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!

2016 Track Season for Sun City

Greeting Sun City Track Team!

Coach Aleah and I are still on cloud 9 from the successful cross-country season in 2015. With the three Harriers that went on to nationals just a little over a month ago to go with all of the new athletes who are just learning how much fun running is. We are thrilled with the direction our club is headed. Just as excited as we are about our past cross-country season, we are even more excited about track season. So here is what is around the corner!

1. Track training is going to start March 1st. Sun City is partnering with SportFit at the YISA (Yakima Indoor Soccer Association) facility on River Road. This training is going to be every Tuesday night at 7pm and will last about forty minutes. We will be doing drills, lots of core work (abs, back, box jumps) and some sprints. This will be for two months (once a week). These will be led by Gerd Strom who runs the youth soccer clubs in Yakima and has an abundance of training in young kids. We have also known each other for almost a decade (he competed for the University of Washington in soccer when Aleah and I both ran for the Huskies as well). There is a marginal cost of $30/month for the cost of the facility and training. If one wants you can choose to do one month and do not have to do two months. If you choose to do this, make your check out to SportFit and just bring it to the first day of training on March 1st.

2. Track season is going to start the first week of May this year. This will be a month later than last year. Last season dragged on a hair bit in our opinion. This will also make it start after or towards the end of most of the high school and middle school seasons.

3. We are moving the focus of our track club towards middle distances for this season. Our three main coaches (Erik, Aleah, and Chris Waddle) all specialize in distance (400 meters (1/4 mile) up to 3000 meters (a hair less than two miles). We will be doing a lot of focus on the 400 and 800 meters this year for most athletes unless they feel called to the longer distances. Unfortunately with the limited number of coaches and dependent facilities at this time there are not enough resources to focus on all of the track and field events. Last year we ran into problems with the Yakima School District not allowing us to use Eisenhower track, at West Valley they took away our high jump pits halfway through the year, and there were many other obstacles as well. Aleah and I talked long and hard about this but our philosophy is we would rather do middle distances really well, than be mediocre at a lot of other things so that is going to be our philosophy for this season. We will for sure not have any field events for this season. Kids can still choose to do sprints (100 & 200 meters) but at this time we do not have a coach for sprints. If there is a parent who feels “called” to coach sprints, she/he would have to join USATF, get a full background check, and then commit to working with Sun City through track regionals.

4. We will not be having a local track meet this year. Yakima youth track does put on three youth track meets in the summer so there is that option for kids. Our team will be traveling to Seattle for one meet in May and then running the Junior Olympic series (two meets in Spokane in June) and Regionals is in Seattle in early July to end the season.

5. Practice locations have not been formalized yet. The good news is we have figured out which locations are hard to work with (Eisenhower) and which ones are easier to work with. Sun City will be working with the local school districts to formalize our practice schedule locations. We are currently planning on the same schedule as last year though (track on Tuesday & Thursday at 6pm) and then Saturday mornings at Cowiche Canyon at 10am.

We want to be as inclusive as a track club as possible but we also want to allow kids to further their own talents as far as he/she can take them. In summary this is how we see the kids:

1. The “I always want more group”—This is who we were thinking of in regards to the March 1st cross-training sessions. Even though track doesn’t start until May, this will allow those athletes a chance to work out, start getting sharp, be social with their teammates, and start to freshen up. I will also be posting month supplemental training schedules for anyone who wants to work on some base work pre-season.

2. The “prime-time group”—This group shows up when it is time to show up and brings it. Usually our kids who do multiple sports throughout the seasons, does little running until the very first day of track, but when the season starts they are all in.

3. The “just getting my feet wet group”—These kids usually have little or no running experience and some of my favorite to work with because they grow so quickly. If your child has never run track before, have no fear we all started somewhere. We start slowly, believe in lots of encouragement, and have lots of success stories of previous kids.

Looking forward to 2016 and we will be blogging with more details in the weeks and months to come.

Coach Erik
Sun City Track

Feel free to call me at 941-5191 if you have any questions regarding the team.

Do I register my child for the regular or full season?

Today, we had a great question on our Facebook page.  It was, “I have a question about registration fees. The full season fees include all the extra meets. What if we only want to go to the meets during the regular season (ending with Apple Ridge) but would like to continue at the practices after that just for exercise and fun?

Post-season is only going to be geared toward those who are going to be racing in the Junior Olympics which is why we split the season up in two. Previously even if your child did not want to compete anymore we let him/her continue practicing after the regular season was over even if they were not going to race. Unfortunately, we have a limited amount of cross-country coaches. Come the post-season, we will be focusing on race strategy, more intense training, and the dynamics of cross-country.  Aleah and I also experienced a fair amount of burnout the last two seasons. So in order to stay refreshed as coaches, as well as having a competitive post-season team, the post-season team will be reserved for athletes who want to run in the Junior Olympics.  We will also be inviting other teams and middle schoolers to join us for the post-season so we can compete against the larger regions in Spokane and Seattle.

If your child is not going to compete in JO’s, I would just register for the regular season and both races and practices will be over at the Apple Ridge Race. T-Shirts are included in this fee (this was a typo on my part). If your child changes his/her mind and later in the season and wants to do the Junior Olympics, you can then register for the post-season at anytime during the season (the price is just a little bit higher than if you do it at the beginning of the season). Also, of the three groups that practice during the season, group 1 (the just out to have fun group) will stop practicing post Apple Ridge so if someone was in the group and want to continue racing he/she would have to both register for both the post-season and move up to Group 2.

This week and the next few weeks I want to introduce to you some of our coaches who will be coaching this year’s Sun City Harriers.  Aleah is going to be mad at me for posting this but I’m proud of her. Her junior year in high school she won two state titles in both track and cross-country.  She later went on to get a scholarship at the University of Porland before transferring to the University of Washington (where we met on the cross-country team). She also competed for the Junior Olympic Club called the West Valley Ramblers while in grade school which Coach Waddle ran for too (now no longer around).  Aleah will be coaching our 2nd group of harriers this fall.  Our second group is for people who are thinking about being serious but still love the game and popsicle at the end of practices.

Also, we currently need two coaches to coach our Group 1 (Just out to have fun, learn a little bit about running, and play a few games at the end of practice. Kids who wouldn’t mind running in a meet but only if there is a special prize like a ribbon or ice cream afterwards).  Aleah needs an assistant to help her out in Group 2. Last, if you are not willing to coach but want to be active, cross-country is a family sport. We always want parents, grandparents, guardians to come jog, run, and walk with the kids.  Stay tuned for next week and we might have a picture or two of Coach Waddle or Mickelson from “way back” when they used to run against each other several decades ago.   Coach Erik and Chris will be team coaching Group 3 this season.

If you are interested in helping out coaching, please contact me directly on Facebook (Erik) or call me at 941-5191.

Go Harriers!

Coach Erik

Flashback to 1995 and Aleah after she won the state 3200 meter run for Eisenhower.

Flashback to 1995: Aleah Thome (now Mickelson) after she won the state 3200 meter run for Eisenhower.

Sun City’s Postseason and a Preview of What’s Next

Julia qualified for JO Regionals in Portland with a great 80 meter hurdles.

Julia qualified for JO Regionals in Portland with a great 80 meter hurdles.

Welcome to the postseason Sun City Track and Field.

Congratulations on making it to summer!  Everyone should be out of school and into the summer.  Vacations should be planned, and we made it through the main part of track season.  As the head coach, I’m totally biased but think our first season was a huge success.  Several highlights:

  • Kids competed well.
  • They learned new events.
  • They supported their teammates.
  • They were willing to try new events (high jump, hurdles, distance, sprints, shot put, etc.).
Kate was one of the 16 athletes running in the meet.  Here she ran in the 200 meter dash.

Kate was one of the 16 athletes running in the meet. Here she ran in the 200 meter dash.

We have officially transitioned to the postseason. Our first postseason meet was a huge success this last Saturday June 20th in Spokane at Central Valley High School.  It is the Junior Olympic USATF (United States of America Track and Field) Association Finals Meet and all 16 athletes who competed qualified for the Regional Meet the weekend of July 11th and 12th in Portland, Oregon.  We need to know by Wednesday July 3rd at the latest if your child is competing.  Any athlete who finishes in the top three in the Regional meet will move on to the national meet in Jacksonville, Florida.  Coach Aleah and I are planning on holding practices through July 8th since our three daughters are planning on running through the USATF Regional Meet.

For the last three weeks of practice, we will only be doing sprints but we will be overseeing the distance workouts for Henry, Brayden, and Hayden.  We will also have hurdles out for our few hurdlers on Wednesdays who will be running in Portland. Anyone is still welcome to show up but we will really be focusing on the kids getting them ready for competition.

For those looking for other activities this summer:

  1. Yakima Youth Track is having their all-comers track meets the next two Wednesdays at Kumler Field. Cost is $5 per child.
  2. Yakima HC Runners has their annual summer cross-country series at Franklin Park. Each race is only two miles long and the race dates are: June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5 & August 19. Cost is $5 per race and you register at Franklin Park each race day-of in the Rotary Pavilion at 6:30 for a 7pm start.
  3. Already looking ahead to the fall, we plan on the third season of cross-country. Tentative start date will be September 15th. We’ll be practicing Tuesday and Thursdays at both Franklin Park and Kissle Park (Franklin on Tuesdays and Kissle on Thursdays). More about this on future blogs in August!

***An earlier version of this blog had the first date of XC practice on September 22nd.  We plan on starting XC practice three weeks before Sunfair.  Last year it was on October 4th so this date is still somewhat in flux.***

Results for 2015 Sun City Track and Field Meet

Here are the  results for the 2015 Sun City Track Meet hosted at West Valley High School

There was no wind and temperatures started at 80 degrees at 9am and rose to 90 by noon when the meet finished.  A huge thank-you to the West Valley School District who has been more than accommodating to our team this season.

Hurdles Sun City Track Meet 2015

100 Meter Dash Sun City Track Meet 2015

200 Meter Dash Results Sun City Track Meet 2015

400 Meter Dash Results Sun City Track Meet 2015

800 Meter Dash Sun City Track Meet 2015

1500 Meter Run Sun City Track Meet 2015

Relays Sun City Track Meet 2015

High Jump Results Sun City 2015

Long Jump Results Sun City 2015

Shot Put Results Shot Put 2015 Sun City Track Meet


There were lots of great marks posted today at West Valley High School at the first annual Sun City Track & Field Meet

There were lots of great marks posted today at West Valley High School at the first annual Sun City Track & Field Meet

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

What event should my child practice in when track and field practice starts?

We don't have a jump coach yet but would love to offer high jump as well as hurdles and the long jump this track and field season

We don’t have a jump coach yet but would love to offer high jump as well as hurdles and the long jump this track and field season

T-minus one week until the parent meeting next Monday at the Franklin Park Rotary Pavilion at 6pm and three weeks until our first practice. You might be wondering, “What event will my child compete in track and field?”

Unlike cross-country where everyone runs the same distance, in track there are sprinters (100, 200 and 400 meters), middle-distances (800 and 1500 meters) and long distance (3000 meters).  There are also hurdles and field events (high jump, long and triple jump, shot put, etc.).

At our first practice we will split into two main groups: sprinters and long distance runners. On Wednesdays it is our plan to also add the hurdles to this mix.  Every practice, your child will get the option of trying out a different group to practice with.

For the first month of track season, we will strongly be encouraging all kids to practice with a different group.  This will give them a well-rounded track and field experience.

Update on Monday’s track practice facility

We’ve been working all angles trying to get a track for the Sun City Track and Field Team.  Our first choice for Monday’s is/was Eisenhower High School (they still have not said no but we’ve been stuck at no-answer for going on four months, my contact is Shirley Pectel and she has told me our request is waiting on the facilities team with five other requestors).  Unfortunately we have been passed around like a hot potato since December of last year when I made my first enquiry.  We also requested Selah High School’s track but this is out of commission because of construction.  We have pending requests to West Valley High School and Franklin Middle School’s track. So of the three requests we have, we will get one.  Our preferences are 1st Eisenhower, 2nd West Valley High School, and 3rd Franklin Middle School.

I have also been working with a member of the school board and we have a teacher at Eisenhower trying to work the teacher angle.  So stay tuned, we will have a Monday track practice, we just don’t know the location yet.  Good news is Wednesday’s date is set: West Valley High School from 6-7pm.

As soon as we find out, we’ll keep you posted.

Coach Erik