North Platte unified track competes in first season for 2019

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - The 2019 season is the first for unified track across the state of Nebraska. North Platte's unified team has some athletes competing in track and field for the first time.

"My friend's mom said he was doing it, and I decided to do it too," Camden Trevino, a member of the unified team, said.

The unified events pair students with and without disabilities together in the 100 meter dash, the 4x100 meter relay, and the long jump. Two athletes are paired up and their scores are combined to make a grouped score.

The team competed in their first meet earlier this season in Scottsbluff.

"It was amazing, we were running the four by one and people were just lined up cheering and yelling for them, and I could just tell they wanted to run faster, and it was just amazing seeing all those people," said Shelby Yoshida, a peer athlete on the team.

Jordan Frey is the coach of the unified team, and a special education teacher, she was asked to lead the unified team, and the decision was easy for her.

"I greatly believe in unifying kids with disabilities and kids without disabilities to work together towards achieving a common goal," Frey said.

Some of the athletes on the unified team have competed at the Special Olympics, but all of them have something they love about track.

"Because I like running, and doing long jumps, and four by one," Jared Gies said.

"We beat other teams," Nick Ryan said about what he likes most about competing.

Ryan says his favorite events are the running events, and Trevino says his favorite event is the long jump, but he also likes the long jump.

Frey believes competing benefits both students with and without disabilities.

"It challenges both groups of students to just come out of their shell a little bit, and step up and lead," Frey said.

The unified team will compete at the junior varsity track meet at North Platte High School on Tuesday, April 30.