Peabody Charter School students wearing their medals enjoy the limelight as overall winners of the recent Track and Field Day.
Peabody Charter School students enjoy the limelight as overall winners of the recent Track and Field Day. Credit: Courtesy photo

Peabody Charter School was the overall champion at the 10th annual All Santa Barbara and Montecito Schools Track and Field Meet, May 19 at Westmont College.

Peabody was followed by Montecito Union, Roosevelt and Harding schools, and a tie for fifth between Cold Spring and Adams.

Also participating were Cleveland, Washington, Monroe, Franklin, and McKinley schools.

Students in grades four through six competed in 11 different events, including everything from the high jump to the 800-meter run. Medals were given to first-, second- and third-place finishers in each event.

Westmont College Track and Field Coach Russell Smelley and Cold Spring School District Superintendent Amy Alzina started the meet a decade ago when Alzina was an administrator in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

The meet was created as an effort to expose students to the sport of track and field, and a college environment, while creating an opportunity for students from neighborhood schools to connect with each other before they move on to junior high school.

“I’m deeply grateful to all the schools that participated in the track and field meet,” Alzina said. “Coach Russell and I created this meet to give every child an opportunity to experience a new sport and a college experience.

“This meet is truly about closing the opportunity gap,” she said. “The meet would not be possible with the partnership from Westmont College, Coach Russell and his student athletes that volunteered as timers and field event recorders.

“The students enjoyed the friendly competition, but I think they enjoyed eating lunch in the Westmont Dining Commons just as much. At the end of the day, everyone left with lots of smiles.” said Alzina.