Indoor Track Season Starts Monday November 6

The 2017-18 indoor track season starts Monday, November 6. All practices will take place at the Eastern Michigan University Indoor Track Building, also known as “Bowen Fieldhouse“. Directions are attached. All practices will take place Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursday from 6:30-9 PM. Athletes who are training just in track (running) events should be done at 8 PM, or shortly thereafter. Athletes who also train in field events (long-jump, high-jump, shot-put, etc) should be done by 9 PM. There will be some nights that the indoor track will be unavailable due to holidays, meets and other special events going on at the track. Our last practice will be Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The season officially ends with the conclusion of the Indoor New Balance Invitational and the USATF Hershey Youth Indoor Track & Field Championships — both meets take place the weekend of Friday-Sunday March 9-11, 2018.
Here are questions I’ve been asked a lot this fall, and some that were asked at last night’s meeting with the new parents:
Q: Why are we not training at the University of Michigan indoor track Building at all this winter?
A:  Because it’s being gutted and re-purposed for other uses in two weeks, and the public will not be allowed to use the new University of Michigan indoor track Building this winter.
Q: Is attendance at every practice mandatory?
A: No. Athletes are excused from practice for any number of reasons, including school, religious services and 
    observances, among others. That being said, athletes should be as many practices as possible, outside these
    exceptions I just mentioned (especially those on the “Travel Team”). If your kids can’t attend practices on certain days,
    please send me an e-mail so I can relay that to the coaches.
Q: When will our meet schedule be announced?
A: Around Thanksgiving time. Several meet directors have not announced their meets yet
Q: Can athletes on the “Rec & Ed” team compete in meets?
A: Yes they can once they feel (and the coaches feel) they are ready to do so. They can compete in the local meets that will be held at the EMU track, which they pay out of pocket at the door because they are very cheap. If they decide to jump to the “Travel Team” and compete in the invitational and championships meets, they can have their membership upgraded from “Rec & Ed” to “Travel Team”.
Q: When can we pay online?
A: Later this week once the payment site opens. I encourage new families to use their “Trial Membership” to make sure our youth track program is a good fit for their kids before they pay. Payments are not due until November 30.
There will be no practices on the following nights due to holidays,  track meets, and other special events:
Wednesday, November 22 (Thanksgiving holiday break)
Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving Day)
Thursday, December 7 (Gymnastics tournament)
Thursday, December 14 (youth track meet)
Wednesday, December 20 (EMU camp)
Thursday, December 21 (youth track meet)
Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day)
Wednesday, December 27 (Christmas holiday break)
Thursday, December 28 (Christmas holiday break)
Monday, January 1 (New Years Day)
Thursday, January 4 (youth track meet)
Thursday, January 18 (Gymnastics tournament)
Thursday, February 1 (youth track meet)
All kids ages 6-18 are welcome to participate, regardless of skill level. Because we will be sharing the track with other clubs, the track will tend to be crowded — particularly on Mondays and Wednesdays. So kids ages 6-8 will be restricted to training only one night per week, for their safety — usually on Thursdays since the track tends to be less crowded on Thursdays. If the track is not available on Thursday any particular week, then these younger runners will be allowed to train either that Monday or Wednesday, depending on the week in question. For example, the track will be closed both Wednesday and Thursday, November 22-23, due to the Thanksgiving holiday — therefore all kids will train on Monday, November 20, regardless of age. The other exception that will be made for these younger 6-8 year olds is that if any of them are on the “Travel Team” (athletes training for track meets), then they will be allowed to train on all the nights the older kids are training.
Our coaches will be as follows:
Tim Harris — Head Track Coach, short sprints(55/60/200 runners), and long-jump
Derrick Jackson — Distance Coach (800/1500/1600/3000/3200 runners) and Deputy Youth Division Director
Fabian Rollins — Long sprints/short middle-distance (400/800 runners) and long-jump
Stacey Jackson — Short & long sprints/short middle-distance
Gary Morgan — Distance Coach (1500/1600/3000/3200) and Shot-Put
Wanda Brann — Rec & Ed Coach 
Lori Robinson — Rec & Ed Coach 
** Hurdle coaching and high-jump coaching (TBA)
This year, the club will charge participation fees as follows. Participation Fees cover coaching, track rental and (in the case of the “Travel Team”) meet entry fees:
$65 for kids ages 6-8 in the “Rec & Ed” group — these kids will be allowed to train just one night per week.
$135 for kids ages 9-over in the “Rec & Ed” group — these kids will be allowed to train every night we practice
$185 for kids on the “Travel Team” — these kids are training to compete in meets, and their meet entry fees are paid for.
Families with two or more kids will receive a $25 discount for any kid beyond the first. For example, if a family has two kids on the Travel Team, then their participation fees will be $345 (not $370) because the participation fees for the second kid will be discounted from $185 to $160. If a family has one kid on the Travel Team, and a 10 year old on Rec & Ed, then their participation fees will be $295 (not $320).
NOTE: For kids on the “Travel Team” there will be additional costs, such as uniforms, travel, AAU and USATF membership fees. More on that will be explained later.
Participation fees for the 2017-18 indoor season are due Thursday, November 30. You can pay by cash or check at track practice. Starting this coming week, you can also pay online.
All new families will have a “Free Trial” membership for one week from the first night they show up. So I advise new families to make sure this program is a good fit for their kids before they make payment.
Any families who still owe money from earlier this year need to settle up next week, otherwise, your kids will not be allowed to participate any further !!
There is NO FREE PARKING anywhere near Bowen Fieldhouse. There are two gated lots (one in front of Bowen and one by the nearby Student Center), and the cost to park in those two lots is $1.50 per hour. There is also meter parking on campus side streets — those are also $1.50 per hour. Parking in the nearby residential neighborhoods just off campus is prohibited — only residents with residential parking permits can park there.
One option to reduce the cost for parking is for families to carpool. Another option is for parents to drop their kids off and pick them up after practice. It turns out anyone who enters the gated lot in front of Bowen has 29 minutes of free parking to drop off kids and unload equipment. So they can enter that gated lot, drop off, and return to pick up kids and re-load later after practice.
1. The track is located on the ground (parking lot) level of Bowen Fieldhouse. You can enter the building on the ground level, via the two right-most doors on the west side of the building.
2. We will be sharing the track with other clubs as well, so the building will be crowded. Please ask for me when you enter the building and I will direct the parents and the athletes to where our club will be stationed. This will be in the far (north-east) corner of the building, by the bleachers near the restrooms.
3. No children should be using any of the equipment in the in-field (such as the high-jump, pole-vault, long-jump, hurdles, etc) unless they are with a coach. This is for their safety.
On the first night this coming Monday, the coaching staff will conduct a meeting with all the athletes as well as the parents. We will introduce the coaches and other staff members, discuss the warm-up areas, track etiquette, other miscellaneous topics and take time for the staff to answer any questions. The meeting will start at 6:45 PM. Therefore, our first practice will be shorter than normal. As I mentioned above, our club will be located in the far (northeast) corner.
Many of the meet directors will not have their meets published until late November, so our complete meet schedule will
be announced before Thanksgiving. But the first two meets will be Thursday, December 14 and Thursday, December 21 at the EMU track, so there will be no practices on those nights. There will be two more meets on the EMU track on Thursday, January 4 and Thursday, February 1, so there will be no practices on those nights either.
Ron Beasley (734-330-7931)
Ann Arbor Track Club — Youth Division Director

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