Special Olympics Track Meet

Kasheis+Stakley%2C+Javier+Barrios%2C+Kyra+Stuckman%2C+and+Briana+Haddock

Alexis Ray

Kasheis Stakley, Javier Barrios, Kyra Stuckman, and Briana Haddock

Alexis Ray, Reporter

The Special Olympics had their district-wide 15th annual track meet on Wednesday, April 28th. All special education students from the elementary schools in the district were there as well as from Centennial, Olathe, MHS, Olathe High school, and our Step Up to LIFE program which includes 18-21 year olds. 

Special Education teacher, Nancy Morris explained that normally they would have all kinds of events going on in a year such as bowling, basketball, snowshoeing, track and batchiball tournaments. They even get to travel to places like Grand Junction and Denver to play unified sports. 

This year not all of that was possible so even having a track meet for those students was an incredible opportunity for them. 

“The kids had a great time and they wear their ribbons proudly, it’s really a fun day for them,” Morris said. 

To prepare for the track meet they went outside on the football field Tuesday’s and Friday’s to practice during fourth hour with Morris’ Project Unify class.

“We have to do our practice rounds to get it right,” senior, Lucius Perez said.

At the track meet students participated in events such as the long jump, the relay race and the 200 meter dash. 

When asked how they felt about going to the track meet, both students Diego Alaniz and Perez explained they weren’t nervous at all but rather excited and “felt great”. And expressed they’d like to do it again.

“Oh heck yeah! I’d definitely do it again,” Perez said.

Morris teaches an elective class called Project Unify here at the high school. They help out the community and organize events. They also organize other activities for the students in her class. 

Students wanting to participate would go around on Wednesdays and help recycle and on Thursdays they help make and bake muffins. And on other days do activities such as arts and crafts or play games. 

“It’s the best class you will ever take in high school. It shows you a lot of patience and how to be selfless. It really teaches you and helps you just take some time and slow down in life,” senior, Melanny Castillo said.

It’s a very inclusive class that is driven to make everyone feel welcome.

“Yes, it’s 100% good, I just love it and I love to talk to my friends,” Perez said.

But because of COVID they didn’t have Project Unify first semester so the number of students participating is low and they’re always looking for students to join. 

“We really do need helpers. We need people to be friends. Last year we had a lot of kids and then this year’s first semester there’s nobody. So I think a lot of them probably felt down or disconnected,” Castillo said. 

The track meet was definitely an outlet for these guys to have fun, stay connected and interact with everyone.

“The goal was to include everybody and I think we did a good job of that. [Project Unify] is not going anywhere, if anything it’s going to grow and keep growing,” senior, Juan Enrique said.