Nearly 30 from county vie in Special Olympics
Twenty-nine county athletes joined 3,000 from around the state for the event at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant.
The track squad was led by Josh Metro, who captured gold medals in the running long jump, 100-meter dash and shot put. Jessica Baden of St. Helen led the girls with a double gold medal performance in the 200-meter dash and running long jump.
Other members of the track team included Cameron Whaley (third-softball throw and standing long jump), Cody Whaley (third- 50-meter, second-standing long jump), Dominick Stern (first-running long jump, second shot put), Caleb Near (second-50-meter dash, third-standing long jump), Erica Rose (first-running long jump, third shot put and 200- meter), Jenny Smith (first-100- meter), Jason Beltz (third-running long jump), Zach Doyle (first-running long jump, second-softball throw), Keegan Draper (third-softball throw), Jonathon Harris (first- 100-meter) and Angelica Johnson (third-softball throw). Winning ribbons in track were Kaiyden Walsh and Justin Jaber.
In the wheelchair races, Tricia Brooks captured three silver medals, and Robbie Watkins earned a pair of silver medals.
The lone swimmer from Roscommon, Aurora Alchin, brought home a silver medal in the 25-meter backstroke and a bronze in the 50-meter freestyle.
Three Roscommon County athletes competed in bowling, with Stew Miller winning a pair of gold medals in the singles and doubles. Marco Bucci came home with two silver medals, and Jon Stocker earned a silver and a bronze.
Area 4 entered two teams in the volleyball competition. In Division 2, the Eagles made it to the championship game, where they fell in five sets to Bay City. Roscommon County athletes on the squad included Phyllis Padloski, Allen Brookes, Crystal Line and Bob Schmandt. In Division 5 of the modified competition, the Huskies opened with a semi-final win over Alpena, but fell in the gold medal game to Macomb. Area athletes on the team were Chris Yarger, Danielle Smec, James Love, Robert Koerner, Rich Good, Matt Barnes and Shawn Backus.
Special Olympics is a sports training and competition program for people with cognitive impairments. It is open to any eligible person who is at least eight years old. For information on the local program, call 821-9658.