By Brandon HENSLEY
Representation from Rosemont Middle School was out in force in downtown L.A. for the annual Run4Fun event on Dec. 10.
It was there, around Elysian Park, that 39 runners from Rosemont joined over 1,400 other middle school students in LA84 Foundation’s annual 1.2-mile race.
The Spartans did quite well, too. There were six races kids could compete in; boys and girls each for grades six, seven and eight.
Rosemont’s seventh grade boys won first place as a team, the Rosemont girls took second place and its eighth-grade boys also took second.
“We had a really strong group of great runners participate,” said Coach Chris Davis. “Unless they were competitive runners or didn’t perform as well as they hoped I think all the kids felt really accomplished and proud.”
Individually for the Spartans, Ian Smyth took third place for boys’ eighth grade division.
For the boys’ seventh-grade division, Bryce Bitetti took first place, Rowan FitzGerald took second place, Ryan Powell (seventh grade) won third and Isaac Smyth placed fifth overall.
For the girls’ seventh-graders, Taili Sherwood-Kong took third place, Eden Haack was fourth and Emma Walch came in fifth.
Davis, along with assistants Rebecca FitzGerald, Carolyn Sion, Wilfried Geck and Vicky Hebert, spent the last three months training about 100 Rosemont students who participated in the school’s cross-country program. The students ran on campus and at Two Strike Park, as they learned how to stretch and do dynamic warm-ups. Because there were so many runners, Davis was helped tremendously by his coaches, who also recorded times of the runners and collected data.
LA84’s Run4Fun program spans 10 weeks during the fall and helps middle-schoolers
learn about distance running. Coaches give the kids benchmarks to reach and drills to learn along their journey.
Davis said he was proud to see his kids still running up the hills at Elysian Park while many from other schools took it easy and walked those parts.
“I think they felt really good about themselves, especially if they thought about how they started back in August when they didn’t run all that much,” he said.
“[The coaches] told them we were so impressed with their growth and effort, especially the kids who showed up consistently. We had a lot of kids participate who were involved in many other school activities.”
Some of the standout runners from Rosemont are also involved in the LA Falcons track and field program, which likely aided in their success last week.
The overcast morning gave way to clear skies, but Davis said it was a great day to run.
“Much of our season was really hot. It was a real blessing to have some cool weather,” he said. “It was perfect for the races.”
The cross-country teams at Rosemont are part of a larger athletic program at the school, which saw its boys’ and girls’ basketball teams win the Glendale district championship earlier this semester. The Spartans are also starting up a lacrosse program and its flag football team, which is always a favorite to win the district, will begin its season early next year.
For more information about LA84, which was established after the 1984 Olympics, visit la84.org.