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Barnyard games 'like the Olympics' of Ag

August 07, 2000

Barnyard games 'like the Olympics' of Ag



By JOSH POLTILOVE / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

GamesBrittany Higgins waited patiently behind the starting line of the corn-on-the-cob relay, knowing the course was only going to get more slippery.

Finally, Higgins, the last person on the yellow team to run, was handed the corn baton.

She sprinted her hardest, legs kicking high and eyes on the sprint's midway point. She reached the point, an empty Cool Whip container, and ran around it, turning back to her teammates. That's when she fell.

"It was slippery on the turn and I fell, but it was still a lot of fun," the 14-year-old Williampsort native said of the first event in Monday night's Barnyard Olympics at the Ag Expo in Hagerstown.

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The Barnyard Olympics were open to children from 3 to 14. Kids were divided into two groups, 5 and younger and 6 and older. Parents often helped their younger kids compete.

Teams were organized as evenly as possible, with some younger and older children on each team.

Younger kids participated in such activities as the spoon walk, bean bag toss in a milk can and tug of war. In addition to the corn on a cob relay, there was a Frisbee toss, a balloon race, a feed sack race, an obstacle course and a tug of war.

Every team member participated in each activity, but no large prize was awarded to the winning team. Instead, all participants received ice cream.

That was just fine, said Greg Wiles, father of 9-year-old competitor Eric.

"This event is kind of like the Olympics," Wiles said. "I don't know what the kids would prefer, a gold medal or ice cream."

Wiles said the games were excellent as one of the starting activities for Ag Expo, which runs through Saturday morning.

"The kids get to know one another when they're doing this, and they hang out with each other all week long," Wiles said. "It's also pretty nice because the kids get a chance to run, play and compete."

Despite Higgins' fall, she said her team still finished second in the event.

She said the race was a lot of fun.

"I had a great time," she said. "This is my first time competing. I'm glad I did."

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