Track and Field Days coming back for Medina middle schoolers

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 9 June 2022 at 1:13 pm

MEDINA – The initial meet of Track and Field for middle school students at Wise Intermediate School has been postponed until tomorrow, because of the heavy rains during the night.

Resurrecting Track and Field Days for grades three through six is an idea of track coaches Mollie Mark and Melissa Valley.

Track and Field days began nearly 50 years ago under the leadership of physical education teachers Bill Ossont and Kay VanNostrand.

VanNostrand said she started teaching in 1964, and at that time, track and field at Oak Orchard Elementary School was only for boys in fifth and sixth grade.

“When Bill came here, he and I decided to do track and field for boys and girls,” VanNostrand said. “We eventually modified it for younger grades and included fourth- and fifth-grade students.”

Kathie Valley, Melissa’s mother, sent out a notice asking for volunteers to help with the new program, and VanNostrand responded.

“I’m excited to see it brought back,” VanNostrand said. “Kids in grades three through can shine in many events.”

Mark said parents and the community are invited to come to Wise Intermediate School Friday, Monday and Tuesday to watch the students participate. A spokesman at the school this morning said it will possibly be extended until Wednesday to make up for the lost day today.

“Each kid will be able to participate in two events, such as running the 50, 100, 200 or 400-meter dash; football and softball throw; and long jump or high jump,” Mark said.

She explained the track and field meets for elementary school children lasted until 2012. When Towne Elementary School and Oak Orchard reorganized, the meets were discontinued.

Mark, who has been teaching for 20 years, moved back to Wise Intermediate School this year and started thinking about bringing back the event, with the help of Melissa Valley, also a track coach.

“It will be good to get it started and get kids excited about running,” Mark said.

She said 90 to 100 students are involved.

“A lot of people we mentioned this to said they remember the track and field days and it was a lot of fun,” Mark said.

She encourages anyone to come and watch. On the final day, trophies will be awarded for each event.