On the road to Hershey

Rachel Miller can jump.

The 11-year-old, who graduated from Van Buren Elementary School this year, headed to Hershey, PA, this past weekend to compete in the Hershey's Track & Field Games North American Final, a national track and field competition. She was selected to participate in the long jump competition for 11 and 12 year olds after winning five events at the local and state level.

She trained very hard and was very excited about competing against the best in the country, said Rachael's father, Steve Miller.

"This is her biggest track challenge to date," he said. "Rachael is really excited about all of the free things she gets for just participating in the meet: A day in Hershey park, tour of the chocolate factory, meeting Olympic athletes present and past, and most of all Hershey chocolate."

At a district meet held in Jamesville-DeWitt, Miller won the 800-meter dash with a time of 2:47, the 200-meter in 34.1 seconds and the standing long jump with a distance of 6' 7". She advanced to the state meet held in Ilion, where she won the 800-meter dash again with a time of 2:48 and the standing long jump with a distance of 6' 11.25". She came in second for the 200-meter dash with a time of 31.5 seconds.

Sponsored by the Hershey Company, the Hershey's Track and Field Games has provided boys and girls from 9 to 14 years old with the opportunity to learn and develop the skills required to participate in basic track and field events. This is the 31st year the company has put on the event held at the Henry Hershey Field on the campus of the Milton Hershey School.

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