On Saturday, April 30, 2011, the 35th Annual District Junior Olympics was held at Roosevelt High School. The event included approximately 780 fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from 25 elementary schools and one sixth grade team from El Cerrito Middle School. The student-athletes, fans, and volunteers braved gale-force Santa Ana winds which persisted for the duration of the meet. The Junior Olympics is held every year to promote physical fitness and generate a life-long love to exercise. The students are able to compete in several running and field events to showcase their speed, strength, talent, and abilities. They are able to practice their skills in a competitive, supportive environment. This event is in direct correlation with the Physical Education Standards.
As has been the tradition over the past several years, the meet ceremonies began with an Olympic-style procession of Athletes and their Coaches, led onto the field by the Norco High School Color Guard. Each team proudly displayed colorful banners bearing their team names and mascots. Fifth-grade student Leslie Batista of Stallings Elementary delivered a touching rendition of “God Bless America” to open the meet.
After the opening festivities, the meet began, with the students competing in running events including the 800 meter run, 400 meter run, 200 meter run, 100 meter run, shuttle relay, and 4x100 relay, and field events including the soccer dribble, softball throw, and long jump. Schools were divided into “Large School” and “Small School” categories based on enrollment numbers. Meet leaders Jerri Higinbotham and Brian Leedy directed a large contingent of volunteers, who served as race timers, field event measurers, relay judges, race starters, scorekeepers, and in numerous other capacities. The volunteers included teachers, high-school students, administrators, and their friends, spouses, and family. For the first time in the history of the event, electronic timing was used to time the running events; special thanks goes out to Roosevelt coach Joe Robles, Jr. for setting up and operating this system. Sierra Vista and Roosevelt High School ran the snack bars, providing food and beverage for all spectators, athletes, and coaches. All athletes, coaches, volunteers, parents, and other fans are to be commended for lending their time and effort in making this event a memorable experience for all the student-athletes, especially considering the very windy conditions at the meet. Special thanks are also extended to Roosevelt High School for providing the meet facilities, to Corona and Norco Chick-Fil-A for donating Chick-Fil-A coupons for all participants, and to Corona Panthers Youth Track Club Coach Jeremy Beck for donating funds to pay for medals for all participants, event ribbons, and trophy plates that were handed out during the awards ceremony at the end of the meet.