About 200 fourth-to-sixth grade school children enjoyed a hot day at Westmont College May 15, competing in the Santa Barbara Elementary School Track and Field City Championships. The athletes from Washington, Adams, Cleveland, McKinley and Monroe Elementary schools battled temperatures in the mid-80s while competing in a dozen track-and-field events including long jump, high jump, softball toss and various races.
The annual track meet began last year after being conceived by Westmont alumna and Adams Elementary School principal Amy Alzina and Westmont head track-and-field coach Russell Smelley.
“This is a great way to introduce these youngsters to the sport and give them a chance to be on a college campus,” Smelley says. “They’re having fun and and are thrilled to be out on a field running around and not being in class.”
Westmont track and field athletes, who are training for the national championships next week in Alabama, served as volunteers, timing and measuring the events. Winners were awarded Westmont T-shirts.
After the event, students toured the campus and enjoyed eating in the college’s air-conditioned Dining Commons.