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Kids run, swim into spring
Oak Harbor residents were out in droves Saturday and Sunday taking advantage of the first warm weekend of the year and enjoying a myriad of activities, both organized and unorganized, taking place at a number of locations around town.
On Saturday, the sixth annual elementary school track meet at North Whidbey Middle School meet brought out a throng of young athletes and their parents to enjoy the good weather and watch some of the future Oak Harbor High School track and field stars.
The kids participated in most of the usual events including sprints, hurdles and distance races, along with the high and long jumps. However, the more dangerous events such as the shot put and the javelin throw were replaced by the softball throw and hurling a foam spear with stabilizing vanes.
Some of the young runners come from a long line of former high school athletes, including 11-year-old Dejsha Lollar, a student at Olympic View Elementary school.
Track, it kind of runs in my blood, she said with a smile after completing her heat in the hurdles. My mother, Cassandra, was a high school champion.
Lollar was in a tight race to the finish line with Raven Webster, an 11-year-old representing Broad View Elementary school.
This is my first year doing this and Im having a lot of fun. I also run in the sprint races, he said.
Mariah Cristafulli, another Broad View student, said she was also having fun after completing her javelin toss.
Im happy with the distance, even though it went only 25 feet, she said.
Two other Broad View javelin throwers, Michelle Braegger and Christyn Person, had their mothers, Kimberly and Tamie, in tow.
Were not helping out running the meet, were just enjoying the great weather, Kimberly Braegger said.
Some of the more popular folks at the track meet were North Whidbey Middle School students Jessica Lee, Shani King, Breij Ney and Taylor ODell, who were hawking cold drinks and snacks from a cooler they towed around the infield.
Were trying to raise money so we can go to Washington, D.C., next year over spring break, King said. We want to see all the historical places and learn things we cant get just from books.
It will be sort of like a hands-on learning experience, ODell added.
Windjammer Park was a popular place Sunday afternoon and the downtown greenbelt was packed with walkers, bicycle riders and folks lying about on the grass soaking up the sun.
Dogs of all shapes and sizes were present, either romping on the grass or wading the mud flats at low tide with their owners.
The parks lagoon was also being taken advantage of, mostly by youngsters, as parents kept a watchful eye on their offspring from the shore.
Blake Flemming from Oak Harbor had his daughters Anna, age four, and two-year-old Sarah out for a splash.
The big thing is keeping them from going out to far, he said, grabbing his eldest clad in her Little Mermaid swimsuit around the waist and pulling her closer to shore as she waded in above her knees.
By Monday rain and cooler, more spring-like temperatures had returned to Whidbey Island.
However, if the weather prognosticators are correct, next weekend is supposed to be another great one.