BRD track meet gives area students opportunity to try out new sport

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Brookhaven Elementary’s Fredericka Fairman, 12, decided to runin the Hershey’s Track Meet at the Brookhaven High School’s KingField Saturday because her 15-year-old brother Fred encouragedher.

She’s glad she did, as she ended up coming home with a fewribbons, including a blue in the girls’ 100-meter dash.

“I enjoy running,” she said. “I just wanted to do it forfun.”

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Lipsey Middle School’s Praivion Sanders, 12, thought it would befun to run in a track meet, but had other ideas as well.

“I thought it would be good to get out and have fun,” he said.”It’s also good exercise. I already liked sports, but I’ve learnedit’s fun to get out and run with my friends.”

The Brookhaven Recreation Department hosts the track meet everyyear for Hershey’s in hopes that kids will take to running track asa serious sport or even a hobby, since it’s something they can doon their own without needing to coordinate with a team.

The event showcases all kinds of events, from standing broadjump to a softball throw to races of all different lengths.Students 9 to 14 participate from area elementary and junior highschools.

BHS Track Coach Patrick Hardy said the event is a goodexperiment for a lot of the children who think they might want torun track, but might not know exactly what race they want torun.

“It exposes them to what it’s all about,” he said. “It givesthem a better idea about what the events are.”

Hardy said that often children will sign up for events and thenrealize after they’ve already committed that the event is not theirstrong point.

“You’ll have these kids sign up for the 1600-meter run, and whenthey find out it’s four laps, they’re like, ‘Uh-oh,'” he said,laughing.

Shizmar Randle of Alexander Junior High School said he’s glad toparticipate in the event, and that it’s something that just mightstick.

“Well, I’m here because my coach signed me up,” he said. “I’mrunning the 200-meter dash. And I think I might run track when Iget to high school.”

Like 13-year-old Randle, other children are looking at the meetas actual practice for future years.

“I think it’s a good experience to do this,” said DamariusNewton, 12, of Lipsey. “It’s good practice.”

But others are just there to run for fun in the sun. Lipsey’s11-year-old Damian Henry said he doesn’t even like to run.

“I just wanted to come have fun with my friends,” he said.

His schoolmate James Franklin, 12, was also tight-lipped aboutthe blue ribbon he’d be taking home for first place in the 50-meterdash.

“I just came to run some,” he said. “It’s fine.”