'Run of the Panthers' sets sights on child fitness

'Run of the Panthers' sets sights on child fitness
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Getting the chance to ditch the classroom for the sunny outdoors is an opportunity students in Lufkin ISD couldn't pass up.

Although it was a break from the classroom, it definitely wasn't a break from learning.

"It's just a way to try to motivate kids to be active and have fun with being active," said Jerri Kay Boyd, the head of physical education for Lufkin ISD.

It's all a part of the 2nd annual "Run of the Panthers."

"Each of our P.E. teachers from all 11 primary and elementary campuses chose six boys and girls per grade," Boyd said.

It came to a total of 374 racers, all excited for their chance at the race course.

"I liked when people were running by me; it was like expressions of their faces. It was fun and everybody was happy," said Jazlenn O'Neal, a student at Kurth Elementary.

"Just trying to finish hard and focus," said Zevin Johnson, a student at Brookhollow Elementary.

"Trying to play and get ready for the next race," said Payton Bickerstaff, another Brookhollow Elementary student.

Parents and teachers cheered them on, some more passionately than others, as the students ran their way to the finish line.

And as with every race, there's always an overall winner, and this year's was Slack Elementary.

The group took home 3 first-place and 1 second-place awards, and to say they're excited is an understatement.

"We dominated," said the Slack Elementary students.

While many enjoyed the fun of racing, one student felt a little differently.

"I liked the dirtiness because you can fall it in, and it can be fun," said Joshua Bennett, a student at Kurth Elementary.

And as for those that didn't place, one student offered this advice.

"Just try hard, play and keep going," Johnson said.

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