The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.

Track and field glory for middle school students
By Laura Button

On Tuesday, June 5, Curtis Field was abuzz with school colours and cheering fans as students in Grades 6 to 9 competed for track and field honours.
The divisional track meet is the end of the road for middle school athletes – there is no regional or provincial competition.
“They get to go on to high school and glorious track and field careers,” joked organizer and Rocky Christian School (RCS) principal Rob Duiker. “At this meet, we don’t keep records either, so everyone is a record holder.”
There are no records, but plenty of scorekeeping. The top four male and female athletes in each event for each grade earn ribbons and points. Every athlete can compete in four events. At the end of the day, the winners are determined by the male and female athlete with the most number of points per grade.
David Thompson High School (DTHS) students Lance Clay, Brandon Smith and Tabatha Angliss kept the paperwork in order, tallying points after each event. The Grade 10 students joked they had retired from track and field, but were happy to help out this year – and happier still to spend the day away from school.
Other volunteers coordinated each event. On the track, students ran 60-m, 100-m, 200-m, 400-m, 800-m, 1,500-m and 80-m hurdle events. In the field, young athletes could pick between long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, javelin and high jump.
Participating schools included Breton, Caroline, Condor, David Thompson, Drayton Christian, Leslieville, Pioneer, Rocky Christian, St. Dominic, St. Matthew, Ta-Otha and West Central.
“It’s a really big deal,” said Duiker.
The Ta-Otha Community School brought nine students from the Big Horn First Nation Reserve to compete. By noon, they hadn’t yet earned a ribbon but the students were looking forward to the afternoon events.
Pioneer School had the largest contingent, and its students earned the most overall awards, but the smaller schools held their own and everyone left with smiles on.
“It’s just really fun to be active,” said Sara Moser, who fell short in the overall tally even though she placed first in the Grade 6 girls long jump event.