Unified Sports championships held at Chesapeake College
WYE MILLS — Chesapeake College hosted the annual high school Unified Sports State Championships Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Unified Sports is a concept that brings together athletes with and without disabilities in fulfilling and fun inclusion experiences. Unified Sports teams are composed of a proportional number of athletes with intellectual and other types disabilities, and athletes without disabilities who train and compete together on the same team and form lifelong bonds of friendship and mutual respect.
Competing teams came from the following counties: Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot and Wicomico. More than 250 student-athletes and 40 coaches participated in a wide variety of physically challenging events.
At the end of the day, teams scores were announced and team medals for each school were presented. Individual medals were not presented, as the “team” scoring was emphasized. For each event, a student with a disability and student with no disability from the same school were paired to compete against students of the same ability pairings.
The following schools received medals depending on the Division each school was listed in based on student populations. Division 1 Gold Medal: James M. Bennett H.S., Team 1; Silver Medal: James M. Bennett H.S., Team 2; Bronze Medal: North Dorchester H.S. Division 2 Gold Medal: Parkside H.S., Team 1; Silver Medal: North Caroline H.S., Team 2; Bronze Medal: Parkside H.S., Team 2. Division 3 Gold Medal: Cambridge South Dorchester H.S.; Silver Medal (3-way tie): North Caroline H.S., Team 1, Kent Island H.S., Team 1, and Queen Anne’s County H.S. Division 4 Gold Medal: Huntington H.S.; Silver Medal: Easton H.S.; and Bronze Medal: Calvert H.S.
Several schools had more than one team depending on how many students with disabilities were available to participate. The Unified Sports program is brought together through Special Olympics Mar yland.
Competing in the Jump Rope competition, Queen Anne’s County High School students, from the left, 11th-grader Luke Darrah and 10th-graders Marion Hendrix and Madison Darrah warm-up before the event during the annual Unified Sports State Championships held at Chesapeake College, Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Keeping up their strength, members of the Queen Anne’s County High School team eat lunch together during a break from the competitions, Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Chesapeake College. From the left, Lisa Darrah, Zhane Benson, Madison Darrah, Mary Jo Hendrix, Angel Mareno and Allison Dotson.
Representing all Unified Sports team members for all schools, from the left, carrying the symbolic Olympic torch, Kent Island High School students Rachel Grabowski and Paige Bailey. Behind them, 15-year veteran Cambridge Police Officer John Foster and Master of Ceremonies Alex Barney of Howard County. They were part of the Opening Ceremonies of the Unified Sports State Championships Tuesday, Feb. 7, at Chesapeake College. Unified Sports combine Special Olympians with Unified team members athletes from each school. All of the public high schools on the Eastern Shore sent teams.
Coaches and students look over the scoring sheets posted on the wall at Chesapeake College, Tuesday, Feb. 7, to see how their teams are doing in the annual Unified Sports State Championships.
Competing in the Cycling Endurance competition, from the left, Queen Anne’s County High School’s Allison Dotson, Mary Jo Hendirx, Madison Darrah and Angel Moreno enjoyed the moment, Tuesday, February 7, during the Unified Sports State Championships, held at Chesapeake College.