STEUBENVILLE - Nine local athletes placed in the state Special Olympics games held June 22-24 at Jesse Owens Stadium on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus.
Mary Kay Schuetz, coordinator for Area 9, said athletes competing were chosen because of their prowess during the spring qualifier, which included athletes from from Belmont, Tuscarawas, Belmont, Muskingum, Jefferson, Harrison, Holmes, Carroll counties. Other track and field events during the state games included 50-, 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter races; standing and running long jump; shot put; softball throw; wheelchair and wheelchair slolom races; 25-meter independent walk; high jump; and pentathlon, said Schuetz.
The athletes included Frank Cassels of Smithfield, third place in softball, first place in track; Joe Woroniak of Richmond, first in double bocce and second in team bocce; Mike Harris of Steubenville, third place in double bocce and second place in team bocce; Eric Birden of Steubenville, third place in double bocce and second place in team bocce; Tom Pitts of Wintersville, first place in double bocce and second place in team bocce; Larry Hinderman of Toronto, second place in bowling; Kim Myers of Steubenville, second place in softball throw and sixth place in 100-meter dash; Jontera Dudley of Wintersville, third place in mini-javelin and fourth place in 50-meter dash; and Kristen McGlone of Wintersville, fourth place in softball throw and 50-meter dash.
READY TO COMPETE — Nine athletes representing Ohio Area 9 of the Special Olympics competed and placed in the state Special Olympics on June 22-24 at Jesse Owens Stadium on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus. The athletes included, from, from left, Jontera Dudley and Kristen McGlone; middle row, Tom Pitts, Larry Hinderma and Kim Myers; back, Frank Cassels, Joe Woroniak, Mike Harris and Eric Birden. -- Contributed
"The qualifier was held at Harding Stadium on May 5," said Schuetz, adding the qualifier included 275 athletes from eight area districts competing. "The qualifier for bowling was held a week before that in Belmont County."
The state games included nearly 3,000 athletes from around the state. The event also included competition in 11 different sports, opening ceremonies, movies, recreational activities, clinics and more, according to Schuetz.
Athletes also attended a Columbus Clippers baseball game as well as "Tent Town," a carnival including games, dancing, a movie and vendors, added Schuetz. The activities were all free for athletes, and local sponsors for the Area 9 team included the Steubenville Kroger grocery store and Domino's Pizza.
"During the state games more than 106 organizations are represented," added Schuetz.
The winning athletes from Area 9 were coached by Schuetz, Susie Corso, Ruth Gregory, Heather Schumaker and Joe Thomas. Schuetz said athletes from Area 9 did quite well during the summer games.
"I think we did really well," she said. "Three of the four athletes - this was their first year competing at the state level. It's tougher there because you have the best of the best."