Village Life correspondent
FOLSOM – It was a fantastic day for track and field Thursday, May 6, at Vista del Lago High School as the Foothill Athletic League Track and Field Finals brought a close to the 2009-2010 season.
Rolling Hills, Marina Village, Folsom, Camerado and Sutter Middle School were all participating, as student-athletes from around the region put up their best efforts in the season finale.
Sutter came away with the overall victory, a whopping 503 point cumulative effort between the sixth, seventh and eighth grade girls and boys squads, while Folsom came in at a close second with 499.5 points. Marina Village and Rolling Hills each earned third and fourth place finishes with 379.83 and 342.33 points respectively and Camerado and Pleasant Grove worked hard for their 192.33 and 109 points.
Rolling HillsÕ eighth grade girls put up the biggest amount of points for their school, garnering 81 collectively via every event from the 400×4 meter relay to the high jump. Their eighth grade boys posted 66 points for the cause while the seventh and sixth grade girls and boys squads accumulated 79.33 and 116 points.
The Bengal-TigerÕs track and cross country coach, Judy Pickett, was proud of her teamÕs performance throughout the finals, and is a key factor in the programÕs success. Her guidance and support has helped developed the Rolling Hills track and cross country programs into established cornerstones for these student-athletes to launch into healthy and happy lifestyles.
ÒWeÕve had a great year this year,Ó Pickett said. ÒWeÕve had an outstanding group of kids come out and IÕve enjoyed seeing new athletes join the team this year and work hard to learn and improve every week – and weÕve had some returners in seventh and eighth grade that have performed incredibly this season.Ó
For Pickett and the coaching staff, the track program is engineered to introduce students to the realm of competitive track and field in an environment that absolutely helps the kids shine their brightest.
ÒThe goal of middle school track and field for us is to introduce the kids to the different events and competitions of track,Ó Pickett said. ÒWe let the students choose what event they want to do, and our goal is to help them learn about that event – teach them the fundamentals – and assist them in improving and push them to get better every week.
ÒThe finals are a little different than the regular season. In the regular season, we treat every meet as a practice meet, where the students can work to get better and try new events. This year was great, we had a lot of fun and the kids did very well.Ó
Pickett, an El Dorado County native and former El Dorado High track star, volleyball player and cross country runner, has been an asset to Rolling Hills, working as a Physical Education instructor and coach – and has helped make the Bengal-TigersÕ season as wonderful as it is.
Coaches from all six Foothill Athletic League schools have done exceptional work with these students. Coaches like Lucas Miller from Marina Village encourage their students to go out and ÒLeave it all on the trackÓ regardless of their finishing place.
The programs in this region, founded on the principles of benevolence and students reaching their full potential, is the reason that this area has been such a uniquely magical place for the youth to expand their horizons.