Laura Murphy, left, and Ally Carlsten, East Greenwich runners who competed in the Hershey Track and Field Games Aug. 2.
EG’s Laura Murphy, 14, and Ally Carlsten, 13, finished within the top 10 in their races at Hershey’s Track and Field Games North American Final Meet held on Aug. 2 in Hershey, Pa. Murphy finished third in the 13-14 girls 200 meter dash, taking home a bronze medal, and Carlsten finished seventh in the 13-14 girls 100 meter dash.
Murphy was the first athlete from Rhode Island to qualify for the North American Finals four times, having first competed there at age 10, and she carried the Rhode Island flag during the opening ceremonies parade of athletes. There were seven athletes from Rhode Island.
Both girls qualified for the Northeast regional team representing New England and eastern Canada with the fastest qualifying times in their respective events – Laura with 27.45 seconds in the 200 meter dash and Ally with 12.90 seconds in the 100 meter dash.
The Hershey Track and Field Games are the largest youth sports program of their kind in North America. Over 450,000 athletes age 9-14 compete in nearly 4,000 communities across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, with top finishers advancing to state and provincial meets. From there, winners from each of the 8 regions then advance to the Finals with an all-expense-paid trip sponsored by the Hershey Company. Roughly 450 athletes qualify to compete in the North American Final Meet each year.