McLean Youth Track and Field is an all-volunteer organization that provides opportunities for Northern Virginia kids ages 5 through 8th grade (13/14) to develop skills competing in track, field, and cross-country running. Our aim is to help our kids develop a love for running, the respect of sportsmanship, and an appreciation for the sport. We focus on "house" events and encourage all of our athletes to strive for personal improvement.
Folks, we still seem to be having a bit of confusion about Meet locations, so we wanted to make the statement one more time: ALL Track & Field Meets for the remainder of this season will be at LANGLEY High School (as was the Orientation Meet).
I know some of you received confirmation messages from registration that said McLean; that was true at the time, but after construction at Langley was delayed, we were returned there for the Fall season so as to avoid conflicts with other sports at McLean. So, please forget all about McLean for this season! :) The only exceptions to the Langley rule are Cross-Country Meets, which are held at Clark's Crossing Park in Vienna (9/21, 10/5, and 10/26). Thanks! - Mickey
Just a few (well, five) items before our next Meet THIS Sunday at Langley High School. As always, PLEASE bear with us all the way through to the end, because there really is valuable information here:
1. First & most importantly: this week will begin our "split Meet format" for regular Track & Field Meets (i.e., it doesn't apply to Cross-Country). We split the Meet into two age groups to help minimize the amount of time most families will need to be at the Track, but it's not a perfect science, so please just remember that Track is a loooong event by nature, and bring your patience along with your water bottles!
- All runners ages 5 to 8, report to Langley at 3:00 pm for warmups, followed by this week's race & field events for this age group.
- All runners 9 & up, report at 4:30 pm for warmups, followed by your race & field events.
The specific race events this week will include the 100M, 200M, 400M, and "bonus mile". There is no preregistration for events required; to participate in any given race, runners should simply report to the start line when their age group has been called for that event. We ask that kids choose no more than three (3) race events to run, as well as their field events.
For those of you new to T&F, here is a quick rundown of how the meet will work: all athletes in an age group (5-8 or 9 & up) will be called to the field for warmups. After warmups, they are further divided by individual age (5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, etc.) and either sent to line up for a running event, or directed to one of the two field events (TurboJav and Long Jump). After they have completed either their race event or field event, they should return to their parents until they are called for another event. Running events always take priority over field events, so if a child is in line for TurboJav or Long Jump when their age group is called for a track event, they should inform the field event "official" that they are going to a running event, and then return to complete the field event after their race is over. (We're very flexible with field event lineups for that reason.) Once the athlete has completed their field events, and if they have not been called for a track event, they should return to their parent in the stands and listen for the next event to be called.
2. I am so proud of all the kids who attended last Sunday! I know for some of them it was difficult to find themselves at the back of the pack. Please remind them that because we group them in heats based solely on age, they are running against kids of all levels, so please don't pay attention to where you finish in your heat. Pay attention only to your time, and watch how it improves over the course of the season. Times from the Orientation Meet were not tracked, but beginning this week, we will keep times for each race, and they will be available (listed by bib number only) on our website and at subsequent Meets. Ribbons will also be awarded based on finish for every child who participates, but PLEASE know that the ribbons are merely another way to incent and track improvement; what's important isn't whether it's a blue ribbon or an orange one - it's the time on the back that should be improving each week! Reinforce to your kids the importance of self-improvement - it's one of the greatest predictors of long term success and engagement in sport.
3. Because we are SO lucky to have an experienced long jump coach this season, we will be offering more instruction than in previous seasons. Unfortunately we only have access to the long jump pit during Meets, so if your child is the 9 and older age group, they should plan to come a little early (around 4/4:15) in order to get extra instruction. If your 8 and under child is interested in learning more about long jump, and possibly competing at higher levels, contact me and we'll make arrangements.
4. If you have Volunteered for a slot this week as a Timer, Starter, Cat-herder, or Field Event Assistant, we will check you in by the Admin area (the picnic tables outside the Track), and loan you a nifty neon yellow Volunteer shirt for the day. (If you have a shirt from last week, please bring it back!)
5. Finally, please remember:
- BRING YOUR WATER BOTTLES, sunscreen, snacks, and between-event-activities (books to read, homework, iPads, etc.), running shoes, and weather-appropriate clothing;
- We have only port-a-potties available at Langley, so encourage pre-Meet restroom visits before leaving home;
- If you were unable to attend last week's Orientation Meet and still have a registration packet to pick up, you'll be able to find it in the Admin area; and
- ALL RUNNERS MUST WEAR THEIR RACE BIBS. That is your child's "admission ticket" to the Track, confirming for us that s/he is a registered participant, and helping us minimize extraneous people on the field during Meets. Please affix the bibs with safety pins (we always have extras in the Admin area) at all four corners.
Thank you to everyone for all your help and cooperation last week, and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday!
For those of you who weren't able to attend today's Orientation Meet and haven't yet received your packet (or for those of you who've already misplaced the Orientation flyer that was in it...), you can download a .pdf version of the flyer here. It has all the key information for the season included, and what isn't here but was discussed today will be included in future emails and updates as the season progresses.
1st Mt this Sun, 9/7, 3pm at LANGLEY HS & CHANGE to 1st practice
Dear MYTF families,
Just a quick reminder that this Sunday, September 7 is our Orientation Meet at 3 PM at Langley High School. The Langley track is located behind the school; simply drive as far back in the large parking lot on the right side of the school as possible (there are currently some trailers at the very end). All athletes and families should arrive at 3:00 for packet pick-up. Please know that while we understand the temptation to arrive early to pick up your packets, we will not be ready for you before 3:00!
Around 3:15 or so, we will separate into groups: kids on the field for intros and warm-ups, parents in the stands for a few important welcome comments. The kids will rotate through several stations designed to introduce them to the basics of how we run our track meets, field events, sprint starts, and waterfall starts. Following the stations, we will run the 100M race and - time permitting - the 800M so the kids can get an idea of what to expect, and our parent volunteers can get an introduction to what each volunteer position entails. ***NOTE: Only coaches, athletes, and volunteers will be allowed on the field during meets.*** We will be strictly enforcing that rule this year, and will be asking parent volunteers to check in with Mickey in the admin area (outside the gate) to get a volunteer t-shirt as their "admission ticket" to the field.
Although we are happily expecting a break in the humidity on Sunday, please keep in mind that it *will* be warm. Bring PLENTY of water, hats, sunscreen, etc. Make sure your kids have appropriate footwear - running shoes only - and I strongly encourage moisture-wicking shirts and shorts. Also, please keep in mind there is a chance of heavy rain on Saturday. While that likely won't affect our running events, it could affect our ability to use the long jump pit and hold the TurboJav event. That decision will be made at game time on Sunday.
Finally, due to a scheduling conflict (of which we were just made aware), we are not able to use the Churchill Road Elementary School track on Tuesday 9/9. As a result, we will amend the practice schedule next week as follows:
We were made aware yesterday by one of our parents that Thursday is Longfellow's Back-to-School night. We are investigating our options with FCPS & Fairfax County, but as of right now have not been officially advised that we are not allowed to practice. Yes, we know that parking would be a problem if we *are* allowed to practice, and we're fully expecting to be moved. PLEASE stay tuned for an update - we will let you know as soon as WE know!!!
Thursday, 9/11, at LONGFELLOW MIDDLE SCHOOL:
- 5:00 pm - 5:45 pm: all kids ages 5 - 8
- 5:45p - 6:30p: all kids 9 and older
We apologize for any inconvenience, but this one is out of our hands as it's "Back to School Night" at Churchill and community use of school facilities is prohibited during that time. Please don't worry if your family isn't able to attend on Thursday; your child(ren) will still be able to participate in the following Sunday's Meet, and will catch up quickly from anything they missed at practice.
Plenty of information will be forthcoming at Sunday's Meet (and by email/web updates in the week following), but please don't hesitate to contact us here at this email address with questions. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing all of you on Sunday!