Track meet for kids, 7-14, slated June 2

Hershey event was rained out last year

Howard At Play

May 26, 2002

If at first it rains and pours, try, try again next year. And this time, have a rain date.

That refers to a youth track and field meet the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks will conduct, weather permitting, from 1 to 4 p.m. June 2 at Long Reach High School. Last year's first attempt was washed out.

The event is called the Hershey Track and Field Meet, sponsored nationally by the chocolate maker since 1975. The meet is for children ages 7 to 14, and its corporate sponsor claims it to be the largest competition of its kind in the nation, drawing about 400,000 participants from more than 3,000 communities.

Janell Coffman, a sports co- ordinator for the county Department of Recreation and Parks, said that as many as 80 Howard County children - including 30 from one private school - are expected to participate in the first such meet here in years. Track and field is one of the few sports for which there is no regular season for youth teams locally.

Children will compete in age groups in several sprints, a relay, the standing long jump and a softball throw. Local winners will advance to statewide competition, with winners there going to a regional meet and ultimately to a national meet in late summer.

Information: the rec department, before Thursday, 410-313-PARK.

Children can enter three or fewer events at $5 apiece, including a T-shirt. No registrations can be accepted on race day. In case it rains, the meet will be switched to June 9, same time and place.

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