MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – They called it “Track or Treat,” and the Central Michigan track and field and cross country teams expect it to be an annual event in the Indoor Athletic Complex.
The event, conducted Sunday, was open to all local children, in eighth grade or lower. More than 50 children from around the area came out for candy and treats, and a chance to receive tutelage from Chippewa team members in a variety of track-and-field-related activities.
The stations included mini hurdles, high jump, long jump, foam javelin throwing, how to use starting blocks, and a relay race. Every member of the track and field and cross country teams was in attendance and the student-athletes broke up into groups of roughly 12 to host each event.
“It’s great to get the feeling back of when you started (competing), and to remember why you started: for the love of the sport. This kind of re-awakens that for us,” said McKenzie Wieber, a senior pole-vaulter from Westphalia, Mich. “The kids are having a good time, we’re having a great time, it’s a lot of fun.”
Jenny Swieton, CMU’s director of track and field/cross country, was encouraged by the strong turnout in the event’s inaugural year, and hopes it sets up a foundation for Track or Treat’s future.
“I’m really excited that we got so many people out to the facility, practicing track and field events,” she said. “It’s really cool to see all of the kids excited about track and field and having fun. I think its beneficial for our student athletes as well, as they remember how they got involved and how much fun they used to have, and it reiterates that we just need to keep having fun with it.
“We can expose the community to (track and field), and just be involved in the community and make connections with people we might not normally make connections with.”