Portage Township Elementary Schools like to celebrate the end of the school year with a friendly competition. All the fifth-grade classes send their finest athletes to represent their schools in a one of a kind track and field meet.
The Annual 5th Grade Track Meet has been a tradition for over 40 years. Elementary schools do not usually have athletics as extracurriculars but the school system wanted to give its graduating students an idea of what to expect in middle school.
“It brings together eight elementary schools for a fun evening of competition,” said Myer’s Elementary School’s principal, Jon Evers. “It peaks their interest in sports, and in middle school. The students are getting a glimpse of what they can look forward to.”
The eight rival elementary schools- Myers, Saylor, Crisman, Kyle, South Haven, Aylesworth, Central, and Jones- hold tryouts during gym class to determine which students will compete.
Student and runner Kyleigh Ewing said she learned a lot about competitive sports while training for her event. She joked, “I especially learned that when you run fast, your legs hurt. But I like that I didn’t come in last.”
Her mother, Shannon Ewing, liked that her daughter competed at all.
“It gets kids outside and exercising,” Ewing said. “They don’t do that enough anymore. The track meet gets them to come out and interact with each other. They’re supporting and cheering for their peers.”
Stephanie Engle, a P.E. teacher at Kyle Elementary School, said, “The kids love coming out and representing their schools. They get to show off to the kids they know from the other schools, because of programs like the Boys and Girls Club. They are getting a glimpse of their high school options in a friendly, competitive nature.”
The 5th Grade Track Meet, held at Portage High School, features 8 different events. There are four dashes of varying length: a 60m, 100m, 200m, and 300m. The relay race is 400m run by four runners per team. Students also compete in softball throws, standing long jumps, and a multi-round tug of war tournament.
“I wanted to do something fun and represent my school,” said Brianna Fannin, a student at Kyle Elementary. Her tug of war team came in second place under Aylesworth Elementary. “Athletics teach you the importance of exercise. But you also get to hang out with your class and spend that time letting people know Kyle is a great school.”
Athletics are one way to boast of your school’s prowess. Thanks to this unique program, Portage Township 5th Graders get the opportunity to test their track skills a few years earlier.
- Boys 1st Place - Sean K. - Saylor
- Girls 1st Place - Emma O. - South Haven
Standing Long Jump
- Boys 1st Place - Daniel S. - South Haven
- Girls 1st Place - Lailah J. - Jones
100 M Dash - First place
- Boys Race 1 - Jayon H. - Kyle
- Boys Race 2 - Ajay A. - Kye
- Boys Race 3 - Ricardo K. - Aylesworth
- Girls Race 4 - Jamia A. - Kyle
- Girls Race 5 - Hannah P. - Kyle
- Girls Race 6 - Laillah J. - Jones
60 M Dash - First Place
- Boys Race 1 - Sean A. - Kyle
- Boys Race 2 - Kyle H. - Kyle
- Boys Race 3 - Jayon H. - Kyle
- Girls Race 4 - Taylor P. - Kyle
- Girls Race 5 - Lailah J. - Jones
- Girls Race 6 - Jae’la R. - Aylesworth
400 M Relay - First Place
- Boys Race 1 - Kyle
- Shaquille H.
- Diego G.
- Jayon H.
- Ja’Twon H.
Boys Race 2 - Kyle
- Sean A.
- Jeremiah C.
- Ajay A.
- Noah B.
Girls Race 4 - Kyle
- Kyra C.
- Lily G.
- Jamia A.
- Kiara K.
Girls Race 5 - Kyle
- Kaity P.
- Anais R.
- Dakota D.
- Caitlin M.
300 M Dash - 1st Place
- Boys Race 1 - Jacob J. - Kyle
- Boys Race 2 - Isaiah P. - Jones
- Girls Race 3 - Emma O. - South Haven
- Girls Race 4 - Taylor P. - Kyle
200 M Dash - 1st Place
- Boys Race 1 - Jaysean K. - Saylor
- Boys Race 2 - Jeremiah C. - Kyle
- Girls Race 3 - LaKayla W. - Kyle
- Girls Race 4 - Kilmora D. - Central
Tug of War 1st Place
- Troy M.
- Makhi M.
- Jason H.
- Ethan W.
- Jazmin F.
- Emma S.
- Katelin C.
- Abbi J.
- Patrice B.
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