By Ryan Richardson
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
About 300 area children took to the track at Missouri Southern State University on Sunday to participate in the annual Kids’ Classic Fun Run.
The 28th running of the race featured four events for kindergartners to sixth-graders, ranging from a full mile run for the older children to a quick quarter-mile for younger runners.
Race organizer Brady Beckham, who had participated in the race from the time he was in the second grade, said Sunday’s event was about focusing on fitness for young children.
“This is all about being fit and being active,” Beckham said. “We want to show that this is different than other sports. It’s fun, and it is a healthy start for a lot of these kids ... they can keep going for the rest of their lives.”
While the event was not billed as a competition, many of the runners liked the challenge of facing off against their peers. The first run of the day came down to two sixth-grade students, who were neck-and-neck most of the race. Although they did not know each other before the run, Tyler White, of Carl Junction, and Jadon Batson, of Crane, congratulated each other as friends after Tyler edged out Jadon.
“It was a rush the whole race,” Tyler said. “He really pushed me to do better.”
“I never have met him, and that’s the cool thing,” Jadon said. “We both get to meet out there in a fun competition and push each other to be as good as can be.”
Beckham said many of the volunteers helping out at the event are former Kids’ Classic runners, and they have been vital to keeping the annual race going.
Beckham said sponsorship also has been vital in keeping the event free. This year’s event was sponsored by The Joplin Globe, The Run Around, Sam’s Club and Freeman Sports Medicine.
“We want this event to stay free, and our sponsors make sure that happens,” Beckham said. “It is great to see those people step up and provide something healthy and fun in the community.”
Winners were as follows:
Sixth-grade boys — 1, Tyler White; 2, Jadon Batson; 3, Treavis Baton; 4, Nathan Hardy; 5, Lane Granam; 6, Drew Johnson.
Sixth-grade girls — 1, Allie Storm; 2, Jaden Stevens.
Fifth-grade boys — 1, Evan Northcutt; 2, Tyler Campbell; 3, Donavan Smiles; 4, Damien Ochoa; 5, Spencer Caddick; 6, Dustin Nance.
Fifth-grade girls — 1, Kelsey Harper; 2, Emmy Colin; 3, Hailey Mitchell; 4, Caroline Martucci; 5, Gabrielle Plutino; 6, Alexandria Hird.
Fourth-grade boys — 1, Hunter Hines; 2, Logan Carnes; 3, Jack Snider; 4, Kane Brooks; 5, Aiden Williams; 6, Taylor Tilton.
Fourth-grade girls — 1, Tatum Stogsdill; 2, Chesney Essary; 3, Lacie Radcliff; 4, Maggie Huddleston; 5, Erica Nance; 6, Alexxiz Graham.
Third-grade boys — 1, Hugh Anderson; 2, Kaden Cole; 3, Jake Johnson; 4, Jaxson Graham; 5, Jack Hubbs; 6, Bryce Fitzjohn.
Third-grade girls — 1, Myra Caddick; 2, Garsyn Coulter; 3, Cana Nevius; 4, Mercea Tillman; 5, Angelina Schram; 6, McKenna Garza.
Second-grade boys — 1, Trison Stogsdill; 2, Byler Reither; 3, Ethan Petersen; 4, Aidan Vaught; 5, Christian Church; 6, Bryce Stevens.
Second-grade girls — 1, Kamrie Conness; 2, Jayli Johnson; 3, Ami Riechman-Bennett; 4, Avery Auer; 5, Olivia Wallner; 6, Lily Carrier.
First-grade boys — 1, Haden Derrick; 2, Enoch Miller; 3, Jack Scaemmer; 4, Caleb Quade; 5, Zayne Waldon; 6, Quinn Anderson.
First-grade girls — 1, Taylor Hinds; 2, Robyn Washburn; 3, Jacqui Karry; 4, Aubreigh Fowler; 5, Ella Graham; 6, Ella Schwab.
Kindergarten boys — 1, Cannan Miller; 2, John Thuku; 3, Brody Pant; 4, Grant Caddick; 5, Cameron Edwards; 6, Blake Waldon.
Kindergarten girls — 1, Taryn Colson; 2, Jocelyn Karry; 3, Carleigh Kinnared; 4, Lucy Erismam; 6, Molly O’Brien; 6, Madilyn Dalton.