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Run, Throw, Jump - from The Messenger

April 19, 2019

student throwing softball

Jayden Stanley, 11, a fourth-grader at Cooper Elementary School, and his brother, Landen Stanley, 9, a second-grader at the same school, got their own cheering squad Thursday morning at the Special Olympics Track and Field Day in Dodger Stadium.

Each of their classes walked over from the nearby school with signs encouraging their classmates.

Jayden Stanley, said he was excited to be there and really excited to have his classmates there.

"He loves his class," he said through a signing interpreter.

About a dozen schools sent athletes to the event Thursday which included running events and field events such as the softball and tennis ball toss, javelin throw and standing long jump.

Anna Pruisman, 13, a seventh-grade student at Webster City Middle School, said her favorite event was the running and her second, the softball toss.

She's been practicing.

"Yeah," she said.

Kelsie Moss, 26, of Webster City, is a participant from the Friends Forever program.

She was running the 100-meter dash and doing the softball toss.

"I've been practicing at Friends Forever," she said. "It's good to be a winner and get out there and support the team."

One of the teams that was at the event to support the athletes were the members of the Iowa Central Community College rugby team.

Andrew Harada, of DeSoto, a fire science and EMT student, was among them.

"It's good to see the whole community in the stands," Harada said.

One of his tasks during the event was seeing the student athletes off the track and back to the stands after their runs. He did so with a big smile, an encouraging word and a high five.

"They're all super friendly," he said. "Everybody is happy to be here."

He was also very impressed with the sportsmanship.

"Oh yeah," he said.

Seth Gardner, 17, a junior at Fort Dodge Senior High, did the 50- yard dash and the softball toss.

He preferred the run.

"It builds more stamina," he said.

Athletes who did well in Thursday's Track and Field Day will go on to state competition later in the school year.

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