Students compete in Special Olympics invitational
WYE MILLS — Chesapeake College hosted the Special Olympics Maryland Interscholastic Unified Sports Strength and Conditioning State Invitational Feb. 6 in the gymnasium at the school for the third consecutive year.
Some 215 athletes from 15 schools participated in the day-long state competition began after the official opening ceremonies kicked off shortly after 10 a.m. and concluded about 4 that afternoon.
High schools sending teams this year were: from Calvert County, Huntingtown and Northern; from Caroline, Colonel Richardson and North Caroline, which fielded two teams; from Dorchester, Cambridge-South Dorchester and North Dorchester; from Kent, Kent County High; from Queen Anne’s, Kent Island and Queen Anne’s County; from Somerset, Washington; from Talbot, Easton High, which fielded two teams; and from Wicomico, Mardela, Wicomico, James M. Bennett, and Parkside, fielding three teams. Teams were sorted into three divisions. Points were awarded for first, second and third place finishes. Points were totaled to determine the final standings in each division.
Unified Sports Strength and Conditioning athletes compete in nine events: standing long jump, shuttle run, dead lift, beach press, indoor cycling, flexed arm hang, race walk relay, jump rope and the grueling PT Series. The PT Series leads off with 10 burpees, then 20 quick squats, and finally 30 sit-ups before athletes sprint back to cross the finish line.
Unified Sports teams are composed of a proportional number of students with disabilities and without disabilities who train and compete together on the same team. A team enters a pair of competitors into each event to compete against another team’s partners.
North Caroline High School had two teams that competed. Team 1 competed in Division 2 against seven other teams; all the teams in Division 2 had the same number of number of members and competed in nine events. North Caroline’s Team 1 took the gold medal. Cambridge-South Dorchester’s team took the silver medal. North Dorchester’s team finished fifth, and Easton High School’s Team 2 finished sixth.
Kent Island High School, Queen Anne’s County High School and Easton High School’s Team 1 were among six teams competing in Division 3, which had more students who took part in 10 to 14 events. In cases where teams with smaller rosters competed against teams with larger rosters, individual scores were multiplied by a weighted number to offset any advantage gained by having a larger team. Queen Anne’s team won the gold medal in division 3; Kent Island brought home the silver. Easton High’s Team 1 finished sixth.
North Caroline’s Team 2 competed with four other teams in Division 1, which had fewer competitors in fewer events. North Caroline’s Team 2 finished fourth; Colonel Richardson High School’s team finished fifth. Kent County High’s team, in third place, took the bronze medal.
Members of the North Caroline High School Unified Sports Team 1 wear their gold medals following the daylong competitions held at Chesapeake College Tuesday, Feb. 6. From left: Eli Bradford, Coach Robert Blakely, Todd Pulleyn, Brendin Gestole, Abby...
Colonel Richardson High School Unified Sports teammates Tyler Smith, left, and Zachery Elzey carry the symbolic Olympic torch, Tuesday morning, Feb. 6, during the opening ceremonies in the gymnasium at Chesapeake College. Zachery gestured with “thumbs...