Eighty-eight fourth and fifth grade student athletes from throughout St. Tammany Parish Public Schools took part in the second annual Elementary Fitness Meet held at Lakeshore High School on Saturday, March 17.
They paticipated in numerous track events, from the 50 yard dash, curl-ups, pull-ups, and shuttle runs to standing long jumps, V-sits, and a 600 yard run.
The overall school winner was Folsom Elementary with 2090 points. First place in boys went to Tchefuncte Middle School, and first place in girls went to Folsom Elementary.
In individual results, Boys Division, Reed “Beau” Neelis of Tchefuncte Middle School earned 567 points, Raynell Mercadel of Brock Elementary earned 552 points, and Jordan Vidato from Abney Elementary earned 543 points.
In the Girls Division, Ivy Mendheim of Folsom Elementary placed first with 605 points, Sierra Ballard from Lake Habor Middle School earned 604 points for second place, and Mia Angelo of Lancaster Elementary earned 603 points for third place.
The top six individual winners will be going on to the State Elementary Fitness Meet in Baton Rouge on April 28, 2012.
To begin the event, Assistant Superintendent William Brady welcomed the students and their parents to the meet, and the Fontainebleau High School ROTC Color Guard led the parade of athletes as each school’s representatives passed by the grandstand. Two Fifth Ward Junior High students, Alissa Long and Alexis Smith, sang the National Anthem.
Kay Hursey, coordinator of Physical Education and Health for the School System, said that preparations for the event started as far back as August as teachers tested students interested in various aspects of the competition. The kids practiced the different events and were re-tested in January. Then two boys and two girls were selected from each participating school to attend the meet.
The top three boys and top three girls in the scoring in each event received a medal, and the boys and girls in winning first, second, and third places each received a trophy. The overall school winner received a trophy as well.
Mr. Brady congratulated all the student participants for being involved, and he thanked the many volunteers who came together to make it possible. “This is becoming one of the major events of our School System, and we want it to continue to grow,” he said.
The organizers of the event included Supervisor Margaret Sharpe, Parish Athletic Director Larry Favre, Lakeshore High Track Coach Andy Thiel, and Kay Hursey with her group of 25 P.E. and Health teachers from around the parish who volunteered to help during the day.
Last year’s event was the first one held in St. Tammany Parish, so once the word got out about how much fun it was, the children were “really excited,” about taking part in this year’s competition, Ms. Hursey said. “They knew more of what it was about, they had something to go by,” she explained. They worked really hard to get the chance to participate, many of them practicing during the summer months in order to be prepared for it.
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