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Three county swimmers win gold in Special Olympics

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Three Brunswick County swimmers won gold medals in the Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games, which ended June 8 in Raleigh and Cary.

Nearly 600 athletes from across the state competed in aquatics, gymnastics, powerlifting and volleyball. Unfortunately, because of extreme heat, competition in athletics and softball was canceled.

To ensure fair competition, athletes were placed in competition divisions based on age and ability level. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to the top-three finishers in each division, followed by fourth- through eighth-place ribbons.

Brunswick County swimmers won three gold medals, three silver medals and six bronze medals.

Annamarie Jennings won the 25-yard freestyle and was third in the 25-yard backstroke.

Felicia Jennings won the 50-yard backstroke and was third in the 50-yard freestyle.

Marni Keck won the 50-yard backstroke and was fourth in the 50-yard freestyle. She also competed in the 50-yard breaststroke.

Heather Lynn King was second in the 25-yard freestyle and third in the 25-yard backstroke.

Patrick W. Small was second in the 25-yard flotation race and seventh in the 25-yard freestyle.

Rachael Teeples was second in the 25-yard backstroke and fifth in the 25-yard freestyle.

Kelly Young was third in the 25-yard freestyle and third in the 25-yard backstroke.

Beverly F. Criswell was fifth in the 25-yard freestyle and fifth in the 25-yard backstroke.

The Brunswick Dolphins were third in the four-by-25 freestyle relay. Team members were Felicia Jennings, Keck and Teeples and Young.

One thousand volunteers, under the leadership of a volunteer Games management team, were recruited to serve as scorekeepers, timers, cheerleaders and various other roles to make the Games a reality for the athletes.

Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, making it one of the largest Special Olympics programs in the world in terms of athlete participation. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 20 sports on local and state levels.