Sophomores came to campus early to decorate and prepare the track for the events. They also set up water stations, the Olympic Town, a first aid station, an arts-and-crafts section and an awards area. Finally, they were briefed on how to run, score and record at the individual track events.
As athletes from 10 Henrico County’s middle schools arrived, 10th Graders greeted them before the competitors took part in running, jumping, wheelchair races and adaptive skills. Collegiate students also engaged with athletes in the Olympic Town and played in basketball games, presented awards and ran the arts-and-crafts station.
Collegiate 10th Graders Nkosi Budd, Leah Kaplan, Helena Huff, Kate Nolde and James Daniel were excited to meet and talk with the students.
“I’m looking forward to making personal connections,” Helena said.
Nearby, 10th Grader Kate Aaronson stood on the field ready with her camera.
“I am excited to see the kids have fun and capture them,” she said.
Her fellow classmates Regan Berger and Saanvi Mittal felt prepared to perform their assigned jobs as track assistant and cheerleader, respectively.
“We’re looking forward to supporting the students,” they said.
At the opening ceremony, Collegiate’s Upper School Chorus sang the National Anthem before Steve Hickman, Collegiate’s Head of School, welcomed the athletes.
“We could not be happier to host this wonderful event,” he said. “Thank you on behalf of the entire Collegiate community. Have a wonderful time, compete well and make Collegiate your home today.”
Missy Herod, Upper School Associate Director of Student Life, started the event in 1987. In between facilitating the event, she described how it brings out the best in the athletes and Collegiate students.
“I watch our students engage with the athletes and I see students who are responsible, ethical, inclusive, empathetic, compassionate, mindful, adaptive, resilient and courageous,” she said. “Isn't that the definition of a responsible citizen and a compassionate leader? Isn't that what we want to see in a Collegiate student? It doesn't get any better than this!”