Lancer Spotlight 5/19/2023: Unified Track team takes second overall at states

The Linganore unified track team celebrates second overall at states.

Ella Kirby

The Linganore unified track team celebrates second overall at states.

by Delaney Browne, Reporter

Track has always been a very popular sport at Linganore High School. Some join for the thrill they feel when running, while others choose the sport to stay active during their off seasons. 

Unified Track is one of the many variations of the sport, along with boys’ and girls’ track,  that students at Linganore are able to participate in.  

On Wednesday, May 17, the team took to the Special Olympic Stadium in Baltimore Md., for their state meet where they were met with great success. The team placed second overall with members feeling proud of their accomplishments during the meet. Sweetland High School coming in first and Urbana High School in third. 

Unified Track is a sport that allows all kinds of different people to come together and compete with one another. Many members of the team say it is a fun environment that is not overly competitive. 

“Unified track is where you get to run and do activities with other students in the Learning for Life and Success program,” said junior and member of unified track team, Ava Taylor. “You have a buddy who you get to hang out with, bring to their track and field event, ect.”

Team members and coaches decided to join the team for a variety of answers.

“It was something I had never done before,” said head coach Karly Johnson. “They were looking for someone to kind of step up and take the position, and I figured it would be something fun, and I really just wanted to make sure the kids had an opportunity to have a track season too.”

Others joined due to wanting to have something fun to do with their friends and to build more friendships, too.

“I decided to join because I had a great and fun bond with everyone from the bocce team,” said recently graduated senior Emily Cohen.

Unified Track is supported by the Special Olympics, which is a company that supports many different types of unified supports including bocce and volleyball. 

The many members of the team did their best while competing, some even earning first place in their events. Lucas Mainville, freshman at Linganore, competed in the 800 meter and won first place. 

Even though the team did not take home the overall win, many members believe that winning is not the most important thing about the sport.

They were super excited when they won counties, which was probably my favorite moment because most of them cried.

— Karly Johnson

“My favorite part of being on the team was watching Grace make everyone smile,” said Cohen. “Whether we were winning or losing, she would always put a smile on my face.”

In order for them to take their second overall win, they had to do a lot of work and were very proud of how they did at States.

“Before our meets, we had practices and stuff, which helped us to get ready for them [the meet],” junior Madison Brohawn said. “I was at states, and we had a fun time, so getting second was a good experience and everyone did well and had a fun time!”