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West Hartford Fifth-Graders Compete in 20th Annual Town Wide Track Meet

20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

The 20th Annual Duquette Inter-Elementary Invitational Track Meet was held on Thursday, June 7, at Conard High School.

20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

Fifth-graders from West Hartford’s 11 elementary schools put their running, jumping, and throwing skills to the test on June 7 as they competed against their peers from all over town in the 20th Annual Duquette Inter-Elementary School Track Meet.

The meet is named in honor of Mona Duquette, who taught physical education at Charter Oak in West Hartford for 40 years, from 1957-1997.

There were 220 fifth graders invited to participate in the meet – chosen for their performance in events at their own schools’ field day competitions. In order to be chosen, students had to also demonstrate “great sportsmanship,” organizers said.

Use of the high school facility affords fifth-graders a glimpse of what track and field will be like when they get to high school.

“This is not about placing or winning, it’s about students experiencing a fun, athletic meet and perhaps instilling a dream or goal to continue to pursue track and field beyond elementary school,” said Mario Lopez, a Physical Education teacher at Bugbee Elementary School.

Although it may not have been all about the competition, there was still plenty of cheering and support by students for their classmates during races that included the 100, 400, 800, and 1600 meters, as well as the 50-yard dash and hurdles.

There was also a high jump, long jump, and triple jump competition. Field events included a distance and accuracy throw.

There was also a 4×400 relay – the traditional last event of a track meet – to close out the day’s competition.

Ribbons were awarded to the top six finishers in each event.

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20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

Bugbee team. 20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

20th annual Duquette Invitational Track Meet. Courtesy photo

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