Eleven athletes from Luverne participated in the Area 8 Special Olympics Track and Field Meet recently in Redwood Falls. Pictured (from left) are Ariana Weidert, Jennifer Moller, Erica Egdorf, Nikole Koffron, David Weis, Aaron Dyk, Tyler Briggs, Alex Hartman, Katie Fick, Derek Deutsch and Evan Ushijima.Members of the Luverne American Legion and VFW led the procession of coaches and athletes in the opening ceremonies of the Area 8 Special Olympics Track and Field Meet in Redwood Falls recently. Pictured in front (from left) are Buck Underwood, Gary Hassebroek, Jerry Hoff and Mel Hamann.

Luverne athletes compete at Special Olympics

Eleven Luverne athletes were among the 103 representatives who participated at the 2015 Area 8 Special Olympics Track and Field Meet May 2 in Redwood Falls.

The Luverne Lions Club hosted the event with the help of the Windom Lions Club.

“We are in a rotation within the region,” said Lions Club member Ryan Wynia.

As hosts, the Luverne club conducts fundraisers and is in charge of the event that includes coordinating the volunteers for the annual event. Volunteering for this year’s indoor event was the Luverne High School’s peer helping program.

Competing with Luverne were athletes from Jackson, Redwood Falls, Marshall, Pipestone and Windom.

“It’s very rewarding seeing their smiling faces,” Wynia said. “And everyone cheering everyone else on.”

First-year coach Michelle Munk agreed.

“They just have a great time,” she said. “They enjoy it.”

The athletes, ages 8 through adult, competed in different events depending on age and disability. Events ranged from the typical track running events and some field events such as shot put and long jump. Other events such as the wheelchair obstacle course are exclusive to Special Olympics.

The athletes received ribbons for their efforts.

Munk was one of five Luverne coaches at the event. Other coaches included Harlan Kurrasch, Evie Kephart, Keri Vander Beek and Colleen Deutsch.

Next year the Tracy Lions Club hosts the event with Luverne Lions Club assisting.

Wynia said anyone can volunteer at the event. Seventy volunteers assisted at the recently completed event.

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