Antonio Guity is a national champion.
The 10-year-old Mirror Lake Elementary student finished in first place in the standing long jump at the 34th annual Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final Meet in Hershey, Pa. The meet was held Aug. 4-6.
Guity finished with a distance of 7 feet, 3.5 inches in the standing long jump event. He competed in the boys 9-/10-year-old division at the national meet and out-jumped 14 kids from across the United States and Canada. Adrian Sutton from Rochester, NH, finished in second-place with a jump of 7-0.75. The all-time Hershey Meet national record of 7-11 was set by Tim Pham in 1979.
The Hershey’s Track & Field Games is the largest youth activity program of its kind in North America and is open to boys and girls ages nine to 14. Regional Hershey’s Track & Field Games meets were hosted in nearly 4,000 communities throughout North America and drew more than 400,000 children. Over the 34-year history of the program more than 10 million athletes have participated – all at no cost of entry.
Winners were crowned in different age groups in the boys and girls Softball Throw, Standing Long Jump, 50-meter dash, 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 800-meter run, 1600-meter run and the 4x100-meter relay.
But Guity wasn't the only participant from Federal Way in Pennsylvania. Ariya Kendrick and Jaqueline Blake-Brown also competed in the national meet.
Kendrick, finished up in fifth place in the 13-14 girls 100-meter dash. Kendrick was the top finishing 13-year-old in the event with a time of 13.53 in the final. Jadyn Skeen from Brampton, Ontario, won the event in 12.59.
Blake-Brown ended her trip to Pennsylvania with a fourth-place finish in the 9-10 girls 400-meter dash. The 10-year-old Blake-Brown ran a time of 1:12.24. Taylor Rainey from Santa Cruz, Calif., won the event in 1:06.87.
Guity, Kendrick and Blake-Brown received all-expense paid trips to Pennsylvania and were treated to several amenities while in Hershey, including a tour of the chocolate factory, sleeping in college dormitory rooms and other games and activities during the four-day trip.
Guity earned the trip to Hershey after winning the Washington state championship in the standing long jump, along with the 100-meter dash (14.87). The state Hershey's meet was held in June at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.
Kendrick's state title came when she outleaned Puyallup's Aleea Gwerder at the line to win the 100 and clinch a free trip and Blake-Brown easily won the 400 in 1:13.01.
To qualify for the national meet, Washington athletes had to have the top time or distance in the entire region, not just the state. Washington's region also includes Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia and Alberta. In total, 13 kids from Washington attended the national meet in Hershey.
Olympic legends Carl Lewis, nine-time Olympic gold medalist, and Rafer Johnson, 1960 Olympic decathlon gold medalist, serve as Hershey’s Track & Field Games ambassadors and attended the North American Final Meet.
“The Hershey Company is committed to promoting physical activity for youth and their families as part of a balanced lifestyle, and we are proud to continue that commitment during this 34th year of the Hershey’s® Track & Field Games,” said Jim George, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, The Hershey Company.
This year, Hershey’s also announced its partnership with the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, a unique program that collects old, worn-out athletic shoes to be recycled into Nike Grind, a material used in creating athletic and playground surfaces, as well as select Nike products. Program participants were invited to bring used athletic shoes to meets, which were recycled into Nike Grind.
Federal Way Mirror Sports editor Casey Olson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565 ext. 5056.