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Hart Games draw hundreds of participants

Posted: March 20, 2013 3:13 p.m.
Updated: March 20, 2013 3:19 p.m.

Michael Abbott, 14, of La Mesa Junior High School competes in the 100-yard dash at the annual Hart Games Track and Field Meet, where special needs athletes participated at Valencia High School on Wednesday.

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Hundreds of special-needs athletes from local junior high and high schools exchanged smiles, hugs and high-fives during the Fourth Annual Hart Games Track and Field Meet at Valencia High School on Wednesday.

Under a partly cloudy sky athletes participated in track events like the 100-yard dash and field events, such as the long jump and the shot put.

The annual event is sponsored by the district’s Adapted Physical Education Department and the Special Olympics.

The meet has been held at Valencia High School for the entirety of its four-year run, according to Valencia Assistant Principal Jamie Timmins, who also helps oversee the school’s special education program.

This year’s meet drew around 325 athletes from La Mesa Junior High, Rio Norte Junior High, Canyon High, Golden Valley High, Hart High and Valencia High schools, as well as Trinity Classical Academy.

Timmins said this year’s event was a bit larger than last year’s, partly because it is the first year athletes from Hart High School have participated.

“I come here to cheer them all on,” Timmins said as athletes raced down the track in the 100-yard hurdle event.

One competitor was 17-year-old Shannon Callier, who has participated in the event all four years it has been held.
Vicki Callier, Shannon’s mother, said her daughter looks forward to the meet all year.

“She talks about it all the time,” Callier said, her eyes glistening with tears. “I think it’s just such a great experience for the kids, since they don’t have a lot of activities like this to look forward to.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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