Balta rising star bound for national Hershey meet in Pa.
Madison Uhlenkamp, of Balta, is no stranger to the campus of Elizabethtown College, or Hershey, Penn., for that matter.
The 14-year-old rising freshman at Rugby High School will be at the Pennsylvania campus for a second time July 31 through Aug. 3, to compete against young athletes from other states and parts of Canada in the Hershey Track & Field North American Final meet. Uhlenkamp found out she qualified two weeks ago, when she received a phone call while in Duluth, Minn. She joins fellow North Dakota District 5 competitors Mason Kuntz, Dickinson; Peyton Jenson and Beau Brannon, Bismarck; Isaac Huber, Jud; Cole Hage, Fargo; and Maren Thuren, West Fargo.
“I’m really excited,” Uhlenkamp said of competing again. “I’m in the older group. I was the only 13-year old [competing] last year. I think I’ll have a pretty good chance.”
At the local meet on May 29, Uhlenkamp took first in the softball throw event, throwing 177 feet, 5 inches. At the state track meet in West Fargo on June 21, she threw 176 feet, 0.5 inches. Her score was then compared to competitors from six states and two Canadian provinces. Only the top make it to the North American Final.
“Out of all the kids that placed at state, Madison had one of the best throws that could compete at the national level,” said Cindy Kuntz, organizer of the Rugby Hershey Track meet.
The Hershey candy company has sponsored track meets since 1977, however, this year is the last year they will sponsor meets. In 2015, USA Track & Field will have a run, jump and throw program put in place. The program, which Hershey shares partnership with USTAF, will be for children ages 7-12 and will teach kids the basics of track and field events.
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