All three local schools gather for an unique athletic event

Mother Nature finally cooperated for a big spring sports event this past week.

On Thursday afternoon, student/athletes from all three local schools gathered at the Daniel J. O'Neill Sports Complex for the inaugural Special Olympics Unified Track & Field Meet.

Boys and girls from Honesdale, Western Wayne and Wallenpaupack Area competed in the event, which seeks to unite teammates with and without disabilities.

A big, enthusiastic crowd turned out to watch and cheer the competitors on.

The teams were coached by: Marilyn Jansco, Katie Schkolenko (Paupack); Elizabeth Bellush-Moore, Jennifer Denike, Cindy Larosa (Western Wayne); Lesley Freer, Kristen Dux (Honesdale).

Amanda Kerna, Special Education Director at Honesdale High School, organized the meet.

Background

According to a press release issued by Special Olympics PA...

“Interscholastic Unified Sports is a fully inclusive co-ed high school sports program which seeks to bring together students with and without disabilities.

“Boys and girls train together and compete as equal teammates. Through this experience, they become friends.

“Unified Sports teams are regarded like every other interscholastic sports squad at the high school.”

Students select one track event and one field event in which to compete. They may also be chosen for one relay race.

Each athlete is placed in a heat against others with similar qualifying times or distances. Based on order of finish, they earn points for their respective teams.

The squad with the most points at the end of the day is declared meet winner.

Track events include: 100M, 400M, 800M, 4x100M relay, 4x400M relay. Field events include: shot put, long jump, mini-javelin.

This was the first official season for Unified Track & Field locally. Honesdale, Western Wayne and Wallenbpaupack Area all participated in a season that began April 23 and ended the week of May 28.

Teams practiced twice per week after school.

Competitors

Listed below are all the competitors who took part in this year's meet.

•100M: Sinaea Buford, Luke Bancroft, Kyle Peer (Heat 1); Jessica Cann, Victoria Kroll, Chase Koellm, Rasha Abdallah (Heat 2); Angela Cykosky, Michael Phillips, Abbey Ursich, Anthony Krol (Heat 3); Schuyler Chumard, Jessica Brooks, Jamie Newman, Shawn Dixon, Lauren Monsees (Heat 4); Emily Mitchel, Amy Newman, Alex Warshaw, Jared Loveland (Heat 5).

•400M: Lilah Carmody, Dom Vender, Jacob Kabonick (Heat 1); Chris Fehr, Sophia Goyette, Sabrina Swoyer (Heat 2); Ashley Sloane, Christina Bednarek, Hannah Langendoerfer, Julie Rehberg (Heat 3).

•800M: John Fitzmorris, Taylor Maxson, Tara McLaughlin, Jake Mitchel (Heat 1).

•Shot: Emily Mitchel, Caleb Burns, Abbey Ursich, Christina Bednarek, Michael Phillips, Hannah Langendoerfer, Jessica Brooks (Flight 1); Angela Cykoksy, Lilah Carmody, Anthony Krol, Taylor Maxson, Jacob Kabonick, Luke Bancroft (Flight 2).

•Mini-Javelin: Amy Newman, Lauren Monsees, Rasha Abdallah, Jamie Newman, Schuyler Schumard, Shawn Dixon, Keegan Bucksbee, Jared Loveland, Ashley Sloane, Chase Koelln (Flight 1); Jessica Brooks, Alex Warshaw, Tara McLaughlin, Julie Rehberg, Jake Mitchel, Kyle Peer (Flight 2).

•Long Jump: Jessica Cann, Chris Fehr, Sophia Goyette, Victoria Kroll, Keegan Bucksbee (Flight 1); Lilah Carmody, Sabrina Swoyer, Coral Swoyer, Hannah Langendoerfer, Sinaea Buford, John Fitzmorris, Dom Vender (Flight 2).

The afternoon's final event was the 4x100M relay which saw teams from each school represented in two separate races.

Heat 1 seeds were as follows: Wallenpaupack A (1:14.5); Honesdale A (1:18.0); Western Wayne A (1:20.0).

Heat 2 seeds: Paupack B (1:19.2); Honesdale B (1:25.0); Western Wayne B (1:25.0); Paupack C (exhibition).