Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Parent info



Clare Invite August 31 - Directions - take I-75 south toward clare and stay on 127 where I-75 branches off. Exit at Mannsiding road (exit 168) and turn east (that's left) on Mannsiding to the light/stop sign. Watch for sign to Mid-Michigan Community College and enter. Go into college and watch for busses - you will drive in on the entrance road for 1+ miles or so. This meet is run in a special way. Starting at 4pm the 7th graders race, then 8th, 9th graders at430pm, 10th at 5pm, 11th at 530pm and 12th at 6pm. It is the only race all season where kids compete against only their own age group. Nice fast course in the shade with lots of medals. Bus leaves GHS at 130pm, pictures at 1pm.

SEPTEMBER 10TH SATURDAY – CHARLEVOIX MUD RUN, meet is run with 11-12th grade boys at 9am, 11-12 girls at 930am, 9-10 boys at 1030, 9-10 girls at 1030am, open race (PARENTS) at 11am, middle school race 1130am, awards 12 noon. Should be about 15 teams or so, last year girls won this meet, boys were 6th. Medals to top 10. Great first meet where kids can compete against their own age levels. The course is European style XC with hay bale jumps, barriers, and MUD. Directions – go out of town west on M-32 to East Jordan, then take M-66 into Charlevoix, turn LEFT at the first light at the intersection of M-66 and M-31. Go south on M-31 about 200 yard then turn immediately left on Marion Center Road (C-65). Continue on along for about 1.5 miles to Charlevoix High School.

This is the first of our Big North Conference meets with Petoskey, Cadillac, Alpena, Ogemaw, TCCentral, and TCWest. It is always some of the toughest competition we face all year. There will be only two race BOYS first, then GIRLS, starting at 4pm. Directions – go to Cadillac’s Mackinac Trail Middle School. While driving south through Cadillac on Business 131, turn right onto MACKINAC TRAIL and you’ll come to the MIDDLE school and CC course.

SEPTEMBER 24TH , SATURDAY DELTA INVITATIONAL – DELTA COLLEGE Unique, short, flat and fast 2 mile race. This is one of my favorite meets – Girls have won this invitational for the last 16 years in a row, boys have won 14 of the last 16 years. It features a varsity boys (1140am), varsity girls (12noon), boys JV (1040am), girls JV (11am) races. Directions – take i-75 south to exit 160 – (BAY ROAD). Go just a bit then turn right onto DELTA ROAD. Delta College about a mile down on Delta Road.

This is the second of our big north conference meets. Same schedule as the last one with a fairly tough course at Camp Petosega over east of Petoskey about 15 miles. Boys all at 4pm, girls at 430pm. We will go up through Indian River, west on M-68 towards Petoskey then take some back roads. You are best off googling Camp Petosega and printing yourself off a map.

This is the largest XC invitational in the state of Michigan. We will take VARSITY only to this meet (maybe one extra person if we have room) and we’ll leave on FRIDAY about noon. As usual we will spend the night in Grand Rapids, go out for dinner, then head to Portage on Saturday morning. This is the exact same routine as we follow for our state finals and its great preparation. For more info on the meet and what it takes to medal or place well see www.portageinvite.com they have tons of pics, results, and information. We will take the top 12 boys and top 12 girls to this meet. I need TWO more parents to drive vans with 6 athletes each.

This is the final BNC meet for us and it will determine the team conference champion and individual all-conference honors. It is one of the toughest courses we run all year, but we love it. Races start at 4pm with Boys Varsity, then Girls Varsity, then ALL JV.

This is another big meet with some fast competition, but a very fast course too. Directions – in the downtown area turn off M-31 onto AMES street. Go up Ames and then turn RIGHT onto South BRAND Street. Go down Brand and then turn right onto 3rd Street, Park at the high school. The athletes finish at this meet will determine if they make the varsity for regionals and state finals. 99% of the time I take the top 7 fastest finishers on the day as our varsity for the remainder of the season. If one of our usual top 1-2-3-4 runners has an off day due to sickness I may place them onto varsity regardless of their finish here.

The varsity may or may not run in this meet – I decide this about two days before the meet depending on how kids are feeling and if we do/don’t have injuries or sickness. The meet starts at 4pm and ALL JV runners will run – it is their last meet.

Our regional finish determines if we will move on to the state finals here – we must place in the top 3 teams. Individually you can also qualify for the state finals by placing in the top 15 individuals in this meet.
Directions – go to Traverse City then head south on US-31. Turn right (west) at Chum’s Corners as you stay on 31 continuing west for about 15 miles. Go THROUGH the little town of Honor, then turn left (south) on North Marshall rd (Co Rd 679. Go up the big hill and continue until you come to Homestead Rd. Turn right and you will be at the school in a few miles. Meet times to be determined.

The state finals are held at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. As usual, we’ll stay at the Holiday Inn south or Holiday Inn Express in Lansing on Friday night, have dinner at Olive Garden, go shopping at the mall, and head down to Brooklyn early Saturday morning. I’ll pass out a full packet of information about the state finals when the time draws near. For more information see … http://www.mhsaa.com and go to cross country - this site has past results, times, etc.

Our team banquet will be held at GHS in the commons area for dessert, then the auditorium.

RULES RULES RULES -- Obviously we have school rules. These all apply while on the bus, at practice, or at meets and can be found in your student handbook. Other than that, one big rule is the FIVE DAY RULE. In order to be eligible to participate in a meet you will have to participate in five consecutive days of practice. There are acceptable reasons for missing practice. These include: family emergencies, funerals, family functions, etc. Reason which are NOT acceptable for missing practice are – haircuts, babysitting, jobs, etc. If you feel you must miss practice for any particular reason PLEASE talk to me well in advance and clear it with me first. If you simply don’t show up at practice it will probably make you ineligible to participate in the next meet. If you are sick or injured, again, PLEASE TALK to me. A day of rest can be considered your practice for the day if you communicate with me. Communication is the key.

Remember – our GHS athletic department rules also apply. The athletic department rules state that if you are ABSENT from ANY PORTION of the school day school day then you are not allowed to participate in practice. This will then affect the 5 day rule we have for cross country. Exceptions to this rule are PRE-EXCUSED absences for doctor appointments, orthodontics, college visits etc. However, these must be communicated to the coach and/or Athletic Director.

Example 1 – Johnny is tired because he was up late and had a busy week of tests and studying. He asks his parents to let him sleep in and excuse him from 1st and 2nd hour. He will not be eligible to participate in practice and will not be eligible to run in a cross country meet until he has 5 consecutive practice days.

Example 2 – Susy forget her spikes at home for the meet today so she skips 4th hour to go home and get them. Mom calls in to excuse her. She will not be eligible to participate in the meet this day and must get 5 consecutive practices before she is eligible.

Example 3 – James has an upcoming orthodontist appointment in Petoskey. He talks to his coach two days before the appointment about the situation and tells the coach that he will miss 3rd and 4th hour but he will be back for practice. He is excused and may participate in practice.

Example 4 – Jane is not feeling well at all. She comes to school but feels sick and she has a sore throat. After school she comes to practice and talks to the coach. They discuss their options. If I see that Jane is NOT feeling well, her practice for the day will probably be to go home and rest. This will count as an official practice day for the athlete. Sometimes the best practice is rest.

Example 5 – Robert is not feeling well. He tells our team captain that he’s going home right after school because he’s sick. Robert misses practice and does not talk to the coach or communicate with him in any way. Robert is in violation of the five day rule.

In a nutshell, we want students in school. If they are too sick to be in school then they will need several days to recover to get better. This is the reason for the five day rule.

Focus Rule - I know many CC athletes join us to “get in shape for another sport.” These soccer players, basketball players, wrestlers, or whatever have often become a very valuable part of our team and we appreciate them joining us. However, this has also led to some conflicts. First, since XC is the sport that is currently “in season” you must choose XC events/meets over any “club” meets or events. Second, you must NOT participate in any other sport during the last 4 weeks of our competitive season. For 2011, that means starting on October 1st you must not be in any other organized club sport that has regular practices or “games.” Why? Doing too much at this point in the season leads to “burnout”, over doing it, and ultimately, injuries. We focus on running our fastest in October and you NEED EXTRA REST, not extra workouts. If you cannot follow this rule then XC is just not for you and that’s ok. Focus on what you feel you need to focus on, no worries.

A few helpful hints for the athletes:

Rest - During the training season athletes will need more rest than normal. The demands of competitive running, school, work, chores, and family put a lot of stress on your runner. Please be sure they are getting plenty of rest. Trying to balance school, jobs, and a competitive sports team can put a lot of stress on adolescents. Getting the proper amount of sleep is a necessity.

Food – think of runners as race cars. Race cars need race fuel. Good fuel for runners is carbohydrates and lots of liquids. Fresh fruit, vegetables, breads, cereals, fruit juices, and small amounts of low-fat protein are great. No special diet is required, BUT girls will require extra IRON in their diets. Ask your pediatrician or family doctor about iron supplements. A recent study shows that over 50% of all teenage girls are borderline anemic. Extra iron in their diets or iron supplements will help their running AND make them feel better overall.

Hydration is also important. Gatorade, Powerade, and other sports drinks allow runners to re-hydrate AND keep important electrolytes. Too much water (over 6-7 glasses a day) can rinse the body of the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) needed for proper muscle contraction.

Shoes/Clothing – it is best if runners have a NEW pair of running shoes each season. This keeps their legs healthy and stress free. Many athletes like to purchase high tech, vapor wicking, expensive running gear. This is not necessary. Shorts, t-shirts, and sweats will do just fine. If you are going to spend money, it’s best spent on shoes. Spikes are not mandatory, but definitely helpful in XC races. Many races will have muddy courses with hills and sharp turns. Spikes will keep you on your feet in these situations. A quick google search will find many of last years model spike shoes on sale CHEAP !! www.eastbay.com is a good place to start – check out the “bargains”

Notes for parents -- One of the best things you, as a parent, can do to help your child’s running career is to be positive. Attend their meets and cheer loudly for them. Don’t bug them about weekend running and summer training. Athletes who are pushed usually shy away from running and feel pressured. When they are ready, both physically and emotionally, they will begin to run on their own. My parents purchased me a “running log;” it was one of the biggest motivators for me. It was a simple little book I could use to write down each workout I did. In 1982 I began filling the pages and I felt like I needed to write something down each day. 29 years, 150+ races, over 12,000 miles later I’m still filling the pages.

Boys vs Girls -- Boys and girls react differently to running. As freshman and sophomores, boys are often nowhere near their best. Boys usually need to be 16-18 years old before they can hope to be running at their potential. The key for boys is to stick with it. As a freshman I was the 15th fastest boy on my team. As a senior I was the second fastest. The valuable experience that boys gain as 9-10th graders will pay dividends when they are junior and senior varsity runners. Girls, on the other hand, can often run very well as freshmen and sophomores. Some girls get slower as they move through high school, some stay the same, and some get faster. It is important that girls do not get discouraged if their times do not improve over their career.

Varsity and JV -- The varsity is comprised of the top 7 fastest boys and top 7 fastest girl runners. With each meet this can change. If you finish in the top 7 of our runners in one meet you will run the next meet as a varsity competitor. To earn a varsity letter you must be a varsity runner in at least half of our races OR be on our varsity team for the regional meet.

Girls – as you probably know, our girls team has a tradition of being one of the best teams in the state of Michigan. In 2007 the girls team were STATE CHAMPIONS. The girls were also Regional champs in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. Currently the girls team has qualified for the state championship 10 years in a row – the longest streak in Division 2 (class B). We look to continue the streak this year!!

Boys – we lose only one senior from our Varsity team this year and all the rest of our runners from last year are back. Last year we qualified for the state meet where we placed 14th and 2nd at regionals. The boys have a number of all-regional and all-conference runners and look to become the regional champions for the first year since 1995.

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