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Unified track allows for friendships, competition, unity in school community

Unified+track+strives+to+support+camaraderie+and+friendly+competition+throughout+the+community.+
Unified track strives to support camaraderie and friendly competition throughout the community.

Unified track strives to support camaraderie and friendly competition throughout the community.

Submitted Kevin Hausmann

Submitted Kevin Hausmann

Unified track strives to support camaraderie and friendly competition throughout the community.

Hailey Thompson, Staff Writer

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Unified track and field is welcoming to all, allowing all students to compete, train and participate under a team goal of unity.

In its sixth season, the team is made up of athletes with and without intellectual and physical disabilities; each and every individual is dedicated to the sport and the unity of the team.

Unlike boys’ and girls’ track, the team is coed. Many athletes on the team are not only players but also mentors.

”Many students on the team take on the additional role of mentor to help their teammates do their best at practice and at meets,” coach Kevin Hausmann said. “Our team allows students to get to know each other who might not otherwise and appreciate each other’s ability to contribute.”  

Senior captain Shannon Youngberg has been participating in the sport since her sophomore year.

“I have felt more confident ever since I joined, and the people who are on the team are just so great,” Youngberg said.

The team is based off unity and fun, not just competing and winning, just as the team slogan, “Run as One,” suggests.

“The best part of it is being with my friends and having fun,” postgraduate captain Rachel Seymour said.

Infographic Hailey Thompson

 

The team’s meets and practices are similar to any other varsity track team’s.

“In a unified track meet all students, regardless of skill level, help score points for the team, and if an individual reaches the qualifying time for their division, they can move on to the State Championship meet,” Hausmann said.

So far the team has competed in two meets and have been successful in both with a home meet coming up at Westborough High on May 10.  

“When we’re [at a meet] we are cheering on the other team too it’s all of us coming together as one,”  Youngberg said.

The team allows all individuals to participate and gives a great opportunity for new friendships within and outside the team.

I feel that this message of inclusion and seeing all people as valuable and being able to contribute is consistent with my beliefs and those of our school and community,” Hausmann said.

“One of my favorite memories is when the football players high fived us as we were running in the halls,” said freshman, Sofia Roumiantsev.

Freshman Halle Zides competes in the long jump and the 100 meter dash.

“It’s not about competitiveness, so you are not going into it wanting to win,” Zides said.  “You are going into it wanting to do your best and cheer on your teammates and cheer on the other team as well, so I think that’s something so great about it that you are not just competing for yourself you are doing it for everyone.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Unified track allows for friendships, competition, unity in school community”

  1. Mr Hausmann on May 14th, 2017 7:29 pm

    Another great article by the ARHS Harbinger sharing our team’s mission. Thank you Hailey Thompson

    [Reply]

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The official student news site of Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA
Unified track allows for friendships, competition, unity in school community