Local athletes earn gold

By Observer staff July 17, 2013 11:26 am

NEWBERG — Union County Special Olympics athletes competed at the track and field and golf State Summer Games over the weekend in Newberg.

And plenty of local athletes brought home hardware.

“The athletes did well,” Union County Special Olympics coach Doug Trice said. “It was a great weekend. The athletes are always proud of their performances.”

Stephanie Johnson was a busy lady at the track and field event.

Johnson won gold in the five-event pentathlon. She took first in the 100-meter race, first in the shot put, first in the 400-meter race, and earned second-place finishes in the high jump and running long jump to accrue enough points to win the gold.

“Stephanie worked very hard,” Trice said. “It was a good weekend for her.”

Joey Gross won gold in the 100-meter race and a silver in the shot put. Fred Jordan won the softball throw and finished third in the 100-meter walk.

Braden Trice brought home silver in the shot put and won a bronze medal in the 100-meter race.

Jennie Coppin earned a silver in the softball throw, and Jimmy Cross finished fourth in the 100-meter race.

Nick Mendiguren finished fourth in the running long jump, while Justin Bowling had a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter race. Dani Thorne had a sixth-place finish in the 800-meter race and the softball throw.

In the golf competition, Alex Weissenfluh won a gold medal in the individual skills, while Sam Altenburg and Andy Altenburg earned a silver in the nine-hole, alternate-shot unified partners event.

Coach Trice won the Pride in Performance Volunteer Award as the volunteer of the year.

“It’s a big accomplishment and means a lot,” Trice said. “It’s well worth the time.”