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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Northwestern Middle students win all-expense-paid trip to NCAA Women's Final Four to compete in fitness challenge

Ten Northwestern Middle School students and their sponsors have won an all expense paid trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four to compete in the Middle School Challenge portion of the 2009 Pinnacle of Fitness challenge program. The program was created to energize middle school age children about physical fitness and healthy lifestyles. Competitions were held in nine cities across the United States. The winning middle school from each region will be awarded the opportunity to compete in the NCAA National Pinnacle of Fitness challenge on center court at NCAA Hoop City® Refreshed by Coca-Cola® during the 2009 Women’s Final Four. There, one middle school will be named the 2009 Pinnacle of Fitness challenge champion.
LSU was selected as one of the nine sites for the competition and hosted the first Middle School Challenge on Thursday, Jan. 22 at halftime of the Lady Tigers’ game additional Middle School Challenges were held on February 1, March 22 and March 24. Northwestern Middle students defeated Woodlawn to advance to the final round of competition to be held in St. Louis, MO on April 5 and 6. The 2009 Pinnacle of Fitness challenge involved 100 middle schools in nine selected cities with 74,000 students participating.
“The Pinnacle of Fitness challenge is an important and fun initiative that will connect the great game of basketball with youth in communities across the country to help in the promotion of improved physical fitness,” said Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president of Division I Women’s Basketball. “We have enjoyed the challenge of beginning the program in nine markets in 2009 and hope to expand the reach of the program in the future.”
The cornerstone of the program is the Middle School Challenge, which educates and challenges students to improve their level of physical fitness through leading active lives, goal setting and developing life skills. The competition activities include curl-ups, ¼ mile endurance run-walk, pull-ups, shuttle run and sit and reach.
Members of the Northwestern Middle fitness team are Alexis Taylor, Tori White, Jarquelle Jackson, Earl Profit, Mariah Wright, Burke Daigle, Mariah Clayton, Garrin Ford, Nijah Lain and Durrell Joseph.
The Middle School Challenge began with each of the competing middle schools conducting in-school assessment and testing. The top 10 students from the competing middle schools competed in progressive on-court competitions during the regular season and again during the championship.

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