On Friday, the Lake Tahoe Unified School District hosted its district track meet at South Tahoe Middle School. All qualifying students from grades 3-5 participated in the event aimed at helping the students get a taste of the sport.
“We really want to introduce (youths) to the sport and hopefully have some develop a passion for it and possibly a talent,” said Seth Martin, organizer of the event and physical education teacher at Sierra House Elementary.
Qualifying events were held throughout the year within the respective schools and the top five athletes in each event from each school went on to the district meet to compete against other schools in the district.
Ribbons were handed out on a heat-by-heat basis, so official results were not kept in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter races.
In the 1-mile, the top runner for the 5th grade boys was Layton Sweeney and the 5th grade girls was Halie Franklin. The 4th grade top mile runners were Liam Molesworth for boys and Addison Castle for girls, both from Bijou.
“Kids at that age are still learning to pace themselves,” said Martin, who added this race can be especially hard for children this young and earning the fastest time is a big accomplishment.
In the shot put, the 4th grade winners were Phoebe Bitzer with a throw of 20 feet and Jesus Chavarin with a throw of 20 feet, 4 inches. Both attend Sierra House.
The 5th grade winners were Juan Medal who threw 28 feet, 8 inches for the boys and Alondra Rizo who threw 22 feet, 3 inches. Both attend Bijou Community.
In the long jump, the 3rd grade winners were Ian Ross and Ahmari Gonzalez, both from Tahoe Valley Elementary. For 4th grade, William Bawes from the Magnet School and Castle from Bijou had the longest jumps and Kyle Clark from Sierra House and Kelsey Hogan from the Magnet School won for the 5th graders.
In the relays, the Magnet School swept the 4th and 5th grade races as the boys and girls teams both went on to win and the Bijou school swept for the 3rd grade races.
The students were able to learn about school pride as they cheered on classmates during races with the hope they pursue track into middle school and high school.
The event was put on by parent volunteers as well as high school track athletes Harley Norton, Tatum Whatford, Karley Martinez and Ross Kovak along with high school coach Jake Hurwitz.
Bijou Community School had the biggest representation of students with 88 participants.