Rugby readies for N.D. Hershey Meet
Rugby has hosted District Hershey youth track meets for over 15 years each spring, but this coming Saturday, June 19 the community will host a bigger event.
That, of course, is the N.D. state Hershey meet which will bring between 200 and 500 athletes (Ages 9-14) to Johnsen Field.
Rugby has eyed hosting the state meet for years, but it’s usually been held in larger towns with more accommodations.
Finally, last year Rugby was selected to host the state meet.
“I think our selection had a lot to do with getting the backing of local track coaches and the Panther Boosters, who will assist in getting the timing equipment and running the meet,’ said Cindy Kuntz, one of the coordinators for the local Hershey youth track program. “It’s a lot of work, but we’re looking forward to it. It’s nice to give our athletes the chance compete on their home track.”
A number of Rugby athletes as well as others across the state will be competing in the meet. Rugby’s location in the center of the state bodes well in getting a number of participants.
“(Turnout) depends on the location and the time of year,’ Kuntz said. “We know that there are a lot of rooms booked in town for it, so that’s a good sign.”
Indeed, the meet provides an economic lift for the community as several hundred athletes and their families will be coming to Rugby.
The meet starts with a parade of athletes at 10 a.m. on June 19 with the events to begin at 10:30 a.m. The meet is open to the public and there is a small admission fee. Concessions will be available.
The top two placewinners from each district meet are eligible to compete in the state event. Rugby hosted one of those district meets on June 9. Seventy from Rugby and neighboring Dunseith, Cando, Harvey and Towner participated.
Winners in each event at state have the potential to then compete at the national meet in Hershey, Pa. later this summer. Selection is determined on whether results at the state meet top those from other states in the region.
Over the years a good number of Rugby athletes have competed at the national meet.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with the event, contact Kuntz at 776-5453 (evenings only). People are needed to help run concessions and admission gates.
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