HERSHEY, PA – On a mild summer Saturday at Henry Hershey Field, more than 450 kids, comprising eight regions in the U.S. (including the territory of Puerto Rico) and Canada, joined dignitaries of both the Hershey Company and USA Track & Field as they stood with Olympic legends Rafer Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carl Lewis to open the 37th Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final (NAF) at The Milton Hershey School.
Festivities began with an opening ceremony, which featured a parade of athletes by region with state or province flags, the singing of national anthems for both the U.S. and Canada, and the lighting of the torch before Hershey mascots competed in a friendly 100-meter race.
Damien Call from Rome, making his third consecutive appearance, took 2nd place in the 11-12 Softball Throw with a throw of 180’. Kimball Madsen from Bridger, WY won the event with a toss of 201’10”.
Josh Farmer from New Hartford lead his race until the final straightway finishing 4th place in the 13-14 1600 Meter Run with a time of 4:49.54, almost 19 seconds faster than his previous best time.
Samuel Wyatt from Stratford, ON won the event with a time of 45:46.52. Josh also received the Needham S. Cheely, Jr. $2,000 Scholarship Award in recognition of his excellence in leadership, character, sportsmanship and athletic performance at the NAF and beyond.
Jacob Slaughter from Ilion took 7th place in the 13-14 Softball Throw with a throw of 191’. Matthew Kitchen form St. George, UT won the event with a toss of 266’9”.
Karli Treen from Frankfort (Herkimer Elementary School) took 8th place in the 11-12 Softball Throw with a toss of 118’8”. Darcy Gillen from Yuba City in Canada won the event with a throw of 167’6”.
Claire Connolly from Little Falls, making her second appearance, took 10th place in the 13-14 Softball Throw with a toss of 135’5”. Emma Yates from Fairfax, VA won the event with a throw of 174’5”.
Athletes on the track broke the 13-14 boys and girls 800 Meter Records when Jocelyn Chau (Toronto, Ontario) of Region 1 made her finish in 2:12.10 and Derek Thomas of Region 3 crossed in 2:01.11.
The 37th Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final concluded with a closing ceremony Saturday night. Dan O’Brien was the host and Jackie Joyner-Kersee was both a guest and an award presenter.
HERSHEY’S STATE MEET RESULTS-LOCAL ATHLETES SHINE BRIGHT
GREENE –The top three finishers, from 12 local meets, across Central New York participated in the 28th, Annual NYS West Finals on June 14 at Greene High School.
Thirty-two, young athletes who competed at CVA in Ilion on June 7th made the trip to represent Ilion/the YMCA of the Mohawk Valley in the NYS West Finals.
The only Ilion/the YMCA of the Mohawk Valley double winner was Jacob Slaughter, from Ilion who won the Standing Long Jump and Softball Throw.
Also capturing first place honors from Ilion/the YMCA of the Mohawk Valley were:
Karli Treen, Frankfort/Herkimer, 11-12 Softball Throw,
Janiah Nicholson, Philadelphia, 11-12 100 & 200 Meter Dashes
Claire Connolly, Little Falls, 13-14 Softball Throw
Lauren Bush, Lindsey Gravelding and Charisma Lape, Ilion
and Kerissa Marquissee, Mohawk, 13-14 4×100 Meter Relay
Brian Reile, Herkimer, 9-10 Standing Long Jump
Damien Call, Rome, 11-12 Softball Throw
Ande Klosner, Nolan Stone, Marek and Mason Bush, Ilion, 4×100 Meter Relay
Nicholas Kennedy and Zachary McMahon, Ilion paired up with
Kyle Christian and Lucas Casab, from New Hartford, to win the
4×100 Meter Relay
New Hartford’s double winners included:
Josh Farmer, 13-14 1600M and 800M
Kyle Christian, 13-14 100M and Relay with Ilion
Lucas Casab, 13-14 200M and Relay with Ilion
Other First place New Hartford finishers were:
Adin Day, 11-12 800M and Ventre Woolery, 11-12 100M
Poland’s first place finisher was Taylor Clark who won the 1600 Meter Run
Damien Call from Rome, a 2012 and 2013 North American Finalists in the Softball Throw, set a New State Record in the 11-12 age group, adding to his 2012 State Record in the 9-10 age group.
Call bested his own record he set last year with a toss of 192’9”. Claire Connolly from Little Falls, a 2010 North American Finalists, took another step towards returning to Hershey, by winning her specialty the Softball Throw with a winning throw of 143’4”.
The Ilion/YMCA of the Mohawk Valley team lead all communities with ten first place finishes, edging out Skaneateles with nine. Other first place finishes included: New Hartford 7, Norwich 6, Canandaigua and Dansville 3 each, Baldwinsville, Poland and Plattsburgh 1 each, Oxford and Sidney had no first place finishes.
Other Region Seven State/Provincial meets remaining include:
NYS East June 25, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania June 28, New Jersey June 29 and Quebec June 30.
Not every winner at the NYS West Finals will automatically advance to the North American Finals, due to the geographical distribution rule, but at least five participants from Ilion will compete in the North American Finals.
Eight regions compete in the North American Finals. New York State Finalists will compete in Region 7, which also includes: NYS East, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Quebec, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
The North American Final will be held August 2. The competition will take place at Henry Hershey Field, Hershey, PA. North American Qualifiers will be contacted by July 11th, only those children that qualified will be called.
The Hershey’s Track & Field Games are the longest-running youth fitness program of its kind in North America and is designed to encourage physical fitness among youth and emphasize sportsmanship. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the Games.