Opportunity Center athletes compete in State Special Olympics

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Michelle Gase (front) and her partner, Chris Wagner (back), compete in a bocce ball match Saturday.

COLUMBUS — Twenty athletes from the Seneca County Opportunity Center spent the weekend competing in the 2018 State Special Olympic games.

The Ohio games took place on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The first events, the 1,500-meter dash and the 4×100-meter relay, took place Friday afternoon.

Steve Barns, who ran the 1,500-meter dash, placed fifth, and the 4×100 team took home bronze. This is the first year the Seneca Arrows had a relay team in the games.

In woman’s bocce ball, Cindy Moyer participated in the games for the first time this year. She and her partner, Cheryl Rubel, took home the bronze medal.

“It was awesome,” Moyer said.

The other bocce ball team of Michelle Gase and Chris Wagner took home the silver medal in their division.

Rudy Garcia, Aarin Allen and Matt Spencer competed in the softball throw, with Allen taking home silver and Spencer gold. Garcia placed fifth.

“I feel awesome,” Allen said.

Spencer said all he can do is just hope to out throw the others.

“I was nervous, but all I could do was my best,” Spencer said.

Barnes, who also competed in the men’s standing long jump, placed third.

The volleyball team — comprised of Charlie Zoeller, Sean Allison, Israel Lopez, Dee Bryon, Lori Lutes, Nathan Forwalder, Ryan Herr and Susan Mull — brought home gold.

Emily Kleinfelter, who competed in the female bowling competition, brought home gold as well in her division.

Activities Coordinator Kristina Egbert of the Opportunity Center said, “My goal is that I hope everyone comes home with a medal.”

Allen, Spencer and Garcia are to compete today in the men’s 100-meter dash. The male bowlers — Jerry Recker, Steve Scifers and Patrick Steyer — also are to bowl today.