The Northern Nevada Regional Track Facility at Reed High School was the site of a Hershey’s Track and Field Games state qualifying meet Saturday morning hosted by the Sparks Parks and Recreation Department.
Sixty kids age 9-14 pre-registered for the event that promotes physical fitness and emphasizes participation and sportsmanship.
Girls and boys competed in the 50-meter, 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter dashes, the 800-meter run, the 1600-meter run, 4x100-meter relay, standing long jump and softball throw. Each participant received a certificate and ribbons are awarded to the top eight finishers in each event.
However, what kids were really hoping for were to win the events. The winners of each event in the different age divisions will be placed in a regional pool with athletes from other West Coast states. Six states are in Nevada’s region. Based on the results from the qualifiers, area athletes could get a chance to receive an all-expense paid trip to Hershey, Penn. for the North American Final.
This year was thought to be about the 15th time Sparks Parks and Recreation has hosted this event. More than 400,000 children each year participate in the local, district, state and provincial track meets in the U.S. and Canada. The Hershey’s Track and Field Games is the largest youth program of its kind in North America.
The Sparks event asked participants and spectators to donate their old athletic shoes for the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, which recycles the rubber for Nike Grind, a material used in playgrounds and certain Nike products.
“It gets our kids into exercise and it’s a great community event,” Tanja Ramociotti of the Sparks Parks and Recreation Department said. “They get a chance to go to Hershey if they make it to the big meet.”