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Archive for Sunday, March 21, 2010

County’s Special Olympians earn medals at state tournament

More than 50 participants travel to Hays

One of Five squads of basketball teams wins second-place medals Saturday at the Douglas County Special Olympics State Basketball and Cheerleading Tournament in Hays.

One of Five squads of basketball teams wins second-place medals Saturday at the Douglas County Special Olympics State Basketball and Cheerleading Tournament in Hays.

March 21, 2010

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Lori McSorley, second from right, talks with her team of Jayhawks with the Douglas County Special Olympics during a break in action at the Special Olympics State Basketball and Cheerleading Tournament in 2010 in Hays. Five teams in all competed in the basketball event.

Lori McSorley, second from right, talks with her team of Jayhawks with the Douglas County Special Olympics during a break in action at the Special Olympics State Basketball and Cheerleading Tournament in 2010 in Hays. Five teams in all competed in the basketball event.

Special Olympians return with hardware

Douglas County Special Olympians returned from a weekend tournament in Hays with some winning hardware. Athletes competed in basketball, cheerleading and had a dance Friday night. Enlarge video

While the Kansas University men’s basketball team ended Saturday with a devastating loss, dozens of other area hoopsters returned to Lawrence as winners.

Douglas County Special Olympians brought home two gold, two silver and two bronze medals over the weekend at the State Basketball and Cheerleading Tournament in Hays.

Danny Lenz, sports coordinator, said the thrill of competing and having fun at the annual event trumped the excitement of March Madness.

“The athletes pay attention to the games during the day, but when it’s time for them … to play their games, they couldn’t care less,” he said.

More than 50 local athletes made the trip to Hays, supported by dozens of friends and family.

Renae Saathoff, who helped coach her sister, Becky, in Hays, said the athletes look forward to the event, as well as the legendary Friday night dance, all year.

“It’s like their vacation,” she said. “I think it’s the highlight of their year.”

Becky, also supported by her mom, dad and cousin, said she’s looking forward to telling her friends about the tournament.

“I’ll tell them I did good this weekend,” said Becky, who took home two silver medals — one for cheerleading and one for basketball. “Going with the team was fun. I hope I get to come back next year.”

Comments

geoffmccue 4 years, 10 months ago

Congratulations to all the Special Olympic Jayhawks!!!

An incredible thanks to Danny Lenz, John Samuels, Cindy Carlson, Larry & Sherrie Saathoff and all our fantastic volunteers and parents that make this such a great experience for the athletes!

I know everyone is sad over the KU Men's loss, but I want all of Lawrence (and the world for that matter) to know that the KU men put on a statewide Basketball clinic each year and the KU women held a Special Olympics basketball clinic this year! Sooooo, no matter what the national standings might be, Lew Perkins and KU Athletics will always be National Champions to Douglas County Special Olympics!!!!

angel4dennis 4 years, 10 months ago

Good job!! This is a wonderful story to read and so uplifting. We are proud of you!!! This shows the true spirit of sportsmanship and heart.

Ryan Shelton 4 years, 10 months ago

Fantastic job! A lot of hard work and dedication is put into this wonderful opportunity. I got to see them in action for the first time in Hays, and I was so proud of the athletes and the coaches, who are now my personal heroes.

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