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Bullpups bring championships

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What could be better than bringing a state school championship to Ruston and Lincoln Parish?

How about bringing four state championships along with a runner-up finish all on the elementary level.

That’s exactly what the young Bullpups of A.E. Phillips did at the Elementary State Cross Country Championships in Choudrant. The first and second grade teams made a sweep of it as they took first place in both the boys and girls divisions.

AEP’s third and fourth grade girls earned a runner-up trophy with a second-place finish while the third and fourth grade boys teams did what seems to come naturally for them — taking state. That group of boys is undefeated since they began competing as first graders.

The Bullpups also took an individual championship as Cannon Robbins took first place among the third and fourth grade boys.

Not only are these young students making us proud, they’re also helping themselves in the long run — pun intended. According to Optimuskids.com, children who run and exercise in other ways will:

• Reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases during childhood and adulthood due to obesity including Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease

• Reduce the risk of being overweight or obese as an adult

• Improve balance, coordination, posture and spinal alignment

• Gain in muscular strength due to neural adaptations

• Increase flexibility and maintenance of a full range of motion for joints

• Improve athletic performance

• Reduce “relative flexibility” or altered movement patterns

• Stimulate the development of bone mineral content and density—research has shown that during childhood bone is especially responsive to the benefits of weight-bearing physical activity

• Adapt coordination, gait, body composition, and flexibility to the results of growth spurts in height and weight during childhood

• Improve their quality of life due to improved psychological well-being as well as improving their self-perception (self-efficacy and self-esteem)

• Improve their academic performance

The Ruston Daily Leader commends these young students for their championships and for making themselves better both physically and mentally as they run toward the future.

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