The Wake County Track and Field Championships on Saturday will be very special.
The meet will include a full schedule of the usual events, including competitions for students with physical handicaps, plus competition for special needs students in shot put, long jump, 100 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relays.
Students with special needs from Garner, Middle Creek and Cary will compete for the unified team title. The special needs students will be partnered with another athlete to compete in the different events. The key word is compete.
The partners, in many cases varsity runners who would not compete in a big invitational, will compete in the same event at the same time with the special needs students.
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“This isn’t some students running along side encouraging a student with special needs,” said Ryan Tingle, a special needs teacher at Garner. “This is a unified competition. Our students will have a competitive experience in the same stadium, at the same time with the same kids.
“To me, this is what the high school athletic experience should be about. ”
The championships are believed to be the first unified competition in the state.
“This is a great opportunity for our kids,” said Ronnie Lee, the women’s track coach at Garner Magnet, which is the meet host. “We have competitions regularly for children with physical disabilities, but we haven’t had anything for a student with Down’s Syndrome or other mental needs.
“This is a wonderful thing for all of our students. It is an unbelievably good opportunity to raise awareness and to do a good thing.”
Competition begins at 9:15 a.m. with field events. The 4x800 relays are at 9:45 a.m., with most running finals starting at 11:45.
NCHSAA Hall: Former Cary High wrestling coach Jerry Winterton and Jack Holley, the state leader in high school football coaching victories, are among the people who will be inducted into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill.
The induction is sold out.
Winterton had an overall dual meet coaching record of 621-16 and his teams won 11 state tournament championships and eight dual team titles.
Holley coached football for 46 years at a variety of schools, including Wallace-Rose Hill, Tabor City, Hallsboro, West Columbus and South Columbus. His teams won 412 games.
The other inductees include Ralph Holloway (Kinston High coach and athletic director, West Carteret principal); the late Joe Miller (186-56-1 in football at New Hanover); Chris Norman (Shelby football coach and administrator); Dave Odom (who coached in high school for 11 years before joining the college basketball coaching ranks); Moyer Smith (an NCHSAA consultant and fund raiser); and Rick Struck (an NCHSAA associate commissioner).
Smalley wins: Alex Smalley of Wake Forest shot a four-under-par 32 on Tuesday at Wakefield TPC to dominate the weekly Cap Eight 4A golf match. Smalley, a Duke recruit, is averaging a 35.6 after five nine-hole matches and has had four rounds of 36 or better.
Leesville Road’s Doc Redman was second at Wakefield with a two-under 34.
Broughton has won each of the five conference matches.
Legislation: The N.C. General Assembly is considering legislation that would allow public, private and home school students to participate in interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities at the closest public school if the school they attend does not have that program.
Senate bill 649 would allow a student at a N.C. Independent School Athletic Association, for example, to participate in indoor track at the closest public school that has an indoor track program because the NCISAA does not compete in indoor track.
A home schooled student would be permitted to play sports at the closest public school or be involved in the closest school’s drama program.
Students at public schools that do not have swimming programs would be allowed to swim at the public school that is closest to their own address.
Students would be subject to the terms and conditions applicable to a regularly enrolled member of that school’s student body.
100th win: Corinth Holders varsity girls soccer coach Alison Vetterl notched her 100th career win last week in a 3-2 victory over Cleveland. The Pirates are off to a 7-0 start.
Baseball camp: The 12th annual Blayne Brown Baseball Camp will be on Saturday April 18th from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The camp is free and will be held at Broughton High. Contact Chris Newton (firstname.lastname@example.org).