Local Special Olympians bring home medals

Athletes advance to state competition

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Swimmers from the Clark County Dolphins won 52 gold medals during the Special Olympics Washington Southwest Regional, which took place April 19 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Clark County athletes have also qualified for state in track and field and in soccer. The state meet takes place Friday through Sunday at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

A total of 41 athletes and Unified Partners represented Clark County at the Southwest Washington swim meet. Dolphins who won gold medals at the swimming regional were Laura Abernathy, Sharisse Aichele, Westley Altig, Brian Andrade, Jolene Brown, James Carter, Jerrod Crowson, Kimi Dyment, Krista Helt, Jacob Johnson, Ariel Laycock, Destiny Laycock, Paris Laycock, Jacquelynne Mallory, Elizabeth McIntyre, Lauren Milam, Heidi Moss, Stacy Page, Rachel Quattlebaum, Jamie Rogers, Bryan Ross, Deanna Sanders, Katherine Sanders, Jonathon Schauer, Stephanie Seymour, James Sudbeck, Tara Taylor, George Valentine, Adrian Villegas and Donovan Wark.

Natasha Dever, Tisen Dunn and Harlan Laycock won multiple silver medals and will also swim at state.

The Dolphins team is coached by Michelle Dever and Nick Dever.

At the Special Olympics Washington Southwest Regional track and field meet, members of the Clark County Flying Eagles won 30 gold medals. That meet took place April 26 at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

Gold medal winners were: Diana Bartusek, Patrick Blue, Melinda Carlyle, Tina Colantuano, Michael Cook, Sean Dinsmore, Dennis Dole Jr., Anna Gaitlin, Jeremy Haliski, Emily Heinemann, Larry Joslin, Kristi Klingenmaier, Amaris Koutselas, Michael Koutselas, Dusty Lang, Jimmy Nauyen, Tracy Owens, Scott Shivvers and Everett Smith.

Other athletes who were invited to state after winning multiple medals were: Matthew Baker, Isabel Bucholz, Kandis Case, Carl Crosier, Jonathan Chidester, Jason Downey, Bailey Hamilton, Julia Hust, Sadie Koutselas, Lynnadel Schoenberg, Sam Spencer, Angela Twiss and Michael Vanoni.

Coaches for the Flying Eagles track team were Tonya Galliher, JR Vela, Jennifer Crothers, Sylvia Downey, Kimberly Frost, Jason Gallagher, Becky Johnson, Julie Koutselas, Michael Krecklow and Teresa Haliski.

All five soccer teams from Clark County won regional gold medals and will play at state. Those teams are the Bulldogs (Masters 1 Division), the Cobras (Junior 3 Division), the Red Mustangs (Masters 7), the Vancouver Blues (Masters 6) and the Vancouver Terriers.

For names of the players and coaches for the soccer teams, see the Community Sports Scoreboard.

Softball is the next sport on the Clark County Special Olympics schedule. The preseason meeting for softball will be held 5-7 p.m. on June 7 at Pied Piper Pizza, 12300 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., in Vancouver.