes)

I got a few dates wrong (not by much, just accidentally put a few meets on Fridays and Sundays when they are almost always on Saturdays).  As of today here is the schedule:

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

October 1st (Sunfair Invitational)

October 8th (Travel meet to Cascade Striders in Bellevue at Wilburton Park, 12400 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005), there is also a local road-race that day one may run 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.

The first four regular season meets have been confirmed. The Junior Olympic Meets have not been confirmed but should be:

November 12th (Once again I got the dates messed up, I accidentally put Sunday on the brochure), this meet will be in Spokane or Pasco.

November 19th (This date has not been confirmed but usually falls the Saturday before Thanksgiving), this meet will be in Oregon.

Looking forward to the season!

Sun City is a USATF Club

Sun City is a USATF Club so what does this mean? It means coaches Erik and Casey have gone through a full background check and have also passed several classes on coaching young athletes. Second, it means we are under the authority of USATF and obey by their rules.  We fall under their insurance policy but we get the benefits of competing in their Association (Inland Northwest), Region (Washington, Oregon and Idaho), as well as National meet.