(Franklin) — Friday, March 21, turned out to be the perfect day for some wonderful Heard County Special Olympics athletes. Students met at the Chattahoochee Greenway Walking Trail in Franklin for the Long Distance Walking/Running Competition.
Chief Kevin Hannah of the Franklin Police Department welcomed everyone at the Opening Ceremonies. Minister Keith Lewis from Flint Ridge Baptist Church gave the invocation.
Buck Dunson from Heard High was the Flag Bearer and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Blake Timmons from Heard Middle School led the Special Olympics Oath and the games were officially opened.
Awards were presented after the last runner came in and a picnic lunch was provided for the athletes and they were able to enjoy some fun free time at the park afterwards.
Those in attendance were City of Franklin Mayor Joel Rogers, Chief Hannah, Officer Nikki Chapman and Pageant Queen of Heard County High School, Ms. Angel North as well as many parents and volunteers.
As each runner crossed the finish line Wylene Spearman, local coordinator of the event, made sure that the crowd gave a loud recognition and applause for each and every athlete, while volunteers made sure each runner had water available.
Dennis Shaw, an alumni athlete was the last runner to come in. As Buck Dunson spotted Dennis rounding the bend he called all the athletes to the finish line to give loud recognition and applause to Dennis as he crossed over to end the race. The athletes truly showed great sportsmanship.
Awards were handed out for first, second and third place athletes by Mayor Rogers, Officer Chapman, and Pageant Queen Angel North. ~Debbie O’Neal
Listed below are the winners of the Heard County Special Olympics Local Spring Games:
HHS – 3K Wheelchair Race: Coleby Johnson – 1st
HHS -Girls – 3K Walk: Amber Cribbs – 1st
HHS – Girls – 3K Run: Shinese Turman – 1st, Madison Mathias – 2nd, Mikayla Dockery – 3rd
HHS – Boys – 3K Walk: Tim Brown – 1st
HHS – Boys -3K Run: Anthony Brand- 1st, Buck Dunson – 2nd, Joseph Davis – 3rd
HMS Boys – 3K Run: Blake Timmons- 1st
HMS Boys – 1K Run: Richard Grizzard – 1st, Nigel Echols – 2nd
HES Boys – 3K Run: Kevin Forbus – 1st
Young Athletes (Girls Ages 5 to 7) – 3K Run: Kaylee Neal – 1st, Kaylee Holcomb – 2nd
Young Athletes (Girls ages 5-7) – 3K – Wheelchair Race: Emma Bradley-1st
Young Athletes (Boys ages 5 to 7) – 3K Run: Allen Stover – 1st, Jeffery Freeman – 2nd
Young Athletes (Boys 4 yr. olds ) – 1K Run: Danny Binder – 1st, Eddie Downward – 2nd, Cooper Casusey – 3rd
Alumni – 5K Walk: Todd Hendricks -1st, Dennis Shaw – 2nd