Unified athletes compete in first season

Ally Seevers, Sports Editor

In the spring of 2020, the Millard South unified track team, “made up of athletes (ID) and Partners (General Education students),” was set to make their debut, ready to showcase their talent to all, but then the season was cancelled due to COVID-19, causing the team to have to postpone their first season.

“We only got in two practices, so everyone was pretty bummed,” head coach David Stalling said, “but it was probably the best decision the way the virus was spreading.”

“I was sad [when the season got cancelled] because we had been working really hard to get ready, but I wasn’t really surprised,” senior and partner Sarah Gregory said.

But just like last year, the athletes and partners are training extra hard to give a show-stopping debut to kick off the season.

“I feel great going into this season,” said Stalling. ”The athletes are working hard and are very excited to show what they have been working on.”

With their first meet on Mar. 24, the team was very excited going into the meet.

“Just being able to see how they do and how the athletes will react, that’s what I’m most excited about,” sophomore partner Will Cameron said. “Really just seeing them happy.”

Following the meet, sophomore athlete Esai Ortiz said his “favorite part was the 4×100 meter relay because” his team won. He said “it was really exciting” and he “was proud of “ his teammates.

But the best thing about unified track isn’t winning, while that is fun, but the chance to hang out with friends.

“My favorite thing [about track] is being with my friends,” sophomore athlete Rylee Schroder said. “It’s really fun and the team is pretty awesome.”

Coach Stalling said his “favorite thing would be watching our athletes and partners work together and seeing our athletes become part of a team.”

The next unified track meet is on May 1 at Buell Stadium, where you can see both the athletes and the partners PR in long jump, win in the 100-meter dash, and have a blast in the 4×100-meter relay.

“If you can spectate, come see what it’s about because we can use all the support we can get,” said Cameron. “The athletes would love to show you what they’ve got.”