On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, the Midlothian High School Special Education Department, along with Special Olympics of Virginia Area 6 and the Midlothian Champions Club, held the first Special Olympics Track Meet at F.W. Poates Stadium. The thunderous sounds from the Midlothian Drumline and cheering students welcomed students and teachers from schools throughout the county. The Monacan High School Air Force ROTC presented the colors, followed by Midlothian’s Just For Show performing the National Anthem.
To open the festivities, Coach Kevin Thomas and Midlothian athletes Terrence Reynolds and Danny Huang brought in the ceremonial torch, commencing the 2019 Special Olympics Track and Field Meet. The Trojans started the day with a bang in the 200m race, as Reynolds took home the blue ribbon for his 1st place finish. Later, Jed Workman also won the 1st place prize for Midlothian in the 200m run, claiming the 4th place prize in long jump. With a winning mentality running throughout the team, Stephanie Kulyk placed 1st in the javelin and the 50m dash. Next, Steven Patton earned the 3rd place ribbon in the long jump and 100m run. Determined to keep the streak going, Myles Howard eagerly competed in the 50m run and the softball throw, as well as Nii Patterson, who also participated in the 50m run and tennis ball throw.
In the field events, Midlothian athlete Danny Huang competed in mini javelin, where he placed 2nd overall and won another ribbon for the Trojans. Also participating in throwing, senior athlete Tiara Criss placed in the mini javelin throw. Then, Terrence Reynolds won the 1st prize in mini javelin throw, keeping the Midlothian streak alive. This momentum continued as Amanda Nimmons won 1st in the tennis ball throw. Nathan Howard kept this drive, as he participated in the tennis ball throw, winning 1st in throwing and the 100m run. Next, Huang took home the wins in his 50m run and the softball throw. Keeping this momentum alive, senior athlete Liam Altizer vied for the ribbon in the 100m run, as senior competitor Lynsie Dinsmore participated in both the 50m run and the tennis ball throw. In addition, Taylor Evans competed in the softball throw and the 25m dash. Conner Schoenfelder then attempted the 100m run and threw javelin. Next, Andy Zhou ran the 25m run and competed in the tennis ball throw, alongside his brother, Leo Zhou, who also participated in the tennis ball throw competition.
The Special Olympics competition electrified the crowd and brought energy to both the athletes and the spectators. Announcer Ally Marmo commented, “My favorite part about announcing at the Special Olympics was seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces after crossing the finish line.” Sarah Nugent, another announcer, exclaimed, “It was amazing to see all of their smiling faces!”