Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2010 Archdiocesan Champs Results

The link for 2010 Archdiocesan Cross Country Championship Meet results is below.  I believe that it is important that all of our coaches, volunteers and parents know what caused the delay in releasing these results.

At the Championship meet during the minor girls race there were two unacceptable disturbances caused by parents/family of athletes watching the meet.  The individuals involved in these incidents were extremely offensive, belligerent and in one case threatened violence against our officials.  It just so happens that both of these incidents were instigated by people in attendance to watch athletes from St. Mary Magdalene parish in Media, however this is not the first time this has happened nor is Mary Magdalene the first parish.  Owing to the repercussions of disqualifying athletes at a championship meet, Mary Ellen Malloy our Cross Country commissioner felt the need to discuss these incidents and potential disciplinary actions with the Archdiocesan CYO office.

It has been decided that St. Mary Magdalene will be put on probation for the 2011 season, which means an additional incident could warrant suspension from cross country for a season.  Some will say this is too harsh, some will say it is too light.  However you feel about it, the fact is this, with the limited number of full time officials and the financial resources available to us, these kinds of incidents will continue to happen until we collectively put a stop to it.

How do we do it? We, as a community, demand that those in attendance conduct themselves appropriately, like adults, with respect for the time and efforts that the athletes, coaches and officials have dedicated to these events.  I haven’t served as an official as long as some, but I do serve every week during the cross country and track and field seasons.  99 times out of 100 the issues and problems created at these events are based on the actions of adults in attendance, not the children. 99 times out of 100, there are 4 or 5 other parents or coaches standing around looking disturbed but not saying anything.  It is natural and understandable, but isn’t working, and more importantly it is setting a terrible, terrible example for our athletes.

I assure you, when an official is asking you to move out of an area, there is a reason behind it.  A lot of our rules on where people stand or sit are based on safety concerns for the athletes.  The rules are enforced universally; Yes, I do tell my team’s parents to leave the chute and not to stand by the access road, No, I don’t allow them on the field at track meets.  It is absolutely not safe for us to allow parents to enter the chute extract their children, 1.) Because we probably haven’t finished recording their numbers / times / and therefore place, and 2.) With 1,700 kids registered, we can’t possibly know who you are and if that is really your kid.

The officials who work in Cross Country and Track and Field are not paid; they are like you, volunteering for an hour or two a meet every week.  Those who organize the meets aren’t just there from 1 to 4pm.  We care; we care about putting on a great meet, setting a level playing field, and most of all, we care about your kid’s and your team’s safety.  I know that you do as well, so don’t be afraid to speak up.  We need you, all of our parents and coaches, to set a proper example, to behave rationally and compassionately, we need you to help enforce the rules.  Most of all, we need your voice encouraging everyone else in attendance do the same.


Meanwhile, on a happier note CYO alumni Sara Sargent placed 1st in the 15-16 yr race at the National Meet CYO participates in. Here is a link to a picture on PennTrackXC. CYO Minor Girls champion Olivia Sargent also placed first in her age group.   Congratulations Sara and Olivia.

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