Future track and field members had a chance to start their career early at the fifth grade All-District track meet.
The track meet consisted of several teams made up of elementary school children. Everyone completing was in the fifth grade and attended one of the Portage Township Elementary schools. A team from each elementary school was in attendance.
According to Myers Elementary School fifth grade teacher Ashley Bocian, the kids were chosen for the meet by their gym teachers. The gym teachers then became their coaches.
After kids went through tests to see how well they could do, they had a chance to make the team. However, to be chosen for the event, the children must have had more going for them than just skill.
In order to successful run in the race, the kids also had to show an interest in the sport and exhibit gold behavior.
Bocian said that there were a lot of event involving running, such as the 100 meter dash. In all, there were eight events in the competition. On top of the 100 meter dash, the kids also participated in the softball throw, standing long jump, tug of war, 60 meter dash, 400 meter relay, 300 meter dash and the 200 meter dash.
As the meet progressed and new events started, the winners for previous events were announced over the loud speaker to the parents and observers.
According to another fifth grade teacher from Aylesworth Elementary School, Katrina Queram, this is not the first year this event has been held. It was, however, only her second year attending.
Querem said that this event is put on mainly to give the chance to have some fun at the end of their school year.
However, it was not all fun and games for the kids, as practices were held to help the children become prepared for their specific event. At Aylesworth, track practices were held during recess. According to Queram, this was the only time available due to academic conflicts.
On Aylesworth's team, there were 32 fifth graders. The children prepared for about a month and a half prior to the event.
However, fun is not the only reason for the event. "It's part of their healthy fitness program," Queram said. "The kids really look forward to it."