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All Comers Meet provides fun for everyone

As parents and friends look on, young runners at the YMCA All Comers Track Meet begin their sprint in the 55-meter race Monday night at the Worthington High School track facility.(DOUG WOLTER/DAILY GLOBE)

WORTHINGTON — The youngest athletes kind of waddled, as much as ran, on the Worthington High School track Monday night while taking part in the YMCA All Comers Track Meet. The older ones looked the part of up-and-coming high school stars.

The annual event is designed as a family activity, and more. For young ones, it’s a chance to see and feel what a real track and field activity looks like. For older ones, it’s an opportunity to test themselves against themselves, and against their friends, in a variety of events.

The weather was cloudy and cool Monday night, with a refreshing breeze.

“This is a good year,” said event coordinator CJ Nelson, who estimated the number of participants at 125 or more. “It’s nice just getting out with your family and enjoying the night.”

The Worthington Area YMCA bills the event as a way to cheer on the youth of the community. Children as young as 3 and into their teens compete in running events as short as 50 meters and as lengthy as 800 meters, and in field events like the softball throw, the long jump and the high jump.

With the field events completed, young children got into position for the races Monday while their parents looked on with encouraging glances. The older kids — veterans who’ve competed at the All Comers meet before — were more competitive, judging their athletic progress by comparing their times and distances to the previous year.

Free hot dogs and drinks underscored the friendly atmosphere on Monday. And every participant received a ribbon.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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