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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Carnival of Champions returns to Downey Unified

Jaelyn Delos Reyes
Field events were the first to start the meet at 8 a.m. which lasted about an hour.

The Dale Lostetter Carnival of Champions, hosted by the Downey Unified School District, was held at Warren High School’s Gym and Justice Stadium, 8141 De Palma St, on April 2 after a two-year hiatus since the pandemic began.

Every year, the 56th annual event hosts approximately 500 or more elementary students from DUSD schools who compete in a variety of track and field events from 8 a.m. to noon.

DUSD elementary students train for months and then tryout to be a part of the official Carnival teams.

The elementary schools that competed against each other this year included Rio San Gabriel, Rio Hondo, Price, Lewis, Ward, Old River, Gallatin, Alameda, Gauldin and Unsworth.

Formerly known as [just] The Carnival of Champions, the Board voted to rename it to The Dale Lostetter Carnival of Champions after long-time DUSD administrator and teacher, Dale Lostetter, passed away in 2015.

Since then, Lostetter’s name is remembered and honored at the beginning of every Carnival of Champions.

Ashley Greaney, the Public Information Officer for DUSD, said that she is ecstatic to see the Carnival back in Downey as she had participated in it when she was a kid.

“This track and field event has been going on for at least 25 years or more,” Ashley Greaney, Public Information Officer for DUSD, said. “We are excited to bring this event back for the kids, who train endlessly and seem to be having a lot of fun.”

Every school had a designated t-shirt color that each student wore on the field to help signify the school they were competing for.

Fourth and fifth graders from each elementary school in the district raced on Warren High’s field in 100m and 50m dashes and competed in soft ball throwing.

Lewis Elementary school’s cheerleaders are supporting their runners who are competing against other schools. Photo Credit: Jaelyn Delos Reyes

The high school’s bleachers were filled with teachers, parents and families, separated by schools, to cheer on and support the participating students.

The first events to occur were on the field and consisted of softball throws, long jumps, and mini basket shots; It lasted about two hours.

Events/Races on the track began after coaches, staff and volunteer set up tent and organized groups for each race. Each school had tents and sections where students could rest and drink water or warm up for their events.

Every event had different grade groups to compete in, and an announcer called out the first, second and third place winners after each race.

“I think it’s amazing. The kids were more excited than ever to be out here and competing again, so it’s kind of reinvigorating for everyone,” Greaney later added, “It’s really exciting to be back out and getting some sense of normalcy. I hope this event goes on for decades to come.”

Greaney said that the DUSD worked very hard to bring the event back and will continue to work with COVID-19 regulations as things begin to return to normal.

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About the Contributor
Jaelyn Delos Reyes
Jaelyn Delos Reyes, Staff Writer
Jaelyn Delos Reyes is the Community Editor of Talon Marks. She covers community, opinion, Arts and Entertainment, news. She enjoys binge watching new shows and is a Marvel fan. She hopes to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in Spring 2023.
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Carnival of Champions returns to Downey Unified