Monday, November 26, 2012

Disney Track Meet, March 16th 2013

2009 Disney Track Meet Athletes
(J. Lake, K. Wojan, M. bergen, T. Brost, A. Hertzler, A. Balsiger, A. Grimm,  J.  D'Agostino)
One last post for the evening.

About four years ago, we went to the Disney Track & Field Invitational down in Orlando with a group of kids.  It was small group, but the experience was invaluable.  This Disney meet is tough, but not overly competitive.  The athletes we compete against are one we will never see again, so we go in blind,not knowing anyones flaws or tendencies.   I remember Coach Maroney saying, "The vibe and mojo in that warm-up tent is something you just can't replicate, having our athletes experience that will make State seem that much easier."  It was a bonding experience for the athletes, as well as the coaches.  It was just a great time, and we want to do it again this year.

However, the standards for attending have changed a bit.  Five years ago, anyone who wanted to go could go.  In 2013, the standards are that any athlete who has a electronic mark that would place them 6th or higher at the 2012 meet would be invited.  I crunched a bunch of numbers from the official results website, and these are the following qualifying athletes.

100m G - Olivia Perry
400m B - Alec MacArthur, Ryan Kwiatkowski
400m G - Jill Hanrahan
800m B - Zach Young, Ryan Kwiatkowski, John Bacovin
800m G - Whitney Schultz
1600m B - James Kadolph, Dominic Compoz
3200m B - James Kadolph, Dominic Compoz, Bryce Rich
300H B - Dane Goldwasser
PV B - Nolan Ellis
HJ G - Katrina Bacovin, Olivia Perry, Whitney Schultz
LJ B - Spencer Bills
LJ G - Keanna Anderson, Jenna Lanskey
TJ G - Jenna Lanskey
SP G - Jen Calscionne
DC G - Jen Calscionne

Disclaimer: There are one or two other athletes who have conferred with me about possibly attending.  I have informed them I will email the meet director to see what his thoughts are on this based on their electronic 2012 marks.  I do not know what the response will be, but I can see him having some leeway for athletes who are close to the qualifing mark, in un-laned events, and who are seniors.  At least that's how I would look at it if I was the meet director.  If you think you are close, please talk to me in person about it, and I will give you my thoughts on the situation.

So, first of all, congratulations to the above athletes for achieving the qualifying mark last year.  I count a possibility of 16 athletes, which is a perfect number.  Now, some preliminary logistics.

First and foremost, we are going to compete in a track meet.  We will not be going to Disney World, we will not be going to the beach, we will not be going to GatorLand.  We will fly in, acclimate, compete at a track meet, and fly home.  We are a competitve track team, not a sight seeing tour.  The goal is not only to have a good experience, but to also win the meet.

NOT where we are staying
The track program would pay for meet registration, meals and ground transportation.  The individual athlete would have to pay for airfare, their share of the hotel room, as well as side expenses, like T-shirts or other Florida nick-nacks.  I have one alumni working on securing hotel rooms at an incredibly low rate.  Not at a fleabag motel either, this hotel chain is very nice.  Big clean rooms, hot continental breakfast  pool, kitchenette.  A hell of a lot nicer than the soon-to-be-condemned dumps I used to stay in on athletic trips.  Right now I do not know what the rate would be for each athletes, but since we would be staying at least three to a room, I am betting on about 20 bucks a night.

Airfare is the other major expense.  Looking on google (man, google can do everything!) right now, the airfare from Denver to Orlando for that weekend in March is about 500 bucks roundtrip.  Now, I have sent an email to the group ticket people at both United and at Delta, trying to figure out a way to get us discounted  group tickets.  (We will fly in as a group, we have learned that is the easiest way to get all athletes, plus all of the equipment, to and from an out-of-state track meet.)  Another option is to not fly out Friday, but to fly out Thursday.  Maybe the added expense of an extra hotel night would be negated by the discount of flying on a Thursday as opposed to a Friday.  That would mean another couple of meals, and an extra missed day of school, but it would guarantee us some quality track time on Friday to prepare for the meet, as well as some rest from flying before competition.  A third option is to just jog to Orlando, but then I think we would be pretty tired for the actual track meet. As of right now, I am not sure of the answers, but once I know who can totally commit, then those hard numbers will help me firm some of these things up.

Way to dress up, gentlemen
Athletes would be registered in the events they have qualified for.  If we have enough athletes, will will certainly do some additional relays.  We will have an administrator from Chaparral, as well as three Chaparral T&F coaches.  These coaches will be doing nightly bed-checks, we will be driving the vans, we will be in charge of all athletes for the duration of the trip. We will bring coolers of food for the athletes to eat at the meet.  We will bring all field equipment that we need (pole vault poles, shot-puts, etc.) and we will have a nice celebratory dinner at a funky Orlando restaurant on Saturday night before we leave.  Athletes must sign a behavior contract drawn up by the track team, as well as have medical and parental permission forms on record.

The athletes listed above are NOT forced to come on this trip.  It is completely voluntary.  I repeat, it is completely voluntary.  The regular meet for that weekend is the ThunderRidge Invite at Parker Stadium, and any varsity athlete that does not go to Florida will compete in that meet here in Colorado.  However, in order to move on with the nuts and bolts of registering athletes, buying plane tickets, securing hotel rooms, renting vans, and making restaurant reservations,  etc. etc, I do need to know who can definitely attend the trip.

I will be holding a parent informational meeting on Monday, December 17th after practice in Coach Bowman's room.  I will have more information on hotel rates, as well as airfare and an exact schedule for our trip at this meeting.  If you plan on attending this Disney Meet, I need to see you and your parents there.  You can make your final commitment at the end of the informational meeting, as I will be asking for checks then to cover the plane tickets and the hotel reservations.  If you cannot attend the meeting, but still want to go to Florida, please email me that so I can have it in writing.

I am super excited about this opportunity.  This is a great meet, great weather, great fun, great experience.  It really changed the course of those athlete's seasons in 2009.  If we have only one athlete, we will still go, but I really hope all 16 can make it.

Of course, email me with any questions.

11/28 Edit: 
I have been in communication with the meet director.  He has told me will will allow seniors that are "competitive" to attend this meet as well.  I think this is great news.  If you are a returning senior to the CHS track & field team, and are interested in going, let's have a conversation about it at winter practice.  I will not  bring athletes who wouldn't benefit from this experience, but I believe that almost all of you would be "competitive" enough to go, if you so choose to.  Same logistical rules would apply, but I think the more seniors we can bring, the better we will compete.

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