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New cross-country club starts at IWA

Published 9:49pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Isle of Wight Academy has begun taking strides toward a cross-country program by introducing a cross-country club this year.

Jennifer Riddick leads the club, which began meeting this week and is open to any IWA students from grades 6-12.

Riddick, who is an avid runner, said the group came about because there were sixth- and seventh-graders interested in running.

“Some of the parents got together and wanted to at least see if we could start a team or a club.”

Riddick said this year, competition against other schools is not on the agenda, “but we are meeting a few days after school, and we’re running a few miles together.”

The goal is to train now for competition, and Riddick said they are “hoping that next year we’ll be ready to go.”

Since conference rules dictate competitors must be in at least the eighth grade, this means younger club members who are ineligible now can be primed and ready once they are of age.

Riddick was thrilled at the interest level.

“For me that was exciting to see a bunch of kids that wanted to run and get in shape and build their endurance,” she said.

She said, “Hopefully, we can keep that interest through this season so next year, we’ll have plenty of people that want to join.”

She aims to teach the youths that they can have fun and be healthy at the same time.

The club meets at IWA on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. It is not running great distances yet, but Riddick hopes to grow the distance as time goes on.

“Since it’s a club, there’re really not tryouts or anything, so just having the interest is enough,” Riddick said.

Interested students are encouraged to sign up in Riddick’s classroom at IWA. For further information, contact Jennifer Riddick at jenniferriddick@iwacademy.com.

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