Kids run, jump, throw and converse at annual track meet

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
— For years, The Gazette has covered the morning session of the annual Janesville All-City fifth-grade track meet. This year, it was suggested to us, quite rightly, that the afternoon session deserves its turn.

We talked to a boy and a girl from every school in the Tuesday afternoon meet at Monterey Stadium. We asked each student three questions:

-- What's the best thing about the track meet?

-- What's the worst thing?

-- What advice do you have for the fourth-graders?" (Fourth-graders compete today).

Here are some of their responses:

Rock County Christian School

Dylan Hill: Best thing—"That we get a day off of school." Worst—"That we have to wait for a long time for our events."

Grace Nenneman: Fourth-grade advice—"Bring lots of drinks and sunscreen. And pay attention (so you don't miss your event)."

St. Patrick School

Parker Schneider: Best—"Just playing with other people from different schools."

Violet Gee: Best—"That the people in the city came out to help set this up. It was nice of them to do that." Fourth-grade advice—"Believe, and never give up. It doesn't matter what place you get."

St. John Vianney School

Matthew Kremer: Best—"The day. It's just a really nice day." Worst—"The heat."

Karol Lunenburg: Best—"Seeing people from different schools. You meet new friends." Fourth-grade advice—"Just tell yourself you can do it, and you'll probably get a better score."

St. Mary School

Mark Jahnke: Best—"It's just all the kids coming together to compete and have fun." Fourth-grade advice—"Try not to get nervous, because nervousness can be your enemy. Try and do your best."

Grace Meister: Best—"Getting to see your friends from other schools and to compete against them." Fourth-grade advice—"Bring sunglasses and a portable fan."

Jefferson Elementary School

Cruz Silva De la O: Best—"Having fun and competing with your friends and new people." Fourth-grade advice—"Drink water. Have a good breakfast. Sleep early, and you'll do good in your life if you keep doing that."

Mykayla Spingler: Best—"The athleticism, like jumping and running and throwing." Fourth-grade advice—"For the 50-yard dash, don't look at your opponent. My gym teacher, Miss Arps, helped me with that."

Harrison Elementary School

Jillian Hollinsaid: Best—"Figuring out what you can do. Maybe you're really good at high-jumping, and you've never really done it before. (This happened to Jillian last year.) I didn't know I was good at it, but I am." Worst—"Losing. At your school, you might be the best, but when you come here, you might not be the best, so you might look at things differently."

Jarrett Costello: Worst—"Seeing the people who don't make it—they're all sad and droopy." Fourth-grade advice—"Practice for it the night before. Lift weights if you have a throwing contest."

Wilson Elementary School

Ambrielle Floyd: Best—"The hurdles because you get to run, and you get to jump, and when you land you're still going fast." Fourth-grade advice—"Run as fast as you can."

Tremar Curry: Best—"I like the relay because I'm in it with two of my friends, and they're really fast." Fourth-grade advice—"Keep your head up. Look straight ahead and don't worry who's behind you."

Jackson Elementary School

Tyler Gurney: Best—"It's fun competing against other people. Celebrating is also fun. And if you get last, who cares? Like last year, I got last, and then I came back, and I got first."

Chloe Avery: Best—"Talking to my friends." Fourth-grade advice—"Don't jump when they shoot the gun."

St. Paul's Lutheran School

Samantha Kaveggia: Worst—"It's usually really hot." Fourth-grade advice—"When you get close to the finish line, don't slow down. Just keep on running fast."

Ben Clarke: Best—"Probably the adrenaline—when you're running and you know you're winning. That's the best."

Roosevelt Elementary School

Tatyanna Manuel: Best—"It's fun, and even if you try your best and you don't do well, you still get a ribbon." Fourth-grade advice—"Drink a lot of water, and try your hardest. If you don't win, don't be all pouty."

Sam Pitcher: Worst—"People being mean and swearing and stuff. Sometimes kids put down other kids, but it doesn't happen often." Fourth-grade advice—"Try to do the best you can. No put-downs."

Kennedy Elementary School

Caitlin Rote: Best—"The high school kids who run each event. They're really kind. They encourage you to do good so you don't have to feel bad about yourself."

Erik Davis-Mendez: Best—"The excitement when you receive your ribbon. It's just like the excitement blows you away." Worst—"The nerves. You're sitting up in the stands, and you're thinking, 'Am I going to do OK? What if I don't get any ribbons?' Stuff like that."

Caitlin added this perspective: "You never forget the ribbons that you get—ever."

Last updated: 8:18 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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