INDIANAPOLIS—The result of a collaborative partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and Special Olympics Indiana—an inclusive initiative known as Champions Together—the fourth annual Unified Track & Field State Championship kicks off Saturday, June 3 at 1:00 at Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Teams made up of student-athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from 10 IHSAA high schools will be vying for the coveted Unified State Championship crown including: Avon, Center Grove, Columbus North, Fort Wayne Northside, Harrison (West Lafayette), Merrillville, Noblesville, Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian and Terre Haute South Vigo.
Teams from 88 IHSAA member schools competed in the Sectionals, up from 13 in the 2014 Inaugural State Championship. Teams earned the right to advance to the 2017 State Championship by finishing in the top three in one of eight sectionals and in the top five of the 12 schools competing in the regionals last week at the two regionals with Harrison and Merrillville tying for top honors at Kokomo and Columbus North being names Regional Champions at Bedford North Lawrence.
Due to the explosive growth in the number of schools participating in Unified Track and Field this was the first year Unified teams participated in a regional tournament for the opportunity to advance to the state championship. 2016-17 will mark the fourth year of Unified Track and Field as a sanctioned IHSAA sport.
Prior State Champions:
2014—Warsaw Community; Runner-up Mt. Vernon (Posey) 2015—Lafayette Jefferson; Runner-up Kokomo 2016—Warsaw Community; Runner-up Noblesville
Officially sanctioned by the IHSAA in 2014, Unified Track & Field competitions are judged and scored within heats and flights organized by prior performance. Each heat and flight scores the same number of points, and every participant scores points for their team. In keeping with the philosophy of Special Olympics’ Unified Sports®, there are no individual awards for Unified Track and Field; instead, team awards are earned by the contributions of all team members.
Unified Track and Field is the result of a collaborative partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and Special Olympics Indiana—an inclusive initiative known as Champions Together.
For Parents, Grandparents, and Fans who cannot attend:
Log into www.IndianaSRN.org then click the quick link labeled “Unified Track” for a live broadcast starting at 12:30 PM
WHAT: State Championship– Fourth Annual Unified Track & Field State Tournament
WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 2017
WHERE: Indiana University 1:00 PM
Team Check-in: 11:30 AM-12:15 PM
Opening Ceremonies: 12:45 PM
WHO Avon, Center Grove, Columbus North, Fort Wayne Northside, Harrison (West Lafayette), Merrillville, Noblesville, Pendleton Heights, Perry Meridian and Terre Haute South Vigo
WHY: Ten Unified Track & Field High School teams will compete for the ultimate title of Indiana “Unified Track & Field” State Champion for the 2017 year.
Lee Lonzo, Director of Champions Together | firstname.lastname@example.org | (317) 796-5490
ABOUT CHAMPIONS TOGETHER
Champions Together was established in December, 2012 as the partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Indiana. The partnership provides an award banner to all member schools that meet minimum requirements in the areas of 1) student-led servant leadership, 2) awareness, respect and inclusion as it relates to all individuals with intellectual disabilities, 3) Unified Sports® and 4) fundraising to promote the vision and programs of Special Olympics Indiana and the Champions Together partnership. Special Olympics International is supporting Champions Together as a model program to activate schools through “Project Unify,” which also has the endorsement of the National Federation of High Schools. You can follow Champions Together and Unified Sports® on Twitter (@ChampsTogether), Facebook and Instagram (@ChampionsTogether).
Lee Lonzo, Director of Champions Together
email@example.com | (317) 796-5490
ABOUT THE INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1903, the purpose of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA) is to encourage, regulate and give direction to wholesome amateur interschool athletic competition between its 412 member schools. The Association provides state championship tournament series in 20 sports, 10 for girls and 10 for boys. Approximately 160,000 student athletes participate in IHSAA sports on an annual basis. For more information about the IHSAA, call (317) 846-6601 or visit www.ihsaa.org.