S. ABINGTON TWP. — For the third consecutive year, youngsters in the Abington Heights School District will have a chance to hone their track and field skills.
In fact, this summer they will have two opportunities.
Abington Heights seniors Dani Beamish, Calista Marzolino and Ryan Siebecker are organizing Future Stars Track Meets on Thursday, July 12 and Friday, Aug. 24 at the high school track. Registration will take place from 2 to 2:40 p.m. and events will start at 3 p.m. each day.
Each meet, sponsored by the Abington Heights Track & Field and Cross Country Booster Club, is open to children ages 4-10 in the Abington Heights School District at no cost.
The events during the meets will be a 50-meter run (ages 4-5), 100-meter run, 200-meter run, 400-meter run, 800-meter run (ages 7-10), softball throw and long jump.
During the past two years, the meet was a one-day event. Recent graduates Katie Dammer and Emma Marion started the meet in 2016, and Beamish and Marzolino took over last year.
“I know a lot of families go on vacation and (the meets) are pretty far apart,” Siebecker said. “Having two days will allow more people to come to one or both.”
According to Beamish, she and Calista enjoyed running the event and wanted to expand upon last year’s success.
“We also enjoyed doing it, so we wanted to do more this year.”
The joy on the children’s faces as the completed each event stood out most to Marzolino.
“When the kids finished, they were all smiling,” Marzolino said. “I don’t think we had any kids cry; it was a good day.”
Approximately 120 children participated last year.
“I think it went smoothly because Katie and Emma did it the year before and told us what we should and shouldn’t do,” Beamish said.
Siebecker, who volunteered at the event the past two years, is excited to have a bigger role.
“It’s a really enjoyable thing to be a part of,” he said. “I think it’s a good cause to raise interest in running in the community. I think having more kids interested will help our teams in the future.”
A new feature this year will be a concession stand run by the booster club.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.