Shields Field Day gets 900 students outside

June 2, 2017

This past week Shields Elementary celebrated Field Day, with 17 classes and more than 500 people outdoors on the track May 31 and another 400 people coming out June 1. Field Day is a time at the end of the year that brings out the best in athletes who compete in the 50-yard dash, sack races, spoon races, three-legged races and much more, including the athlete-favorite 4-by-100 relay. I love to see the sportsmanship among the athletes as they shake hands after most events, and I try to get them to ask themselves, “Did you do your best?” If their answer is yes, then they need to be satisfied with the results, whether it is first or fifth. The same is true for older road runners who train hard. I see them at the finish with satisfaction on the faces of some and disappointment on the faces of others. If you did your best and gave 100 percent, well, guess what? There is not much more you can do.

Field Day side note

It takes many great volunteers to run a successful event, whether it be the Masser Five-Miler, the recent Beacon Middle School banquet or this week’s Field Day celebrations. At the third- to fifth-grade Field Day May 31, I used some of my Beacon Middle track and field girls as officials of the events, along with a small group of second-graders. A shout-out to volunteers of all events - big or small, sports or no sports - because without great volunteers, there is no successful event.

Masser Five-Miler

A sea of orange turned out for the 24th annual Masser Five-Miler May 28 at Cape Henlopen High School as 270 runners took part in the event. The Masser Five-Miler, named after Dr. Lee Masser, took runners on the new section of the bike path off Gills Neck Road, under the Freeman Highway bridge, and back through town on the bike path all the way past the new Lewes library. The new course allowed runners to be traffic-free for almost three miles of the course. “I loved the new course from start to finish,” said longtime runner Joe Link of Cape May.

Capturing the overall male title was Jeff Young of Wayne, Pa., in a tough time of 27:25, while Austen Cave of Delmar was second in 28:01. Sussex Central runner Ben Campagnone of Milton grabbed the third position in a personal record of 29:24, while Martin Rodriguez of Selbyville was fourth in 29:49, also a new personal best. Rounding out the top five was Mike Sewell of Camden Wyoming in a time of 30:42, which was good enough to capture the male masters title in the race.

On the female side of the action, Cindy Conant of Kensington, Md., won another title, in a time of 33:34, while Susan Dunn of Laurel ran 34:29 for second place. Kelly Kahovec Tingle of Delmar finished third in 36:04, while Erin Johnson of Lewes was fourth in 36:24. Michelle Fisher of West Chester, Pa., rounded out the top five in a time of 36:35 and also won the female masters.

Masser highlights

A total of 13 female runners dipped under the 40-minute mark, which averages out to under an eight-minute mile pace. Margaret Colvin of Rehoboth Beach ran 39:52 and looks to be on her way to a healthy summer of racing for a longtime supporter of the series.

In the female 70-74 group, JoAnn Szczepkowski finished almost 10 minutes ahead of the nearest finisher in her age group, blazing the course in 44:03 to average 8:49 per mile.

To show readers how impressive this is for JoAnn, I looked at the male 70-74 group, and she would have finished second among those 11. JoAnne would have trailed only a tough machine named Tim Abbott of Georgetown, who ran 41:28.

Dianna Golden of Millsboro won the 60-64 age group in 38:24, and it is an honor to have a runner of her caliber in the race. Golden has competed in several Dam Mill 5K events, where she has turned in some very fast 5K times on the certified Millsboro course.  

Melissa Clampitt of Lewes ran 40:57 to win her age group by over two minutes, and she could be the most enthusiastic runner in the field.