CARY — Members of the Surry County Starfish recently competed in the 2017 Special Olympics Summer Games held at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. The two-day meet featured over 300 athletes from counties around North Carolina.
“All of our athletes had an outstanding meet,” stated Starfish coach Benny Brannock. “It was an exciting event and they proudly represented Surry County.”
Individually for Surry, Chance Casstevens took silver in the 200 yard freestyle, bronze in the 100 yard freestyle, and fifth in the 50 yard freestyle. Fallon Cook took home gold medals in 25 yard freestyle, 25 yard flotation, and 15 meter unassisted swim. Katie Gibson earned a gold medal in the 15 meter unassisted swim while also taking silver in both the 25 yard freestyle and 25 yard backstroke.
Jacob Groff captured a silver medal in the 50 yard breaststroke while also earning bronze in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events. Hayley Johnson took home gold medals in the 25 yard freestyle and 25 yard backstroke while also taking silver in the 15 meter unassisted swim.
Neal Joyner added to the Starfish medal total with a gold medal in the 200 yard freestyle along with a silver in the 50 yard backstroke and bronze in the 50 yard freestyle. Jill Kelley earned the gold medal in the 25 yard breaststroke and added a silver medal in the 25 yard backstroke. Kelley also claimed a bronze in the 25 yard freestyle.
Surry’s John Marion contributed to the Starfish medal tally by earning gold in the 50 yard freestyle while taking bronze in the 25 yard freestyle. Marion also finished fourth in the 25 yard backstroke. Hiatt Nester captured gold in the 50 yard backstroke along with silver medals in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events.
Travis Powell also had a solid meet taking a gold medal in the 50 yard backstroke and silver medal in the 25 yard freestyle. Powell also posted a sixth place finish in the 50 yard freestyle. Starfish teammate Tabitha Reynolds (left) earned a silver medal in the 25 yard freestyle and also placed sixth overall in the 25 yard backstroke.
In addition to the outstanding individual performances, the Starfish had a strong showing in the 200 yard freestyle relay with the team of Chance Casstevens, Jacob Groff, Jill Kelley, and Hiatt Nester taking a silver medal. Surry also earned a bronze medal in the 100 yard freestyle relay with the team of Neal Joyner, John Marion, Travis Powell, and Tabitha Reynolds.
“Our team members really performed well and had a tremendous meet. We have a great group of swimmers,” added Brannock.
Surry is coached by Benny Brannock, Rob Sinton, and Wendy Tucker. Avery Tucker, Hadly Tucker, Ocean Bryant, and Hunter York serve as Unified Partners. For more information on Surry County Special Olympics visit www.sonc.net/surry or contact Daniel White at firstname.lastname@example.org.