WL girls take Iowa to Pennsylvania

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, July 30, 2014
West Liberty will be sending two of Iowa's five student athletes to the 2014 Hershey's Track and Field Games in Hershey, Pennsylvania on July 31 - Aug. 3.

Finley Hall and Macy Akers will be competing in the girl's softball throw. Finley, age 9, will participate in the 9/10-year-old class while Macy, age 14, will participate in the 13/14-year-old class.

"It feels pretty exciting," said Macy. "We had to get through a whole bunch of kids competing to get there."

The games are for students between 9 and 14 years of age. They focus on track and field events such as dashes, relays, long jumps and the softball throw.

Boys and girls are divided into different classes and there's also a chance to win college scholarships. Around 480 athletes compete in the North American Finals.

Both girls advanced from local competition and went on to state competition on June 14 in Marshalltown, where they both took first place in their classes.

They were chosen from a pool of Iowa's best to go to the North American Finals. There are three girls and two boys from the state of Iowa this year.

Besides West Liberty, Jagger Gourley will represent Mediapolis in the boys' long jump, Sydney Anderson will represent New Hampton in the girls' 800m and Ben Clark will represent Norwalk in the boys' softball throw.

Finley admits that it's a little scary traveling and competing on the big stage, but she's been practicing with her mom and grandma to get ready for the event.

"We warm up first and then we play catch," she said.

Both girls are lifelong friends and neighbors in West Liberty. It only makes sense they would compete in the same event as well.

The softball throw, held Saturday, is a test of who can throw the farthest. Competitors have a little running room before they let the ball fly as far and as hard as they can.

Finley's longest distance is 109 feet while Macy has thrown an impressive 185.5 feet. The throw competition is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 2.

Finley's parents are Nathan and Trisha Hall. She is an avid athlete, participating in softball, basketball and track.

Macy is also active, she competes in softball, volleyball, basketball and track. Her parents are Brad and Mindy Akers.
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