Over 200 residents in the Wasatch Back gathered at Wasatch High School’s Wright-Tree Stadium on Tuesday morning to celebrate the schools most popular athletes.
Approximately 80 special needs students and over 100 high school volunteers from South Summit, Park City and Wasatch schools came together wearing Red, White and Green t-shirts on Tuesday morning to participate in the inaugural tri-district special needs track meet.
Track meet participants were able to run in 50, 100, and 200-meter dash races. As well as high jump, long jump and softball throws. At the finish line of each event was a medal for all participants. Participants were even able to get their faces painted by cheerleaders.
Wasatch High School Athletic Director Steve Marsing organized the special needs track meet after hearing about a similar event in a neighboring school district.
“I got the idea from a good friend of mine Dave Boyack who is the athletic director at Maple Mountain,” Marsing explained. “They do an annual Nebo School District special needs track meet. So, last year I went down and watched it and it was phenomenal. All the joy, and happiness and I thought we need to do that. So, I talked to Shad Stevens at South Summit and Jamie Sheetz at Park City and said hey let’s do a tri-district one. Because we probably couldn’t do it on our own but bringing them all together. Plus, we brought our athlete councils together. They’re working together to make this happen.”
The event was put on in large part thanks to student volunteers from Wasatch, South Summit and Park City High Schools. Park City High School Baseball captain and Leadership Council member Daniel Schultz says after learning about the opportunity he was eager to volunteer to help the special needs track meet.
“It was actually really amazing,” Schultz said. “It’s always great to see the kids that you go to school with that come see us play sports, and actually get to help them and support them while they’re competing.”
Parents were also in attendance at the meet. South Summit School District employee and Oakley resident Stephanie Clegg was at the event to cheer on her daughter Avery.
Clegg says she’s excited to see the event continue in the future.
“This is an incredible opportunity for all the kids to do,” Clegg continued. “Even the volunteers, the high school kids are revving up too and enjoying it a lot. These special needs kids don’t have a whole lot of activities that they can be involved in. So, we love it, they love it and we like that we’re going to continue it for years to come. Rotate it through the other schools and more people involved in the coming years.”
After the final event, athletes and volunteers gathered for a photo before sharing a pizza lunch together.