The Frederick County Public Schools’ Hugh B. Nolan Track Meet celebrates its 40th anniversary next week. Named in honor of dedicated elementary physical education teacher, Camp Greentop staff member and elementary school administrator Hugh Nolan, the meet began for elementary students in 1977. It expanded to include middle school students in 1981.
For more than two decades, the Hugh B. Nolan track meets have been so popular with FCPS students that it takes two days to accommodate all the participants. Elementary students will compete Tuesday, May 23—the day of the anniversary celebration — and middle school students on Wednesday, May 24. Both events are 4:30-9 p.m. at Oakdale High (5850 Eaglehead Drive, Ijamsville), open free to the public.
This year, well over 1,200 student athletes will compete in the elementary meet, and nearly 500 middle school students will participate the following day. Races will begin with the words, “Runners, take your mark. Set…” and the sound of the starter’s pistol.
Brunswick Elementary Physical Education teacher Liz Metz has done a “phenomenal job” coordinating the elementary events the past six years, says FCPS Elementary Physical Education and Health Curriculum Specialist Jamie Hitchner. “Liz even ran in the race when she was in elementary and middle school,” he said.
Both elementary and middle school levels expanded a few years ago to include some Unified track and field events at each meet so that students with special needs could also participate with their age-appropriate peer group. Together, the 39 schools with elementary students will showcase many student-athletes, with a lot of children gaining their first experience with the sport in these events, Metz explains.
Those wishing to share or read a memory someone has shared about the Hugh B. Nolan Track Meet are invited to visit the 40 Year Memory Walk section online at https://sites.google.com/fcps.org/hbn40/home. Also online are details about this year’s events and schedule. FCPS will post results from this year’s meets there, too.
Field events will include the long jump, high jump, broad jump and shot put. Track events will include 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes, 100 and 400 meter dashes and an 800 meter run.
If the meets are rained out, the elementary competition will take place May 30 and the middle school meet May 31.
Community sponsors include Dominos, Food Lion, South Street Subs and Weis. This year’s t-shirt design is by former track meet participant Kristie Landry of LSquaredStudio.com