Sunday, October 11, 2009
Here is the information on the post season that Mary Ellen sent out last night.
There is only one more meet left before the champs so it is time to get this mess straightened out.
As I mentioned last week, the AAU has changed its qualifying procedures. Anyone who participates in a regional meet is now eligible to go to nationals. We are going to the Cross Country Coaches Youth Nationals in Nashville, Tenn. I am told that they are now going to do the same procedure that the AAU has adopted for this year. Therefore, anyone who will commit to going to nationals and competes in the qualifying round will be permitted to enter the national meet. Some may feel that this "waters down" the process, but, in reality, this has been what has happened the last couple of years. Almost all of our kids who wanted to go to nationals last year, ended up going. So it really will not be a big change for us.
The qualifying round will be Saturday, November 14 at Penlyn Park in Penlynn, PA. It is in the vicinity of Ambler. The cost of the entry fee is $20 and the cost of the AAU card is $12 for athletes. The entry fee for nationals will be $20 and the cost of a YES card (their version of an insurance card) is $10. The cost of the hotel rooms will be approximately $110 per night. That has not been verified just yet. All of our athletes have to stay in the team hotel...non-negotiable. They will represent "Philadelphia CYO" cross country team. The team uniform will be the red t-shirts that we have worn forever (and will be on sale at the championship meet) and black shorts or tights.
The day of nationals is Saturday, December 5 in Nashville, Tennessee.
We will have our annual meeting to place athletes on teams the week after our champs. Time, date and location will follow next week. The rules that we follow are simple. The first four finishers from the championship meet will have the first choice of being on the A team. After that, we will go to the list of best times. We will go down the list and place children on teams depending on whether or not they commit to going to nationals. Obviously, we only want to take full teams to nationals so if an athlete will not commit to going to nationals, we ask them to run as an individual for the Philadelphia CYO at the regional meet. Since we already know that anyone who competes will go to nationals, at this meeting we will collect entry forms (to be emailed the beginning of the week), copies of AAU cards, copies of birth certificates, entry fees for nationals, the money needed to purchase the YES cards and all the hotel fees. I have not looked into reserving a bus because there has not been sufficient interest in recent years but if enough people are interested, I will gladly get that information. Having the opportunity to collect all this paperwork at a meeting the week after our champs will make life so much easier for the age group coaches on the day of the meet.
Here is what you need to find out from your athletes:
-who is going to compete in the regional meet?
-who is going to commit to going to nationals?
-those who are going to nationals need to think about which nights they will be staying in Tenn.
Traditionally, Thursday has been a travel day. Friday, the kids can sleep later and we will review the course in the afternoon with all the other members of their age group and their age group coach. It is a good time for them to socialize and meet the kids they have been competing against all season long. There will be an age group coaches meeting Friday night and a parent/athlete meeting after that. Saturday is the day of the races. We go to Mass Saturday night as a group. Saturday night has been a time to relax, meet new friends and celebrate the end of a successful season. The parents usually get together and socialize. Sunday is a travel day to return home.
I am also trying to get several places where the kids can get together to practice. In the past, some of the coaches continue with team practices all the way to nationals. Other coaches stop after our champs and any of their kids who want to continue competing are on their own. This has been difficult for them. I would like to get at least two locations in each county where kids from any parish can come together and train until the national meet. I have always welcomed others to my location at Bensalem High School and will continue to do so. If there are any other coaches willing to open their doors to other runners, please let me know. This information will then be posted on our websites so that everyone will have access to the locations, days and times of the practices.
I know that this is a lot of information to digest. Please pass this information on to all your parents and let them make the decisions. With several group locations, I am hoping that we can welcome some new traveling companions into our fold. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will send more information (entries, hotel, meeting date, etc...) at the beginning of the week
See you all tomorrow.
Mary Ellen Malloy