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Stanly athletes compete at North Carolina Summer Games

The 2018 Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games concluded June 3 in Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and Holly Springs, ending a weekend of competition for nearly 1,900 athletes and Unified partners from across the state in athletics, bowling, cheerleading, cycling, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball, swimming and volleyball, according to Keith L. Fishburne, president/CEO of SONC.

Unified partners are individuals without intellectual disabilities who train and compete alongside Special Olympics athletes.

Special Olympics Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program thatcombines an approximately equal number of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners on teams for training and competition. Unified Sports offered at Summer Games are bowling, cheerleading and volleyball team.

To ensure fair competition, the athletes were placed in competition divisions based on age, gender and ability level. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top three finishers in each division, followed by fourth through eighth place ribbons.

Athletes competing in the Summer Games represented the following counties/agencies: Alamance, Alleghany, Anson, Avery, Beaufort/Hyde, Brunswick, Buncombe, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Carteret, Caswell Center, Catawba, Cherokee, Cleveland, Craven, Cumberland, Dare, Davidson, Davie, Duplin, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Gates, Greene, Guilford/Greensboro, Guilford/ High Point, Halifax, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, Jackson, Johnston, Jones, Lake Norman, Lincoln, McDowell, Mecklenburg, Moore, Murdoch Center, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pasquotank/Camden, Person, Pitt, Polk, Qualla Boundary, Richmond, Rockingham, Rutherford, Sampson, Stanly, Surry, Transylvania, Union, Vance, Wake, Watauga, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson.

Members of Team NC, who will travel to the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle Sunday through July 6, competed as a team in athletics, bowling, gymnastics, swimming and volleyball. Team NC athletes used Summer Games as an additional competition opportunity as a team to prepare for USA Games.

The Summer Games kicked off with the Opening Ceremony, which highlighted the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, at NC State University’s Reynolds Coliseum.

Gov. Roy Cooper and First Lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper were in attendance. During his remarks, Governor Cooper presented a proclamation declaring July 21 as the Special Olympics Global Day of Inclusion to Mike Stone of Greensboro, who attended the first Special Olympics International Games in 1968.

Additionally, Cooper recognized members of Team NC by presenting the Laurel Wreath Award, the state’s highest award for athletic achievement.

Nearly 2,000 volunteers, under the leadership of a volunteer Games Management Team, were recruited to serve as scorekeepers, timers and various other roles to make the Games a reality for the athletes.

“The 2018 SONC Summer Games were a tremendous success,” said Fishburne. “Athletes from across the state competed in quality competition and went home with some great memories. We are very grateful to all the volunteers who helped make this weekend a positive and memorable experience for all the athletes.”

Below are the results from athletes representing Stanly County.

  • Wesley Barnes — Running long jump (silver), 100-meter dash (gold), 200-meter dash (silver).
  • Isaiah Bennett — Running long jump (bronze), 100-meter dash (silver), 200-meter dash (silver).
  • Eric Thomas Bruer — running long jump (silver), 100-meter dash (gold), 200-meter dash (gold).
  • James Taylor Bruer — running long jump (gold), 100-meter dash (fourth), 200-meter dash (silver).
  • Milli’on Armante Colson — running long jump (gold), 100-meter dash (bronze), 200-meter dash (gold).
  • Alex Charles Cunningham — running long jump (gold), 100-meter dash (bronze), 200-meter dash (bronze).
  • Micah A. Cunningham — running long jump (silver), 100-meter dash (fifth), 200-meter dash (silver).
  • Nicholas Hannah — softball throw (silver), 25-meter dash (fourth).
  • Jamie Lee Hathcock — running long jump (gold), 100-meter dash (gold), 200-meter dash (silver).
  • Kellie Hearne — softball throw (gold), standing long jump (gold), 25-meter dash (gold).
  • Adam Hupp — 50-yard freestyle (silver), 25-yard freestyle (fourth).
  • Angela Kirk — 25-yard freestyle (participation).
  • Caden Lemly — softball throw (silver), 25-meter dash (gold), 50-meter walk (gold).
  • Kristian Little — running long jump (silver), 100-meter dash (bronze).
  • Kevin Ray Lundy — shot put (silver), 100-meter dash (fourth).
  • Samuel Poplin — softball throw (gold), 25-meter dash (silver), 50-meter walk (silver).
  • Lane Y. Rinehart — 50-yard backstroke (bronze), 100-yard freestyle (gold), 50-yard freestyle (fourth).
  • Elliot Schmehel — running long jump (gold), 100-meter dash (fourth), 200-meter dash (gold).
  • Anita Dawn Stirewalt — 25-meter dash (silver), softball throw (bronze), 50-meter dash (bronze).
  • Angela Townsend — softball throw (gold), 25-meter dash (sixth).
  • Justin Watkins — 100-yard freestyle (gold), 50-yard freestyle (silver), 200-yard freestyle (gold).
  • Caleb Wilson — 50-yard backstroke (gold), 100-yard freestyle (gold), 50-yard breaststroke (gold).
  • Colby M. Yow — running long jump (bronze), 100-meter dash (fifth), 200-meter dash (fourth).
  • Stanly Blue Thunder — fourth place, 4×100-meter relay (Wesley Barnes, Milli’on Colson, Charles Alex Cunningham and Kevin Ray).
  • Stanly Green — Silver medal, 4×25 yard freestyle relay (Adam Hupp, Angela Kirk, Lane Y. Rinehart, Caleb Wilson).
  • Stanly MPMs — Silver medal, bowling doubles (Michael Francis and Maria Gurski).
  • Stanly Panthers — Silver medal, bowling team (Eric Thomas Daniel, James Eriser, Justin Inscore, Jonathan Martin and Clint Phillips).
  • Stanly Red Lightning — Silver Medal, 4×100-meter relay (Isaiah S. Bennett, James Taylor Bruer, Jamie Lee Hathcock and Colby M. Yow).