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story.lead_photo.caption Fourth-grade girls run to the finish line in the 100-meter dash at the Lions Club Track Meet on May 3, 2019, at California High School. Photo by Liz Morales / California Democrat.

Visitors may have had a difficult time finding a parking spot May 3 at California High School.

More than 700 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from Jamestown, Tipton, Prairie Home, High Point, St. Martin's, Bunceton, St. Andrew's, Clarksburg, Latham and California — and their fans — converged at the high school for the annual Lion's Club Track Meet.

The students and their parents filled the track and stands and even enjoyed tasty treats from the concession stands to finish out their Friday.

One such Clarksburg student had a nice time at her running event, but wished for just a little more variety.

"Today, I ran the 50 meter and did the softball throw," Danielle Paenter said. "I like to run a lot, not all the time, but sometimes. But I wish they had hurdles here."

The sixth-grader added the day was a lot of fun for her and her friends.

Flinton Percival was a little nervous to run the 4-by-4 relay.

"At school, I play basketball and baseball," the fifth-grade High Point student said. "I did the softball throw here, but I'm nervous to run the relay because I'm just not big on it. I have asthma so it makes it a little hard to run, and I think running is a little boring. But I like the softball throw because I like to throw stuff."

Preparation was key for fourth-grader Kaylee Mitchell of Latham.

"I did the 200-meter run," Mitchell said. "I like to run. It makes me feel better. We've been doing a lot of running stuff in P.E. to get ready for today."

All the running around and getting together with friends was a lot of fun for California fourth-grade athlete Joanna Lemus.

"I think my favorite thing I did today was the 100-meter run," Lemus said. "I liked it because I got to see how fast I can run. I did the long jump, too, but I like to run more than jump.

"It's been a lot of fun here today," she said. "I get to see my friends, and I don't have any homework today."

Sarah Jones, Lion's Club president, said this year's turnout surpassed last year's by more than 100 people.

"With the 710 students and their parents, that makes about 900 people here now," she said. "I'm really thankful for the weather not breaking and for all the help we've got here today.

"The sheriff's department helped out with the concessions, and Brad Stuedle cooked the hamburgers. The volunteers and student help has just been awesome," she said.

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