62 Federal Way students heading to Hershey's state meet

Sixty-two Federal Way elementary and middle school students will make their way to the Hershey’s State Track and Field meet on June 28 at Evergreen High School’s McKenzie Stadium in Vancouver.

This year’s meet will mark the last year of the event, both in Washington state and across the country, signifying the end of nearly four decades of positive experiences for the elementary and middle school students who have participated.

For this final event, Federal Way will be well represented, with Shyan Selah set to perform the National Anthem and be the keynote speaker for the meet. Selah is currently a recording artist and is also a former Hershey’s state champion.

“I am very honored and excited to be the speaker at this year’s state final meet,” Selah said in a press release from event organizers. “The Hershey’s Track and Field program was a huge part of my childhood … As a former standout athlete in both football and basketball, I can say there was nothing quite like what track and field taught me about life. This program provided an invaluable experience that reinforced the all-too-important attributes of sportsmanship: self accountability, competition, discipline, teamwork … I can’t stress the importance of this sport and its unique culture for our youth.”

Barb Tight, who coordinates the state-level meet and has also been an integral part of the program here in Federal Way, said Federal Way will be well represented at the national meet in Hershey, Pa. later this summer.

“Hershey has touched the lives of many children in our community over the past 30 years,” Tight said. “Several years ago we sent 21 athletes, out of 25 from our region, from both the elementary and middle school track programs to the national [meet]. We are hoping with the large numbers attending the state meet from Federal Way, a few of these young athletes will have the opportunity to compete nationally.”

Tight noted that taking first at state means the students move onto a regional section, which for Washington includes Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Alaska, British Columbia and Alberta. Competitors who make it out of the regional level are sent to Hershey on an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national meet.

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