Students are staying on the move

Athletes hit 100-mile mark for school jogging program

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The following Grass Valley Elementary students recently hit the 100-mile mark for the school jogging program, which just finished its seventh week. They include fourth-grader Rachel Blair, fifth-grader Patrick Upkes, fifth-grader Will Schultz and second-grader Cole Kendall. Not pictured is second-grader Abby Sherwood, who was also the school champion last year for girls.

In just seven weeks, six Grass Valley Elementary students have achieved an important milestone: Running at least 100 miles in the school jogging program.

The students achieved this goal by logging laps on a dirt path during recess.

They include Rachel Blair, Patrick Upkes, Will Schultz, Cole Kendall, Jordan Chase and Abby Sherwood, who ran 125, 115, 125, 115, 101 and 100 miles, respectively.

Kendall, a second-grader, was the school champion last year with 315 miles.

“I like to run, and my sister needs a running partner,” he said. “No one else will do it with her.”

Upkes says it’s a fun thing to do.

“I just think it’s great to get out there and run,” he said.

The jogging program was started by physical education teacher Warren Hughes back at the former JD Zellerbach Elementary School, where students attended before Grass Valley was opened last year.

“I just wanted to get the kids moving,” he said. “I think doing this kind of thing is great.”

After they run one lap, students receive a paper ticket from a playground supervisor. After 20 laps (five miles) are completed, a student receives a plastic foot. After a student hits the 100-mile mark, they received a “high five” necklace and T-shirt. Plus, their photo is taken for the “Wall of Fame.”

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Hughes said. “A lot of kids don’t make it that far. My thing is, I just want them moving. If I can get them running, then what they’re doing is putting time in the bank for later on in life. They’re building their heart muscles and lungs, and have the ability to become incredible athletes.”