By Sean Greene 5:30pm, May 14, 2013 - Updated 10:17am, May 15, 2013Six new events at the upcoming DIAA Delaware Track and Field championships will open up state titles to athletes who might not otherwise have a chance to wear a state gold medal.
The state's athletic governing body is partnering with Special Olympics Delaware to add four Unified Sports events to the menu of championships at the biggest meet of the season.
The events are the Boys and Girls Unified Shot Put, Boys and Girls Unified 100-meter dashes, and Boys and Girls Unified 4x400-meter relays.
In the shot put and dash, the Special Olympics athlete and Unified Partner's distance or time is put together for a team total to determine the championship. In the relays, the teams will consist of the traditional four legs, with teams made up of 2 Special Olympians along with the two Unified Partners.
Appoquinimink, Brandywine, Caesar Rodney, and Concord will field teams in each of the events for the first years of the competition.
DIAA executive director Kevin Charles said in a statement: “The addition of unified events to the DIAA outdoor state track championship meet provides an opportunity for students with disabilities to experience the same benefits of participation that other students have enjoyed for many year. DIAA member schools have a history of including students with disabilities in regular-season meets. But this will be the first time they’ve competed in our state meet for a state champion medal.
The DIAA Championships are this Saturday at Caesar Rodney High School in Camden-Wyoming south of Dover.
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