Interest in cross country is growing at the Green Acres School (11701 Danville Dr.). A few students even placed in last year’s conference meet.
But there wasn’t a place to run until a group of teachers and students got together to build one on the private school’s 15-acre North Bethesda campus.
The result is a 1.1-mile course through the woods that circle the school that will debut tomorrow (Tuesday) in Green Acres’ first ever home meet.
The 1st Annual Alumni Classic, honoring Green Acres alum and former University of Oregon cross country runner Ben Stern, will start at 4 p.m. with the boys’ race and 4:20 p.m. with the girls’ race.
The course is literally self-made. Students worked after school to move branches, pull weeds and tear away brush to create a path.
“We have a lot of good runners, so it will be cool to have home meets,” said seventh grader and Bethesda resident Solomon Maya.
The project doubled as a service-learning project for middle schoolers at the pre-K through eighth grade school, prompted by staff members Treena Selak, Matt Marchildon and Larry Jodrie.
“By devoting time to actually building our first cross country course, our students have assumed ownership over this new campus resource,” said Head of School Neal Brown, “one that will benefit Green Acres students for years to come.”
The course will also be used for PE classes and recess. Stern will kick off tomorrow’s meet against the Lowell School. The school hopes it becomes an annual alumni event.