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Girls on the Run Aims to Empower Westonka Students Through Fitness

November 12, 2019 — This fall, 19 third- and fourth-grade girls from Hilltop and Shirley Hills primary schools participated in Westonka's first Girls on the Run program. Girls on the Run is a national nonprofit organization that empowers girls to dream big and be confident, strong and healthy.

The Westonka Girls on the Run team learned to nurture their physical and emotional health, embrace differences and find strength in friendships, set and achieve goals, and contribute to their community. While participating in these growth activities, the girls also trained for a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) race and participated in a community service project.

"The Westonka girls had a great fall together," said coach Sara Schwartz. "They worked hard, had fun, ran a lot and learned even more." 

Despite the cold and rainy fall, the group had a warm place to learn and practice in the new Westonka Activity Center’s classroom and indoor track. The girls showed their gratitude by cleaning the WAC track and writing thank-you notes to WAC and district employees.  

As a finale, the team joyfully completed a 5k run along with 1,500 other Twin Cities girls at the Mall of America on Nov. 10. Even with the chilly temperatures, the Westonka girls did a phenomenal job and had a great time.

Participants in Westonka Girls on the Run were: third-graders Ari Brady, Maren Eich, Gianna Gardner, Louisa Johnson, Maddy Nelson, Emily Oetjen, Eva Savstrom and JoJo Schwartz; and fourth-graders Carmen Dumbauld, Sallie Embery-Hesse, Matilda Epsky, Helen Harms, Evie Holden, Stella Johnson, Emily Kreiser, Charlotte Miller, Kate Roche, Grace Schrempp and Emma Spotts. The team was coached by Schwartz, Angela Savstrom, Cassie Montgomery, Meredith Tice, Randy Lee and Jennie Sewell.

The girls and coaches are already looking forward to another Westonka Girls on the Run season next fall!