Known as the “Cheetahs!,” the Fort Irwin CYS Sports Track and Field Team made up of 25 children (ages 7-14) ventured as far as their little feet could carry them – all the way to the state finals for the 37th Annual Hershey’s Track and Field Competitions, June 8.
The team organized March 18 and the children and coaches worked very hard during each practice. Head coach Mia Wagner remarked that this was incredible and said, “I am proud of all the participants and parents … who were committed from beginning to end. We started with six kids but our numbers grew as word got out with our practice at the blue track.”
This is the first year that Fort Irwin entered the Hershey Track Meet and it was a result of the children working really hard. Seven teammates started in Apple Valley, Calif., by competing against kids, who had been doing this for a very long time. Three emerged to represent the Cheetahs in the state finals in Long Beach, Calif., and one has a chance of going to the nationals in Hershey, Pa., this fall.
Track regular events include: 1600m, 800m, 400m, 200m, 100m, 50m, 4 X 100m relay, 110m hurdles, soft ball throw and standing long jump.
Coaches Mia Wagner, Amy McRoberts, Rhonda Brown and Kinetta Rogers are all full-time workers, but are full of energy as they volunteer to mentor theses young athletes. They all agreed that the focus is to encourage the kids to give 100 percent at practice, the competitions and most of all – to have fun.
Ann Kassel-Wilkes, the Hershey Company representative at the state finals, sadly told participants that this would be the last track meet hosted by Hershey, but to look out for future events hosted by the U.S. Track and Field Commission.
As a parent, I encourage other parents to take advantage of the Fort Irwin CYS Track Team during the upcoming school year. Not only does it give you an opportunity to motivate your child in their potential, but also a great time to work out with them.