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 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 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 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.


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

Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships in Pasco November 14th

Here is the official information on our first post-season meet for those competing this fall.  I will be talking more about this in the coming weeks but wanted to post this for now.  If you are going to print it, click on the PDF picture as it is a better quality.  Aleah and I do all registrations.  The cost is covered by Sun City Harriers for anyone that has signed up for the post-season.  For those that have done the regular season and have then changed their mind and want to do the postseason, they will have the ability to add on but I will talk about that the last week of the cross-country season.

2015 Association Information-1

Association Brochure November 14th in Pasco

Association Brochure November 14th in Pasco

One month until cross country–Welcome Coach Sawyer who will coach our Group 1 kids this fall

Coach Sawyer will be coaching Group 1 this fall.

Coach Sawyer will be coaching Group 1 this fall.

Sun City is excited to announce that Tracy Sawyer is going to be our Group 1 coach this fall. Our group 1 kids are the kids who have zero or little running experience and are just getting their first taste of cross-country or still getting acclimated to the sport. Her last name may be familiar because her husband Andy was our hurdles coach this spring during track season and did an amazing job.

Our first group in cross-country is for kids just out to have fun, learn a little bit about running, and play a few games at the end of practice. No one ever has to run a race but we would encourage these “harriers” to race as well, especially with the reward of a popsicle and ribbon at the end of a meet.

Group 1, since it is our beginners group only practices during our regular season from September 15th to October 17th.  Any child who would like to continue training after the 17th we will move to Group 2 for the 2nd half of the season if he/she would like to continue on running.

Coach Sawyer, like the rest of the coaches, has kids on the team and her entire family runs.

Currently we have coaches for each of our groups but we could use some extra help in both group one and two to help Coach Tracy and Coach Aleah out. Whether or not you have any running experience we would love to have you help. Message me on Facebook if this is something you are interested in.

Remember, there is a discount for signing up for Sun City by September 8th.

Coach Erik

Entries for Junior Olympic Finals in Spokane

Here is who is running for Sun City in this Saturday’s meet at Central Valley High School in Spokane (821 S. Sullivan, 99037), here is the official link, which will start promptly with the hurdles at 10am, long jump for Allison starts at 9am:

  1. Kate Mickelson (8U F)                            200m, 400m
  2. Courtney Jacobs (8U F)                         100m, long jump
  3. Kian Compton (8U M)                            200m, 400m, long jump
  4. Jackson Powell (8U M)                          100m, 200m
  5. Mary Mickelson (9-10 F)                       200m, 400m
  6. Mya Johnson (9-10 F)                             100m, 200m, long jump
  7. Brooklyn Sylve (9-10 F)                          100m, 200m, long jump
  8. Landon Drury (9-10 M)                          100m, 200m, shot put
  9. Allison Jacobs (11-12 F)                          100m, long jump
  10. Julia Johnson (11-12 F)                           80m hurdles, 100m
  11. Ashlynn Sylve (11-12 F)                         100m, 200m, 400m
  12. Kara Mickelson (11-12 F)                       200m, 400m
  13. Henry Robbins (11-12 M)                      80m hurdles, 800m, 1500m
  14. Brayden Packard (13-14 M)                 100m hurdles, 1500m
  15. Haiden Drury (13-14 M)                         800m, 1500m
  16. Jadinn Sylve (13-14 M)                           Shot put

A few notes about the meet, we didn’t have enough for any relay teams unfortunately.  It is a rolling start just like our home meet.  What this means is you need to listen to the starter, once an event is over the next event starts. DO NOT LEAVE THE TRACK for long extended periods of time unless you know there are a lot of events in-between.  If you do leave and have another event, make sure you have a buddy who is keeping you in the loop via sms on how fast the meet is progressing.

I have heard there is no shade at the track, I will be going down to Costco tomorrow to see if I can buy a sun shade for the team but even then this will only be for the athletes and not the parents.

Some families are going over the night before.  The Mickelsons are heading over that morning to save a little money.  We are leaving Yakima at 5am if that gives you a general idea of time but we don’t have any kids in the hurdles or relays and our daughters are in the 400 meters which is the third event.  MapQuest says it should be a 3 hr, 32 minute drive from Yakima but we like our Starbucks and there will be a stop or two in there.

If you have any questions about the meet give me a call or text at 941-5191.

Cheers, Coach Erik

Field Event Schedule for Junior Olympic Finals Meet in Spokane 2015

Field Event Schedule for Junior Olympic Finals Meet in Spokane 2015

June 20th Schedule for Junior Olympic Finals in Spokane

June 20th Schedule for Junior Olympic Finals in Spokane

T-Minus 30-Hours Until the First Track Practice in Sun City History

It’s time!

The first track practice in Sun City Track and Field history starts tomorrow at Franklin Middle School at 6pm on the track.

If you haven’t signed up yet, please fill out the 2015 Sun City Track and Field Club–Info Packet and bring it to practice with the Waiver-and-release-form-2015.  We are not allowed to have anyone practice unless they have a signed waiver from his/her parents/guardian per USATF rules.  If by some chance you forget the packet, we will have a few more on hand.

For those of you who are high compliance individuals and don’t like change I wanted to blog about what we will be doing on the first day of practice. If you are not a high compliance individual, just show up at least by 6pm and watch what everyone else is doing, if you show up late, just jump on in practice.  If not, read on:

  1. Sun City athletes always start on time. You will hear a whistle promptly at 6pm and the whole team will start by jogging around the track once.
  2. After our warm-up lap we will be doing drills. Drills are imperative in any athlete’s development. This is how we teach muscle-memory on how to run with proper form which lessens the chance for future injury and makes one significantly faster and more efficient. Here is a YouTube clip of a few of the drills we will be doing.
  3. After drills we will split into two groups: sprinters and distance runners.
    1. Coach Erik (me) will take the sprinters. Sprinters are those kids who will focus on any event 400 meters and under. One lap is 400 meters for those who are novices. If you have no idea what group to join, start with the sprinters.
    2. Coach Waddle will take the distance runners. Distance in track is NOT cross-country. Our distance workout tomorrow will consist of 8X400 meter repeats or until we hit 6:55pm with a 2 minute rest in-between each interval. Distances races are 800 meters, 1500 meters and 3000 meters.
  4. At 6:55pm we finish with some quick striders to finish up, then it is team cheer time and a special frozen prize.
Track practice will be at Franklin Middle School track next to Franklin Park at the base of the terraces.

Track practice will be at Franklin Middle School track next to Franklin Park at the base of the terraces.

We will start both the hurdle groups and hopefully high jump on Wednesday’s practice at West Valley High School. Also, know that a child can change groups at any practice. What they do the first day does not mean they will be in that group the rest of the year. My 11-year-old daughter Kara is planning on doing sprints on Mondays, hurdles on Wednesdays, and running distance on Saturday morning (the optional distance workout which will be at Cowiche Canyon but more on that Wednesday).

Last, if you have an athlete who is still sitting on the fence wondering if track and field is right for them, have them show up for one practice (must have the parent at least sign the waiver) and they can decide by Wednesday before turning in their money and full-registration.

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.  My wife Aleah will be walking around with the registration papers getting to know the parents.

Go Sun City!

Coaches Erik and Aleah

Call or text me at 941-5191 if you have any questions