WARSAW – A little rain…so what! The Unified Track teams from Bremen, East Noble, Tippecanoe Valley and Wawasee joined host Warsaw Thursday night for its meet at a rainy Fisher Field.
The athletes from the five teams took part in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes as well as the 4×100 relay on the track, then shifted to the long jump pits and shot put rings to conclude the meet’s scheduled events.
“The goals is trying to provide an athletic forum for students who normally wouldn’t be able to represent their high school teams,” said Warsaw Unified Track coordinator Brenda Linky. “Kids can certainly take part in Special Olympics, but that doesn’t represent their school.”
Warsaw, East Noble and Bremen are in preparation for the Unified Sectionals, with Bremen hosting its own 12-team tournament and Warsaw and East Noble going to Kokomo for a 13-team tournament on Saturday, May 28. The top two teams from each of the six sectionals will advance to the state finals, to be held congruently with the IHSAA Boys Track State Finals June 4 at Indiana University in Bloomington.
“From an athlete perspective, this gives kids the pride in what they are doing,” said Linky, who was shuffling across the property from shot put to long jump. “It gives them something common that they share with other kids in the school. I hear kids in the hallway about what events they are running and they have their shirts on. It gives them a sense of pride. It also gives pride for parents. Parents of special needs students sit in the stands watching others run, but now they can see their own kids run. That’s been a really rewarding aspect to see the parents feel that sense of pride, watching their kids succeed.”
Warsaw’s Unified Track Team will be hosting Run, Walk and Roll, which raises funds for the WCHS Unified Track Team. Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. with the 5K at 9 a.m. on the Warsaw cross country course. The one-mile walk will begin at approximately 10:15 a.m. on the track.
Persons who register by May 14 are guaranteed a race day shirt. Wheelchairs and strollers are encouraged, but not required, for the event.
Results from Thursday’s meet:
Long Jump – 1. Nate Householder, East Noble 17-1; 2. Gavin Yoder, Bremen 14-2; 3. Eric Hume, Tippecanoe Valley 12-3; 4. Thomas Boyer, Warsaw 10-5; 5. Lexi Davis, Bremen 6-1
Shot Put – 1. Brian Tew, East Noble 38-0; 2. Chaney Arend, East Noble 28-3; 3. Alexis Jennings, Bremen 22-0; 4. Olyvia Lakins, Bremen 21-0; 5. Chase Durlin, Bremen 19-5; 6. Josh Jarrett, Wawasee 19-2
4×100 Relay – 1. Warsaw 58.4; 2. East Noble 59.94; 3. Tippecanoe Valley 59.94; 4. Warsaw 1:10.00; 5. Warsaw 1:13.19; 6. East Noble 1:21.00
100 Dash – 1. Jacob Green, Warsaw 11.88; 2. Mickayla Shum, Bremen 14.52; 3. Danielle Foster, East Noble 14.70; 4. Josh Jarrett, Warsaw 15.78; 5. Alaina Huffman, Bremen 19.45
400 Dash – David Goon, Warsaw 1:00.06; Joe Hand, East Noble 1:04.27; 3. Gage Williams, Tippecanoe Valley 1:05.86; 4. Braxton Blevins, Tippecanoe Valley 1:14.51; 5. Thomas Boyer, Warsaw 1:22.67; 6. Jeremy McCartney, Warsaw 1:23.57