More than 50 youngsters ranging from kindergartners to fifth-graders gathered at the Bobby Holloway Little League Field Saturday morning to participate in the 31st annual Junior Olympics.
Parents, grandparents, siblings and friends gathered at the field to cheer on their loved ones as they competed in the Frisbee throw, softball throw, 50-yard dash, long jump and the last event, a quarter mile run. The competition was broken down into boys and girls and age groups.
Matthew Bollen, 7, received six ribbons and the overall trophy during the Junior Olympics on Saturday. He said his favorite events were running and the Frisbee toss.
One of the competitions during the 31st annual Junior Olympics Saturday morning was the Frisbee toss.
Matthew, who has participated in the Junior Olympics for two years, wanted to thank the Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island and Lee County Parks and Recreation for putting on the event.
His brother David, 10, participated in the event for the final time this year. He said he enjoyed running the quarter mile the most, where he placed fourth.
The boys' mother, Amy Bollen, said the Junior Olympics is a great event with a lot of fun competition.
Junior Olympics 2012 Overall Winners
1st - Skyla Stevens
2nd Adrielle Costa
3rd Peyton Renz
1st Gavin Mills
2nd Waylon Squires
3rd Gregory Kolaz
1st- Grade Girls
1st Darien Brown
2nd Ocean Dowd
3rd Sage Romero and Lacey Overbaugh
1st Grade Boys
1st Vincent Pierson
2nd Grade Girls
1st Josslyn Rider
2nd Danielle Johnson
3rd Grayce Smith
2nd Grade Boys
1st Matthew Bollen
2nd Richard Overbaugh
3rd Kent Hanson
3rd Grade Girls
1st Elizabeth Ramming
2nd Heidi Hanson
3rd Courtney Lawrence
3rd Grade Boys
1st Baron Pierson
2nd Zack Mills
3rd Ariel Arias
4th- Grade Girls
1st Lilly Overbaugh
2nd Tayler Young
3rd Kierra Frazier
4th - Grade Boys
1st Joel Arias
2nd Billy Ellis
3rd Gary Dowd
5th- Grade Girls
1st Morgan Williamson
2nd Isabella Sansone
3rd Savahna Flint
5th Grade Boys
1st Paxton Howard
2nd Nathan Hyde
3rd Matthew Frazier
"I like having them on the field and the community coming together," she said of the event.
Amy said her three children who were eligible to participate in the event Saturday had been counting down the days until the event all week long.
"Big thank you to them for supporting us and doing this," she said.
The Bollen family will continue to participate in the event until they age out.
Mike Shevlin, the coordinator of the event, said this year's Junior Olympics event was excellent. He added that it was nicely organized as well due to all the kids competing at the same time at different stations.
"Everyone seemed to have a good time," he said. "It's nice to have so many Pine Island kids and parents all in a fun program."
The Junior Olympics originally began at the fields of Pine Island Elementary School and included kindergarten through eighth grade students. Shevlin said they held it there for five or six years before it was moved to the ball field.
"It's always been fun," he said, especially since generations of families have participated in the event.
The Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island and Lee County Parks and Recreation hosted the event.
"The county has really done a good job," Shevlin said.
Nina Richter, with the Matlacha Community Center, said the Junior Olympics is a great event.
"I love watching the kids," she said. "We are happy to do it."
Pine Island Dairy Queen, Waggoner & Bruehl PA, Team Shevlin sponsored the bright orange T-shirts that every participant received at the end of the festivities. Winn-Dixie provided the hot dogs and drinks and SunTrust provided enough silver dollars for the overall second and third place winners for the boys and girls.