Q&A 2016 Season

Q: How do I register my child for the 2016 Team Membership?
A: Please see the Registration Information Handout. You must provide payment information in order for the registration to be complete. If you did not get to the payment screen, you have not yet completed the registration. You can pay for the registration online via credit/debit card or with CASH at practice. Payment plans are available online if you provide your credit/debit card information. Payment plans are not available if you opt to pay with cash.

Q: Why do we need to submit our child’s birth certificate?
A: The USATF requires age verification which means that we must send a physical copy of your athlete’s birth certificate to the North Carolina USATF Association office in Raleigh so that they can verify your athlete’s date of birth once we have initiated the athlete’s USATF membership. As this verification is good from year to year, we only need to collect the birth certificates in your first year of membership. If there is a lapse in membership of 3 years or greater, we may need to collect the birth certificates to send for age verification again.

Q: Why does my child need a sport physical this year?
A: This is a new requirement this year. As such, we are making this an optional requirement for this year providing that you (the parent) sign a waiver. The physical must be performed by a qualified physician within the past 12 months. There are several local clinics that perform student sports physicals at a reduced rate. Please see information in the attached Registration Information Handout. The doctor may utilize any generic physical form, annual well-child physical form, Boy/Girl Scouts physical form, school sports physical form, or Our Official Athletic Physical Form. Beginning in the 2017 season, this will be a requirement for all athletes, no exceptions, no waivers.

Q: Please explain the USATF Age Groups. What age group does my child fall into?
A: The USATF Junior Olympic program divides athletes by age groups for the purposes of competition. Your athlete’s age is determined by the year in which they were born regardless of whether their birthday is early in the year or late in the year. For example, a child born December 31, 2010 is currently 5 years old by age. However, the USATF recognizes them as a 6 year old, therefore, they are eligible to participate in the program in the 6-8 Age Group. Another example: a child was born October 13, 2003 and is currently 12 years old. The USATF recognizes their age as 13 years old, therefore, they must compete in the 13-14 Age Group in the 2016 competition season.

The USATF Age Groups are as follows:
6-8 years old – born in the year 2008, 2009, or 2010
9-10 years old – born in the year 2006 or 2007
11-12 years old – born in the year 2004 or 2005
13-14 years old – born in the year 2002 or 2003
15-16 years old – born in the year 2000 or 2001
17-18 years old – born in the year 1998 or 1999 (children born in 1997 can participate as long as their 19th birthday is on or after August 1, 2016)

Q: What events can my child participate in?
A: We have a document outlining the specific events available through the USATF Junior Olympic program by Age Group.

Q: What type of shoes does my athlete need?
A: Initially, we recommend a quality pair of running shoes. For younger children (ages 6-10), this is likely the only pair of shoes they will need for track and field. For older children (ages 11-18), specialty shoes may be desirable in addition to the running shoes based on the event(s) the athlete chooses to participate in. If your child intends to participate in Race Walk, please check with Coach Cece Meredith prior to the purchase of any running shoes as there are specific qualities that make a running shoe a good shoe for Race Walking as well. Also, please check with your child’s coach(es) before purchasing any specialty track and/or field shoes.

Q: Where is good place to get shoes?
A: A good fitting pair of shoes that properly support the athlete’s foot is important in track & field. JusRunnin’, Foot Rx, and Dick’s Sporting Goods are all good places to obtain a good pair of running shoes as well as specialty track & field shoes. If you ever have any questions about shoes, please check with your athlete’s coach before making a purchase.

Q: When will uniforms be distributed?
A: We will distribute all purchased uniforms in early June at one of our practices. We will announce the date as we get closer to that time.

Q: Will there be a Developmental meet my athlete can attend?
A: The Asheville Lightning will not host a developmental meet this year. However, we recommend attendance of other Developmental meets prior to the State/Association meet in June. This is especially recommended for children ages 6-14 who have limited competition experience so that they get the feel for the environment of a large track meet. We are currently investigating a one-day developmental meet that will take place over Memorial Day weekend in Raleigh/Durham. We will distribute meet information in the near future.

Q: What is the fundraising event all about?
A: We do an annual fundraising event where we ask each athlete to collect donations from family and friends. At this time, we also put a focus on obtaining new team sponsors. We will begin fundraising near the end of May, culminating in a Walk-a-thon Fun Day on Sunday, June 12th. The money we raise through this program helps us fund the overhead of running a competitive track and field club (i.e. equipment replacements as needed, assisting with travel expenses for coaches so that they can attend the major competitions with their athletes, etc).

First Practice is Monday, May 2nd, Rain or Shine!

The first practice of the season is Monday, May 2nd, beginning promptly at 6:15 pm, rain or shine.  Please plan to arrive early to allow for time to find the parking lot and accessing the track.  Here are some other important instructions.
Directions and Parking for UNCA Karl Straus Track:
Please refer to the attached UNCA campus map.
  • Take I-26 to Exit 25 (UNC Asheville/NC 251).
  • If approaching from the North, turn left at traffic light at bottom of ramp.
  • If approaching from the South, turn right at the traffic light at bottom of ramp.
  • Proceed approximately 0.2 miles to first traffic light; turn left onto Campus Drive.
  • Proceed approximately 0.5 miles to Parking Lot P6.  This parking lot is the Delivery entrance for the Kimmel Arena.
  • Once you enter Parking Lot P6, take a right and follow the driveway to Parking Lot P5.
  • Enter the track using the ramp from Parking Lot P5.
Registration & Payment
Registration is open online.  We will not have registration available at the track, however, we will have volunteers available to answer your registration questions.  Please register by following this link to register your athletes for the 2016 Season.  You will need to register for an account, then register your athletes.  
Payments are available via credit card or debit card online.  If you prefer, we will accept your CASH payment at the track.  Please register your child online first.  On the payment screen, click the box “User has not paid. Leave as an open balance.”  Then bring your payment in full to the track.  Please note that we will not accept personal checks at any time.  
Payment plans are available through the registration site.  If you wish to utilize an installment plan, please select this option during registration and provide a credit/debit card during check out.
Birth Certificates
If your athlete is new to our club, we will need a copy of your child’s birth certificate for the USATF age verification process.  Please provide this to us BEFORE your child’s first practice.  You can scan and email a digital copy to us at www.asheville.lightning.team@gmail.com or bring 2 copies to the first practice that your athlete attends.
Sports Physicals
New requirement this year.  We will need a copy of your child’s most recent physical or sports physical within the last year.  We will accept any physical performed by a qualified medical doctor for any other reason (i.e. school physical, Boy/Girl scouts physical, annual physical, etc.).  If your child has not had a physical within the last year, you may obtain a sports physical from either of the following facilities:
Southeastern Sports – $35 per athlete through the walk-in clinic.  Please call Southeastern Sports for additional information.  (828) 274-4555
2016 Meet Schedule:
Please be aware of the following meet schedule before registering your athletes for a Competition membership.  All competition athletes must attend the State/Association meet in order to progress to the Regional meet.  If you are not sure of your availability to attend the State/Association meet, please register for the Non-Competition membership.  We can upgrade your athlete(s) to a Competition membership anytime prior to June 10th.
  • June 24-26 – State/Association Meet @ NC A&T University, Greensboro, NC  (Please see attached tentative schedule)
  • July 7-10 – Regional Championships @ Prince George Sports & Learning Complex, Landover, MD  (Please see attached tentative schedule)
  • July 25-31 – National Junior Olympic Championships @ Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA
We are looking forward to this coming season.  More information is available on our website www.ashevillelightning.org.  
Remember… register your athletes today.   https://leagues.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1060302

Key Dates for 2016

We have just updated the calendar with key dates for the upcoming summer season. Please keep checking our calendar for any added meets, meetings, or other pertinent information.

April 10th – Online Registraton will open – Register Here

May 2nd – First practice

May 25th – Final date for new coaches to register for the 2016 Season

June 1st – Final date for athlete registration

June 12th – Fundraiser (Similar to last year’s fundraiser)

June 24-26th USATF NC Championships at NC A&T University, Greensboro, NC

July 25-31 – USATF National Championships at Sacramento State, Sacramento, CA

State Meet Results and Information about the Regional Meet

State Meet Results and Information about the Regional Meet

Congratulations to all of our qualifying athletes! If you are interested in the results from this past weekend’s meet, you can view the results by downloading the file below.

2015 State Meet Results

The Regional Meet will be held at Hampton University, with some events spilling over to Christopher Newport University. Visit the USATF Virginia page about the regional meet for more information. If your athlete qualified, you will need to let the admin know if they intend to compete at the meet as soon as possible.

Photo Gallery

2015 Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser!

2015 Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser!

We are raising money so that our great program can continue in the upcoming years. Please help if you can!

The Walk-a-Thon will be held on July 18 from 5pm-7pm at Cane Creek Middle School’s track. Athletes will walk and/or run 5 miles on the track. You can sponsor the team as a whole, or pay for a sponsorship of a single child on this page.

[caldera_form id=”CF5589ab17c5021″]

Download the Walk-a-Thon 2015 packet!

Big Announcements for the Asheville Lightning!

Lots of news in the Asheville Lightning community!

First off, Coach Bill Agrella will be stepping down as head coach of the team. Coach Agrella is tending to some family matters, and has determined that he will be unable to fulfill his role as Head Coach. Coach Lee Pantas will be acting Head Coach for the remainder of the season. Along those same lines, Treasurer Mona Hendrix will also be stepping down from her role. Ruth Moraga will be filling in for the time being. The goal will be to establish new people in those roles on a more permanent basis before next summer.

Finally, due to construction set to begin at AC Reynolds on or around June 12, we will lose that facility as our location. Effective June 15th, we will meet at Cane Creek Middle School’s track. More information about that shift will be forthcoming. Thanks to all of you for your patience as we undergo these significant transitions.