NEAT athletes compete at Hershey's Track and Field Games
Three young North East Alberta Track athletes competed at Hershey’s Track and Field Games at Foote Field in Edmonton on June 21, and while none reached the podium, all three came back with a wealth of experience.
The event is aimed at athletes between nine and 14 years old, and North East Alberta Track Assistant Coach Robb Foote said it was an incredible experience for up and coming track stars Brittney Cole, Jordyn Lotoski and Tyler Foote.
“It truly is all of Alberta coming together and competing,” said Robb. “They’re vying for an opportunity to represent Alberta at Hershey’s National Track and Field Games in Hershey, Pennsylvania.”
Cole competed in the standing long jump, the 50-metre dash and the 200-metre dash, Lotoski ran the 50-metre and 100-metre dashes, and competed in the ball throw, and Tyler ran the 400-metre dash and the 800-metre run.
Robb added all three of the NEAT athletes competed against an older age group than they would normally participate alongside, but all three did a fine job of holding their own.
“The way Hershey’s does it is a little bit different than Athletics Alberta. Tyler is a peewee, but what Hershey does is they kind of break up the years so they cross over a little bit,” said Robb. “I know they did very well. I don’t think they ended up placing in the top five or anything like that, but just the experience of seeing that many kids together at that age – I bet there was at least 3-400 kids there,” he said. “The kids had a heck of a lot of fun.”
Tyler said it was “an honour” to qualify for and compete at the provincial event, and that it was a challenge to compete against some of the best young athletes in Alberta.
"It was fun to be in the meet. There was a little bit of a challenge for me,” said Tyler, adding he placed 10th in the 800-meter run and 14th in the 400-meter dash. “I enjoyed the 800 meter because I like running longer distances.”
NEAT will continue its summer season with the Peewee-Bantam Track and Field Championships at Foote Field in Edmonton on July 5 and 6. Robb added the event is akin to a provincial championship for the young athletes.
“The big one coming up is going to be held in conjunction with the Edmonton International Track Classic, which is a huge track meet,” said Foote, adding all of the peewee and bantam athletes at the meet can use their bib number to gain free entrance to the Edmonton International Track Classic to watch some of the best in the world compete, such as Canadian high jumper Derek Drouin. “There are going to be some world class athletes.”