NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ- The Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield will hold its 88th Annual Track and Field Meet at Hub Stine Athletic Complex in Plainfield on Wednesday, June 3 beginning at 1 p.m.; the rain date is Wednesday, June 10.

Each year, the Rotary invites middle school students from public and charter schools throughout North Plainfield, Plainfield, South Plainfield, Watchung and Warren to participate in the meet. This year, approximately 200 students, both boys and girls ages 12 to 14 from Valley View School in Watchung, North Plainfield Middle School and Queen City Academy Charter School in Plainfield are set to take part in the afternoon of friendly but determined competition.

The Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club held its first track and field meet in 1924. “At this time, there were no organized competitive track and field events,” said Michael Townley, director of the meet and secretary of the Plainfield-North Plainfield club. "This invitational meet is the longest-running meet of its kind in the entire state. We have offered this meet as a service to area youth since 1924, except during World War II." 

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Participants will have the opportunity to compete in a variety of events, including long jump, high jump, shot put, 55-meter dash (12-year-olds), 100-meter dash (13- and 14-year-olds), a 4x100 delay and a 800-meter run. Custom-made medals will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers in all events except the relays where ribbons will be presented to all second and third place finishers.

“This event is important and an opportunity for our club to offer a fun-filled afternoon for kids,” said Townley. “It is open to all kids and, in many cases, those who have never participated in an organized track and field event before win medals. There is enjoyment and excitement that makes it worthwhile for us to present this event each year.”

The meet is funded solely by the Rotary and is the Plainfield-North Plainfield club’s most important annual community service project. Rotary Club members and their friends serve as the officials at the meet with assistance from members of North Plainfield High School’s Interact Club; Interact is the youth-based service club sponsored by Rotary International.

Over 88 years, the track and field meets have drawn thousands of participants, including Olympic decathlon champion and former Plainfield resident Milt Campbell. “We recognize that participating in our Track and Field Meet was but one step in Milt’s long and successful drive to achieve his decathlon championship,” said Townley.  “In fact, our club was proud to be one of the many community groups that financially supported his Olympic trip.”

The Plainfield-North Plainfield Rotary Club Track and Field Meet is open to the public. Hub Stine Athletic Complex is located on Randolph Road in Plainfield. For more information or to volunteer, email the Rotary Club at RotaryPNP@verizon.net or call Michael Townley at (908) 822-1441.

“Our Club looks forward each year to this special service project,” said Townley.  “Rotary International’s motto is 'Service Above Self’ [and] we truly enjoy providing this service to these fine young athletes and presenting them an opportunity to win medals or ribbons for their athleticism.”