BETHESDA, Md. - The Maryland track & field program spent Wednesday morning catching up on a little reading with new friends at Rock Creek Forest Elementary School.
The Terps read books to students’ age kindergarten to fifth grade for over an hour. Trey Sherman, Derek Holland and Shade Pratt spent the first half of Wednesday’s festivities in Mrs. Daza’s second grade class. Both books, Hogwash and Have you ever seen a moose take a bath?, covered the all-important topic of keeping clean.
“Make sure to wear goggles like the moose if you take a bath,” Pratt said as giggles erupted in the classroom.
Sherman, a junior from Cincinnati, couldn’t help but reminisce during his stay at RCF.
“It’s nostalgic, I can definitely say that. When the PA announcement came on during the class, it definitely took me back,” Sherman, who particularly excelled in the sound effect department during Wednesday’s session, said. “This was my first time doing it and it was a lot of fun.”
Reading specialist Clara Register provided the Terps with a pep talk before they trekked out to the classrooms and showed gratitude to Maryland for participating in the 'Reading Rocks' event.
“The impact of these students spending time with college students is incredible,” Register said. “Some of these children have never heard the word college and don’t know what that is. They went out and showed them today. We are very grateful to Maryland for spending time at our school and making a difference.”
This the seventh year head coach Andrew Valmon has taken his squad to the reading event. It serves multiple purposes for the Terps. Not only is it a great experience for students at Rock Creek Forest Elementary, but it enables the entire team to cultivate teamwork, regardless of the event they compete in on the track.
“It makes us a team. We are in so many event groups and it takes this event to build us all together. Distances don’t go with distances and sprints don’t go with sprints,” Valmon said. “This is a time when it’s just a team concept. When we leave here, we will go straight to practice and it follows through. We are trying to springboard from our last meet where we had great success and this helps keeps that momentum going.”
An unprecedented opening weekend and the nation’s best marks put Maryland’s Thea LaFond in the national spotlight. LaFond won both the women’s high jump and triple jump last Saturday at the Penn State Relays. Those performances earned recognition from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Association as the NCAA National Women’s Athlete of the Week, as well as the season-opening honor as the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Performer of the Week.
Maryland plays host to the Maryland Invitational Saturday in Landover, Md., beginning at 9 a.m.