Weekly Bulletins - 2011 Archive

Weekly Bulletin #11 - Week of 11/7

The 2011 - 7/8th grade league championship meet was our most successful ever with the girls winning the league title and the boys finishing in second place!  It was a fantastic afternoon for the kids and all the coaches are very proud of their effort and accomplishment.  This is the first time a PMS team has won a 7/8th grade league title, the trophy is as tall as my 3 year old grandson.  
      
Trophy Display Meeting - Wednesday Novermber 9  
So that all the kids can view the championship trophy, let's plan on meeting after school on Wednesday, November 9 around 1:00 p.m. in the picnic area next to the swimming pool at the Piedmont Recreation complex.  Every team member, boys and girls, are welcome to have their picture taken with the trophy.  I'll bring some energy bars, etc. to snack on. 
  
Survey 
We would like your feedback regarding the program and any suggestions/ideas for changes and improving what we do.  Please go to this link and complete a short survey: 
http://www.jotform.com/form/13044043677  
It is anonymous, and your feedback will help with our planning for the 2012 season.  
  
Bay Area Championship Meet- Monday, November 7 
Our final running event, which is optional, is the Bay Area Championship meet on Monday, November 7.  Below is a list of the kids who are planning on running in it.  If your child would like to participate, just let me know.  
  
Racing Singlets 
Please return them as soon as possible to the Rec Department.  You can also bring them to the trophy photo session on Wednesday.  The singlets are re-used for next season and any not returned have to be replaced which is an additional expense for the program 
  
Winter Conditioning Program 
I hope to have more details in a week or so before the break for Thanksgiving.  It will run from January to March, twice a week, right after school, so stay tuned.  
  
7/8th Grade League Championship Meet Summary 
During the course of the season, it became very apparent to the coaching staff that we had a very talented and deep group of 7/8th grade girls.  Many were veterans from previous seasons and also had several girls new to the sport that contributed a lot.  We also felt there was a close team bond among the girls which is important even in a sport that is as individual as cross country.  Our hopes were that the girls could do something special this season and they did. 
The course at Kennedy Grove was redesigned from what we had run in previous years and was much more difficult with a series of hills on the backstretch of the course.  This would spread out the runners and it proved to be very challenging.  8th grader Maddie Copeland who started competing for the team as a 5th grader, led the way for the team with a 5th place finish, and was one of the few girls to run under 9 minutes for the 1.2 mile distance.  Close on her heels was Emmie Seevak in 6th place.  This is only Emmie's 2nd year on the team and she has made tremendous progress in a short period of time.  Our 3rd finisher, in 12th place, was Ava Podell.  Ava also started running on the team as a 5th grader and ran well the entire year, it will be great to have her back next year.  Our 4th team member to finish was Skyler Liu in 17th place.  Skyler lost several weeks of practice due to an injury, but made a very strong comeback and finished well.  Next season I would expect her to be a top 10 finisher.  Our 5th and final team scorer was Leah Kochendoerfer in 18th place.  This was Leah's first season running cross country, she was recruited by some of the kids on the team who play soccer with her.  She showed a real knack for running from the very first race.  I would like to mention the other varsity runners, most of whom will return for next year.  Mia Arthur, 7th grade, joined the team in early October and competed well.  Katie St. Claire, an 8th grader, was new to cross country but has tremendous closing speed and out sprinted a lot of runners.  Emma Nash, a returning 7th grade veteran, showed steady progress during the season and made the varsity team.  Claire Laymon, 7th grade, and also new to cross country, showed steady development and ran well.  Monty Miller, another 7th grader, showed a lot of determination and competed well during the season. 
I don't have the results yet from the girls JV race, but I believe several of our runners were in the top 5 including, Nicole Jiang, Megan Wilensky, and Eleanor Brown. 
  
On the boys side, when the coaching staff evaluated the league mid-season, frankly no team stood out as the favorite.  Usually there are two or three teams who can be identified as the leaders, but there was tremendous balance throughout the league and this continued in the championship meet.  Our boys finished in 2nd place, and broke a tie breaker with MLK based on our respective 5th place finisher positions.  Our top runner, and this was true all season, was Everett Ellis, 8th grade, who took home the 9th place trophy.  7th grader, Josh Wood ran a fine race and finished in 14th place.  Josh also missed some practice time due to an injury, but made a comeback and will be one of our top runners for next season.  Mingwei Samuel, 8th grade, was a steady performer all year and placed 20th a very fine performance in a league with a lot of good runners.  Our next runner in 27th place was Blake Gruendl another 7th grader.  Blake had hoped for a higher finisher but again he was one of our consistent runners during the season and will also be returning.  In somewhat of a surprise for our team and a runner who came on very strong at the end, was 7th grader Keith Sibal in 29th place.  This was Keith's first year running cross country. 
Our other varsity runners in the race were 7th grader Kyle Mortimer in 32nd place, Nick Loduca another 7th grader in 43rd place, Joseph Chu, 7th grade, in 45th place and Elijah Levy and Josh Erkelens in 68th and 69th place respectively.  
Hopefully I will have the results for the JV Boys by next e-mail.  
  
Piedmont Turkey Trot 
the race organizers have extended a special entry fee for PMS cross country members of just $10.  The registration link is: 
http://www.active.com/running/piedmont-ca/piedmont-turkey-trot-2011  

Weekly Bulletin #10 - Week of 10/31
Our season for the 6th graders culminated in the League Championship Meet on October 27.  It was a very successful meet for our team, with the girls finishing in third place and the boys in second place.  Our goal was to finish in the top 5 teams, so we achieved that goal.  Individually we had three girls in the top 10 and who took home trophies, Genevieve Raushenbush, Ava Biehn, and Kate Gross Whitaker finished in 7th, 8th and 10th places respectively.   Rounding out our top 5 was Paige Avagliano in 21st place and Olivia Adams in 26th place.  
For the boys, Mitchell Bloemker was a top ten finisher and trophy winner in 6th place.  Quinn Willrich had a fine race and finished in 13th place, and Michael Blake still feeling a bit under the weather from a cold, was the 15th place finisher.  Also running well and with a top 20 finish were Walter Teitelbaum and Reece Proctor in 17th and 18th places respectively.  
My next weekly bulletin will have more details about the Junior Varsity race and hopefully some pictures from the meet.  Julian Turner was the winner of the JV race, so that was a nice finish to his season.
Space does not permit me to name every boy and girl in the race, but the fact that almost the entire 6th grade team of 50 kids showed up is a real testament to our team spirit and camaraderie.  Myself and the other coaches are very proud of the team's accomplishments this season, thank you kids and parents.

7/8 Grade League Championship Meet - Thursday, November 3

As previously announced, the league has decided to have a varsity and junior varsity races at the league championship.  Each school is limited to 10 runners in each of the varsity races, but an unlimited number of runners can compete in the JV race.  Every runner will receive a participation ribbon.  Below is a list of the varsity runners for the Girls and Boys team. 

I have also listed alternates who would run in the varsity race if someone is ill, injured or doesn't make it to the meet.  The alternates if not selected to run varsity will run in the JV race.  The selection was based on race results.  A summary for every team member's time and place in the meets can be found on our website:

http://www.pmscc.com/downloads

The 7 & 8th grade boys and girls not listed below will run in the JV race.   

 

The schedule for the championship meet is as follows:

4:00 – Girls Varsity Race

4:20 – Boys Varsity race

4:40 – Girls JV Race

5:00 – Boys JV Race

5:20 - Awards Ceremony

(Times are approximate)

 

Parents and team members, please meet me at the Hitching Post picnic area.  Please note, it is my understanding the league director has decided to run a different route at Kennedy Grove from what we have done in years past.  I do not know what the route will be other than the fact we will start and end in the meadow.  On race day when the team gets there, I will talk the kids through the route.   

 

Other Notes the Week of October 31

- No practice on Monday, October 31

- Practice on Tuesday, November 1 from 3:15 to 4:30 (we will end a bit early)

- Practice on Tuesday, November 2 from 3:15 to 4:30

- Championship Meet on Thursday  


Weekly Bulletin #9 - Week of 10/24 

It seems like our first practice was just yesterday and now it’s time for the 6th grade championship meet on Thursday, October 27 at Cerrito Vista Park in El Cerrito.  We are counting on every team member running in the meet. 

Note, the meet starts at 4:00 p.m., the kids need to walk directly from school to the Piedmont Community parking lot.  Since the girls run first, they need to be loaded into the cars and leave before the boys.  Attached are directions, if you have any questions let me know.

 

Len

510-339-2430 (Home #)   510-304-9533 (c)

 

6th Grade League Championship Meet - Thursday, October 27

As previously announced, the league has decided to have a varsity and junior varsity races at the league championship.  Each school is limited to 10 runners in each of the varsity races, but an unlimited number of runners can compete in the JV race.  Every runner will receive a participation ribbon.  Below is a list of the varsity runners for the Girls and Boys team. 

I have also listed alternates who would run in the varsity race if someone is ill, injured or doesn't make it to the meet.  The alternates if not selected to run varsity will run in the JV race.  The selection was based on race results.  A summary for every team member's time and place in the meets can be found on our website:

http://www.pmscc.com/downloads

The 6th grade boys and girls not listed below will run in the JV race.   

 

The schedule for the championship meet is as follows:

4:00 – Girls Varsity Race

4:20 – Boys Varsity race

4:40 – Girls JV Race

5:00 – Boys JV Race

5:10 - Awards Ceremony

(Times are approximate)

 

Parents and team members, please meet me in the bleachers at the field.

 

Other Notes Regarding the Week of October 24

As previously noted, the meet on Monday, October 24 at MLK is optional if your child has already run in 3 regular season meets.  I would recommend that if they have run in 3 meets, that they attend practice instead.  If you are driving to MLK school attached are directions.

 

We will have practice on Tuesday, 10/25, right after school, 3:15 to 4:45.

 

Wednesday is early release and we will run to Fenton’s.  The schedule for that day is to meet at the track and from 12:45 to 1:30.  The kids will eat a snack or lunch that they may have brought.  Around 1:30, we will run to Fenton’s, please bring money or your gift card.  The party at Fenton’s will be from about 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  All, the backpacks will be loaded onto cars and driven to Fenton’s.  You can either pick up your child at Fenton’s or around 3:20 back at the track.  I will have my cell phone with me if you want to check on your child, 510-304-9533.

 

Highlights From Recent Weeks

The team has had a busy time racing recently and official results are available from the MLK and Orinda Meets.  They can be found at on this page of our website:  http://www.pmscc.com/meet-results

For the first time in team history, every school course record was broken at the MLK Meet, for grades 6 to 8 and for each gender.  In the 6th grade girls raceAva Biehn ran 7:42 for the new record.  Finishing right behind her, Minnie Cooper in 7:44 also broke the old school record.   Third for the team, and breaking 8 minutes for the race was Paige Avagliano.  Right on her heels was Olivia Adams, also with a sub-8 minute time and our 5th team finisher was Maddie Lincoln in a time of 8:15.   For the 6th grade boys, Mitchell Bloemker continued to run extremely well and his time of 6:44 broke the old school record.  A few seconds behind him was Michael Blake who also broke the record with a time of 6:53.  Our third team finisher was Quinn Willrich, followed by William Robison 24th overall and Reece Proctor in 32nd place.  

On October 17, the Orinda meet was held and one school course record was broken.  Minnie Cooper's time of 7:12 was a new record and finishing on her heels, Genevieve Raushenbush, also broke the old record in a time of 7:13.  Kate Gross-Whitaker was our 3rd team finisher and 9th overall.  The other girls making up our top five in this race were Natasha Long and Maddie Lincoln in 14& 15th places respectively.  I should mention one runner training with the team but who runs for Julia Morgan school is Cece Garofoli and she has consistently been near the top finishers in the races she has competed in.   For the 6th grade boys, 5th grader Henry Cooper, who is part of our cross country elementary school development program finished in 9th place.  Our next finisher was Vincent Titterton, followed by William Robison, then Reece Proctor and the 5th team finisher was Nick Rachwald.  Results from the Moraga meet are not yet available.

For the 7th grade boys Blake Gruendl broke the school grade/course record.  His time of 8:12 broke the old school 7th grade boys record set by Julian Frost who is now the #1 runner of the PHS cross country team.  In the same meet and also running a very fine race was Mingwei Samuel whose time of 7:56 missed the 8th grade boys record by just 10 seconds.  Our 3rd, 4th and 5th place runners were Kyle Mortimer, Alex Ricard, and Evan Hanke respectively.    For the young ladies, Maddie Copeland’s time of 8:27 came within 8 seconds of the school record.  Finishing close behind her was Emma Seevak in 8:31, and in a very exciting race to the tape Katie St.Clair just nosed out another runner in 8:52 and was our 3rd place runner.  For 4th and 5th places on the team, Skyler Liu and Mia Arthur garnered these places.  Official results from the Moraga meet are not yet available, so comments about this race in the next bulletin.

PE Mile Reminder

If your child has to run the PE mile on Thursday please take it easy and let the PE teachers you have the championship race that day.  I have contacted them via e-mail to let them know, but just in case remind them.  

  

Runner Reward Points

The most current report is available at this link where it can be downloaded:

http://www.pmscc.com/downloads

Please share with your child and let me know if there are any errors.  The last day to earn points is 10/24.  I will be handing out the gift cards at practices and meets.  For any Platinum level award winners, I ask that they let me know what type of $15 gift card they would like, something I can purchase easily though.  I have made a coach's decision that every team member will be awarded the Jamba Juice gift card. 

 

Bay Area Championship Meet - Nov. 7 

I was just notified the location of the meet has been changed to Union City which is about a 45 minute drive from Piedmont.  The start time has also been moved to 4:15 p.m.  

I will contact those parents who expressed interest in the meet to see if they would still like to attend based on the new location.  I understand if you change your mind, but this could be a fun experience for the kids.

Again the date of this meet is Monday, November 7. 

 

Winter Conditioning Program

Plans are under development to offer through the Recreation Department a "Winter Conditioning Program."  It would run January through March is the plan, probably two times a week, right after school from 3:15 to 4:30.  It will probably be limited to around 40 runners.  More information to be provided.

 

Piedmont Turkey Trot

the race organizers have extended a special entry fee for PMS cross country members of just $10.  The registration link is: 
http://www.active.com/running/piedmont-ca/piedmont-turkey-trot-2011 

 


WEEKLY BULLETIN #8 - WEEK OF 10/17

It was back to our more typical Fall like weather this week and the meet on Thursday was warm.  The coaching staff has assessed our team by grade and gender relative to the other teams in the league and we compare very favorably.  However, these last two weeks before the championship meet are going to be critical.  We need to train hard but smart, stay healthy, and use these final regular season meets to make sure every runner has participated in the required three meets.  

A reminder, if you haven't done so yet, I need your input on several items so we can properly plan for them.  Please click on this link (or copy and paste into your browser) and complete this short survey: 

http://www.jotform.com/form/12770222007

Information About Meets This Week 10/17 & 10/20 

There are two meets this week, Oct. 17 at Orinda and Oct. 20 at Rancho Laguna Park in Moraga.  Attached are directions.  Meets are held rain or shine.  Please remind your child if they are running in the meet to bring their running attire and shoes, and walk right after school to the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave.    Below is a list of the kids scheduled to run in the meets this week.  Any changes, just let me know.

Remember on Monday a team bus will take the kids to the meet and return them to Piedmont.  We need a few parent volunteers at the parking lot  to drive to the meet to handle any overflow.  You are welcome to meet your child and make sure they get on the bus and then drive to the meet.  The kids do not have to ride the bus home, since it will not leave unitl the last race has finished.  We still need a parent volunteer or two to ride on the bus, contact me if interested.   Our website also has maps for each meet location: http://www.pmscc.com/directions-to-meets   I will be at the meet site, waiting for the team.  My cell number is, 510-304-9533.  

The Schedule for Coming Week

Monday - Oct. 17 - Meet at Orinda Intermediate School

Practice available for those kids not running in the meet.

Tuesday - October 18 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.

Wednesday - October 19 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m

Thursday - October 20 - Meet at Rancho Laguna Park in Moraga

Practice available for those kids not running in the meet.

Summary of Week of 10/10

The week was highlighted by the meet at MLK School in Berkeley.  It was a hot afternoon and little shade on the course, about 50 PMS team members ran in the meet.   Some highlights from the different races were 6th grade boys, Mitchell Bloemker and Michael Blake finished 7 & 8th overall, and unofficially I believe both broke our school course record, but will have to wait for official results.  Quinn Willrich placed 13th, William Robison was 24th, and Reece Proctor 32nd.  Please note myself and the other coaches try to recognize everyone during workouts and through the team rewards system… But, due to limited space in the press and e-bulletins, I can only recognize the top performers at the meets. However, I appreciate every child and parent who are a part of this effort.

In the 6th grade girls race, our top five were Ava Biehn and Minnie Cooper placed 6th & 7th out of 64 girls, Page Avagliano was 12th, Olivia Adams 13th, and Maddie Lincoln 18th.  There were about 64 girls in the race total.   For the 7&8th grade girls, again our team looked very strong with our first 5 finishers placing in top 13 runners.  Leading the way was Emma Seevak in 5th place and unoffically a new school 8th grade record time, followed closely by Maddie Copeland in 6th, Ava Podell in 7th and Leah Kochendorfer in 8th.  Running in her first race this season was Skyler Liu in 13th place. The final race of the day was 7/8 grade boys and our tope finisher in 11th place was Josh Wood.  Mingwei Samuel was the 14th place finisher, Joseph Chu was 33rd and Alex Ricard was 39th.  The 5th finisher for our team was Hunter Stern in 49th place. About 120 boys ran in this race.

Please note we have received revised results for the Prospect-Sierra race on October 6.

http://www.pmscc.com/meet-results

Based on the times, I will be making revisions to the school records but they will have an asterisk since the course was re-routed due to a hornets nest.  In addition, at the Golden Gate Field meet on October 3 we had three new school records, Blake Gruendl, Ava Podell and Maddie Copeland were the record breakers:

http://www.pmscc.com/meet-records-1 

This week at practice we focused on intervals, an 800 meter time trial and running the stadium stairs.  We will continue to work on these items and others in the next 2 weeks. 

 

Championship Meet 11/3 

Don't forget we expect every 7&8th grade team member to run in this race on Thursday, November 3 Kennedy Grove Park.  The first race is at 4:00 p.m.  

Runner Reward Points

Attached is the latest report, any questions, let me know.  Points will be accumulated until 10/24, the date of our last meet.  More and more kids have reached the Gold Level and we have our first Platinum Level runner, 7th grader Daniel Jones.  

Other Items

Any changes to your child's participation in the remaining meets or a parent volunteering to drive, contact me or the team 7h grade parents, Robin Smith, Lisa Li or 8th grade team parent, Jenn Fox.

Don't forget the Fenton'sFenton's around 3:00 p.m.

Thank you.  Any questions, please contact me.

WEEKLY BULLETIN #7 - WEEK OF 10/10

Despite the rain this past week, we had a good turnout for both meets and the two practices this week, more about that below.  Since Monday is a non-school day, no practice, but the kids can earn extra credit if they run on their own.  This is in addition to earning extra credit for running one day over the weekend.

I need your input on several items so we can properly plan for them.  Please click on this link (or copy and paste into your browser) and complete this short survey: 

http://www.jotform.com/form/12770222007

Information About the Meet on October 13th 

This week there is a meet on Thursday, October 13th at MLK School in Berkeley.

Meets are held rain or shine.  Please remind your child if they are running in the meet to bring their running attire and shoes, and walk right after school to the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave. where the drivers will meet them in the parking lot in front.  

The Schedule for Coming Week

Monday - School Holiday - No Practice

Run 15 or 30 minutes or your own and earn 1 or 2 extra credit points

Tuesday - October 11 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.

Wednesday - October 12 - Early Release Day = Practice from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Thursday - October 13 - Meet at MLK School in Berkeley

Practice available for those kids not running in the meet.

 Summary of Meets and Practices Week of 10/3

The weather made a dramatic change this week and the heat was replaced by cool temperatures and rain.  I am very proud of the kids for showing up for both the meets and practices despite the wet conditions.  I heard some of the other sports were canceled because of wet fields, but that didn't stop our cross country runners, it was nice to see the mud on their legs.  

Monday's meet at GGF Race Track was the 2nd largest meet in league history, behind ours.  We had a squad of about 60 kids and despite the soggy turf, the flat course still proved fast.  I have placings for our runners but no times yet.  In the Boys 6th grade race, Michael Blake led the way with a 10th place finish and in 18th place was Walter Teitelbaum.  Again space does not allow me to name all the kids who ran, but several coaches from other schools noticed the large contingent of PMS runners and their purple jerseys at the meet. 

For the 6th grade girls, Minnie Cooper was our top finisher in 7th place, followed by Kate Gross-Whitaker in 13th.  Natasha Long and Jacqueline Hollander ran well, and the coaching staff is noticing improvement in the running of many of the team members.  For the 7/8th grade boys, Everett Ellis continued his fine season with a 5th place finish.  Blake Gruendl was 14th and Kyle Mortimer had his best race so far finishing in 17th place.  About 130 boys ran in this race. The final race of the day was 7/8th grade race and running in her first race of the season for the team was Maddie Copeland, 8th grader and a 4 year veteran of the team.  She finished in 3rd place and pending official results set a new 8th grade girls school course record.  PMS had 5 girls finish among the top 17 places, Ava Podell in 9th, Emmie Seevak in 10th, Katie St. Claire in 15th and Mia Arthur in 17th.  A few pictures from the meet can be found at: https://picasaweb.google.com/leonardmgoldman/GGFRaceTrack10311#

Thursday's meet at Prospect Sierra presented more than usual challnges to the runners.  A hornet's nest was disturbed during the 6th grade girls race and some girls got stung.  Subsequent races had to run an altered course of an unknown distance to avoid the hornets, but some kids continued to be stung.  In addition, the City of El Cerrito had a work crew and equipment on site that was a bit of an obstacle.  Despite these obstacles our team competed well.  Regarding the races themselves, in the 6th grade girls race PMS had three girls in the top 10.  Minnie Cooper was 4th, Ava Biehn was 5th and Olivia Adams was 8th. 

In the 6th grade boys race, an altered course was run from the usual, plus several of the lead boys ran past the finish chute and had to back track.  Mitchell Bloemker finished 4th and his time of 7:05 will be considered a course record with an asterisk.  Both Michael Blake and Quinn Willrich ran in their first race and finished 9th and 12th respectively.

The 7/8th grade girls race was perhaps the highlight race of the day for our team, with a 1-2 finish.  Emma Seevak, 8th grade won the race in a time of 8:10, it was her first win in a cross country race and Ava Podell, 7th grade, was a very close 2nd place finisher about 7 seconds back.  Leah Kochendorfer, 7th grade, also had a top 10 finish in 5th place.  Rounding out our top 5 finishers were Monte Miller in 12th place and Megan Wilensky in 17th place.

The final race of the day, 7/8th grade boys featured Mingwei Samuel, 8th grade, running a very fine race and finishing in 3rd place.  Our next runner was Josh Wood, 7th grade, who was the 11th place finisher.  Nick Loduca had a solid race and was the 13th place finisher.     

Championship Meet Races on 10/27 

Last year the league started having "A&B" races at the league championship meet.  This is for the safety of the runners and because the site of the race, Cerrito Vista Park, cannot accommodate a large field of runners.  Based on performance both in meets and at practices, the coaching staff will determine who will run in these races.  Every school is limited to 10 runners in the "A" race and unlimited for the "B".  The "A" race will determine the league champion.  Every runner will get a participation ribbon. 

Note, the first race at the championship will be at 4:00 p.m. also a slight change from our regular season schedule. 

Runner Reward Points

Attached is the latest report, any questions, let me know.  Several runners have earned Gold Level points and the $10 Fenton's gift card that accompanies this achievement.  I expect quite a few team members to reach this level.  I have made a coaching decision, that every runner who has not yet earned the Bronze Level and $3 Tutti Frutti card will receive one, as long as they show up for practice or a meet to get it.

Other Items

Any changes to your child's participation in the remaining meets or a parent volunteering to drive, contact me or the team 6th grade parents, Sydney Shaul or Hilary Cooper.

The 2011 PMS cross country t-shirt has been distributed.  If your child didn't receive one, let me know.  This t-shirt is for the kids to keep.  In addition, racing singlets are being handed out.  They are to be returned at the end of the season.  We will continue to hand the singlets out at practice this week.

A new tradition, started last year, is riding a team bus to one of the meets.  The idea is to promote team camaraderie and give kids the team bus experience.  The Orinda meet on 10/17 has been selected for the team bus ride.  The kids are to meet at the usual place, the good news is we only need a few parent volunteers to drive to the meet to handle any overflow.  You are welcome to meet your child and make sure they get on the bus and then drive to the meet.  The kids do not have to ride the bus home since it will not leave unitl the last race has finished.  We will need a parent volunteer or two to ride on the bus, contact me if interested.  

WEEKLY BULLETIN #6 - 10/3

On Monday, PMS hosted the largest meet to date in league history, 407 runners!  Thank you to the parents who came to cheer, drove, provided snacks and volunteered.  Everything went well, no runners fell down, and we stayed pretty much on schedule, finishing the last race around 5:30 p.m.  The results can be found at this link:
As you will see in looking at the results, all the kids on the team ran well and space and time permits me to name just a few.  Mitchell Bloemker, 6th grade, in his first cross country race, set a new school course record of 7:00.6 and finished in 2nd place.  In the 7/8th grade boys race, Everett Ellis set a new school course record for 8th grade boys in a time of 7:09.3 and 4th place. 6th graders ran about a mile, 7/8th graders about 1.25 miles.  Just missing the school course record for 7th grade girls was Ava Podell in 8th place, 8:07.3, one second off the record. For the 6th grade girs race, we had several girls finish in the top 10, with Genevieve Raushenbush leading the way in 5th place. Over 60 PMS runners competed and I try to emphasize to the kids the important thing is trying your best and finishing.  Every team member can take pride and satisfaction in their accomplishment and it is an important building block in enjoying running for the healthy activity that it is.  
 
A point of clarification about the team rule that every runner must attend one practice a week.  Participating in a meet counts in meeting this requirement, so if your child runs in one meet a week that is sufficient and the requirement is fulfilled.  Plus meets are worth 4 points, regular practice counts as 2 points.  Sorry for any confusion about this item. 
Information About the Meets on October 3rd and 6th 

This week there are two meets on the schedule. Meets are held rain or shine.  Please remind your child if they are running in the meet and to bring their running attire and shoes, and walk right after school to the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave. where the drivers will meet them in the parking lot in front.  It may be coole weather, the kids should dress in layers.  Below is a list of the kids scheduled to run in these meets.  Any changes, just let me know.

Attached are the directions to the meet.  Our website also has maps for each meet location: http://www.pmscc.com/directions-to-meets

Summary of Practices Week of 9/26

Once again the heat made practices difficult, it finally cooled off a bit on Thursday.  Thanks to Deb Edwards who provides jugs of water and cups, there is plenty of water available for every practice and we take frequent breaks.  If a child is feeling ill during practice, we ask they let us know and we have them sit out.  This week, the intensity of the practices increased and we did both some interval workouts and a 1200 meter time trial on Thursday.  The time trials serve several purposes for the coaching staff, one of which is to help benchmark the kids and to some extent measure their progress.  Our runs into the neighborhood took us to the Rose Garden, Crocker Park, and best of all for the kids a run to Mulberry's for a treat on Thursday.  Other activities during the week included obstacle course runs, bean bag races and core exercises.  As prizes for both effort or performance in practice, small little items are rewarded or $2 gift certificates to Tutti Fruitti.

The Schedule for Coming Week
Monday - October 3 - Meet at Golden Gate Fields Racetrack in Albany
Practice available for those kids not running in the meet.
Tuesday - October 4 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - October 5 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Thursday - October 6 - Meet at Cerrito Vista Park in
El Cerrito
Practice available for those kids not running in the meet.
 
Runner Reward Points
Attached is the latest report, any questions, let me know.
 
PE Mile
One question I get a lot from parents and kids is about having to run a mile for time in PE class.   I understand this and the PE teachers know about the cross country program.  On the days of the meet, and if your child is scheduled to run the mile that day, they should tell the teacher that they have a cross country meet that day and they will be jogging the mile, not racing it at 100% effort.  They should "save" their energy for the cross country race is my recommendation. 
My understanding is that as long as the child runs the PE mile in 10 minutes or under, the PE teachers are okay with it.  So the kids still have to run the PE mile but they can take it easy on the days they will be racing, just let the teacher know.  Any questions or concerns about this, let me know. 
 
Fenton's Party and Other Items
Fenton's party has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at 2:00 p.m.  That is a minimum day and we will meet at the track at 1:00 p.m. and run to Fenton's.  It should finish around 3:30 p.m. 
Attached is an Excel spreadsheet labeled "2011 X Country Meet Participation Interest as of 9-30-11."  It has a summary of information by grade for the all the remaining meets.  There is a tab for each grade by date.  If you have any problem using this spreadsheet let me know.  Any changes to your child's participation or a parent volunteering to drive, contact me or the team 6th grade parents, Sydney Shaul or Hilary Cooper.
The 2011 PMS cross country t-shirt has been distributed.  If your child didn't receive one, let me know.  This t-shirt is for the kids to keep.  In addition, racing singlets are being handed out.  The kids are to wear these at the meets, but they are to be returned at the end of the season.  We will continue to hand the singlets out at practice this week.
A new tradition, started last year, is riding a team bus to one of the meets.  The idea is to promote team camaraderie and give kids the team bus experience.  The Orinda meet on 10/17 has been selected for the team bus ride.  More information to follow, and while we will still want a few drivers to the meet, we won't need that many but we will need a parent volunteer or two to ride on the bus.  
 

WEEKLY BULLETIN #5 - 9/26
It was great to see quite a few of the kids and parents at the Wellness 5K run today.  Our first meet of the 2011 season went very well and all the coaches were pleased with how the kids ran at the meet.  Thank you to all the parents who drove and provided snacks.  More details about the meet are summarized below.  We now have at least one meet every week remaining in the season, it should be fun.  Coming up on Monday, September 26 is the meet we host at Temescal Park.  This traditionally is the league's largest meet and we are expecting around 400 to 500 kids!      One item I would like to mention.  Usually about half way through each season we notice a drop off in attendance at practice.  One practice a week is mandatory unless your child is injured or sick, two practices a week is ideal.   In sports there is something call the "rule of specificity."  Basically it says to get better at a sport you have to practice that sport on a consistent basis, that's one of the reasons we have the runner reward program to encourage running on the weekend too.  So its important to attend practice, plus studies have shown that kids who exercise actually do better in school and it's a healthy activity.

Information About the Meet at Temescal Regional Park, Monday - September 26 

This is the only meet we host during the season.  Please remind your child if they are running in the meet and to bring their running attire and shoes, and walk right after school to the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave. where the drivers will meet them in the parking lot in front.  Below is a list of the kids scheduled to run in the meet.  Any changes, just let me know.

The drivers should arrive around 3:00 p.m. or so, a representative from the Rec Dept. needs to check you in.  The meet starts at 4:15 p.m., 6th grade boys race first, so it is important for the drivers to leave as soon as your car has been loaded with kids.  Attached are the directions to the meet.  Our website also has maps for each meet location: http://www.pmscc.com/directions-to-meets

I will be at the meet site, waiting for the team.  My cell number is, 510-304-9533

The kids can either change into their running attire at the meet or wear it under their regular clothing, changing into it prior to their last period. 

Summary of Prospect Sierra Meet & Practices Week of 9/19 

About 50 Piedmont kids ran in our first meet of the season at Cerrito Vista Park in El Cerrito.  It was a hot day, the course is a bit hilly and has its own little quirks.  The race results, provided by the meet race director, are attached.  Not all times are listed.

The first race was the 6th grade boys race.  Please note space does not allow me to mention every child who ran in the race.  13 Piedmont boys ran in this race including two who are in our 5th grade development program.  Henry Cooper, a 5th grader was our first finisher in 11th place, followed by Walter Teitelbaum in 12th place.  In fact the first 5 Piedmont runners finished together in places 11 through 15th place.  Next was the 6th grade girls race and we had 12 kids in this race.  Leading the way was Minnie Cooper in 5th place, closely followed by Genevieve Raushenbush in 6th, and Kate Gross-Whitaker in 8th place.

Our 7th & 8th grade boys competed next, due to an 8th grade field trip no 8th grade boys ran in this race.  Blake Gruendl was the team's first finisher, 7th place and Joseph Chu finished in 14th place.  A total of 10-7th grade boys ran in this race.  The final race was the 7/8th grade girls race with 8 girls competing.  Finishing in 6th place was 8th grader Emma Seevak.  Again all the kids ran well, and I am sorry I can't mention everyone.

We took a few pictures at the meet and they are in a file that is password protected.  The file link is:  http://gallery.me…/mynsdesign/100097
Log in is: pms
Password is: xcountry2011

The weather at practices this past week were very hot, but this is typical of our "Summers" and soon fall like weather should be more prevalent.  There was a small turnout on Tuesday, but we did some circuit drills, core, and an endurance run into the neighborhood.  We usually do something on the track and this may include bean bag relay races and relay races involving using a baton. 

I think relay races help promote a "team feeling" in a sport where learning team plays are minimal at best.  Wednesday and Thursday practices were much better attended, and while it was hot, we took frequent water breaks, thanks to the cups and water jugs provided by team mom Deb Edwards.  As in the past week, small prizes were handed out and these included $2 gift certificates to Tutti Fruitti that were donated by the store.  On Thursday, thanks to the parents of Emma Nash, Burr Nash and Lisa Rasmussen, Popsicles were handed out to the kids.  The previous day I brought Otter Pops, so a cool treat is nice on a hot day.

The Schedule for Coming Week
Monday - September 26 - Meet at Temescal Regional Park
No practice available.
Tuesday - September 27 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - September 28 - Practice from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. 
Thursday - September 29 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Note:  Wednesday is early release, please give your children something that they can eat before practice.
 
Runner Reward Points
The kids always want to know how many points they have.  Please share the attached report with them, it is current through 9/23.  Let me know if something is not correct.  Note this spreadsheet has several tabs at the bottom.  They are all labeled, but to navigate through it, some basic knowledge of Excel is useful.  I will be happy to talk you through it if you need help.
Many thanks to Coach Minori who maintains this report for the team.  We have started to hand out the Silver level awards, a $5 gift card to Jamba Juice.  Please note the Silver level will only be Jamba Juice cards, I was unable to do business with Yogofina and purchase gift cards from them.  If anyone has a connection or contact with a local business where I can buy gift cards for something the kids would like let me know.
 
Upcoming Meet Participation Document
Thank you for submitting your information about meet participation, it really helps with the planning.  Please e-mail or call me with any changes or update.  Attached is an Excel spreadsheet labeled "2011 X Country Meet Participation Interest as of 9-23-11."
It has a summary of information by grade for the meets on October 3, October 6 and October 13.  There is a tab for each grade by date.  In addition, there is a tab labeled "9-23."  If you click on this tab you will see a matrix of every child, what meets they are running in, what meets a parent is scheduled to drive or provide a snack.  You will have to navigate through this tab, but the information is there.  If you have any problem using this spreadsheet let me know.
Fenton's Party and Other Items
Save the date, the party at Fenton's has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at 2:00 p.m.  That is a minimum day and we will meet at the track at 1:00 p.m. and run to Fenton's.  It should finish around 3:30 p.m.  More details to follow in future bulletins.
 
The 2011 PMS cross country t-shirt is in the process of being distributed.  David Weisgerber will have them available in the car pool area for the upcoming meets.  This t-shirt is for the kids to keep.  In addition, racing singlets are being handed out.  The kids are to wear these at the meets, but they are to be returned at the end of the season.  The 7/8th graders have received theirs (those who were at practice this past week) and 6th graders will receive theirs this week.
 
A new tradition, started last year, is riding a team bus to one of the meets.  The idea is to promote team camaraderie and give kids the team bus experience.  Tentatively, the Orinda meet on 10/17 has been selected for the team bus ride.  More information to follow, and while we will still want a few drivers to the meet, we won't need that many but we will need a parent volunteer or two to ride on the bus.  
 
Finally, below is a brief article about nutrition and eating before a race.
 

Nutrition Checklist for Cross Country

by Coach Frank Pucher

The Cross Country Season is almost here! So before it begins, let's talk about Race Day Nutrition.

Morning Races
For morning races, always eat something 2-3 hours before race time. Some toast or a bagel with some peanut butter is an excellent race day breakfast. A ClifBar / PowerBar is another good choice. Be sure to drink 8-10oz of water with breakfast. Avoid fruit with skin (apples, plums etc.) before races unless you've tried them before other races as they may cause stomach discomfort if not digested in time.

Afternoon Races
Afternoon races pose a different strategy. Beginning in the morning eat a typical day's breakfast (whatever that may be). Assuming lunch in school around 12pm, try to eat an easily digested meal - perhaps a chicken/turkey sandwich with a Banana. Drink 8-10oz of water with lunch. Assuming a 4pm Race Start consume 1/2 of a ClifBar / PowerBar with another 8-10oz of water about 1- 1 ½ hrs before the race if you're still feeling hungry.

An accepted principle is that you can consume 100 calories for each hour before your event.

After the Race
After you finish your race and have properly warmed down, you should eat something within 1 hour to help spark the rebuilding and recovery process. Yogurt, fruit, or a sandwich with some more water are the best choices. The worst choices you can make after a race are cookies, crackers, chips and cokes.

Your body wants to rebuild and recover; bad food choices will simply delay the process. An athlete who eats properly "post race" has an advantage over their teammates and competitors almost immediately. If you've ever felt really bad the day after a race, take a good look at what you ate right after!

In Summary
There is no "magic formula" for eating that will lead to excellent performances. However, there are plenty of things you can do to SABATOGE all of your hard work and miles run. Follow the suggestions listed and you'll be on your way to a safe and successful season.



WEEKLY BULLETIN #4 - 9/19

Dear Piedmont Middle School 6th Grade Cross Country Parents:  

The competitive portion of our 2011 season kicks off on Monday with a meet at Cerrito Vista Park in El Cerrito hosted by Prospect Sierra.  This will be the first meet ever for those 6th graders participating and I hope they enjoy it.  Some race day nerves are to be expected.  The important thing, and I will remind the kids of this, is to relax and run your race, try your best and finish with a smile on your face.  More details about the meet follow and I hope to see quite a few parents there to cheer the kids on.  A note about the team, 45-6th graders have signed up so far with a few more expected to.  This equals the number we had last year, which was our largest group of 6th graders.  In total for all grades the team numbers about 90, which is a new record.  Thank you kids and parents for your support!

Information About the Meet at Cerrito Vista Park, Monday - September 19 

For Monday, if your child is running in the meet please remind them to bring their running attire and shoes, and walk right after school to the Piedmont Community Hall,
711 Highland Ave. where the drivers will meet them in the parking lot in front.  The drivers should arrive around 3:00 p.m. or so, a representative from the Rec Dept. needs to check you in.  One of the coaches, Hilary Cooper will also be there to help with getting the kids into the cars.  The meet starts at 4:15 p.m., 6th grade boys race first, so it is important for the drivers to leave as soon as your car has been loaded with kids.  Attached are the directions to the meet.  Our website also has maps for each meet location: http://www.pmscc.com/directions-to-meets
I will be at the meet site, waiting for the team.  My cell number is included, 510-304-9533.  The kids can either change into their running attire at the meet or wear it under their regular clothing, changing into it prior to their last period. 
Please note, on most meet days (I will announce it in the bulletin), practice at our normal time and place will also be offered.  However, I expect any child scheduled to run in a meet will do so.  The meets are an important part of the cross country season and learning process.  
At the end of this message, there is a list of the kids who have indicated they plan to run in the meet.  If there are any changes, please let me know.
To give you some idea of the meet timeline, 
  - 4:15 to 4:30 -- 6th grade boys race
  - 4:30 to 4:45  -- 6th grade girls race
  - 4:45 to 5:05 -- 7th & 8th grade boys race 
  - 5:10 to 5:30  -- 7th & 8th grade girls race
Once 6th graders are done with their race, they are free to leave, or they can stay and cheer on their teammates.  Note, I suggest giving your child a "light" snack to take with them so they can have something to eat prior to the race that will not upset their stomach, but provide some energy.  Also, many of your questions may have already been answered if you review the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of the website: http://www.pmscc.com/faq 
Meet Participation Form and Volunteers for September 26 Meet
Thank you if you completed the meet participation form.  However, there are still quite a few kids who have not submitted this form.  If you haven't, just go to this link:
Click on "Meet Participation Interest Form" and complete the document and click the "submit" button. 
A few more parent volunteers are needed for the meet we host on 9/26 at Lake Temescal Regional Park.  E-Mail me if you can lend a hand.
Summary of Practices Week of 9/12 
A quick summary of the week, Monday was a community service run as the team delivered a notice to those houses which are on the route of the 5K Wellness Center Run scheduled for 9/24.  The kids I ran with really enjoyed it and wanted to know when they can do it again.  Obviously this is a once a year type activity.  Our other endurance runs this past week took us to the Piedmont Community Hall Parking lot, Dracena ParkPiedmont Park, and Crocker Park.  On Tuesday and Thursday, we did core exercises and a circuit drill involving hurdles, agility dots and speed ladder.  Our track workouts include the centipede, intervals, and continuous 4 by 100 meter relay.  Sometimes small prizes are handed out to the kids for their effort, or their relay team finishing first, or some other action on their part.  One of our sponsors, Tutti Fruitti has donated 50-$2 gift certificates that will be handed out during the season.  On Thursday, we held our annual pizza party.  This is a tradition we have had for the past several years and takes place before the first meet.  Thursday was one of our largest practices ever, 70 plus kids and the kids consumed 10-medium size pizzas, I hope it didn't ruin their appetite for dinner that night.  
The Schedule for Coming Week
Monday - September 19 - Meet at Cerrito Vista Park in El Cerrito
Practice available for those not running in the meet from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday - September 20 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - September 21 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. 
Thursday - September 22 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Runner Reward Points
The kids always want to know how many points they have.  Please share the attached report with them, it is current through 9/16.  Let me know if something is not correct, with 90+ kids on the team there is a lot to keep track of.  Many thanks to Coach Minori who maintains this report for the team.  This past week we started to distribute the "Bronze Award Level" item a $3 gift card to Tutti Fruitti.  12 points are needed for this award.

Fenton's Party - Save the Date

Our traditional party at Fenton's has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at 2:00 p.m.  That is a minimum day and we will meet at the track at 1:00 p.m. and run to Fenton's.  It should finish around 3:30 p.m.  More details to follow in future bulletins.
 
Any questions or comments, please contact me.  Thank you for taking the time to read the weekly bulletin.
 
Len Goldman

WEEKLY BULLETIN #3 - 9/12

Dear Piedmont Middle School 6th Grade Cross Country Parents:    

Thank you if you have completed the questionnaire and meet participation on-line forms.  With our first meet coming up on September19th, I really need everyone to provide the meet participation information.  The steps are as follows.
Your child will receive 2 bonus points if this form is submitted by Wednesday,
September 14. (Due date extended.) 
The steps are as follows:
1.  Go to this page on our website:  http://www.pmscc.com/parents
(Copy and paste into your browser.)
2.  Click on the item labeled "Meet Participation Interest Form"
3.  A Google form will open once you click on this item, please complete all the information requested.  The section labeled "Participation" is where you indicate what meets your child wants to run in.  The options are "yes," "no," or "maybe".
4.  The next section, "Local Meet Help" is where you, the parent, indicate what meets you can either drive to or provide a snack.  First indicate how many passengers you can accommodate.  Second, for each meet date there is a Pull Down Menu to indicate if you can drive, provide a snack, or neither.  Don't forget to use the pull down menu for each meet.
When you are done completing the entire form, click on "Submit."  
If you encounter any problem using the form, let me know, 510-339-2430
Also, if plans for your child's participation in a meet change, just call or e-mail me.
At the end of this e-mail are some additional "q&a" items that came up. 
 
Summary of Practices Week of 9/5 
Hot weather was the rule this week and shade and cool breezes were at a premium.  Just so you know for every practice, thanks to Anya Edwards' mom, we have jugs of cold water for the kids to drink and we bringer "spritzers" so the kids can spay themselves to cool off.
In addition this week for our Thursday snack, Emma Nash's mom brought popsicles for the kids to enjoy. 
Our endurance runs this week took us to different parts of Piedmont, including Mt. View Cemetery, the Rose Garden, and a route toward Coach's Field.  In addition, we continued to conduct 800 meter time trials and I think most of the kids have been covered.  Another item we introduced to the kids was "Run for the Money" which are hill repeats, with a coach standing on the hill holding out play money and the first one there grabs the money.  Small prizes were awarded to kids who had the most money.  Finally, Coach Rich and Minori conducted form drills and an "obstacle course" drill on Tuesday and Thursday.  At almost every practice, I try to impart some bit of running philosophy or instruction.  For example, this week I asked the kids what the most important part of the body in running was.  Some said the heart, and a few the mind.  I think the brain is the most important part and I explained why.  I cited the example of Holland Reynolds, a runner who collapsed near the finish line of the 2010 California state meet and crawled across the finish line, because she was not going to be denied.  Her team won the state title in part because of her.
 
The Schedule for Next Week
Monday - September 12 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday - September 13 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - September 14 - Practice from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  
Wednesday is a early release day.  The kids need to bring a snack or lunch to practice.  We will give them time to eat it.  They can't run if their fuel tank is empty.
Thursday - September 15 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
On Monday, the team will be doing a community service activity.  It will entail having the kids deliver the Wellness race notification flyers to all houses on the race route.  We will divide into 4 teams and each team will be assigned a specific part of the route. Each team will have about 80 flyers to deliver.  Also, the plan is to have a kick-off pizza party at the end of Thursday's practice and it will take place at the track.
In addition, it is my understanding from the Rec Department that the team t-shirt will be distributed along with the racing singlet.
Please remind your child that on the "early release days" practice is held right after the last bell.  
 
Runner Reward Program Points and Report
I decided to hand out the Copper Award level prize to all the kids, so every kid on the team should have received a coupon for a free Icee at Mulberry's.  If they didn't, have them see me at practice.  The next award level prize, a $3 gift card to Tutti Fruitti and it will be handed out at practice this week to those kids who have reached 12 miles. 
Thank you for posting any extra credit running your child does on the weekend, please continue to do so, the kids really like to earn points. 
Click on "Extra Credit Form" and enter the data and click "submit."  This has to be completed each time your child wants to get credit for running on the weekends.
At practice, we often award bonus points for something positive and above the norm that your child might do. 
You can review the points your child has earned by reviewing the report issued weekly.  It is not quite ready, I will have it posted on our home page by Sunday.
 
Team Goals
Just as I have asked each team member to pick a goal(s) for the season, the coaching staff has selected some team goals too.  They are as follows:
1.  Every kid on the team has fun and enjoys cross country.
2.  A 6th grade runner, male and female, finish in the top 10 at the league championship meet.
3.  The 6th grade team, male and female, finish in the top 5 at the league championship meet.
4.  A 7 or 8th grade runner, male and female, finish in the top 10 at the league championship meet.
5.  The 7/8th grade team, male and female, finish in the top 5 at the league championship meet.
 

Regarding item #1:

This is not “fool around” or goof off fun, but it is the pride, satisfaction and fulfillment you will

experience from improving your running, setting a personal best, competing in a meet,

running with friend’s in practice, taking part and contributing to the team.  It is the

fun of feeling good about oneself and participating in an activity that you can do your entire life.


 
Len Goldman
510-339-2430
 
Additional Q&A's
 

Q.  How do the kids get home from meets?

A.  The parents who drive to the meets will also bring the kids back to Piedmont unless the parent of a child comes to watch the meet and picks their child up.  We ask that the carpool parents who drive any child back to Piedmont drop them at the child's home.  If you meet your child at the meet and then take them home, please let one of the coaches know when your child is leaving the meet and who the driver is. 

 

Q.  For the parents providing the snacks, what kind of snacks, for how many kids and how do we deliver the snacks?

A.  The snack should be enough for 8-10 kids.  Of course we want a healthy snack, and over the years it has been things like fresh fruit, fruit rolls, rice crispy bars, healthy other types of bars (Odwalla bars), etc.  You can either have your child bring it with them to school that day, although it might be a bit bulky, or you can drop it off to David in the Rec Dept.  David would bring it to the car pool area and give it to one of the 6th grade drivers to bring to the meet.  Another option might be to deliver the snack to one of the drivers.

The kids eat the snack after they run.  Obviously if a child needs an energy boost before they run, we would give them the snack before hand, but usually the kids get it afterwards when the digestion may be a bit easier.


WEEKLY BULLETIN #2 - 9/5

Dear Piedmont Middle School Cross Country Parents:  

We completed our first full week of practices this past week and the kids ran and worked hard.  We averaged about 35 kids for each practice.  We really appreciate the support and interest in the program, its great to see how much the program has grown since its inception in 2006.  Again any child is welcome to first check out a practice or two and then decide if they would like to enroll. 
 
Please don't forget to submit the "Runner Questionnaire and Goals" form, 1 bonus point if submitted by 9/8, just go to this link on our website:
Myself and the other coaches will be reviewing the goals your child selects and at the end of the season we will follow-up on them.  I feel even at this young age, goal setting is appropriate and its an approach that has applicability in other situations the kids will experience.
Please note, the meet schedule and show of interest for the meets your child wants to run in will be sent in a separate e-mail later this weekend.
 
Summary of Practices Week of 8/29 
A brief re-cap of the week is as follows.  The weather was comfortable, a little warm, but not exceedingly so.  Again please have your child bring their own water bottle to practice.  Also just so you know, we never have a child do a particular activity if they don't want to and they have a legitimate reason.  Normal muscle soreness because of doing physical exertion is not unusual and is to be expected.  In addition, some fatigue and tiredness may also occur.  That's why we recommend the kids run a couple of days a week and have rest days too.  With time, it should dissipate and as the kids get into shape, it should not be much of a factor. 
 
Our longer endurance runs this week included a run to Crocker Park, Piedmont Park, and a jog from the track down to Lakeshore Ave. and back.  There are always 2 or more coaches with the kids on these runs.  I also had the kids run by the parking lot of the Piedmont Community Hall where they will walk to on meet days for a ride to the cross country meets.  In addition, we did some dynamic warm-ups, strides, circuit work, centipede and fartlek runs on the track.  On Thursday, we held a 800 meter time trial and after wards ran to Mulberry's where the kids enjoyed a Icee.  We take frequent water breaks during every practice and the treats this week included "otter pops," Popsicles, energy bars from Clif Bar and Detour, GU energy gels, and Pop Chips.
Finally, a Frisbee was given to all those kids who have registered for cross country.  We will continue to hand them out next week, in case your child didn't receive one. 
 
The Schedule for Next Week
Monday - September 5 - Labor Day Holiday, no practice (if your child runs on their own they can earn 1 or 2 bonus points)
Tuesday - September 6 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - September 7 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Thursday - September 8 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
 
Also, please tell your child that Thursday, September 15 will be our pizza party to kick off the season.  I realize that not every child will be able to attend, however I can only afford to host one pizza party.  It will be held at the track and the pizzas will take place at the end of practice.  The next minimum day is Wednesday, September 14th, practice is held right after the last bell starting at 1:00 p.m.  A minimum day does not mean there is no practice, please have your child attend.    
 
Runner Reward Program Points and Report
The kids have asked a lot of questions about the runner reward program and the points they have earned.  We are in the process of preparing the initial report and will post it on the website as soon as it is available.  On Thursday, I handed out the initial awards for the Copper level, a coupon for a free small size Icee at Mulberry's, generously donated by the store.
I will continue to hand out this coupon at practices next week. 
Regarding the Runner Reward Program, in summary, the kids earn 2 points for every practice they attend.  If a child can only attend one practice a week due to another sport(s) they are playing, I will give them one point.  I need you to tell me if your child is only able to attend once a week due to another sports activity.  Also, they can run on the weekend for extra credit, 15 minutes earns 1 point and 30 minutes earns 2 points.  In addition, sometimes at practice we hand out "bonus" points for the things the kids do.
Please note, to incent the kids to run on Labor Day, they can earn points by running for 15 or 30 minutes.  The extra credit does not apply to any running they might do in a weekend soccer tournament, etc., the child must have done a unique run separate from another sport.  You can report extra credit on-line, by going to this link:
Click on "Extra Credit Form"  and enter the data and click "submit."  This has to be completed each time your child wants to get credit for running on the weekends.
Finally, because of Bonanza Day, and this will be the only minimum day during the season that I will do this, those 6th graders who did not attend practice on Thursday will still get 1  point.  Those 6th graders who attended practice that day get  2 points.
 
Team Parent
Jenn Fox has voluntered to be the team parent for the 8th graders.  I need a parent volunteer for the 7th graders, it will take about an hour a week.  Contact me if interested.
 
Roster
I hope by the end of the week to publish a roster of the 6th graders on the team

If you have any questions, let me know.  Thanks and have a nice weekend.

Coach Len

510-339-2430 (home)  

WEEKLY BULLETIN #1 - 8/29
Dear PMS Cross Country Parents & Other Interested PMS Parents:
Welcome
We had a good first practice and the entire coaching staff is looking forward to the upcoming season.  We understand that the start of middle school can be a bit daunting, and hope that cross country can help your child with that transition by providing a healthy and fun outlet for them.  While practice is available 4 days a week, you decide what days your child would like to attend.  The minimum is one day a week, and because rest days are also important the maximum should be three days a week of practice, plus possibly running for extra credit on one day of the weekend. 
Communications 
The weekly bulletin will be the primary vehicle for providing information to you.  Please read it in its entirely and share it with your child.  In addition we have a team website: www.pmscc.com
The "Frequently Asked Questions" tab has answers to many of your questions. 
If at any time you have any questions or want to discuss things, feel free to either e-mail or call:
510-339-2430 (home)
510-304-9533 (cell)
Schedule for Next Week 
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.  Thursday is a minimum day and the kids are excused at 12:45.  Practice is from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  We meet at Witter Field.  The 6th graders have Bonanza day on Thursday afternoon and I completely understand if they choose that over practice. (I would!)  For the 7th & 8th graders, I expect to see them at practice that day, if that day and time fits their schedule.
Parents are welcome to observe our practices and see what we do.  Note, our schedule is also posted and updated on Google Calendar: http://www.pmscc.com/calendar
The schedule for cross country meets will be published in our next bulletin.  PMS hosts a meet at Temescal Park on Monday, September 26th.
Practice Items
Please note, your child should bring a water bottle to practice.  There are only two drinking fountains at the track, but the kids need to hydrate whether the weather is hot or cool and we do take breaks for this purpose.  In addition, every child needs to run in running shoes, not court shoes or an all purpose shoes.  Most of our running will be on the track, sidewalks or asphalt.  The meets will be run on a variety of surfaces, mainly dirt and grass.  Regular running shoes work fine on this surface also.  If your child's running shoes are more than 6 months old, you may want to buy a new pair.  There are many running stores in the area and I recommend going to a specialty running stores, so your child can be fitted by someone knowledgeable.  Transports on College Ave. does offer a 10% discount on non-sales shoes if you mention PMS.
Kids are not allowed to practice in flip-flops, barefoot, dress shoes, etc. 
Sun screen, its sunny at the track and there is little shade, so protection from the sun is important.
Its important to that they eat a nutritious breakfast and lunch.  They can't run if they don't have the energy.  Its okay if they want to bring a light snack (fruit, etc.) and have it right before practice.
At the end of every practice, we have a healthy snack.  If your child has any allergies let me know.
Questionnaire
To assist me in getting to know more about your child I am asking you to complete a brief on-line questionnaire.  It will take about 10 minutes.  I am also asking that your child tell me what goals they have relative to being on the cross country team.  It is the last item on the questionnaire and there is a menu of items to choose from or they can submit their own.  Extra credit will be give for those team members who turn it on by Sept. 8.
To complete it, just go to this link: 
Click on "Runner Questionnaire & Goals" and complete the form and click on the submit button.  If you have any problems doing this, please let me know.  We discussed at our first practice what are goals and why they are important.
Runner Reward Program and Earning Extra Credit
Since the program was founded, we have had a program for rewarding team members for coming to practice, running in meets, extra credit for a running on the weekend.  Attached is a document explaining the program, and I will be handing it out at practice too.  I would appreciate it if you could review it with your child.  We will do the tracking and issue a weekly report of points earned.  As milestones are reached, the rewards will be handed out at practice.
I give extra credit if the kids run on their own, or with a parent on the weekend.  I only accept one extra credit form per week.  To report extra credit mileage, go to this link:
Click on "Extra Credit Form," complete the form and press the "submit" button. 
Note, if your child can only attend one practice a week because they play another sport or have some other commitment, indicate that on the questionnaire and I will give them one point each week because of this situation.  This is so they are not disadvantaged completely relative to earning miles.
Team Parents
We do need a parent volunteer or two to help coordinating drivers and snack providers for the meets.  It should take just an hour or so per week.  If interested, let me know.
Recruiting
While we have a good number of 6th graders, we welcome any boy or girl who wants to be part of the team.  Any student is welcome to try a few practices before deciding if they want to sign up.  So please have your child tell their friends and ask them to join them at one of our practices.
Staff
We have a very competent and experienced staff of coaches.  I feel it is important to have each practice staffed with enough coaches so the kids can be well supported and supervised.  You can read a summary about each coach on our website and I hope you have a chance to meet each of them during the course of the season.
Any question on the above items, let me know.  Thank you and have a nice weekend.
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