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As a result of the San Jose track meet they competed in during the month of May, six Sinnott elementary students had the chance to participate in a number of athletic events while they were out of school this summer.

Sixth-graders Ricky Avila, Sean Barnes and Zachary Barnes; fifth-grader Ogarth Hutton; and fourth-graders Adriana Donkers and Nathan Barnes were invited to compete in the Hershey's Northern California State Track Meet at Oak Grove High School in San Jose on June 20.

After only a couple hours training with two Milpitas High School track team members, all of the students took something away from the event.

Donkers and Nathan Barnes walked away with memorable experiences. Donkers competed in the 9- and 10-year-old girls 100- and 400-meter dashes and Nathan Barnes competed in the 9- and 10-year-old softball throw and standing long jump.

Avila, Sean Barnes, Zachary Barnes and Hutton won medals after finishing in third place with a time of 58.14 seconds in the 11- and 12-year-old boys 400-meter relay team.

Avila also won first place in the 11- and 12-year-old boys 400-meter dash, with a time of 1:3.95. Because of his accomplishments, Avila was also invited to the Hershey's North American Final Track Meet in Hershey, Penn. Avila left July 29 and returned Aug. 2. While there, he placed fourth in the 11- and 12-year-old boys 400-meter dash, with a time of 1:2.67.

There were at least five participants from each state and 10 from Canadian provinces.


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In total, approximately 560 youth athletes spent four action-packed days in Hershey meeting peers and famous track and field athletes, and competing in the nationally recognized track event.

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Brian Soria is a physical education coach at John Sinnott Elementary School.