Special Olympics hit Diamond Peak | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Special Olympics hit Diamond Peak

Special Olympians gather today at Diamond Peak and Spooner Lake Nordic Area for the opening of the Nevada Special Olympics 2000 Winter Games.

These games, which continue through March 2, mark the reward for the athletes who have worked hard and trained rigorously for the opportunity to compete.

“Every Olympian who participates in the games is a winner,” said Bob Carrington, chairman of the winter games. “They are dedicated to their sport, eager to compete and willing to invest the time and effort it takes to succeed.”

The historic torch run on the deck of Diamond Peak Lodge highlights today’s 11 a.m. opening ceremonies. Alpine competition categories include slalom, giant slalom and downhill, which are set for Diamond Peak. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are earmarked for Spooner Lake.

The Nevada delegation comprises more than 55 members, one of the largest in the nation. Athletes from all skill levels include beginners to highly advanced competitors.

“(The) Washoe County Alpine Ski Team trains more days than any other Special Olympics Alpine ski program in the country, even in harsh conditions, and they have logged over 20 sessions this season alone,” said Max Cruz, head coach of the Alpine team. “But you won’t find a single one who is not having fun and doesn’t love what they’re doing.”

Special Olympics will honor winners and participants in the awards presentation and closing ceremonies Thursday at 5 p.m. at Diamond Peak.

Whittell High volleyball player Shannon McGlothlin and coach Dan McLaughlin are depreciating their vehicles but receiving invaluable experience as part of the Carson City/Minden-based Silver State Juniors Club.

The club, which includes four traveling squads for young women ages 14 to 18, recently competed in the Las Vegas Invitational, is seeking sponsorship funding from businesses and individuals throughout Northern Nevada. Funds help defray costs, especially for players who can’t afford the expenses. Sponsors receive recognition by having their names displayed on club banners at tournaments and practices as well as the knowledge that they have assisted local youth in achieving their dreams.

The club can be reached at 13600 Stoney Brook Drive in Reno or by calling 877-654-8472 toll free.

The club is coached by Scott Akimoto. Akimoto played at Pepperdine and Hawaii before becoming a member of the U.S. National Team and competing professional in Europe. Other club coaches in addition to McLaughlin are Clay Thompson, a former prep coach in Hawaii; Kira Laden, who played for Montana; and ex-Notre Dame player Justin Malley.

The South Tahoe Wrestling Club challenged Northern Nevada wrestlers in a freestyle and Greco-Roman tournament Feb. 19 at the Stewart Reservation in Carson City.

In the 15-16-year-old division, 152-pound Ryan Wallace placed first in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman styles. Wallace also wrestled two exhibition matches in the open division and won once. Dave Borges placed second in the open division.

In the 5-6-year-olds, 48-pound Rafael Guiterrez wrestled twice. In the 7-8-year-old division: 62-pound Brandon Robinson, 54-pound Riley Griffith, 46-pound Connor Callahan each wrestled twice. Sixty-two-pound Zack Williams wrestled to a third-place finish by winning two matches. In the 11-12-year-old division, 94-pound Tyler Baginski placed fourth place and 117-pound Miles Wallace placed fourth in freestyle and second in Greco Roman. In the 13-14-year-old division, 88-pound James Montanari, 92-pound Dennis Merritt and 85-pound Cody McCulough wrestled twice.

Practices continue Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. at South Tahoe Middle School for the younger group and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the older group. For details, call Dave Borges at (530) 544-5800.

Joanie Anderson led six Tahoe Gymnastics competitors in the team’s season-opening Sweetheart Invitational Feb. 13 at Silver State Gymnasitcs in Carson City.

Anderson passed her level requirements with an all-around score of 32.550, including a second-place vault score of 8.6 and 8.650 on uneven bars. Teammates Bailey Erickson, Elena Hight, Tess Braun, Cierra Xavier and Kelly Petersen also performed well during the meet but didn’t hurdle the 31.00 all-around score required to qualify for the next level.

Erickson scored 8.350 on vault, and was closely followed by Hight’s 8.2, Petersen’s 8.1, Xavier’s 8.0 and Braun’s 7.7.

The meet marked the first career competitions for Anderson, Petersen and Xavier.

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