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HHS unified track finishes successful season

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Sports

The Hopkinton High School unified track team wrapped up a strong 2024 campaign recently, with five team members earning spots in the state meet and helping the team to a 10th-place finish.

“It was definitely a successful season, being able to have some people qualify for the state championship is always a good thing,” said coach Chip Collins. “We were back-to-back state champs, but going in with only six events and five people, taking 10th was a pretty big accomplishment for them.”

The unified track program had a total of 16 members — a dozen student-athletes with intellectual disabilities and four team partners who Collins said proved to be standout contributors.

“They were wonderful, they were absolutely amazing kids and they really embraced the whole unified model,” he said.

Hopkinton had five team members qualify for the state meet: Chase Dickson and Connor Minogue in the long jump, John Murray in the shot put, Dylan Gedman in the javelin and Brody Baker in the shot put. Dickson, one of the team’s top athletes, ran the 400 in one minute flat. He also joined Alyssa Budden, Sophie Stewart, and Gedman in the sprint relay.

Hopkinton’s partners this spring were Budden, Gedman, Minogue and Angelina Parker, who was new to the team.

“She was an amazing partner,” Collins said. “She became well-liked by all of the athletes, and she really enjoyed the whole experience. She was a big contributor.”

The partners and athletes alike helped Hopkinton in the state meet, where the team competed against about 60 other squads, Collins said. The format allowed Hopkinton to bring additional athletes to compete in the relay events in addition to those who qualified. Kelsey Carlson, Benjamin Malone, Jack Malone, Tanush Vuda and Jennifer Zhang were among the HHS student-athletes who contributed this spring. The team also had a trio of eighth graders in Baker, Ryan Molfetas and Kartik Sharma.

“We like to have the eighth graders come with us and get used to the unified program and gain connections to the high school,” Collins said. “It helps them get connected with the partners and get them familiar with the unified program.”

Collins said he was impressed with his team throughout the three dual meets, the sectional competition and the state championship.

“They are very competitive, the team is very competitive. And it’s fun to watch them compete and do their thing,” Collins said. “They were all amazing kids, they had some great personal growth throughout the whole season.”

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