Competition continued on Tuesday at the Special Olympics USA Games as all 14 of the sports being showcased in the Games were in full swing and over 15,000 fans were gathered in venues across the Puget Sound region to cheer on the athletes.
Team Wisconsin continued to have fun and pick up hardware. At Kenmore Lanes, Brian Ruby and David Thompson picked up a silver medal in doubles, just missing out on the gold by two combined points. Krista Hinckley and Jacob Wilson both picked up their second medal of the week when they teamed up for a silver in mixed doubles. Brooklyn Kolff and Garet Ziegler also teamed up for a silver in mixed doubles.
For Brooklyn, it was her second medal of the week while it was Garet’s first trip to the medal stand. Brian Ruby just missed the medal stand when he placed fourth in his individual event. But the elite bowler who joined the 300 club earlier this year was competing in the high-performance division, meaning he can stake the claim of being the fourth best Special Olympics bowler in the whole country this year.
Team Wisconsin’s Joshua Gorecki can make a similar claim with his swimming prowess. He placed fourth in his high-performance 100-meter medley at the King County Aquatic Center Tuesday. Jarod Falk added a bronze in 100-meter backstroke to the gold medal he picked up the previous day.
Back on the University of Washington campus, Crystal Fougner won gold in the 100-meter dash after an emotional morning preparing for the run. The last time she ran the 100 at the national level, she was doing it at the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey alongside her good friend Olivia Quigley. As many in the Special Olympics community know, Olivia passed away of cancer in 2016. Crystal’s mother has also passed away in recent years. Crystal dedicated her run to both and she came out with a blazing 15.99 sprint. Team Wisconsin’s Lora Behr placed fifth in the same race and the two friends embraced afterwards.
Meanwhile, Stephen Power’s dedicated training in the lead up to the USA Games helped him make a strong push in the homestretch and pick up a silver in the 200-meter dash. Nick Nawrocki earned a silver in shotput and Michelle Buchanan scored her first medal of the Games with a bronze in the 800-meter walk.
Morgan Higgins started a run on gold for Team Wisconsin bocce in the Dempsey Indoor Center. He was soon joined by Katie Muench and Cindy Bentley, who won their golds simultaneously on adjacent courts with a large contingent of Wisconsin supporters on hand.
The Unified soccer lost 3-1 to South Carolina in the morning but bounced back in their afternoon game, beating Arkansas 4-2. They finished pool play 2-2 and are eager to create their own Fourth of July fireworks in the playoffs today.
The basketball team bounced back from a tough loss against a strong Illinois team on Monday with a 30-26 victory over Maryland. In their afternoon game, they lost to an impressive Washington team that boasted not only a home court advantage, but also a significant size advantage. They had several players approaching the 6’8” height of Team Wisconsin’s Micah Gumness and even had a player over 7 feet tall! Team Wisconsin definitely has a great deal of fortitude and knows how to bounce back though. They kept their intensity level up and even quadrupled their halftime score in the second half of their game against Washington. They now enter the playoffs with a 1-2 record.
Good luck to Team Wisconsin on their Day 3 events!