Laura Murphy did East Greenwich proud last week, placing third in the 100 meter run. She ran the distance in 13.72 seconds. Laura, who will be in seventh grade come September, wrote about her experience:
The moment I stepped out of the car into the Pennsylvania air, I knew that I really was in the sweetest place on earth. Hershey, Pennsylvania, to be exact. I was there for the Hershey 2012 North American Final Track and Field Meet, which kicked off with the Opening Ceremonies that night. Both Rafer Johnson and Carl Lewis were there, and I got both of their autographs and pictures again as I had two years ago, plus a signature on my shirt! I went to bed with a grin on my face and a feeling of true happiness.
The next morning after breakfast, we had a region photo and workout session, and after lunch ... get ready ... HERSHEY PARK! All 450 athletes went, and we had a blast riding the roller coasters.
After the amusement park came Chocolate World, where they have so much chocolate that you think you have died and gone to heaven (have you ever seen the world's largest chocolate bar?).
When I woke up the next morning, I was jittery with excitement. It was race day. The Parade of Athletes was as spectacular as ever, with all eight regions showing their pride for their states and Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico, too. Two runners carried the torch into the stadium and lit the cauldron, and with that, the meet began.
It was nerve-wracking just waiting for my race, and when we were at the starting line, my heart just about jumped out of me and ran the race itself . "Runners, take your marks, get set," ... and the gun went off. When I passed the finish line, I had won a bronze medal. Pride rushed through my veins as I stepped onto the podium. Everybody in every race here was already a winner. We had made it to the North American finals, and no matter what place we came in, the only thing that mattered was that we made friends and had fun. And that is the most magical thing about Hershey.