What is Age Group track?

Age group track is just as the name implies: track & field competition based on an athlete's age in the current calendar year. The age group divisions for USATF competition in 2015 are as follows:

2015 Track & Field/Cross Country
Under 8 (Born 2007 and up)   
9-10yo  (Born 2005 - 2006)
11-12yo  (Born 2003- 2004)
13-14yo  (Born 2001 - 2002)
15-16yo (Born 1999 - 2000)
17-18yo  (Born 1997- 1998)

Example: A child turns 13 on February 15, 2015 and his/her friend turns 13 on November 15, 2015. Since they were each born in 2002, USATF considers them both to be 13 years old for the 2015 season, even though the one born in November would actually be 12 during the season and not turn 13 until after the season is over.

What is USA Track & Field?

USA Track & Field is the national governing body of track & field. Before any athlete may register for and compete in a USATF-sanctioned meet, whether as a member of the Wildcats Track Club or not, he/she must first become a member of USATF.  Any athlete wishing to join Wildcats Track Club must complete a USATF membership application online www.usatf.org or (which the club will provide) and return it to the club along with proof-of-age verification (a copy of a birth certificate). The athlete is encouraged to apply for their USATF membership as soon as possible to ensure that they have their USATF membership card (usually called a "USATF card" or sometimes, by the more grizzled veterans of summer track, a "TAC card") in hand before their first meet or practice.

What is the difference between Youth Athletic and Junior Olympic meets?

Both Youth Athletic and Junior Olympic meets are sanctioned by USA Track & Field, and the same events are offered in both. Athletes in the Young Men/Women, Intermediate, and Youth age groups may compete in up to four (4) events, while Midgets and Bantams may compete in up to three (3) events. Combined event competitions do not count against an athlete's event limit.

Youth Athletic (also called "Youth" or "Age Group") meets are open to all USATF-member athletes. The entry procedure for each Youth meet will be explained at club practices, usually within a week or two of the meet. Any USATF-member athlete may register for and compete at any Youth meet. All meets on the competition schedule are Youth meets except those which include the phrase "Junior Olympic".

Junior Olympic (or "JO") meets are based on a stair-stepping program of qualifying meets, leading to the National Junior Olympic meet. The advancement procedure looks like this:

Southern California Association JO meet - The top eight (8) in each individual event and top eight (8) in each relay event from this meet qualify for the Regional JO meet.

Regional JO meet - The top three (3) in each individual and relay event from this meet qualify for the National JO meet.

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When are the meets and how do I enter them?

Our 2015 meet schedule can be found on the Meets page of our website. An athlete wishing to compete as SOC Wildcats Track Club in any of these meets must first become a member of the club. After practices begin in Jan, we have a few tune-up meets in Feb-March, then the competition season Apr-July will start, with meets held generally each weekend. As information on each of these meets becomes available to the club, it will be relayed to the athletes during the each practice.

Will SOC Wildcats Track Club help me get to those meets?

In some cases, yes. The athlete and his/her parents are, for the most part, responsible for securing their own transportation to any in-state meets (i.e. meets in the Los Angeles area), although there may be a "club van" made available. SOC Wildcats will, however, provide either transportation or housing to out-of-state meets for those athletes that have qualified or, in the case of the National Youth Championships/Junior Olympics National Championships, met the club guidelines…..

When are practices held?

SOC Wildcats track practice season begins in late January and ends in late July. Most practices, as well as some meetings and other club functions are held at parks at various locations and Tesoro High School. Practices will start at 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  (5:00-6:30 starting in March)

Please show up on time so you have enough time to properly warm up and stretch. Practices usually last about 60 to 75 minutes and are followed by a team meeting, where the coaches will share important club news, such as information on upcoming meets and practices and to recognize athlete accomplishments. If the athlete needs to leave practice early for any reason, it is their responsibility to inform the head coach at the beginning of practice.

SOC Wildcats cross country practice may be held at various locations. Please check the Schedule to see which days at which locations. All practices begin at 4:00 pm sharp. Please plan on being 5 or 10 minutes early, especially when the practice is on the trails, as once the group leaves, it is sometimes difficult to catch up with them.

Our basic philosophy on practice is that our coaches cannot help the athlete unless he/she is at practice. SOC Wildcats practices are very demanding. If the athlete is not coming to practice to work hard, then maybe Wildcats Track is not for them. We would like the athlete to attend as many practices as is possible, but also encourage them to participate in other sports that they enjoy. If the athlete needs to miss a practice for any reason, the coaches can give them a workout so they can practice on their own. The harder the athlete works in practice, and on his or her own outside of practice, the better they will perform in meets.

What is SOC Wildcats uniform?

The Wildcats uniforms are custom designed and consist of a speed suit or a singlet & shorts and warm-ups. Our team colors Navy Blue and Gold. Uniforms will be issued to each club member all the registration process is completed. Any variation to the uniform must be first cleared with the head coach.

Athletes will represent SOC Wildcats by wearing the uniform at all USATF meets, including any award, opening, and/or closing ceremonies, and as directed by the head coach. Shoe choice and style is up to the athlete. Parents are also encouraged to represent the club at meets by wearing a Wildcats shirt or warm-ups which both may be purchased from the Club.

What is the parents' role in Wildcats Track Club?

Parents are strongly encouraged to be involved in the support of Wildcats Track.  We need support in any other fund-raising activities during the year that we may hold.