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Wednesday, July 7, 2004


Hailey to host State Hershey track for first time

Saturday at Phil Homer Field

For the first time, the city of Hailey will host the 2004 State Hershey track and field meet Saturday, July 10 on the track at Phil Homer Field.

Blaine County Recreation District organizers speculate that about 300 youth ages 9-14, along with their parents, will travel to Hailey this weekend.

The kids will compete for Idaho state championships in a variety of running, long jump, and softball throw events. Usually, there are two state meets held in Idaho, one in the north and one in the south. This year, there is only one, in Hailey.

Registration occurs Saturday from 9-9:45 a.m. The state meet starts at 10 a.m. The Wood River High School cheerleaders will have a concessions booth as a fundraising activity.

Winners in each state event can earn all-expense-paid, four-day trips to the 27th annual North American Hershey Finals in August at Hershey, Pa.

State Hershey officials compare state finishing times and performances and will then select two to four kids from this region to travel to Hershey, Pa. There, they will compete in the national meet and will be treated to an array of tours and fun events, all sponsored and paid for by Hershey Foods.

Blaine County, having staged its annual regional meet sponsored by the Rec District May 1 in Carey, will send over 100 participants to Saturday’s state competition. They qualified for state by placing first or second in their respective 9-14 age-class events back on May 1.

State participants are divided into three age groups: 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14. The state events include 50-, 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes; the 800- and 1600-meter runs; the 400-meter relay; plus standing long jump and softball throw field events.

Hailey’s Kaitana Martinez, a participant at last year’s national finals in Hershey, is looking to make a return trip in the girls’ 9-10 softball throw. She threw 110-0 to win this year’s local meet. Her goal is to make a throw exceeding 120-0, which was the winning distance at last year’s nationals.

Blaine County, due in large part to the Rec District’s 20-year-plus sponsorship of local meets, has a long record of sending local kids to Hershey.

Holly Hobson of Hailey made two trips to Hershey, in 1993 as a 9-10 year-old in the 200m dash and in 1997 as a 14-year-old in the 800m run (she placed third in the nation).

Carey’s Jan Kirkland (200m) and Michelle Sparks (400m), soon to become state high school champions in track, qualified for nationals in 1986.

In 1996, Blaine County had three national qualifiers—Malea Southward of Hailey in 9-10 long jump, Jessie Ehrenkrook of Ketchum in 9-10 50m and Clinton Silcock of Carey in 9-10 boys’ long jump.

The Carey 9-10 400m relay of Brittany Hennefer, RayAnne Hennefer, Lacey Peterson and Allison Shaffer qualified in 1998, as did Katie Bryson of Hailey as a substitute for Malea Southward in 11-12 long jump.

In 2000, the 9-10 400m relay team of Tessa Barrow, Lindsi Robison, Hannah Fuller and Colby Barney finished seventh in the national Hershey meet.

This year’s State Hershey meet is sponsored by the Rec District with assistance from Wood River High School athletic director Ron Martinez. It’s being coordinated by the Blaine County School District.


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