TUPELO – When students in Lawndale Elementary’s running club took their regular weekly jog Thursday, they had some rather accomplished company.
Joining about 100 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders were Ole Miss track and cross country athletes Max Holman and Martin Kirui. Holman is a graduate of Tupelo High School, where he won eight state titles in the two sports during his career. Kirui is from Litein, Kenya. The two were invited to Thursday’s run by Bo Boatner, Lawndale’s PE coach and the founder of the school’s running club.
“I want the students to be around people from college and hope that it will inspire them to go to college,” Boatner said.
The two runners answered questions from the students for about 20 minutes and then ran with them for roughly 15 minutes.
“It was great,” Holman said. “I wish there would have been a program like this when I was young. Running is not pushed as much in Mississippi as sports like football, baseball and basketball. It promotes a healthy lifestyle. That is important in Mississippi, which is one of the unhealthiest states.”
Kirui particularly enjoyed interacting with the students, saying that seeing small children reminded him of being home.
He said he also wanted to stress to the children the value of college.
“It is the most important thing for little children to get their education,” said Kirui.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal