Lowndes speed meet brings kids track back to the 45

Published 6:44 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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Lowndes County Athletics brought kids track back to the 45 Saturday and held the first intramural speed meet for area children in many years.

The meet, hosted by The Calhoun School, featured over 40 children on teams from Fort Deposit Elementary, Jackson-Steele Elementary, Central Elementary, and Lowndes Middle School.

According to Lowndes County Schools Athletic Director Nick Rankins, athletes competed in 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter, and 4×100 meter relays and while there were first, second, and third place winners, the competition acknowledged the achievements of all athletes instead of singling out the top few.

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“We pretty much let them run this time,” Rankins said. “We have first, second, and third place winners, but I didn’t call them out this time. We wanted to encourage all the participants, to let the kids enjoy and get used to the process.”

Rankins said the event was designed to give parents and older siblings a chance to turn out and cheer on younger family members. Family and friends did show up, he said, and cheered for all the children throughout the entire meet.

“I really enjoyed the meet,” Rankins said. “It was so great having all those kids out there enjoying the wonderful day with their parents in the stands cheering them on. It was a beautiful day and the kids really enjoyed it.”

Trent Woodley, physical education teacher at Central Elementary, said the event develops sportsmanship and brings discipline in the classroom.

“If kids want to run track, that means they can’t get in trouble,” Woodley said. “They’ve got to learn their lessons too. I believe in doing your work, so this prepares them for middle school and high school. It also helps kids learn sportsmanship. They will win some and lose some. All I want them to do is participate.”

Rankins said he expects the effort to gain momentum and hopes even more kids will get involved.

“I’m building the future of what track is going to be here,” Rankins said. “I saw a lot of new kids out there with a lot of speed. The meet gave parents the opportunity to be there for their kids. All parents stayed. I saw no parents leave. I love that community building and our parents supporting our kids.”

The next speed meet will take place on March 11 at The Calhoun School beginning at 10 a.m.