Track and Field Days return at Medina for grades 3-6 after a decade absence

Photos courtesy of Jason Klein: Third-grader Carter Brower makes a landing in the long jump during Track and Field Days at Wise Intermediate School.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 18 June 2022 at 9:29 pm

MEDINA – Efforts to resurrect Track and Field Days for Wise Intermediate School students was a resounding success.

When the events wrapped up on Tuesday 350 students had participated, said physical education teacher Mollie Mark. She, Melissa Valley and Kristi Young planned the return of the sport, which had been discontinued since 2012.

Mark said it was Young who taught the children all the track and field events they would be competing in. She also worked with retired coach Bill Ossont at Oak Orchard School and had continued the event after he retired.

They said it gave students in grades three through six their chance to shine.

Sixth-graders Isabella Anelli, left, and Sophia Albone race to the finish line at Track and Field Days

“We are reminded every day that children have had many setbacks with the effects of more than two years of Covid,” said Kathie Valley, retired fourth-grade teacher, who offered to recruit volunteers for the days. “Quarantines and virtual learning have kept them inside with minimal physical activity.”

“Our goals are to get them on ‘track,’ to get them outside and find fun ways to challenge themselves and the opportunity to cheer on their classmates,” Mark said

Valley contacted 20 individuals asking for volunteers to record times, measure distances, rake sand or help kids keep track of where they should be. Eighteen people replied to her.

Nalanie Miller, a fourth-grader at Wise Intermediate School clears the bar in the return of Track and Field Days.

One who responded was Bill Ossont, retired coach from Medina Central School. He said he hadn’t realized the school had done away with the Track and Field Days for intermediate students. He volunteered to be a starter for this week’s events.

“I was here for 36 years and I learned an awful lot from the coaches and teachers,” Ossont said. Any time you can give back, it’s good.”

The meet was scheduled to start June 9, but heavy rains the night before made the track unusable and events were postposed until the following day. They concluded on June 14 with the awarding of trophies.

Winning teams were Mrs. Scott’s class, third grade; Mr. Gerdes’ class, fourth grade; Miss Duhow’s class, fifth grade; and Mr. Haak’s class, sixth grade.

Peyton Allen, a fifth-grader at Wise Intermediate School, is ready to cross the finish line in a relay race during Track and Field Days.

Leaders of the Track and Field Days at Wise Intermediate School are, from left, Kay VanNostrand, retired physical education teacher; Kristi Young, physical education teacher; Bill Ossont, retired coach; Melissa Valley and Mollie Mark, physical education coaches.

Volunteers and school staff posed for a picture during the Track and Field Days Friday, Monday and Tuesday at Wise Intermediate School. From left are Tina DeSimone, retired Wise School counselor; Bill Ossont, retired track coach; Kay VanNostrand, retired physical education teacher; Jim Hancock; Pam Maryjanowski, retired Oak Orchard physical education teacher; Nick Beneditti, retired high school teacher; Kathie Valley, retired fourth-grade teacher; and Dave Boice, retired Oak Orchard teacher.