Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you get started on the season!
How many meets will I compete in?
You are typically guaranteed 5-7 track meets that are either open entry or are JV in any one season. It depends on the overall schedule for that spring. You can become eligible for an invitation or limited entry meet by being top three in a specific event or by being on a relay.
When does practice start/end and how long are track meets?
Practice starts at 3:30, daily, and ends at 5:30. Track meets typically start at 4 pm and can go up until 7:30 for a smaller meet, or 9:00 for a large meet.
What kind of shoes should I have for practice and for meets?
You should have running shoes for practice. Basketball or street shoes will most likely lead to shin splints when used over long periods of time. If you go to Right Fit Running in Mounds View or Run-n-Fun on Randolph in St. Paul you can get discounted running shoes if you say you’re from SLP/SA Track; or go to Eastbay.com. For meets, you should have track spikes. You also can find these at the shoe stores mentioned above or online at Eastbay.com. Any generic sprint spike will do for sprints, same for distance. You can also order specialty shoes for field events, but sprint spikes work for most of those as well.
What should I bring with me to practice and meets?
Clothes for any kind of weather. This is spring in MN, be ready for anything. Also have a water bottle with you every day, no matter the temperature. Hydration is key. Also your inhaler, if you have one. Food for meets is also key. There is not always food at meets to be purchased. And from an overall health standpoint, bringing your own food is better regardless.
What do I do if I have other activities during the spring?
Communicate. We understand that athletes have other obligations during the spring and may even be in a club sport. We will work with you to ensure you are successful in all of your endeavors. However, the expectation is that your high school in season sport is priority.
ORDER OF EVENTS
The following is the list of events offered by the Minnesota State High School League for the sport of Track & Field. It is presented in the order that the events typically are run on the track at a coed meet. The field events are listed to show the offering and can be run in differing order at each meet.
4 X 800 METER RELAY (GIRLS)
4 X 800 METER RELAY (BOYS)
100 METER HIGH HURDLES (GIRLS)
110 METER HIGH HURDLES (BOYS)
100 METER DASH (GIRLS)
100 METER DASH (BOYS)
4 X 200 METER RELAY (GIRLS)
4 X 200 METER RELAY (BOYS)
1600 METER RUN (GIRLS)
1600 METER RUN (BOYS)
4 X 100 METER RELAY (GIRLS)
4 X 100 METER RELAY (BOYS)
400 METER DASH (GIRLS)
400 METER DASH (BOYS)
300 METER LOW HURDLES (GIRLS)
300 METER INTERMEDIATE HURDLES (BOYS)
800 METER RUN (GIRLS)
800 METER RUN (BOYS)
200 METER DASH (GIRLS)
200 METER DASH (BOYS)
3200 METER RUN (GIRLS
3200 METER RUN (BOYS)
4 X 400 METER RELAY (GIRLS)
4 X 400 METER RELAY (BOYS)
FIELD EVENTS - don’t miss the field events. Some of the most exciting action happens off of the track surface. Field events require attention to technique and skill. Many of our better athletes compete in one or more field events. GO CHECK THEM OUT!
Knowing some of the language associated with Track & Field can really help to boost your enjoyment of the sport as well as allow better dialogue with your “Trackster” about how things are going. Check out the common track lingo below to get a better understanding of the sport.
FALSE START – Movement before the starting device is fired at the start of any race. This results in the disqualification of the runner/relay.
CAMP – This is where the athletes drop off all of their “stuff” before going to warm-up and completing. There is usually lots of food, studying, sleeping and socializing. It is basically a home away from home. If you are looking for someone and can’t find them-chances are they are in “Camp”.
PACE – This is a term usually used by runners who are in distance races. It is the rate of speed maintained over a prolonged distance. Learning to run at a pace the runner can handle allows them to run an even race and hopefully show improvement race to race.
PACK – Any group of runners in close proximity. Again this is more of a distance runner term. Being able to stay in a pack allows the runner to be more competitive as they have someone to race with.
PR – This stands for PERSONAL RECORD – which is a given athlete’s best performance to date. Our training program is geared to have athletes set new PR’s consistently throughout the season.
SPIKES – These are lightweight racing shoes that have six to eight metal replaceable spikes in the bottom. Spikes are made differently, depending on whether you are a sprinter, distance runner or compete in some field events requiring running. Use of” spikes” in daily training is very limited, and then usually only the sprinters use them.
FLATS – This is a term for training shoes that are used in practice daily. It is important that the shoe be properly fitted for the athlete’s foot structure. It is best to have an evaluation of the foot structure by a physical therapist before purchasing a pair of “flats”.
WARM UP – Exercises that prepares the body physically for training and competing. Each event has its own unique warm up. It is vital the athlete take this seriously as it reduces the chance of injury. A muscle that is not warmed up can be described as a frozen rubber band.
COOL DOWN – This is the opposite of warm up. This is a set of exercises that return the muscles to a healthy pre-competitive state. A good cool down helps in the removal of lactic acid from the muscles after intense activity. This too is important to reduce the chances of injury.
EXCHANGE ZONE – This is a twenty meter area where it is legal to handoff/receive the baton in relays. Exchange zones are identified by different colors to represent specific relays (i.e., yellow exchange markings are for the 400 meter relay).
LEG – This is the portion of a relay in which each individual runner competes. There is the lead off leg, 2nd leg, 3rd leg and anchor leg.
SPLITS – Time it takes an individual to run a certain portion (leg) on a relay or for a distance runner to run a portion of the total race. In distance running being able to run “even splits” is the goal.
SCRATCH – This has two meanings in track & field. First it is a process where an athlete is removed from the completion prior the meet starting, many times due to injury or illness. The second use of “Scratch” is when an official declares a jump or throw is deemed not legal in the field events.
FOUL – This is another word that an official will use in the field events to indicate an attempt was not legal. In the high jump/pole vault this results in a “no height” being recorded. In the long jump/triple jump and shot/discus “no distance” is recorded.
2 COMMAND START – Used in starting all races where no runners are using starting blocks, usually distance races. The commands are: “Runners Set” then the starting device is fired.
3 COMMAND START- Used in all races where any runner is using starting blocks, normally all sprint events. The commands are: “Runners to your mark”, “Set”, and then the starting device is fired.
RELAY – A race made up of four teammates running an equal and specific distance handing off a baton to each other.
HEAT – Grouping of athletes with similar times in the same running event/relay. The number of heats is determined by the number of entries divided by the number of lanes on the track. In big meets where there are prelims, the athlete with the best time goes in the preferred lane in heat 1; the athlete with the second best time goes in the preferred lane in heat 2 and so on.
FLIGHTS – Grouping of athletes with similar performances competing in the same field event. Usually in the field events the athletes are placed lowest to best performance with the best performing last.
SEEDS - Part of the registration process at large meets. Coachers must submit times, distances and heights to the host school so that competitors can be grouped into flights and heats.
HOW IS A TRACK & FIELD MEET SCORED?
Obviously they keep team score at a track & field meet, so how does a team earn its points? Depending on the number of schools involved, points are given to the top placers, usually one more place than the number of schools involved. For example is there are three schools competing against each other, points are given for the first four places in all individual events (i.e., 1st place in the 100m dash receives 5 team points, 2nd place gets 3 team points, 3rd place gets 2 team points and 4th gets 1 team point. Relay points are given for one less place than team competing ((scoring then goes: 5, 3)
Normally the maximum number of places given in a very large meet does not exceed eight places (scoring then goes: 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). Relays usually are scored the same.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH METERS VERSUS YARDS?
Although the United States has not converted to the metric system, all track events are metric in nature. A standard outdoor track is 400 meters long, therefore:
One lap (400m) is close to ¼ mile
Two laps (800m) is close to ½ mile
Four laps (1600m) is close to a mile
Eight laps (3200m) is close to 2 miles
Have you ever wondered, how can I get the most out of my body as an athlete? Well if so, you're in luck. This page is dedicated to information on how to get the proper nutrition, hydration and rest your body needs in order to perform at peak physical performance. The basics are: sleep 8 hours a night, cut out the pop, sugar and junk food and drink 100 ounces of water a day. Check out the articles below that specifically touch on all of these subjects.
PHILOSOPHY: The philosophy of the co-ed track and field program is to provide the kind of environment where the student/athlete can become a better person. Each day is looked at as an opportunity to better oneself as a student, athlete and person. This will be developed through practices and competitions where the student/athlete learns about track and field, the different events and what those events have to offer; as well learning work ethic and accountability to oneself and their team. The coaching staff will provide a nurturing environment as well as the training tools necessary for the student athletes to develop as an athlete. It is expected that the student/athlete will demonstrate their learned skills in competition in the sport of good sportsmanship.
TEAM MEMBERSHIP: Due to the nature of track and field, every student/athlete will remain on the squad and participate in all contests which allow for unlimited entries, either as varsity or junior varsity as determined by the coaching staff. The only time a student/athlete would not compete would be in contests with limited entries (e.g. conference, region, etc.).
DRESS CODE: Student/athlete are expected to wear a school issued jersey, shorts, and track shoe/spike supplied by the student/athlete in all contests in accordance with the National High School Federation Track and Field Rules. Due to unpredictable weather in the spring, all student/athletes are expected to wear either school issued or personal warmup clothing to all practice and meets. During practices any tasteful running attire is acceptable. Violation during competition can result in disqualification from the meet. A violation during practice can result in the student/athlete being dismissed from practice and possibly being suspended from the next meet.
CONDUCT: The Student/athlete is expected to conduct themselves in a courteous, respectful manner to all opposing team members, coaches, officials and parents. This behavior is expected individually and as a team. Unsportsmanlike conduct during competition can result in disqualification in accordance with National High School Federation Track and Field Rules. If this conduct occurs during practice, the student/athlete may be dismissed from practice and may be suspended from the next contest.
LANGUAGE: Offensive and abusive language will not be tolerated. The student/athlete can expect to be disqualified from further participation if this occurs in competition. If it occurs during practice, the student/athlete may expect to be asked to leave practice and may be suspended from the next contest.
ATTENDANCE: Absences from a practice (including weight room) or meet must be cleared with a coach. Any absence from a meet should be cleared twenty-four hours prior to the meet (except due to Illness). It is not okay to have another student/athlete give a message to a coach. Any track and field student/athlete not having an approved absence from practice (including weight room) or a meet will receive a warning and a possible loss of letter points on the first infraction. A second infraction can result in a loss of letter points and suspension from the next meet. A third infraction can result in steps being taken to dismiss the individual from the squad.
All student/athletes are expected to ride the team bus to all meets (only exceptions must be cleared with athletic director twenty-four hours in advance). All student/athletes will remain until end of competition (any exceptions, like attending a school function, i.e. scholarship award night, must be cleared with athletic director twenty-four hours in advance). Students/athletes may leave at the conclusion of a meet with parents only. Any student/athlete wishing to leave with another student/athlete's parents must provide a written request to the athlete director for his approval twenty-four hours in advance.
Any student/athlete who is injured is expected to report to all practices for treatment or adaptive training and to attend all meets until cleared for normal workouts.
In order to qualify to letter, the student/athlete must maintain ninety percent attendance to all practices and meets (attendance to spring break practices will only aid not count against establishing percentage of attendance). Any exceptions to the ninety percent qualifying to letter rule is at the discretion of the head coach.
Since practice will not begin until 3:30 p.m., student/athletes need to take care of all academic issues (i.e., taking tests, getting tutoring) before practice starts. There should be minimal of tardy absences to practice, however, if it does occur, a signed note from the teacher with whom the student/athlete was working is required. Tardy student/athletes must sign in upon arrival at practice.
TARDINESS: Student/athlete who know in advance they will be late to practice are expected to notify a coach and do the entire workout later on their own or upon rejoining the team. Three instances of being tardy will result in a suspension from the next track event. More than three tardy instances may result in the student/athletes dismissal from the team.
ACADEMIC TUTORING: It is the position of the track and field coaching staff that academics are number one in importance and take precedence over the sport. Student/athletes who need academic tutoring in lieu of being at practice are asked to notify a coach with a note from the teacher giving tutoring. Student/athlete are expected to return to practice as soon as possible after tutoring and complete the scheduled workout. Missing a meet for tutoring should not be necessary.
DISCIPLINE/DETENTION: Student/athlete are expected to abide by the rules and regulations of Spring Lake Park High School/St. Anthony HS. If required to serve detention, this obligation must be met rather than attending practice. The practice workout should be done on their own after discussion with the coach. Upon reviewing the offense with the coach, the student/athlete could be subject to a one meet suspension. If arrangements are not made for a alternate workout, the absence will be treated as an unexcused absence and the appropriate penalty imposed.
RESPECT: Student/athlete is expected to treat all team mates, coaches, officials, opposing team members, bus drivers, custodians and any other individuals they come in contact with respect. Disrespect during competition can result in disqualification from further competition. If this occurs during practice, the individual will receive one warning. Further disrespect will result in removal from practice and possible suspension from the next meet.
CURFEW: No team curfew is set, however, the student/athlete is expected to comply with parental and community limits so as to maintain high academic and athletic performance.
TEAM RAPPORT/PARTICIPATION: Student/athlete is expected to support and encourage their teammates and to comply with workouts (including weight room) designed by the coaching staff.
VARSITY/JUNIOR VARSITY: Whether an individual competes on the varsity or junior varsity level will be determined by the coaching staff based on performances in previous meets and practices. All team rules are to be observed by all team at all levels.