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Heritage Track Team sprints, runs obstacles

MADISON – The Track Team at Heritage Elementary School introduces members to a healthy lifestyle and opportunities to showcase their agility.

During the 2016-2017 school year, Heritage organized its first running club, the Ram Runners, and continued to sponsor the club during “Leader in Me” clubs on Fridays this school year.

“I saw a huge excitement of enthusiastic runners who wanted to do more than just run laps on the track and participate in one or two races a year. That gave Miranda Biggers and me an idea to start the track team this year,” co-sponsor Heather Kell said.

“Also, students (can) belong to a team that is highly motivated and share the same goals,” Kell said.

On Wednesdays, Heritage Track Team meets on the school’s track. After warmups, they break into two groups to work on different aspects of track activities. “For example, Group 1 will work with Mrs. Biggers and Nurse Bryan on pacing for middle or long distance on the track. Group 2 will work with me on endurance by running an obstacle course (jogging, high skips, butt kicks and sprinting)” on grass at the track, Kell said.

At their first two practices, students ran 100-meter and 400-meter time trails, which showed standouts in sprinting and middle distance. Students also realized their preferred activities.

Each practice ends with a one-mile run for everyone.

The gender breakdown for the team’s 37 runners is 15 girls and 22 boys, with about nine to 10 runners in grades 3-6.

“The runners are thrilled to be part of the team. They will run into me in the halls and ask, ‘Ms. Kell, is today track team practice?’ … ‘I’ve been running at home, too.’ … ‘My goal is to beat my time from the Cookie Dash 5K last year.’ … ‘I love the new track team shirts,'” Kell said.

Kell and Biggers have asked for approval to practice on Bradford Greenway adjacent to Heritage.

Heritage’s enthusiastic parents are willing to help in any way. “They’re just thrilled their child is part of the track team,” Kell said.

One father, who ran track at the University of Alabama, is excited to see his son on the team. “The father’s track record still (stands) today. He hopes his son will continue running once he gets to Liberty Middle School,” Kell said.

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