Colonial School District students ran, jumped, and threw their way to victory at the Special Olympics Track and Field Event held at Hatboro-Horsham High School on May 23rd. The 34 students in second through fifth grades competed at the event and received a sendoff from the Barren Hill, Spring Mill, Harmonville, Plymouth, and Conshohocken fire companies, along with other local first responders.
Events included the 50- and 200-meter run, a softball throw, the long jump, and a tennis ball throw. Fourth-graders Adriana Vazquez Martinez, Maria Horack, and Nina Weidamoyer anxiously awaited their turn before the 50-meter run and explained that they trained for their race during weekly practice sessions on the high school track.
“We had to practice a lot,” said Adriana.
“I am nervous (about) being good, but I stretch a lot,” said Maria.
Nina, who also admitted to being a bit nervous, and Maria both had faith that Adriana was going to do well, calling her the fastest. Adriana said she had an advantage of her long legs, but then clarified that it shouldn’t make a big difference.
“To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re short or tall – it’s like how fast you go,” said Adriana, who ended up coming in first in her heat during the 50-meter race.
This is the first time Colonial School District has been back to the Special Olympics since prior to the pandemic. The occasion was celebrated in style over the course of two days. Whitemarsh Elementary School held a spirited parade for student-athletes before the event. Children, teachers, and staff lined the hallways holding signs of support and the Olympic theme song played over the speakers as the student-athletes carried banners and signs down the hall. Ridge Park Elementary also held a send-off parade for students who were headed to the competition.