Running Jacks cross country team formed at Fletcher Walker
“I have done cross country for quite a few years. I coached preschool through eighth-grade for New Horizon’s Christian School for five years,” said Crawford-Hedrick.
Cross country teams from elementary schools throughout Lassen County meet at Susanville Ranch Park on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. for competitions. Children in preschool through fourth-grade run 1.2 miles and fifth through eighth-grade run 1.75 miles. The first meet was Sept. 27.
On that date four Westwood runners took home a medal. Kaycee Crawford-Hedrick took first place in the 1st-2nd-grade girls division; Kaytlan Crawford-Hedrick took second place in the 3rd-4th-grade girls division; David Prudell took third place in the 1st-2nd boys division and Thomas Kelly took fourth place in the 7th-8th-grade boys division.
“Cross country is so neat because it is not just running around the track; you are out seeing the country. You are running over bridges and down hills and up hills and over rocks. It is fun,” said Crawford-Hedrick.
While the number of children who originally signed up dropped once practice began, the team from Fletcher Walker is still strong. Crawford-Hedrick said the sport requires discipline to prepare and also to prevent injury. Therefore during practice the students do stretches and conditioning exercises to build strength. Also they run cross country to prepare for the meets.
Practice is Monday through Wednesday afternoons with the meets on Thursday. The coaches expect the individual runners to practice on their own Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Crawford-Hedrick said her two daughters get up at 6:30 a.m. to run from a mile and a half to two and a half miles. They also run each afternoon.
It’s a great way for children to become physically fit and that is needed at a time when video games and television are popular forms of entertainment, added Crawford-Hedrick.
The Running Jacks include Sarah Chapin, Kaycee and Kaytlan Crawford-Hedrick, Kayla Easley, Sierra and Morgan Fletcher, Austin Huntsman, Destine Jefferson, Jake Jones, Thomas and Daniel Kelly, Elijah Kincaid, David Prudell, Rayanne Rouse, Joel and Tabatha Sterling, Rose Torres, Brianna Tremayne and Kathleen Zavala.
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