Taylor Parks fifth-graders top field in annual track meet

Photo by Dave Gorgon

Photo by Dave Gorgon

Taylor Parks Elementary School fifth-graders celebrate their victory in the 2010 Fifth Grade Track Meet.

With time running short in the 2010 Taylor Schools Fifth Grade Track Meet, Taylor Parks Elementary School Coach Joni Bridgens put it on the line: Her young runners would need some first-place finishes.

With only the girls’ and boys’ 100-yard dashes and the coed relay race remaining in the June 7 event, Taylor Parks trailed Blair Moody Elementary by one point, 28 to 27.

Bridgens said Jada McKinney and David Morhan patted her on the back and told the coach not to worry.

McKinney went on to finish first in the girls’ 100. Then Morhan raced to a first-place finish in the boys’ 100. Both finished in identical times of 13.3 seconds.

The 12 points they earned sealed the victory for Taylor Parks, which finished with 39 points. Moody, which earned a respectable seven points in the 100s, placed second with 35 points. Kinyon Elementary
was third with 30 points.

Bridgens said it was the first-ever victory in the districtwide track meet for Taylor Parks. It was the second championship for Bridgens as a coach. She led Myers Elementary to the title in 2007 and coached Moody
to second-place finishes in 2008 and 2009.

“I take the track and field meet seriously, and I tried to impress that on the kids,” Bridgens said. “I didn’t know the point totals at the time, but I knew we had to rally at the end and place high in the last three events. They really came through.”

The finishes by Moran and McKinney were the only firsts for Taylor Parks during the morning meet, which was held at Kennedy High School.

Taylor Parks did take five second-place finishes, however. Terrell McLain was second in the finals of the boys’ 50-yard dash, C.J. Lasley was runnerup in the boys’ softball throw, Angela Meadows took second in the girls’ standing long jump, Aren Buck was runner-up in the boys’ 440-yard run and the team of Jade Estell, Morgan Zachiewicz, Sheffield Jones and Jacob Carnes finished second in the relay.

Rounding out the scoring for Taylor Parks were Cailyn O’Conner, who took third in the girls’ softball throw, and Makayla Henderson, who was fourth in she girls’ 440.

Moody had three firstplace finishes – the most by any school. Kyle Wright was first in the boys’ 440 (1 minute, 18 seconds), Makayla Reed was first in the girls’ 50 (7.1 seconds) and Ashley Ruiz won the standing long jump (6 feet, 5 inches).

Third-place Kinyon won two of the 11 events. Jared Weigand took the boys’ standing long jump in 6 feet, 6 inches, and the team of Koyla Brookins, Eric Monahar, Kayla Davis and Sylvester Singleton won the relay in 31.1 seconds.