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Charger Challenge looks to improve academic and athletics

Oxford High School will host its second annual Charger Challenge to increase support for Oxford schools.

The Oxford Endowment for Public Education (OEPE) and the Oxford Charger Athletic Booster Club (OCABC) will hold the second annual Charger Challenge on Saturday at Oxford High School.
A 5K race and walk will kick off the Challenge at 8 a.m., followed by a 1-mile Fun Run at 9 a.m. The carnival will also open at 9 a.m. and will continue throughout the day.
OEPE has organized several carnival games for Oxford community members of all ages. Additional activities have been planned this year in hopes to enhance event attendance.
Carnival events include face painting and tattoos, sack races, a soccer shootout, a football toss, baseball pitching with The University of Mississippi baseball players, inflatable play areas, a dunking booth and a broad jump/vertical jump with Ole Miss track athletes.
Last year about 300 people attended the carnival, and this year more than 500 people are expected to attend the event. OEPE has teamed up with several extra sponsors in the community to support the Challenge this year. In addition to their support, door prizes will be raffled off from other local businesses. 
“We were so excited by the turnout and the money we raised for our schools last year that we decided to partner with the athletic boosters who are putting on the race and fun run to reach more supporters of Oxford’s schools and make the event even bigger and better,” president of OEPE Meridith Wulff said.
Wulff said teaming up with the athletic boosters will help increase support for Oxford schools.
“Both OEPE and the athletic boosters know that by supporting our students, we can make the biggest difference,” Wulff said.
“This is a natural partnership to support the Chargers in the classroom and on the field.”
Christian Patton, the head cross country coach, has been appointed by OCABC to help organize the 5K race.
“I am in charge of designing a 5k race course where the race would start and end at the high school,” Patton said.
“We have been meeting for a few months, getting ideas and the agenda together for this event.”
High school athletes, cheerleaders and other Chargers will be helping with activities involved in the Challenge.
“My varsity cross country team will help run the 5K race and will mainly be keeping the time at the finish and making sure the runners have water,” Patton said.
Mary Sybil Byars, a junior on the track and field team at Oxford High School, is excited to help out with the race.
“My teammates and I look forward to supporting the runners during the race, along with helping our school for a good cause,” Byars said.
OEPE hopes that by increasing the number of sponsors and activities this year, the Challenge will allow OEPE to grant more money to Oxford teachers for their classrooms.
In case of rain, the carnival will be held inside the high school and the race will be canceled with registration fees refunded. For more information about registration and fees for the Charger Challenge, go to www.oxford.k12.ms.us.