Mooers heads to nationals

15 years ago

ImageBy Gloria Austin 
Staff Writer

    The Houlton Recreation Department is sending a youth to the Hershey Track and Field Games North American Final.
    Emily Mooers, daughter of David and Nancy Mooers of Houlton, will be heading to Hershey, Pa. today and returning Sunday.
    “It’s amazing that we can have this many kids from our area going to Hershey nationals,” said Marie Carmichael, acitivities coordinator at the Houlton Parks and Recreation Department. “For a town that doesn’t have a track, we do very well. We are excited that Emily gets to go this year.”
    Mooers will represent Maine in the standing long jump in the 11-12-year-old age division at the games to be played at the Henry Hershey Field on the campus of the Milton Hershey School. In its 32nd year, the Hershey Track and Field Games are for 9-to-14-year-old boys and girls to help them learn and develop basic track and field skills.
    “If someone places first in their event, it doesn’t mean he/she will go to the nationals,” said Carmichael. “The youth form one team throughout New England. So, participants must have good jumps, throws or times to qualify.”
    Mooers finished first in the state Hershey Track and Field Meet in Bangor with a jump of 6 feet, 10 inches to qualify for nationals.  To prepare for the nationals, she said, “I’ve just been practicing jumping. I have a measuring tape and I just see how far I can jump.”
    Mooers’ farthest jump has been 6 feet, 10 inches.
    “I’d like to jump 7 feet,” she said.
    While in Hershey, Mooers will be participating in four days of activities, including touring the chocolate factory and going to Hershey Park. On competition day, she will get a chance to meet Olympic and national track and field stars.
    “I’m really excited,” said Mooers. “I’m looking forward to everything.”
    The national event is sponsored by the Hershey Company, featuring more than 500 of the best young track and field athletes in North America.
    Mooers says she isn’t nervous,  “no, not so much,” and she has a simple strategy: “I want to do my best and have fun.”
    Through the local Hershey Track and Field program, Mooers competed in the district and regional competitions, and the team had only from May to July to prepare for the games through the recreation department.
    “We are proud of Emily,” said Carmichael, and “we are anxious to see how she does.”