Welcome to St. Charles Track & Field (T&F)!  The track team will consist of 5th-8th graders, and there will also be a separate program for the 4th graders.


Our hope is to teach appropriate T&F skills and sportsmanship and also to instill in the kids a desire to be active and acquire healthy habits; things they can take with them long after T&F season is over and that will also help them with their other athletic pursuits.


Prayer, thanksgiving and respect for others, all of  which  are important components of our Catholic faith, are incorporated daily into what we do as a team both at practices and meets!


Our season runs March 23 through May 13.  It culminates in our competing against 30 other Catholic schools in the archdiocese CYO championships in Indianapolis on May 8, 9 and 13.


All weekday practices are at the Bloomington High School North track, 5:30-7:00pm, unless the calendar says differently. There will also be a few additional “distance” practices . See calendar for all dates/times/locations.





Track and field is the oldest form of athletic competition.  It involves running, jumping, and throwing.  It is unique among sports because everyone can find an event in which they can compete regardless of height, weight, speed or gender, and can get better with practice and effort.  At meets, everyone competes; no one sits on the bench.


The running events consist of sprints (50m, 100m and 200m), distance events (400m, 800m and 1600m) and relays (4x100m, 4x400m, 4x800m and a medley relay which combines different distances).  6th, 7th and 8th graders may also compete in hurdles.


The field events are high jump, long jump, shot put, discus throw, and ball throws. Three common track events are not done in middle school: javelin throw, triple jump, and pole vault.





Maria Hamilton – Head Coach & Distance

Home:  812-335-9272   Cell:  812-320-8005  



Maria was born and raised in Bloomington, graduated from BHSN and completed her bachelor's and master’s degrees at IU.  She is married to Jason Hamilton and has four children. She is a certified fitness professional through the American Council on Exercise and works at the YMCA.  She has been with the St. Charles XC and T&F teams in assistant and head coaching capacities since 2007.


Alex Tanford – Assistant Coach, Long Jump & 4th Grade Program

Home: 812-332-4924   Cell: 812-325-7374



Alex grew up in North Carolina but has lived in Indiana since 1979. He teaches litigation at the IU Law School.  He is married to Philippa Guthrie and is the father of two children.  He ran track in high school and college.  He still competes in masters track meets in sprints, jumps and throwing events. He has also served in assistant and head coaching capacities at St. Charles since 2007.





The school requires:

     Every student must have an athletics physical on file dated AFTER May 1, 2014

     Every family must have submitted an athletics registration form and the $50 fee. This covers all children in the family for the entire school year.

     Every student must pay the T&F fee of $36 per child.


Fees are paid at the school office, not to the coach. School forms and information are on the St. Charles Athletic website.


CYO requires ALL athletes to be registered online at  You only have to do this once per school year.


The St. Charles policy on athletic eligibility is stated in the Athletic Handbook which is available on-line through the school’s web site.  Please note that any child who becomes academically ineligible when mid-quarter grades come out will no longer be able to participate as a member of the T&F team.





Parents are central to the success and attitude of their child.  We ask for your cooperation in the following areas:


     Please be responsible and respectful of our time. Get your child to practices and meets on time and pick them up on time.

     Know the schedule. Read it and give us plenty of advance warning if your child will be unable to compete in a scheduled meet. Creating a line up takes a lot of time and is like a house of cards. If someone does not show up, a dozen other kids’ lineups of events have to be adjusted.

     Attendance at least TWO  times per week is required to be a member of the T&F team.  Exceptions to this will be made if your child is a multi-sport athlete.

     Do not have your child leave early from practice or a meet unless there is an emergency.  This is a TEAM sport. There will always be a team meeting at the end and athletes will all be dismissed at the same time. Exceptions to this rule include multi-sport athletes  who need to leave to get to their other practices/games.

     If your child is not going to be at practice, make sure either your child or you contact me ahead of time to let me know. 

     Please let us be the coaches. Don’t give your child specific instructions during competitions. Don’t criticize our lineup choices. Don’t have your child do extra workouts the day before a meet because you think it will help get them in good condition.

     Insist that your child try to work out T&F-related issues directly with a coach before enlisting your direct assistance.

     Do  not attempt to speak with a coach at length during a practice or meet.  Please wait until it is over or contact the coach at another time.


All parents are expected to demonstrate the highest level of sportsmanship while representing St. Charles T&F.  We would like to remind you to:


     Please cheer for our team’s efforts, not just successes.  Cheer for the kid who comes in last, no matter which team he/she represents.

     Try to keep all comments positive and do not criticize or compare your child, his/her teammates or children from the other team.


Let’s face it -- most kids at this age want to have fun!  We will demand that all the athletes work hard, but we will try to make the practices fun and engaging.  You can help make it fun by emphasizing the positive aspects of participating on a team to your child!



EXPECTATIONS OF ATHLETES (Please have your child read this section with you)


All athletes should try their best, show a willingness to learn more about the sport, listen and take direction from the coaches, and always be supportive of their teammates. With a positive attitude, even during the hardest workouts, we can achieve a lot as a team and have a great season! And the bottom line is….we want you to have FUN! 


We ask the following of you to make this a good experience:


     Embrace the TEAM philosophy. You should have individual goals to work towards, but in the end, we are a team and the team’s goals must come first.  Sometimes you may be asked to compete in an event that you don’t like.

     We ask that ALL athletes commit to attending at least TWO practices per week and attend every meet (except in the case of an illness or emergency).

     If you are injured but still able to attend school, you are expected to attend a meet. However, if you stay home sick from school, the  school policy states that you are not allowed to participate in a practice or meet on that day.

     Members of the team will participate in every T&F meet unless there are rules that restrict the number of entries by the host school or if we determine that a certain meet would not be appropriate for 5th graders.

     The 4th graders will ONLY participate in the regular season and championship CYO meets.

     The level of participation may vary among athletes due to ability and skill levels.

     You will respect your coaches. That means being quiet and listening when they speak and being polite and acknowledging them outside of T&F.

     You will respect your opponents. No “trash talk” at meets. Wish your opponent good luck and shake the hand of the person who beats you.

     You will respect your teammates, whether they come in first or last. You will also treat all members with respect outside of T&F.

     You will respect your parents.  They make it possible for you to participate on the team, and they support you at the meets.

     You will respect yourself, whether you come in first or last. This also means treating your body with respect – give it the rest and healthy nutrition it deserves.

     You will not use profanity or coarse language or make fun of others.



PRACTICE & MEET PROTOCOL (Please have your child read this section with you)


The start of practices/meets  will be signaled by the blow of the coach’s whistle. At that time, all team members must gather for the team meeting, prayer and roll call. Specific rules for practices/meets are as follows:


1.      Prompt attendance is mandatory! Arrive a few minutes early for practice. For meets, arrive one hour before the start of the meet!

2.      You are required to bring a water bottle to every practice! Sports/energy drinks are not necessary except in cases of extreme heat.

3.      No gum and no cell phone use during practice

4.      No jewelry during meets (except a sports watch)

5.      Pull long hair back and out of your face so you can see.

6.      Check shoelaces and use restroom beforehand.

7.      Stay for the entire meet!


All athletes are expected to have transportation to and from the meets.  We will provide you with directions to away locations.




Our most important meet of the year is the all-diocese CYO championship meet.  It takes place at the IUPUI track in Indianapolis.  More than 30 Catholic schools and 1200 kids participate.  For the kids, it’s like being in the olympics.  For the parents, it’s like having a slow root canal, and we apologize for that ahead of time. The meet takes place over three days.


     Friday, May 8, 5:00-9:00pm - field events (long jump, high jump and throws)

     Saturday, May 9, 9:00-4:00pm - running events preliminaries

     Wednesday, May 13, 5:00-9:00pm - running events finals and relays


We build toward this event all season. It is very hard on a kid (and their teammates) if he/she cannot compete, especially in the Wednesday relays. We expect every athlete to participate, despite the inconvenience to parents. Most family/social functions can be scheduled for other dates -- we cannot change the dates of the meet. However, that being said, not all athletes will participate all three days. The lineup will be determined closer to that time.





When conflicts arise between track and another sport or activity, we follow these priorities:

     Athletic championships and other end-of-season finales like recitals always have priority. Our championship is the CYO meet May 8, 9 and 13.

     Tournaments have second-highest priority.  A track team member is always excused from track if another sport has a tournament.

     Track meets, games and competitions have priority over practices -- even “important” practices.

     Practices have the lowest priority, so no athlete is excused from a meet to attend a practice in another sport.





March and April bring frequent and sporadic bad weather.  We generally practice in light rain (if it is warm enough), but not in bad weather. If a practice or a meet needs to be cancelled due to the weather, I will send an e-mail and text alert  at least 1 hour prior to the starting time.  However, once in a while, the weather will turn crazy in a split second and we might have to cancel at the last minute.  If practice has already started and you have left your child with us and bad weather sets in, rest assured that we will seek shelter and do our best to ensure the safety of your child. You will receive a text alert about the status of practice and informing you if you need to come early to get your child.


There will be a first aid kit on site. If your child has a serious medical problem that arises during practice, we will call 911 if no parent is present.


Younger siblings are not allowed on the track during practice. No exceptions.







There are a few guidelines for you to consider:


     Good running shoes are important!! Lousy shoes cause most running injuries. Get a shoe designed for running, not basketball or skateboarding. It must lace tightly -- no velcro straps, not even for the 4th graders. We recommend the Indiana Running Company on the square.  Tell them you are part of the St. Charles team to receive a 10% discount!


     “Spikes” are lightweight running shoes with a plastic soleplate into which one can screw small metal spikes for extra traction. All high school athletes run and jump in spikes during competition. For middle school, spikes are not necessary for distance runners, but may help 7th and 8th grade sprinters and jumpers. They should NOT be worn by most 4th-6th graders. The best shoe to start with is a multi-event shoe, also called a middle distance shoe. It is halfway between the arched sole of a sprint spike and the flat sole of a jump spike. You can find a few at the Indiana Running Company or order them on-line. Coach Tanford has 12 pairs of all-purpose spikes in various sizes for students to try on.




T&F uniform tops (the same ones used for XC) are required for meets. They can be purchased from Coach Tanford for $15 and are yours to keep. Any time a child outgrows his/her top, he/she can trade it in for a bigger one.  If at all possible, we are requesting that every athlete wear a pair of BLACK shorts with his/her top to the meets.


Other Equipment


Each athlete needs a water bottle, sweatshirt, sweat pants, hat and gloves (there are COLD days during the season and a warm body performs better), plus a gym bag to store items. Bring the bag to every practice and meet!




There is a strong link between good nutrition and athletic performance. We have developed some nutrition guidelines which we encourage you to follow during the season. Here are the basics:    

1.      Drink lots of water throughout the week.

2.      Limit consumption of fast food and processed food.

3.      Do not eat snacks within an hour before a practice or a meet.

4.      Avoid soda, energy drinks/gum and sports drinks. Lebron James doesn’t actually drink Gatorade during games; he drinks water in Gatorade cups.

5.      Athletes need to eat and drink something as soon as possible following every workout and competition to aid with recovery. Low-fat chocolate milk is good.




It can be very challenging to juggle family, personal, and professional obligations, and we know that transportation might be an issue for some of you, especially for away meets. Please don’t let this affect your decision about whether or not your child is able to participate in this program.  St. Charles parents and coaches are always willing to work together to make it work for everyone.  However, please try to make arrangements in advance and not concern the coaches with transportation issues the day of a meet.




We are always looking for parents and/or older siblings to help with the track and field program. If you would like to be more involved, email Coach Hamilton.  All volunteers are required to complete a 45-minute online training called “Safe and Sacred.” It was implemented by the Archdiocese in 2013 for the care and protection of our children.


Parents are expected to help with timing, scoring and other duties when we host a home meet. It takes a lot of people to make a big event like that go smoothly!


Student/Parent Agreement


We ask that each student athlete and his or her parent(s) read and sign the student/parent agreement, and return it to Coach Hamilton. Click here to download the form.