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Greenville youth to compete in Hershey

Running away from all of his competition so far, Greenville's LaDarrius Powell will be going to Hershey, Pa. next week to compete in the North American Final Meet.

Powell won in the 50-meter run, competing at three different levels before qualifying for the finals.

He won the city meet in Greenville, then the state semi-finals in Dothan, and the state finals in Sylacauga.

&uot;LaDarrius is fast n he is extremely fast,&uot; said Jerome Harris, director of Greenville Parks and Recreation. &uot;He has the willpower, and definitely has the speed to do well in Hershey n I think he has a great chance to win it all.&uot;

Powell is very excited about the trip, and surprisingly mature-minded at 10 years old.

&uot;I am looking forward to the trip, and the chance to show people from all over the country just how fast we are down here in Greenville,&uot; LaDarrius said. &uot;I want to represent my town well.&uot;

Powell's father, Willie Bradley, is very supportive of all of his children, and encourages them to be interested in sports.

&uot;LaDarrius is fast, and is following in line right behind his brother Tywan, age 12 and sister Tay, who is 15. Although they are both fast, Tay is more interested in basketball,&uot; Bradley said. &uot;I encourage them all to be interested in sports, but they also know education comes first. I tell them if they can get a better education because of their sports activities, that is fine, but their grades must come first.&uot;

The meet, sponsored by Hershey Foods, features 480 of the best young track and field athletes in North America and is in its 24th year as a national event. The program provides boys and girls between the ages of nine and 14 the opportunity to learn and develop the skills required in basic track and field events.

This particular event will take place on historic Henry Hershey Field, at Milton Hershey School.