This Turkey Trot aims to promote fitness

eye on harford

November 23, 2008|By Cassandra A. Fortin | Cassandra A. Fortin,Special to The Baltimore Sun

More than 30 years ago, physical-education teachers at Bel Air Middle School started a Turkey Trot, a fun run held around Thanksgiving.

The program has grown each year, with more than 1,250 students participating.

Unlike other Turkey Trots, which are designed to raise money for a charitable cause, the Bel Air Middle event is a fun run to promote fitness, said Jeff Eaton, the physical-education department chairman who heads the program. Five other teachers at the school also work with Eaton on the program.

"We hold the Turkey Trot to address childhood obesity concerns," said Eaton, who has taught at Bel Air Middle for 21 years. "But also to instill fitness and healthy lifestyles for children."

The premise of the trot is simple. All the school's students ran in the qualifying race about three weeks ago. Then during American Education Week, the top runners from the qualifying event ran in the Turkey Trot Invitational.

Bailey Gasior won first place for seventh-grade girls.

It was a chance to do something fun in physical education, said Bailey, who plans to join a high school cross country team. "I like to run, and it was exciting to run in front of people," she said.

More than 800 parents, grandparents, and other spectators showed up at the school throughout the day to watch the children run, said Pat Sears, a physical-education teacher at the school.

The top runners and their running times include: sixth-grade boys Anthony Sampayo, 7.34, Logan Szekalski, 7.45, J.D. Bruck, 7.46; sixth-grade girls Marisa Abbey, 7.54, Samantha Keesey, 7.58, Emily Rose, 8.22; seventh-grade boys John Cross, 7.10, Brandon Tolson, 7.26, Joe Foss, 7.28; seventh-grade girls: Bailey Gasior, 7.30, Jamie Bittner, 7.48, Rachel Lohrmann, 8.04; eighth-grade boys Nat Hand, 7.10, Alec Miller, 7.17, Taylor Dameron, 7.19; and eighth-grade girls Teresa Berg, 7.30, Hannah Starnes, 7.56, Grayson Stencak, 8.05, and Brooke Lorber, 8.05.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.