Youth track and field program to begin soon

CARIBOU, Maine — The popular MRPA Track and Field afternoon fitness program begins Monday, May 1 in Caribou.

The Hershey Track and Field program dissolved in 2014 and the state’s recreation association took it over, continuing to offer regional meets throughout Maine and a state championship in Bangor.

Matt Bouchard, the programmer at the Caribou Parks and Recreation Department, serves as the co-chair of MRPA Track and Field and said that since Hershey track was such a popular program in Aroostook County for many years, it made sense to continue with something similar.

Practices for girls and boys between the ages of 7-10 (as of Dec. 31, 2017) will be held Mondays and Wednesdays, while ages 11-15 meet Tuesdays and Thursdays. These practice sessions take place from 3-4:30 p.m. at Caribou High School.

Events include the standing long jump, the softball throw and timed running races spanning in length from 50 to 1,600 meters, plus a 4×100-meter relay.

The fee to sign up through the Caribou Parks and Recreation Department is $10 per youth, plus an additional $10 for a T-shirt. There is an additional fee for non-residents. Registration must be done in person at the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center. Call 493-4224 for more information.

The MRPA regional meet will be held in Caribou on Tuesday, June 27 and the state meet is set for Tuesday, July 11 at Cameron Stadium in Bangor. A practice meet is also being planned in Presque Isle prior to the regional, with a date not yet set.

Age divisions at the competitions are 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15.

In addition to Caribou, local towns that take part from the northern region are Madawaska, Van Buren, Ashland, Limestone, Washburn, Fort Fairfield, Easton, Presque Isle, Mars Hill and Houlton.

Bouchard said discussions are in place to organize a meet beyond the state championships, which would include Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. He said this could happen as soon as next summer.

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