MOUNT VERNON — Hanging out with friends after school, learning new skills, having fun and getting a first taste of competition. This is the world of middle school track and field. It is an opportunity for budding athletes in seventh and eighth grade to acquire and polish some skills before they reach the high school.
“Our main objective is to teach them that track can be fun and get them the basics of it before they go to the high school,” said Mount Vernon Middle School track coach Annette Neighbarger, whom the kids refer to as ‘Netter.’ Neighbarger, spoke as she was preparing for Wednesday’s home meet against Gahanna West. “A lot of middle school track is social hour at its finest. A lot of kids, who come here, don’t know what track is about. They’re here because their friends are here.”