Crawl, trot to victory

Babies, toddlers make their way to finish line in 10th annual event

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Lilly Anna Blanton was at the finish line when she stopped to get a closer look at her shadow during the Toddler Trot (Photo by Mindy Ragan Wood)

By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – It was all smiles and giggles as babies and toddlers maneuvered a racetrack at the Jackie Cooper Gym last Saturday.

Parents and grandparents tempted their little ones with toys, keys, and even eyeglasses to coax them across the finish line for first, second or third place in the races.

Crawling babies ages six to nine months competed first with Saylor Jones coming in first, Gwendolyn Billingslea second, and third was Leighton Campbell.

The second round was for the dashing crawlers age between 10 to 14 months. Taking first was Archer Whisenant, second was Phoenix Maupin and third was Maisie Marshall.

The final race was for walking toddlers up to 18 months old. Anthony Fraire took first place, followed by Trapper Thomas in second, and third went to Ethan Morse.

Keri Jones, mother of Saylor Jones, said the secret to her success was in the family dynamics.

“I think it’s because of the older siblings. She has to keep up with them,” she said.
Amelia and Robert Billingslea worked hard to get Gwendolyn down the mat.

“We were worried she might just sit there,” Amelia said with a laugh.

Parents seemed to enjoy watching the personalities of their children on the racetrack. Twin sisters competed against each other, and while one refused to budge on the mat, the other one was happily led along with the promise of a spray bottle across the finish line. Some parents discovered their child preferred to race for dad instead of mom and the other way around. One toddler kept leaving the racetrack entirely, but finally made it across.

The event has been a family favorite for the last 10 years in Yukon and is sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department.