Two Federal Way athletes compete at Hershey track meet

The Hershey Company celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Hershey’s Track and Field Games North American Final Meet at Henry Hershey Field on the campus of the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa., last weekend.

The Games is the longest-running youth sports program of its kind in North America and is designed to encourage physical fitness among youth and emphasize sportsmanship. This year, the Hershey’s Track and Field Games brought 560 youth athletes to the North American Final Meet to compete in a variety of track and field events, including running, jumping and throwing competitions.

Included in those 560 athletes in Pennsylvania were a pair of Federal Way residents. Adaze Medani and David Goldstone competed against some of the best track and field athletes in the United States. Both Medani and Goldstone won state championships in their respective events last month in Wenatchee and their marks were the best in the Pacific Northwest region, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Alberta and British Columbia. The best time in the region gets the national berth.

Medani finished up in fifth place at the national meet in the girls 13- and 14-year-old standing long jump with a leap of 8 feet, 1.5 inches. Isolde Hannan from Bowling Green, Ohio, won the event with a jump of 8-8.75.

Goldstone ended up in sixth in the boys 11-12 800-meter run in a time of 2:26.78. Ryan Silva from Tucson, Ariz., ran a blistering 2:13.65 to win the event.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary, athletes like Medani and Goldstone had the chance to meet and watch exhibition races by Olympic legends Carl Lewis, Bruce Jenner, Michael Johnson and Rafer Johnson, as well as Team USA stars Monique Henderson, Bershawn Jackson and Hazel Clark in Hershey.

“The goal of the Hershey’s Track and Field Games is to encourage physical fitness, foster teamwork and improve self-esteem among our youth,” said Tom Hernquist, Senior Vice President, Global Chief Growth Officer, The Hershey Company. “The Hershey Company has been committed to supporting youth fitness for 30 years, and we are proud to partner with USA Track and Field and these Olympic champions to demonstrate the importance of physical fitness and sportsmanship.”

The anniversary of Hershey’s Track and Field Games also represents a global expansion of the games. For the first time, the Games showcased 16 youth athletes from China and 15 USA Track and Field Junior winners competing in the North American Final Meet.

“I’m proud to be associated with such a worthwhile program during its milestone year,” said Lewis, nine-time Olympic gold medalist and member of the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. “The Hershey’s Track and Field Games introduces children to physical fitness and encourages children to reach their potential and develop a sense of accomplishment.”

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