RUN­NING 101

Owen J. Roberts el­e­men­tary stu­dents get a taste of cross coun­try races

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Michilea Pat­ter­son mpat­ter­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @MichileaP on Twit­ter

Hun­dreds of Owen J. Roberts School District el­e­men­tary stu­dents sprinted from the start­ing line at they raced through War­wick County Park for an an­nual run.

The school district has been or­ga­niz­ing an af­ter-school run­ning event since 1972. Re­tired health and phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher Terry Stouf­fer be­gan the pro­gram more than 40 years ago, said Joan Rechtin, the district’s com­mu­nity en­gage­ment con­sul­tant and well­ness co­or­di­na­tor.

On Oct. 25, about 250 stu­dents in fourth, fifth and sixth grade par­tic­i­pated in this year’s El­e­men­tary Fun Run. Stu­dents were bused from all five of the school district’s el­e­men­tary schools to the park. War­wick County Park is the home field for the Owen J. Roberts High School var­sity cross coun­try team.

Mem­bers of the team helped

guide the younger stu­dents in some pre-run warm-ups and lead them through the race course. Fourth and fifth graders ran for one mile while sixth graders ran 1.8 miles which is the dis­tance the mid­dle school cross coun­try team runs. All par­tic­i­pants re­ceived rib­bons and medals were given to top fin­ish­ers in each grade.

Se­nior Teneisha My­ers is a mem­ber of the high school cross coun­try team. My­ers said she hopes the an­nual run mo­ti­vates the younger stu­dents to join the cross coun­try team when they get older.

“It (the an­nual run) just re­minds me when I was that young and started run­ning. I re­mem­ber do­ing this race ac­tu­ally when I was in 4th grade,” she said. “It’s just nice to see where you start and where you end.”

Se­nior Jane Lasak, also on the high school’s cross coun­try team, said she likes the en­vi­ron­ment that run­ning on a team cre­ates. Lasak said ev­ery­one cheers for one another and even com­peti­tors wish you good luck.

Each of the school district’s five el­e­men­tary schools has a RUN 101 club due to a grant from the Pottstown Area Health & Well­ness Foun­da­tion, Rec­thin said.

The fit­ness pro­gram is for girls and boys in grades third through sixth. The club is a non-com­pet­i­tive in­tro­duc­tion to run­ning.

“It has mor­phed over the years and at­tracted more stu­dents of­fer­ing a fun exposure to the life sport of run­ning,” Rec­thin said.

MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Both boys and girls run at War­wick Park for the an­nual Owen J. Roberts School District El­e­men­tary Fun Run.

MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Chil­dren run from the start line at War­wick County Park last Tues­day for the Owen J. Roberts School District an­nual El­e­men­tary Fun Run.

MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Hun­dreds of Owen J. Roberts School District el­e­men­tary stu­dents com­peted in an an­nual fun run at War­wick County Park.

MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

High school cross coun­try team mem­bers lead younger stu­dents in leg ex­er­cises be­fore they par­tic­i­pate in the Owen J. Roberts School District an­nual El­e­men­tary Fun Run at War­wick County Park.

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