City meet gets back on track

ELKINS – After a one-year hiatus, the newly renamed Mayor’s/Johnny Keller Intra-City Track Meet will be held Tuesday at the Elkins High School track.

The meet is for children kindergarten through sixth grade. There will also be a 100-meter fun run for 3- 4- and 5-year-olds.

The event is part of EHS student Kathlyne Simmons’ senior project. Simmons, who will be a senior next year, and EHS girls track coach Scott Biola decided to organize the meet in an effort to raise interest in track and field in the area.

“It’s a great way to get kids outside and doing some type of physical activity instead of sitting at home playing video games or watching television,” Simmons said.

Along with Biola, Simmons has coordinated the event with Sam Severino of the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission.

Severino provided insight into how the event was conducted in the past.

Simmons then worked with Biola to put packets together for the elementary physical education teachers at North, Jennings Randolph, Third Ward, Beverly and Midland.

The event was once viewed as a competition between Elkins area schools. To restore that element to the competition, private donors have donated a $500. The Elkins area elementary school with the largest percentage of participants will receive a $300 donation for its PE department, and the school with the second best turnout will receive $200.

“Kids are going to be helping their school compete just by showing up,” Midland Elementary teacher Todd Price said. “They are helping their (physical education) department have a chance at winning equipment that’s always desperately needed for the elementary grades.”

Pre-registration has taken place at Elkins area elementary schools, while on-site registration will be held the day of the meet from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

Field events will begin at 4:30 p.m., with a softball throw and a standing long jump. Competitors will each get two throws or jumps. Running events will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will include the 100-meter fun run (ages 3-5), followed by the 1,600- meter run, 50-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 800-meter run and 200-meter dash. Competitors are each permitted to do two running events and one field event.

“Track is not all about one thing,” Simmons said. “There is a diversity of events that gives everyone a chance to compete.”

Participants are asked to wear tennis shoes and not spikes. Parents are welcome to run with children if assistance is needed or desired.

The EPRC is furnishing prizes for the event which include medals and T-shirts for event winners, ribbons for second- and third-place finishers and honorable mention recognition for fourth- through sixth-place finishes.

Age divisions are broken down into kindergarten, 6-7 year-olds, 8-9 and 10-12, and will be separated by gender.

Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House will be donating the T-shirts, which also will be available for purchase at the meet.

“We will be on hand to help out and make sure things go smoothly,” said Severino, who has secured prizes and will have the EPRC summer staff on hand for the event.

In case of bad weather, the event will take place on Wednesday.

For more information, email Biola at jbiola@access.k12.wv.us.