Meade athletes show school spirit, support 5K
Christian Neihouse, a graduating tennis and soccer player who attends Meade High School, runs alongside Troy Sweatman, a fellow tennis player who is also a senior, during the inaugural Meade Athletic Boosters 5K fundraiser held Saturday at the school.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (May 12, 2011) -- Meade High School athletes bolted to the finish line in an inaugural Meade Athletic Boosters 5K fundraiser held Saturday at the school.

About 130 runners helped raise $1,400 for the organization.

Lacrosse players were the top-three 5K competitors, but athletes in track, swim, football, baseball and even a former wrestler ran the course to raise funds for school athletics and physical education facility improvements at Meade High.

"We are working really hard to take athletics at Meade High School to another level," said Dave Lanham, Meade High School athletic director. "This was a great opportunity for everyone in the community to be part of what we are doing."

The mission of the Meade Athletic Boosters Inc. is to financially assist Meade High School sports, help the program to be more competitive and for students to have more fun, said Matt Groom, incoming president of the Boosters.

The organization held the fundraiser to support a financial responsibility taken on earlier this year for building a new field house at the school football field that will add bathrooms, a ticket booth and an upgraded concession stand.

The 5K run is one of many upcoming fundraisers held to meet that obligation, said Groom.

Teams of athletes gathered Saturday morning at the start line to step off together.

"I want to finish with my team," said Simone Walker, a graduating lacrosse midfielder. "We thought it was a good cause and would give us some bonding time."

For many seniors, this would be their last joint effort as students.

"I have played sports since I was a freshman," said Christian Neihouse, 18, who will play soccer at Wesley College in Delaware this fall. "I want to be a part of making the programs better."

Fellow tennis player Troy Sweatman, 18, who ran with Neihouse, outlined their run strategy. "We may take a couple of breaks along the course, but our goal is to run most of it," he said.

More experienced runners such as Ian Paulo Gurtina said they were excited to get on the course. Ian, a second-year football player who has been running since he was 12, said his goal was to be among the top-10 competitors and to have fun. His mother and sister, both first-time racers, joined him in the run.

Administrators also stood in to support the Boosters.

"It's a good cause," said Philip Elliott, Meade High School assistant principal.

Normally, Elliott stops at two miles. He said his goal Saturday was to run the entire course, and he made it.

"The financial contribution from this fundraiser is great," Lanham said. "But its long-term contribution is not nearly as big as the feeling of ownership runners, walkers and volunteers leave with today."

The next Boosters fundraiser is a scheduled golf outing in the fall.

Anyone interested in supporting the school's athletics department is invited to join the Boosters. For more information, visit

Meade Athletic Booster 5K Winners

Ages 18 & Younger Category

Emerson Pineda 18:57

Mitchell Doughty 20:29

Brandon Fish 20:39

Kathleen McPortlan 22:33

Selena Williams 27:33

Alleen Grahm 28.28

Adult Category

Nick Gajcowski 19:05

Dan Richard 20:49

Patrick Richetts 21:46

Vanessa Cox 21:37

Amy Cunningham 22:52

Ellen Einsporn 27:34

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16