COLUMBUS — Doubling their pleasure.
While they aren’t the official Doublemint Twins, Madison County Special Olympics athletes Shaundra Sayre and Laura Cotton showed why twice is nice at the State Games held June 27-29 on the Ohio State University. The bowling events took place at Columbus’ Sawmill Lanes.
Sayre and Cotton each earned a pair of gold medals — Sayre in the 100-meter run and shot put, while Cotton placed first in the softball throw and 100-meter walk.
The track and field duo were not the only Madison County representatives who found success during the games as collectively the Tigers earned an impressive 32 medals and 20 ribbons for their efforts while at Ohio State University.
A moment of silence was observed during the Opening Ceremonies for Madison County athlete Lane Beekman, who passed away a week before he was to participate in the State Games.
Others capturing first place and earning gold medals in individual events were Nick Dummitt (shot put), Debbie Morris (softball throw), Virginia Smalley (bowling) and Michael Elfrink (mini-javelin). The two-person bocce teams of Dale Jones/Paul Hiles and Nick Post/Kenny Stischok also outdid their competition to finish on top.
Earning silver medals were Marlyn Zeeck (softball throw), Kody Price (shot put), Charlie Gildow (bowling), Macey Clark (softball throw), Dominique Gonzalez (100m walk), Jeff McCarty (bowling) and Morris (100m walk).
Also finishing in second place was one of Madison County’s unified volleyball teams. The silver-winning squad included John Zeeck, Chris Zeeck, Lincoln Comer, Mike Ellis, Shawn Stewart and Susan Thompson. Ellis, John Zeeck and Comer recently earned a silver volleyball medal as well while representing Team Ohio in the Special Olympics National Games held in mid-June in New Jersey.
Rounding out the individual medalists was Adam Campbell with a bronze in the shot put. Other third place finishers were the 4x100-meter relay team of Clark, Morris, Sayre and Marlyn Zeeck, as well as the two-person bocce team of Rae Ann Wright and Rebecca Bell.
A number of fourth through sixth place ribbons showered the Tigers. Earning the ribbons in their various heats of the 100-meter run were Dummitt, Marlyn Zeeck, Campbell, Elfrink, Price and Clark. Gonzalez captured a ribbon in the softball throw, Michael Williams earned one in bowling, as did the bocce duo of Jeff Horn and David Howard and the 4x100 relay quartet of Elfrink, Price, Campbell and Dummitt.
Completing the ribbon winners were the unified volleyball squad made up of Bryan Thompson, Geoff DeLong, Elle Scott, Jessica Thompson, Michaela Williams and Kendra Chapman.
The coaches for track were Caternia Pierce, Wesley Pierce and Judy Coy. Coaches for bocce were Autumn Clifton and Garrett Law, while Melody Williams and Comer coached the volleyball squads. They were assisted in the various sports by volunteers Mia Comer, Liam Comer, Bobbi McCarty, Harold Stockman, Linda Gildow, Roger Campbell and Jorge Gonzalez.
The Tigers athletes participated in the pageantry of the Opening Ceremonies — proudly holding their Madison County banner. On hand were 2,500 athletes representing 65 counties throughout the state.
Finally, the Olympic torch was escorted into Jesse Owens Stadium by a plethora of law enforcement officers from throughout the state of Ohio. They represented the approximately 2,000 law enforcement personnel who shared the task of carrying the torch through 150 communities in Ohio.
If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics or volunteering, call MCBDD Recreation Coordinator Lincoln Comer at (740) 852-7052, ext. 1917.