Special Olympics heats up with summer games

<p>Hermiston/Pendleton Special Olympics Program No. 510 fielded a Bocce team for recent competitions. Coaches and athletes are Stu Bance, Remick Arey, Lyall Arey, Willie Bowling, Andi Sue Reid, Jillian Smalley, Kristi Smalley, Lorraine Bance, Mary Jones and Anatastia Garza.</p>

After winning gold medals at the regional Special Olympics competition, Lyall Arey and Willie Bowling brought home bronze medals during the 2014 State Summer Games, held recently in Newberg.

More than 70 athletes from Hermiston/Pendleton Special Olympics No. 510 traveled to the competition.

Several athletes also traveled to Newberg to compete in golf events after a successful regional golf competition in Banks, said volunteer Kristi Smalley. Jonathan Kinsel, who earned a gold medal at regionals, placed seventh at the state competition. Jonathan Wilson placed sixth at state after securing a bronze medal at the regional contest.

Jason Cargill and his unified partner, Kris Neustel, also traveled to the competition after securing gold medals as unified partners in the regionals. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to compete due to part of the competition being canceled due to the extreme heat.

Head track and field coach Stu Bance said he was amazed at how well the athletes performed considering the extreme temperatures.

“They showed a high level of dedication,” Bance said. “It was very disappointing that they were not able to complete both days of competition. Safety is always our first concern, so it was the correct decision to cancel Sunday’s events.”

This year marked the first year the local program competed in golf and bocce, and the athletes performed well in each.

Special Olympics provides athletic training and competition for athletes with intellectual or developmental disabilities. For more information about the local program, contact Smalley at 541-567-1546 or smalleys@eotnet.net.

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