Published: June 02, 2007 11:46 pm
Madison County athletes won 14 medals, including two golds, during the Kentucky Special Olympics competition Friday and Saturday at Eastern Kentucky University.
The 10-member team turned in a "wonderful" performance, said Maggy Kreibel of the Richmond Parks and Recreation Department.
"I believe this is the most medals ever won by a Madison County team," she said.
Shantel Harris, who competed in the games' wheelchair division, won gold in the 25-meter race and the female shot put competition.
The team won nine silver and three bronze medals.
Alyssa Yorty took the silver in the softball throw, as did Janie Stone in the shot put. Stone also won silver in the 100-meter dash
Jason Smitha won silver in the 400-meter walk, while Mike Berry struck silver in softball throw and picked up the bronze in the 100-meter dash.
Chase Barnes won silver in his division of the softball throw and got another silver in the 50-meter dash.
Tommy Parson was awarded silver in the running long jump.
Tyler Gay won bronze in the softball throw.
"We also had athletes who placed fourth in their competitions," out of medal contention, Kreibel said.
Madison County had two entries in the record field of 14 athletes in the pentathlon.
Cody LaShelle won the silver in his division while Jordan Barnes got bronze in his.
The Special Olympics Pentathlon includes the 100-meter and 400-meter dash, running long jump, high jump and shot put.
"We want to thank the many Madison County supporters of Special Olympics," said Erin Moore, another Richmond parks and recreation employee who works with the team. "Without their help, our athletes might not be enjoying these tremendous achievements."
The annual Polar Bear Plunge in January raised $6,000 for Madison County's Special Olympics team. Also, Special Olympics was the local charity helped by this year's "Evening Among Friends," the celebrity fundraiser staged by St. Mark Catholic Church. The ARC of Madison County continues to support the team, she said.
The team needs 10 volunteers for six different nights this summer to take advantage of a fundraising opportunity offered by the Lexington Legends baseball team.
Volunteers will help staff the children's play area of Applebee's Park as the Legends play.
To volunteer, call Moore or Kreibel at 623-8753.
In addition to track, field and swimming competitions, the Special Olympians enjoyed fun activities in the Olympic Town, where many also received health screenings.
Special Olympians could don firefighting gear and have their photographs taken with Richmond firefighters and their ladder truck No. 3. The Richmond Kiwanis Club, which gave out sunglasses, visors and other useful items, provided Polaroid cameras and film for the photos.
Firefighter Scott Henderson helped Josh of Winchester climb into a pair of firefighter's protective trousers and strap the suspenders over his shoulders. Josh was all business as he then put on a jacket, helmet and goggles, climbed behind the ladder truck's steering wheel. He kept his serious demeanor as his parents and sister snapped his picture.
For the seventh year, the Lions Club and the Eye Care Center of Richmond provided vision screenings for the Special Olympians.
After setting up Friday morning, the Lions/Eye Care Center team had screened 65, of which 38 needed glasses, said Dr. William Reynolds. "We will fit 23 of those with glasses today," he said Saturday. The others will get theirs in the mail.
About 100 Special Olympians receive glasses each year, Reynolds said.
Eye care professionals and students join the Lions for the project, Reynold's said. Glenna Powell, manager of Eye Care Center's Richmond Laboratory, has volunteered all seven years. Janice Jones, Lexington lab manager and optician Denna Adams, are also long-time volunteers.
Optometry students from Indiana, Illinois and Canada also helped this year, Reynolds said.
Bill Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 623-1669, Ext. 267.
Codi Gore, 15, of Graves County reacts Saturday to finishing
first in the 100-meter dash at the Kentucky Special Olympics at
Eastern Kentucky University. At left is volunteer Doni Abrams
Nancy Taggart / Register Photographer
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