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Conzemius receives state award

Detroit Lakes principal Darren Wolf presents Detroit Lakes teacher Lisa Conzemius with the Hershey’s Track and Field Programming Award. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Every year, the Hershey Track & Field Games gives awards to an agency or organization that hosts a local, district, or state meet or to an individual instrumental in promoting the Hershey Track & Field program in each state.

While the children are running 50 meter dashes and other events these men and women are running the Hershey’s Track and Field Games program. It takes hundreds of dedicated organizers, volunteers, state chairs and coordinators to ensure the Hershey’s Track and Field Games start right and finish strong.

These people who sweat the details are given special recognition every year.

Lisa Conzemius of Detroit Lakes has been awarded the Hershey’s Track and Field Local Programming Award for 2014 for the state of Minnesota by Deb Weinreis, the Hershey’s Track & Field State & Regional Chair under the Minnesota Recreation & Park Association.

Conzemius was awarded this for her outstanding support and organization of the Hershey’s track and field games at the local level.

Conzemius restarted the local Hershey Track and Field program in the summer of 2008. The program used to exist in the 1980’s but had been dropped. She has been the volunteer coach for this program for seven years and has been the District Hershey Meet coordinator for 4 years.

Practices are held for youth age 9 to 14 for 6 or 7 weeks every summer on Sunday nights. Younger siblings are allowed to participate in practice as well. The first year was 2008 and started with about 12 kids at practice.

That has grown each year and this summer (2014) there have been about 45 kids at practice each week. A total of about 70 kids are on the participation roster for this current summer 2014.

Participants age 9 to 14 are encouraged to run in the District Hershey track meet and if they qualify they are encouraged to run in the State Hershey track meet. Detroit Lakes has hosted the District 7 Hershey track meet for four years and participation has grown each year; 94 kids in 2011, 111 kids in 2012, 137 kids in 2013 and 149 kids in 2014.

Of the 149 kids that participated in 2014, 46 of these kids were Detroit Lakes’ summer track participants.

Athletes from the varsity track program have been recruited as volunteer coaches at practice and as helpers at the District Meet. Parents of youth participating have also been recruited to be helpers at practice and at the District Hershey Meet.

Conzemius has had seven current years of service to the Hershey Track Program in Detroit Lakes. She also helped with the Hershey Track program in Breckenridge when she was in college in the late 1980s which included hosting the District meet there two years.

She had three years of service in Breckenridge for a total of 10 years service to the Hershey Track and Field Youth Program.

As a youth, Conzemius was also a participant in the District and State Hershey Track and Field meets for six years, Conzemius is a proud supporter and volunteer for Hershey Track and Field.

For more than 30 years, the Hershey’s Track & Field Games program for 9-14 year olds has encouraged children in communities throughout North America to get involved with track & field. The Hershey’s Track & Field Games are the largest youth sports program of its kind in North America, with hundreds of thousands of children competing every year.

Everyone has a chance to be among the 480 athletes who qualify to compete at the North American Final. The program has produced many Olympic medalists and competing athletes.