a group of young people standing on top of a soccer field
Switlik’s boys tug of war team takes first place among seven competing schools. Team members included Lucas Valenzuela, Camden Kiskaden, Chris Calvo, Danny Diaz, Logan Nehmadi and Jonathan Lopez.

The northernmost competing team made their presence known in the Southernmost City as athletes from Stanley Switlik Elementary visited Key West High School for an annual fifth-grade track meet hosted by Key West’s Masonic Lodge No. 64. Twenty athletes from the Middle Keys elementary school toed the line against competitors from Big Pine Academy, Sugarloaf School, Poinciana Elementary, Gerald Adams Elementary, Horace O’Bryant School and the Basilica School. In a literal show of strength for Marathon, both Switlik’s girls and boys tug-of-war teams secured first-place finishes, along with a third-place individual medal in the long jump event from Orlando Roache Jr.

Photos by DANIEL SAMESS/Contributed

Alex Rickert
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.