Bringing home the trophy Union City schools compete for Mayor's Cup
by : Christine Nardone Reporter staff writer
Jun 08, 2001 | 1344 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It is hard to tell who was more excited at Roosevelt Stadium on June 6; the hundreds of grammar school children competing in the first Mayor's Cup Track and Field meet, or the meet's director and former Olympic gold medallist, Otis Davis.

"I got carried away a few times on the starting line," said Davis. "I guess I am still a kid myself."

Many of the students involved in the event were focused on winning the Mayor's Cup trophy.

"We will get a big trophy if we beat every school here," said fourth grade student James Rodriguez from Robert Waters School.

Luckily, Rodriguez's school did get to take the trophy back to their school. Robert Waters won the meet with 44 points. Woodrow Wilson School finished second and Edison School came in third with 19 points.

First place winners in each event gained five points for their school; second place winners gained three points and third place winners gained one point.

The events included sprinting, a spring relay and a circle relay. Each heat was split by age and gender.

The Mayor's Cup trophy will now stay in Robert Waters School until next year's meet, when the schools will come together to compete again.

"I know [this kind of athletic event] is very important," said Davis. "This shows that the administration does care about the kids in the community."

The schools that participated in the meet were Washington School, Woodrow Wilson School, Roosevelt School, Robert Waters School, Gilmore School, Hudson School, Columbus School and Edison School.

Passing on his talent

Davis, who still works out twice a week, uses track to emphasize athletics in children and the need for students to be involved.

"I am trying to emphasize the kids that aren't in the spotlight," said Davis, who made sure that each kid in the meet was able to run in at least one event. "Those are the kids that often feel left out."

Davis also runs an athletic skills program during the summer in the city. This program works on hand-eye coordination, starting and stopping skills, throwing and other basic skills needed in athletics.

"I am trying to complement what they are doing in their [physical education classes]," said Davis, who feels that there isn't enough physical education in the school system. "[Some schools] only have gym twice a week."

Practice time

Many of the students at Wednesday's event did not get that much practice time in before they had to compete in Wednesday's meet.

"It was kind of sprung on us," said Carmen Luga, the gym teacher at Washington School. "We only practiced yesterday."

"During gym we practiced to see who was the fastest," said Ari Olivo, 10, from Gilmore School who placed first in his sprinting event.

Davis said that he started planning the event in January, but because of the different events already scheduled was unable to get the event together until now.

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