Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hundreds of Athletes Compete in 3rd Annual Spartan Games

On Tuesday, hundreds of area athletes competed in the 3rd Annual "Spartan Games" at North Schuylkill.
The "Spartan Games" is an event where North Schuylkill hosts a day full of competition, activities, and fun for local students with special needs.

"Three years ago, we wanted to do a track meet that included as many students as we could.  We came up with idea that most students with disabilities don't get to represent their schools.  So we came with this track meet where they don't just come to participate for themselves but as members of team." said Knute Brayford, Supervisor of Special Education at North Schuylkill.

Brayford said the 2019 games were their biggest yet, and included 800 students from 17 schools which included Blue Mountain, Mahanoy Area, Minersville Area, Mt. Carmel Area, North Schuylkill, Pine Grove Area, Pottsville Area, Schuylkill Haven, Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29, Schuylkill Maple Avenue, Shamokin, St. Clair Area, Shenandoah Valley, Southern Columbia, Tamaqua Area, Tri-Valley, and Williams Valley.

The event also included 1,100 volunteers from the participating school districts and local organizations.

Events included track and field events such as Throwing (Javelin, Shot Put, Tennis ball, Frisbee); Jumping (Running Long Jump, Standing Long Jump, Vertical Jump); Running (50 meter race, 100 meter race, 50 meter walk, wheelchair race); and a 4 x 100 relay race (each district enters a team to compete for a team trophy). Each athlete received a ribbon for the events they participated in.

Along with the events, various other activities took place in and around the stadium throughout the day. When athletes were not competing in an event, they participated in a carnival with fun games and activities, including live music, face-painting, and a bounce house. The North Schuylkill Marching Band and cheer squads were also on hand to entertain and rally around the student-athletes.

Culinary students from the Schuylkill Technology Center also had a stand outside the stadium serving food for spectators.

Schuylkill Haven returned with the travelling trophy to defend their 2018 victory in the 4x100 relay race.  The race was held in 2 heats with Pine Grove bringing home the trophy for 2019.

The finale of the event was the annual race of the mascots.  Mascots from the participating schools and also local businesses participated in a 400 meter obstacle course around Spartan Stadium.  The Mount Carmel Tornadoes returned to defend but it was the Saint Clair Saint that brought home the prize for 2019.

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