Peggy Mathis, 14, has earned an all-expense-paid trip to Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final in Hershey, Pa.

FORT STEWART, Ga. - A member of Fort Stewart’s 2011 Youth Sports Track Team has earned an all-expense-paid trip to Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final in Hershey, Pa., Aug. 4-7.

The record-setting 800-meter speed of Peggy Mathis, 14, in the Georgia Recreation and Parks Department’s state finals in Carrollton, Ga. during May won her one of 480 coveted spots in the North American Final.

Mathis, competing in the 14-and-under girls category, finished the 800-meter race in 2:23:60, shattering the previous record of 2:35:56 set in 1995 by Christina Paone of Peachtree City. She placed second in the 1600-meter competition with a time of 5:36.69.

Mathis, who said it was “really nice and really cool that I got to be recognized as one of the Fort Stewart finalists for the state of Georgia,” is the daughter of retiring Army Sgt. Brenda Mathis and Thomas Mathis. They are in the process of moving to Wasilla, Alaska.

Peggy’s sister, Alex Mathis, 13, and brother Micah Mathis, 11, also are active in a variety of sports, including track, soccer and baseball. Both competed in Augusta track finals as members of the Liberty County Recreational Department team the week before Peggy competed in Carrollton. Alex won first place in the 1600-meter race for her division and Micah finished fourth in his age group.

Thomas Mathis, a volunteer coach with Child, Youth and School Services Sports Programs while he and his wife lived at Fort Stewart, expressed his pride.

“As a father, I am very proud of all three of them,” he said. “We are looking forward to moving on to bigger and better things in sports. That’s how we do it every year. We try to do better than we did last year. I’m just proud that they have achieved so much so early.”

He emphasized that the children are “students, too. They are all A’s and B’s. School comes first.”
The Hershey’s Track & Field Games is the largest youth sports program of its kind in the United States and Canada. Qualifying events take place in every state and most provinces in North America.

Hershey’s Games, founded more than 30 years ago, offers field events like the softball throw and the standing long jump in addition to running events.

The athletes’ trip will include a visit to Hersheypark, a visit to Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction and a tour of Hershey's state of the art chocolate factory.

Page last updated Wed July 20th, 2011 at 17:19