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Area athletes gear up for Summer Games

Area athletes will be competing in the annual Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games this week on the campuses of Illinois State University, Normal, and Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington.

Competition will begin at noon Friday and conclude by noon Sunday.

The Summer Games Reception will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at ISU’s Redbird Arena. Opening ceremonies will be at ISU’s Hancock Stadium. Opening ceremonies including recognition of athletes competing in Summer Games and the reciting of the Special Olympics oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” will begin at 8 p.m.

Competition will be offered in athletics, aquatics, bocce, unified bocce, gymnastics, football (soccer) and powerlifting. Athletes can not participate in more than one sport.  Athletes registered in bocce may only compete in traditional bocce or unified bocce; not both and athletes registered for gymnastics may only compete in artistic or rhythmic; not both.

There will be more than 3,900 athletes around the state competing. Also on hand will be 2,000 family members, 2,500 volunteers and 1,175 coaches.

Area athletes participating include:

Gateway Services, Princeton: Tony Full (100M run), Wayne Whalen (100M walk), Brenda Zehr (400M run), Richard Johnson (50M run), Joey Knowles (standing long jump) and Marylou Balensiefen, Allen Bence, Brandon Endsley, Charlotte Enghram, Amanda Helm and Brandon Kinsley (tennis ball throw).

Princeton High School: Steven Behrends (100M run), James Hansen (400M run), Justin Smith (50M run), Skylar Coffin (running long jump, softball throw) and Alex Dabler (tennis ball throw).

Princeton Lincoln: Madelyn Irizarry (50M run), Damarius Porter (50M run, tennis ball throw.

Spring Valley JFK: Amani Deleon, Sara Ely and Jonathan Safranski (softball throw).

Spring Valley’s Denise Milus will represent the Horizon House in the 100M walk. LaMoille’s Addison Gott will compete for Mendota High School in the 4x100 relay with Jessica Figueroa, Taylor Studebaker and Brodie Williams.

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