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Hershey’s track meet closer for area youth

The only distance local track athletes will have to worry about is in their event.

Instead of traveling to a qualifying meet between two and four hours away, local youths will only need to compete at Coal Grove High School.

The Hershey’s Track and Field conducts state qualifiers throughout Ohio with meet winners advancing to the finals at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.

But thanks to the efforts of John Large, local agent and manager of Western Southern Life Insurance, local track athletes interested in competing won’t have to travel.

Large has secured a qualifying meet for 11 a.m. Saturday at Coal Grove High School’s track. Registration will be from 9-to-10:30 a.m.

“We had to travel to Wooster last year and the kids did real well. But it was such a long drive, I decided to check into having a meet here,” said Large. “The people I talked to were real helpful and told me to go ahead and do it.”

All winners at the qualifying meets advance to the finals at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Winners at the state meet have a chance to compete in the North American Finals in Hershey, Pa.

The event is free to all youths between the ages of 9-to-14 as of Dec. 31. For further information, contact Large at john.large@wslife.com or call (606) 923-7764.

A complete list of sites, events, rules, results and other information can be found on the Hershey’s Track & Field Games web site.

Last year, two local athletes placed and just missed qualifying for the state meet.

In the 11-12 age division, Andrew Scott was second in the 100-meter dash and fifth in the 200 meters.

In the 9-10 age group, Charlie Large took second place in the 50-meter dash, eighth in the 100 meters and 10th in the softball throw. He was the only athlete to compete in three events.