Golden Moments: Local athletes compiled 24 medals, 20 ribbons

Josh Holley crossed the finish line for what he thought was a victory in the 1,500 meters in the Special Olympics Indiana State Summer Games, but officials awarded him second place.

Holley’s disappointment turned out to be short-lived. His Bartholomew Brown Jennings track and field coach Andy Hunnicutt levied a protest and after showing officials the video, Holley was back in first.

Besides the 1,500, where he ran a personal-best 5 minutes, 31 seconds, Holley also finished second in 400 and 800. His 400 time of 1:02.6 bettered his times from this spring as part of Columbus North’s Unified track team.

“I ran my best there (at the summer games),” Holley said. “There’s a lot of competition there.”

Holley was one of 15 Bartholomew Brown Jennings (BBJ) athletes ages 9 and older to compete in the summer games at Indiana State University and was one of seven to win a gold medal.

Zoe Miller won gold medals in both the 50 meters and standing long jump. BBJ’s other gold medalists were Zach Campbell in the 100 meters, Logan Eppard in the softball throw, Lexie Gotoh in the 400-meter walk and Renee Parks in the softball throw.

In all, BBJ track athletes won seven gold, 11 silver and six bronze medals. They also combined for 10 fourth-, six fifth-, two sixth- and two seventh-place finishes. That’s 24 medals and 20 ribbons.

Hunnicutt, who is the head soccer coach at Hauser, has been coaching different Special Olympics sports for nearly a decade, but this was his first year as track and field head coach. He also coaches BBJ’s bowling and basketball teams.

The track and field team practiced once a week since March. Hunnicutt works with the athletes mostly on technique and getting used to starter’s gun.

BBJ participated in an area games competition in May at Seymour. The state games is the culmination of the track and field season.

“It’s a terrific experience,” Hunnicutt said. “I thought all things considered, we did great. Everybody likes the medals, but to see some of the faces light up when they get the ribbons, it is touching.”

At a glance

How Bartholomew Brown Jennings athletes fared in  the Special Olympics Indiana State Summer Games at Indiana State University:

Zach Campbell: Sixth (running long jump), Fifth (shot put), Gold (100m)

Malachi Cole: Bronze (50m), Bronze (softball throw), Bronze (standing long jump)

Logan Eppard: Seventh (50m), Gold (softball throw), Silver (standing long jump)

Lexie Gotoh: Gold (400m walk), Silver (softball throw), Sixth (standing long jump)

Veronica (Bonnie) Grigsby: Fourth (50m), Bronze (softball throw), Silver (standing long jump)

Issac Hall: Fourth (running long jump), Silver (shot put),  Seventh (100m)

Joshua Holley: Silver (400m), Silver (800m), Gold (1,500m)

Ashley Hopkins: Fourth (running long jump), Silver (shot put), Bronze (100m)

Becca Hunnicutt: Fifth (50m), Fifth (softball throw), Silver (standing long jump)

Eliana Miller: Silver (50m), Bronze (softball throw), Fifth (standing long jump)

Zoe Miller: Gold (50m), Fourth (softball throw), Gold (standing long jump)

Amanda Moore: Silver (50m), Fourth (softball throw), Fourth (standing long jump)

Renee Parks: Fourth (400m walk), Gold (softball throw), Fifth (800m walk)

Chaz Rothrock: Fourth (running long jump) and Fourth (shot put)

Jason Sprague: Fourth (running long jump), Fifth (shot put), Silver (200m)

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.