Elsie teen earns two firsts, second at youth track meet

Kaitlin Cook, 13-year-old daughter of Tami and Colby Cook of Elsie, came home recently with two first place medals and one second place medal from the Central Nebraska Youth Track and Field Meet in Hastings. 

The Central Nebraska Youth Track Meet replaced what used to be the Hershey Youth Track Meet that was sponsored by the Hershey Foods Corp., which was ended in 2014. However, citizens from the towns of Hastings, Kearney, York, North Platte and Grand Island came together and developed the Central Nebraska Youth Track and Field Meet to keep the youth track meet experience going. 

Participants can enter in up to four events at their local meets. Kaitlin’s local meet was in North Platte on May 5 where she took part in the 100 and 200 meter dashes and the softball throw, earning first place in each event. The top four competitors in each event at the local level advance to the championship meet that was held in Hastings on June 9. 

This is the third year that Kaitlin has taken part in the local meet, according to her mom Tami Cook. 

“Two years ago she did well enough to participate in the championship meet but was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. Last year she once again had to miss the meet due to her brother’s high school graduation. She was determined not to miss this year,” Tami Cook said. 

At the championship meet, Kaitlin placed first in the 100-meter dash, first in the softball throw and second in the 200-meter dash by a tenth of a second. 

“It’s a great opportunity to get kids interested in track and field at a young age,” Tami said. “Kaitlin is pretty competitive so she loves the experience and she loves meeting people and making new friends, so it really was a win-win all the way around.” 

The meet is for youth ages 8-13. There is no charge to participate in the meet. For more information on the meet, log on to their website at http://www.nerpa.us/ advocacy/central-nebraska-youth-track-meet/ 

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