Two Girls from Central PA Ready to Roll to the National Soap Box Derby

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — For the first time, two young women from Williamsport have qualified for the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship Race in Ohio.

The girls won their division titles at the Williamsport Soap Box Derby competition last month.

Meredith McCahan wants to make sure her Soap Box Derby car is ready for its next competition. In early June, the 12 year old from Muncy competed in the ninth annual Williamsport Soap Box Derby. She won first place in the superstock division.

“I was really happy, and I just ran to my dad and gave him a big hug. I just couldn’t believe that I won,” McCahan said.

In a few weeks, she will head to Ohio for the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship Race. The Soap Box Derby is a youth-racing program which has run nationally since 1934.

“It’s like Little League is for Williamsport. It’s a week-long event in Akron, Ohio. They have a big parade. They have activities for the children,” said Wes McCracken, Williamsport Soap Box Derby.

McCahan won’t be going alone. This is the first year both division title winners are young women.

Taking first place in stock, 7-year-old Jael Gilbert is the youngest driver the Williamsport derby has sent to the world championship.

She says she had a trick that helped her win.

“I didn’t listen to my dad or my pop-pop. I just listened to my mom,” Gilbert said.

As for the competition in Ohio, McCahan has a plan for that.

“My goal is to beat the second round so that way it’s the best all-around in Williamsport,” she said.

If you would like to follow along with the races that end on July 21 in Ohio, head to the Soap Box Derby’s website.