Annual Robert Cipriano Cross-Country Meet set for Saturday

Times-Herald file photo Runners take off from the starting line at the first Robert Cipriano Cross-Country Meet in 2012. Hundreds of fourth- through eighth-grade Dearborn Public Schools students will hit the course in a series of one- and two-mile races Saturday.

Times-Herald file photo
Runners take off from the starting line at the first Robert Cipriano Cross-Country Meet in 2012. Hundreds of fourth- through eighth-grade Dearborn Public Schools students will hit the course in a series of one- and two-mile races Saturday.

DEARBORN — The third annual Robert Cipriano Cross-Country Meet will get underway at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Ford Field Park, 22051 Cherry Hill, with a one-mile run/walk for Dearborn Public Schools staff members.

At 9 a.m., hundreds of fourth- through eighth-grade students will hit the course in a series of one- and two-mile races.

The annual event honors Cipriano, former DPS director of Business Services who also oversaw athletics in the district. Cipriano was killed in April 2012 when his oldest son and a friend broke into the family’s Farmington Hills house looking for money.

Only DPS students who have pre-qualified for the run participate in the event. Parents and community members are encouraged to attend the event and cheer on the students.

Parking is available on the lower level of the field near the baseball diamonds west of Brady Street.

The district again has teamed up with the Dearborn Education Foundation, the Dearborn Track Club and the city to coordinate the event. Last year, nearly 750 students took part and this year; if the weather is good, over 1,000 are expected participate.

A brief awards ceremony will follow each race with the top 10 finishers receiving a medal.

Students have spent the first weeks of school getting in shape and qualifying to run in the event. Elementary qualifying time is 10 minutes for 1 mile and middle school qualifying time is 20 minutes for 2 miles.

Teams from each elementary and middle school will compete in different races arranged by age group and gender. Medals will be awarded to the top 10 runners in each age group, a plaque will be awarded to each grade gender winner, and a trophy will be presented to the top elementary and middle school team.

“It’s heartwarming to see the number of families and Dearborn Schools employees who make it a priority to participate in this run which is a healthy way to honor Bob Cipriano, a great man who made running a big part of his life,” Supt. Brian Whiston said.