Runners, joggers, walkers, and stroller-pushers of all ages and athletic levels took part in the Killeen ISD Back to School Dash Saturday.
About 2,180 school district employees and family members registered for the 5K fun run, the first official event of the newly reformed Superintendent’s Cup, a competition between the district’s campuses.
School employees said they took part in the early-morning dash to build community and comradery at their schools and to see friends from across the district.
Top finishers, as well as the best dressed and most spirited won prizes in the timed event.
The first to cross the finish line was Ellison High School junior Ethan Carranza, a cross-country athlete who actually won a gold medal on Thursday in a race in Waco. He crossed the finish in 17:13.48.
Rounding out the men’s division was David Bluhm in 18:08.99 and Jonathan Sanchez in 20:04.15. Bluhm, a Shoemaker sophomore, also competed Thursday in Waco, finishing fifth overall.
In the women’s division, Ashley Hubbard won first in 23:30.60, followed by Katie Hequembourg in 25:06.95 and Makayla Otto in 25:16.14.
Best dressed in the 80s theme was Amber Mercer of Nolanville Elementary School. Most spirited team was Union Grove Middle School.
Highest participating campuses included Ira Cross Elementary School and Willow Springs Elementary School, Audie Murphy Middle School, and Shoemaker High School. Top department was Business Services.
To begin the event, Superintendent Jo Ann Fey praised the team that organized the event and for the many who participated in the back-to-school 5K.
“What a great way to kick off the school year,” said Fey, addressing the crowd from a stage set up behind the CTC gym alongside the starting line.
“Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for supporting kids in Killeen ISD. Thank you so much for being involved in the profession of education. We really are developing the future of our great country.”
As participants finished the course, they received medals and took advantage of snacks and of food truck vendors.
Hequembourg, one of the top finishers and principal of Saegert Elementary School praised the opportunity to gather her team.
“I think building community within the school and district is important,” she said. “Everyone was really excited, and we came together as a team. It’s nice to do something at the end of a week for our school that’s not work-related.”
Principial Tomas Sias of Ira Cross Elementary School also finished close to the front. His school recorded the highest participation among elementary schools.
“It’s a great way to keep spirits high,” he said. “It builds comradery. You can see a lot of people and catch up and have fun together.”
To search 5K results, go to the following: https://www.arrowliveresults.com/KISDSTAFF5K