Iowa Superintendent and Former Olympian Bested in Footrace by Fifth-Grader


Phil Roeder, the district’s director of public affairs who captured photographs of the occasion, mentioned he might inform how excited the scholars have been to have the possibility to race in opposition to a critical athlete.

“The little boy who gained the raffle recruited a couple of different college students to affix him within the race. He didn’t essentially wish to race solo in opposition to the superintendent,” Roeder mentioned.

“One of many ladies proved to be a fairly darn good athlete in her personal proper,” he added, noting that Roberts didn’t appear to be “going simple” on the scholars.

The day of the occasion, Roberts was in a maroon three-piece go well with and an identical pair of tennis footwear. Roeder mentioned the go well with may need been a handicap, however the sneakers ought to have coated the hole.

As Roberts, the superintendent, sheepishly put it: “I made a decision, you already know, I can do that in my go well with. Why not? So right here I’m in my go well with and my bow tie and a few Nike Air Pressure One tennis footwear, and I felt that might be adequate.”

As an alternative, when the 100 meter sprint started, Roberts noticed how dedicated the scholars have been to the race – and his eventual loss was all however determined.

“An important a part of that day for me was the popularity that our younger folks, our elementary faculty college students, have been taking this very severely. You may see of their demeanor and disposition, and I’m so glad that they competed in the best way that they did,” Roberts mentioned.

Des Moines Superintendent Ian Roberts stands with college students. (Phil Roeder/Des Moines Public Faculties)

It was fifth-grader Amayah Vilmael who sailed to victory, crossing the end line along with her eyes straight forward as her former Olympian competitors trailed steps behind.

“All of these college students, particularly Amayah, who – primarily based on her type, primarily based on her stride size – she positively has a extremely promising profession in monitor and discipline if she so chooses,” Roberts mentioned.

The superintendent has had an opportunity to talk with the dad and mom of Amayah and Everett, and he mentioned each of them are overjoyed to have gotten to race the previous monitor and discipline star.

“Everett, for instance, yesterday and even right now, he’s nonetheless strolling round the home speaking about his race. Amayah remains to be on cloud 9 as a result of she beat an Olympian,” Roberts mentioned.

“I’m humbled and I stand proud in defeat to elementary faculty college students, all of whom have very promising careers academically and athletically. And I’ll do it yet again if I can.”



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