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YOUNG TRACK AND FIELD STARS TO COMPETE SATURDAY, JUNE 5 IN ARCO JESSE OWENS GAMES REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

 LOS ANGELES, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 272 outstanding young athletes representing 75 Southern California communities will compete here Saturday, June 5 in the 23rd West Coast Regional Championships of the ARCO Jesse Owens Games national youth track and field program at Cal State-Los Angeles' Jesse Owens Track.
 The athletes, all between the ages of 9-14 years of age, will compete by age group in the 50, 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes, the 1,500 meter run, long jump, high jump and softball throw.
 The 24 first place winners in the two oldest age groups of the three competing in the meet -- the 11-12 and 13-14 year olds -- will advance to the program's national championship meet at Occidental College's Patterson Field, Aug. 6. The national meet will include age-group event champions from seven other regions of the country as well.
 In advancing to the West Coast regional, the athletes bettered more than 100,000 other participants from 85 local and qualifying meets and eight district meets held earlier this year. Participants in Saturday's regional include athletes from as far north as Santa Maria, as far east as Indio and Coachella Valley and as far south as the Mexican border.
 All first-through-third-place finishers in each event and age group competition Saturday, including the youngest competitors, 9-10 years old, will receive Olympic-style medals. The 9-10-year-old winners are not eligible for national completion.
 The 12 boys and 12 girls in the two oldest age groups finishing first in their respective events and qualifying for the national championships will join winners from across the country for a 4-day, all-expenses paid trip to Southern California that includes a day at Disneyland and a gala Hall of Fame Banquet at the Pasadena Center.
 The 24 national meet qualifiers will also be eligible to compete for a $2,000 ARCO Jesse Owens Games scholarship, awarded annually by the Jesse Owens Foundation to one participating athlete from each of the eight regions. Scholarship selection is based on an essay, school grades and other interests, not athletic performance. Winners will be announced at the Hall of Fame banquet in August.
 Saturday's meet will be conducted by the county of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department under the leadership of regional coordinator Ruth Ello. Members of the Southern California chapter of USA Track & Field (formerly TAC) will officiate the sanctioned meet.
 An Olympic-style parade of athletes, led by the Santa Ana High School marching band, will open the games and feature the 272 young competitors and their district team coaches, along with more than 25 U.S. Olympians, who will take part in the individual event awards presentations.
 The ARCO Jesse Owens Games program, in its 29th year, is sponsored by ARCO and conducted in cooperation with Ruth Owens, wife of the late Jesse Owens.
 -0- 6/3/93
 /CONTACT: Scott Loll of ARCO, 213-486-2562 or Ruth Ello of the County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department, 818-798-1173/


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Date:Jun 3, 1993
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