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West Jordan Journal

Unified track offers athletes of all abilities chance to compete

Jun 30, 2022 09:18PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

In late spring, high school athletes from across Utah met to compete at the Utah High School Activities Association-sanctioned unified track meet.

About 25 teams were there to compete, which is up from 15 teams in previous years, with some traveling to Copper Hills High from as far away as Cedar City, to take to the track, according to Courtnie Worthen, Unified Champion Schools manager with Special Olympics Utah, who helped coordinate the event.

Bingham High’s coach Braxton Thornley said it was a great experience and competition.

“I saw teams here that I haven’t seen before, so it was good to have more athletes and their partners,” he said. “It’s fun for my athletes to talk and compete with other athletes on other teams.”

Thornley had three athletes in the 100-yard and 200-yard dashes and long jump. Then, the athletes partnered with peers in the 4x100 relay, in which the Miners won their heat. They had their studentbody officers supporting them from the sidelines, waving a huge Bingham flag.

Coach Alexis Brown, of Riverton High, had 16 athletes and 12 partners “work their hearts out” at practices held every other day. They competed in three of Riverton’s track team's home meets before the state meet.

Decked in their athletic warm-up shirts provided by U First Credit Union, her athletes warmed up for their events

in the 100, 200, 400, and 4x100 relay on the track, and long jump and shot put in the field events.

“It’s a fun opportunity for our students every year, and this year, everyone has had a buddy, so they were able to make sure they got to the right spot at the right time and could cheer each other on or run alongside them,” she said. “This is a great way to be inclusive and unify our school.”