Students at Horace Mann Laboratory School competed in the annual Track and Field Day on Wednesday, a culmination of what they have learned this year in their physical education classes.
It was not a competition in the usual sense, though, but a competition of each student challenging themselves.
Students do not receive medals for first through third place. They don't look around to see who won.
The goal of the event, according to Horace Mann physical education teacher Gina McNeese, is to encourage students to use what they have been learning in class.
"We don't do this as an actual competition," McNeese said. "The kids don't see their times, but we send them home with the parents. We've been teaching these techniques all year, and this is an opportunity to use what they've learned."
McNeese, along with her college-level practicum teachers, have spent time showing the students the proper way to do events such as high jump and shot put.
"The idea is that they learn all of these things, the correct way to do them, without the pressure of competition," McNeese said. "That pressure to win will come soon enough, and if they learn proper techniques early, they'll do better when they get in those pressure to win situations."
Children in kindergarten through sixth grade went through many track-style events, such as the 50-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, shot put, hurdles, long jump and high jump.
Each grade rotated through the separate competitions, and at the end the whole group gathered in the gym of the Lamkin Activity Center on the Northwest Missouri State University campus for a friendly game of tug-of-war.
As the school year is wrapping up, Horace Mann principal Jill Baker says that the Track and Field Day is the icing on the cake for the work the students have done throughout the year.
"It really builds community spirit," Baker said. "It is a great way to end the school year. It is healthy competition and a fun day for everyone."