Stoutamyer qualifies for Hershey track finals

12 years ago

    Holden Stoutamyer of Mapleton, Paige Espling of Caribou and Aspen Cote of Madawaska will travel to Hershey, Pa. Aug. 2 to enjoy four days of fun, experience great programs, meet some great track and field athletes and participate with hundreds of other youngsters from across North America in the North American Finals of the Hershey Youth Track and Field Games.


Staff photo/Kevin Sjoberg

    HOLDEN STOUTAMYER of Mapleton, here competing at the Hershey regional meet held in Caribou, found out last week that he qualified for the North American Finals in Hershey, Pa.

    Over the last few months, thousands of boys and girls from across North America have participated in the Hershey Youth Track and Field Program. The three from Aroostook County and two others from the state earned berths in the North American Finals.


    Stoutamyer in the 9-10 year-old boys’ standing long jump, Espling will compete in the 9-10 girls’ standing long jump and Cote in the 13-14 girls’ standing long jump.

    All three placed first in the event at the state meet, held in Brewer June 26. Stoutamyer won his division with a jump of 6 feet, 7 inches. Espling took first in her age division with a jump of 6 feet, 7-1/2 inches. while Cote was the winner in her category with a jump covering 7 feet, 4-1/2 inches. The three had qualified for the state meet due to their performance at the regionals in Caribou June 19.
    For 35 years, the Hershey Track and Field Program has worked to provide quality recreation and school programs where children have fun and are introduced to physical fitness through basic track and field events such as running, jumping and throwing.

    And while competition is important, the root of the Hershey program is encouraging kids to be the best they can be, according to Caribou Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Kathy Mazzuchelli, who has been involved with the program for 33 years.

    The Hershey Food Corporation adopted the program in 1977 and has expanded the program to every state  as well as every Canadian province and territory and recently to Puerto Rico. The program begins at local recreation departments or in school physical education classes. Eventually, participants move through local meets, district meets and eventually state and/or provincial meets in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the 10 provinces and three territories of Canada and Puerto Rico.

    Mazzuchelli explained that the states and Canadian provinces and territories and Puerto Rico are divided up into eight regions. Maine is in Region Six, which is comprised of all six New England states and all the Atlantic Provinces. Once every state and province has had their state and provincial meets, scores are compared and regional teams formed.

    To ensure fair representation of participants, Hershey requires that a minimum of five finalists be selected from each state or province to participate in the North American Finals, which are held at the Henry Hershey Field in Hershey, Pa.

    Mazzuchelli indicated that the most important part of the meet is allowing the youngsters to experience the competition and to know that everyone comes from somewhere — communities large and small all across North America —  but it is what they aspire to achieve that allows them to succeed.