Elementary students complete marathons by end of school year


No matter the day — in sunny September or dreary December — hundreds of elementary school students in Powell faithfully ran laps.

Students ran during recesses, and eventually, those laps turned into miles. Over the course of the school year, hundreds of students logged laps, some reaching the goal of a full marathon: 26.2 miles.

“The kids gave up one and sometimes two recesses a week to run in order to qualify for the marathon,” said Waleryan Wisniewski, who teaches PE at Southside Elementary School.

Students at Southside, Parkside, Westside and Clark elementary schools all participate in the annual marathons.

At Westside, 261 students qualified for the marathon this year — about 83 percent of the school.

To qualify, kindergarten and first-grade students needed to log 12 miles. Second- and third-graders had to reach 18 miles, while fourth- and fifth-graders needed to run 25 miles.

Westside didn’t keep an official tally of laps after a student qualified, so there no “records” this year.

“I appreciate all of the help from the staff and community to make this event possible,” said Luke Robertson, who teaches PE at Westside. “I’m also proud of the students who take the initiative to run or walk laps throughout the year in order to qualify.”


At Southside, students in the primary grades focus on a half-marathon while the older students run the full 26.2 miles within the school year, Wisniewski said. Some 219 students qualified for the marathon.

“We had an incredible amount of participants this year for the Southside marathon,” Wisniewski said.

Southside recognizes the top girl and boy who ran the most laps in each grade level. This year’s top kindergarten runners were Savannah Sapp and Rhett Goolsbey.

In first grade, Bentley Streeter, Isaiah Torres and Russell Goolsbey ran the most miles.

The top second-grade runners were Abigail Visocky and Landon McDonald. In third grade, Anika Anderson and Tanner Seifert logged the most miles.

Top runners for fourth grade were Kate Williams, Bailee Allred and Brighton Streeter. In fifth grade, Cathryn Vineyard and Cody Seifert ran the most miles.

The winners received a shirt.

“We are so thankful for our sponsors for the marathon as they make the event possible!” Wisniewski said.

Parkside and Clark schools

Over 95 percent of Parkside’s students qualified for the school’s 11th annual marathon.

“A new record!” said teacher Cathy McKenzie, who founded the Parkside marathon.

In addition, 100 percent of students at Clark Elementary School qualified for the marathon and ran their final laps with Parkside students last month.

“Our school loves doing the marathon because it introduces the kids to a lifelong activity and helps them set and reach goals,” McKenzie said.

Students in kindergarten and first grade must run 72 laps (about 12 miles) to qualify. Kids in second and third grades needed to log 100 laps (about 17 miles). Fourth- and fifth-graders had to run 150 laps (25 miles).

“The last mile is run on the track by everyone during the marathon finale,” McKenzie said, adding, “We lucked out and got great weather, which hasn’t always been the case.”

For kindergarten and first-grade, the top runner was Myles Reel with 146 laps.

In second and third grades, Tucker Muecke ran the most with 172 laps.

For fourth and fifth grades, the top runner was Colin Walker with 319 laps.

“We couldn’t do it without the generosity of our many sponsors,” McKenzie said. “Our wonderful PTG (parent group) provides the bulk of the funds; they are the best!”