PHOTO COURTESY/Liz Gilpin

Dillon Gilpin of Evanston will compete at the Hershey’s Track and Field Games North American Finals Aug. 1 in Hershey, Pa. An Evanston youngster has earned a “sweet” trip to Hershey, Pa. later this month.

Dillon Gilpin, 12, has been selected for the Region 5 Team for the 2009 Hershey’s Track and Field Games North American Finals.

Gilpin will compete in the Boys’ Ages 11-12 Division Softball Throw at the national meet July 30-Aug. 2 at Henry Hershey Field on the Milton Hershey School campus in Hershey, Pa.

Gilpin won the softball throw event at the Hershey’s Wyoming State Meet held in Evanston June 20. Dillon recorded a throw of 151 feet, 2 inches to finish first in his age division.

First-place performances of the state meet winners from the region are compared, and the top marks in each event are selected for the Region 5 Team to compete at the North American Hershey finals. Region 5 includes several states in the Rocky Mountain region.

Dillon also placed first in the 400-meter dash at the state meet with a time of 1 minute, 5.34 seconds. Gilpin qualified for state by winning the 400-meter dash and the softball throw at the Evanston Hershey’s meet earlier this spring.

No handicap

Dillon is the son of Von and Liz Gilpin of Evanston. He enjoys competing in many sports, including track and field, soccer, basketball and baseball – quite a feat considering Dillon was born without a hand and forearm on his right arm. He maintains a 4.0 grade point average in school.

The Hershey national youth track and field program is sponsored by the Hershey Company, famous throughout the U.S. for its chocolate products. This year marks the 32nd summer that Hershey’s has provided young boys and girls ages 9-14 years the opportunity to learn and develop the skills required to participate in basic track and field events.

More than 500 youngsters from the far corners of North America will compete in the national competition Saturday, Aug. 1. Several other events involving the national track and field meet participants will be held in Hershey, Pa., during the national meet weekend, including a tour of the Hershey chocolate factory.