Initiated as a playground track and field program in 1975 in Charleston, WV by Dr. Donald P. Cohen, Hershey's Youth Program has become the largest youth sports program of its kind in North America. For more than 30 years, the mission statement has remained the same: “To provide: a quality recreation and school program where children have fun and are introduced to physical fitness through basic track and field events, such as running, jumping and throwing.”
The North American Finals are held in Hershey, PA every August. The regional team will be selected from the first place finishers from Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, Colorado and The Prairie Provinces of Canada. Only one boy or girl is selected for each event from these states. For example, in the boys 11-12 Age Group, 100 Meter Dash Event, one boy from one of these states will represent our region in this event.
The first step in selecting the regional team is to compare times and distances. The best time and distance will go to the finals. However, no individual may compete in more than one event at the finals and each state is guaranteed 5 participants. Therefore, if there is an opening for an event due to a double winner, it will not automatically go to the second place finisher, but to a state that needs another participant to reach their 5. If after this process, states still have not met their minimum guaranteed, they will send qualifiers in the field events or the 1600.
All the individuals from Nebraska that have been chosen for the regional team will be contacted by the State representative. The regional team will be selected by July 11th and posted on this web site. The regional team will enjoy an all expense paid trip to Hershey, PA for the finals. Along with the meet, the participants will tour the Hershey Chocolate factory and visit their amusement park.
The Nebraska State meet was held on Saturday, June 8th in 2013 at Grand Island Northwest HS in Grand Island, NE. Participants must compete in a local meet before they can make it to the State meet.
2013 NAF Qualifiers from Nebraska State Meet:
Valerie Gerlach, Lincoln - Girls 11-12 Softball Throw
Luryn Handrickson, Shelton - Girls 11-12 Standing Long Jump
Casey Burnham, Grand Island - Boys 13-14 200 Meter Dash
Ethan Edington, Sutherland - Boys 9-10 200 Meter Dash
Heinrich Haarberg, Kearney - Boys 9-10 Standing Long Jump
Congratulations to these athletes that will represent Nebraska at the National Meet on August 1-4, 2013.
Hershey is partnering with Nike to recycle old athletic shoes. Please help us with this program by bringing old athletic shoes to the state finals. No damp or muddy shoes. No metal, cleats, dress shoes, sandals or flip flops. Participating states will be eligible to win a Hershey’s Track and Field playground for a local community. For more info, visit www.nikereuseashoe.com
For more information about Hershey Track and Field, please visit www.hersheystrackandfield.com