Uni­fied Sports cham­pi­onships held at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege

Record Observer - - News - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­times.com

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.

PHOTOS BY DOUG BISHOP

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.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

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.

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