Optimist-YMCA Meet Fosters Love of Track

Dad Brendan Monaghan holds up his participant ribbon, sadly he did not win. But, his daughter             Macksie placed in everything she entered.                                                                                                                  Photo: LOU KAMER

 

By HENRY KAMER

In 2018, I attended my first track meet, the Annual Optimist Club/Palisades YMCA meet held at Palisades High School stadium by the sea.

I credit the event with igniting my own love for track. Now, I’m a rising junior at Pali High and run hurdles on the track team. I ran the 300 meter hurdles this year at City Prelims.

Today, June 9, I volunteered to help with the 52nd Optimist/YMCA track meet. It is held every year for kids ages 3-12 and it’s a great family activity to do on a Sunday morning.

I wanted to give back to the community. If I could help make this event a special memory for the kids just as the people organizing it then did for me, I would do anything I could.

Seeing the joy on kids and families faces as they participated in events like the 100- and the 200-meter dash, the 4×100 (a relay race for the whole family), and even javelin throwing (don’t worry, the javelins were made out of foam and did not have sharp ends), reminded me of my own happiness when I first ran at the event.

I even laughed when it was time for the parents to race in the 50-meter race. A dad, Brendan Monaghan, only received a participant ribbon for his running efforts, while his daughter got second in every event she entered.

Raj, Tony, Ram and Noe, won the family 4 x 100.

A part of the event that I loved was that I got to meet new people and saw people I already knew who were also volunteering, such as Art Martinez, who is an official track and field professional, who schedules all the track officials around LA County.

There was a local resident, Phil who reminisced with me about his time running track in high school. Phil and I were able to share stories about our respective experiences.

I also got to share the day with other Pali Ambassadors, who were helping the Y and the Optimists run the meet.

Sadly, there weren’t as many people attending as there were in 2018. However, everybody still had a great time.

I hope today helped spark a love of track for the little kids who participated, like it did for me six years ago. I hope these kids come back next year and are joined by others. Look for this annual event and when you hear about this next year, make sure to stop by.

It was a tough race, as girls sprinted towards the finish line in the 100 meter race.
Photo: LOU KAMER

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One Response to Optimist-YMCA Meet Fosters Love of Track

  1. Frank Kamer says:

    Way to go Henry. We are very proud of you

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