HERSHEY, Pa. — Several young Maine athletes turned in strong performances on a national stage during the Hershey Track and Field North American Final over the weekend.
Hampden’s Nicholas Gilpin and Presque Isle’s Jacob O’Berry each recorded fourth-place finishes and personal-best times in the 800-meter run.
Gilpin finished in 2 minutes, 9.76 seconds in the ages 13-14 division while O’Berry clocked a 2:25.19 for ages 11-12.
In the 400-meter dash, Hermon’s James Petersen notched a seventh-place finish with a time of 1:03.05 for ages 11-12. It was the third Hershey North American Final for Peterson, who won the 400 last year in the ages 9-10 division.
Three other Maine athletes finished in the top 10 in the softball throw in their respective age groups. Cassidy Pelletier of Ashland and Elizabeth Grzyb of Lovell each placed seventh with Pelletier reaching 120 feet, 5 inches for ages 11-12 while Grzyb’s throw was 142-7.25 for ages 13-14.
Washburn’s Quintin Thompson finished eighth for ages 9-10 with a throw of 118-5.
The Hershey program was created more than 30 years ago to promote youth physical fitness and provide fun learning experiences for children ages 9 to 14, and it is the largest sports program of its kind in the United States and Canada, according to the Hershey website.
The Maine athletes received an all-expenses-paid trip to the Hershey meet.
To qualify for the North American final, Maine participants must place first at the state meet, and then they are placed in a pool among other Region 6 (New England states, Atlantic provinces) competitors for selection to the final.