It is quite unlike any other event — the eyes bubble-like, the smiles overwhelming and the efforts for real and totally genuine. Granted, there was a touch of wonder and curiosity in the faces of some 75 youngsters ages two to 10 in the 30th annual Haynes Apperson Kids Track Meet at Kautz Field Saturday morning.
But wonder and awe are more than beautiful when provoked by carefree wee-types who know nothing of pressure and demand — only “...lemme go....”
Grey skies and rain didn’t matter, and fear and doubt disappeared as tiny hearts took over in a marvelous rush of pure eagerness and innocence that only youngsters possess. It was especially heartwarming in the absence of the usual commotion of win at all cost that too often accompanies youthful fun and games.
Hundreds of proud moms and pops and grandparents, etc., did things the right way — urged and admired the youngsters from a distance and let them compete as best they could without the slightest hint of demand or urgency.
There were first, second and third-place ribbon winners, but every youngster got that all-important Haynes Apperson ribbon that said, “I was there, and I was in the hunt.”
It was pleasing to see the likes of four-year-old Charlotte Dascoli jump all of 2 feet, 3 inches for third place in the standing long jump and take second in the 25-yard dash; then see sister Katy leap 24 inches for fourth and gain fourth in the 50-yard dash.
Grandparents Dave and Linda Kitchell contained themselves rather well. As did Abby Ford, mother of 2-year-old competitor Ellyrose. Their smiles said it all.
There were many other young Haynes Apperson “Olympians” who made this rainy day special.
The aforementioned Ellyrose Ford, daughter of Abby and granddaughter of Gary and JoAnn Quinette, lunged 15 inches; five-year-old Jason Dickson Jr., son of Jason Sr. and Lisa, went 3 feet, 3 inches, and five-year-old Ezra Phelps soared 28 inches.