By MADDY VITALE
There was some friendly competition during a Special Olympics Area 8 swim meet at the Ocean City Aquatic and Fitness Center on Sunday.
There was excitement too for the athletes from Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties and their families.
“It was the first swim meet here since COVID,” explained Michael Allegretto, who is the aide to Mayor Jay Gillian. “The city always enjoys hosting the Special Olympics swim meet every March. It is a great event for the participants, and certainly we enjoy being the host city.”
There were 32 swimmers from the following teams: The Blue Kraken, The Brigantine Greenheads, Cumberland Sharks, and Ocean City Sting Rays.
The majority of swimmers were from O.C.’s own Sting Rays.
Families of the participants watched from the bleachers as the swimmers displayed their skills in the pool. Volunteers helped make the event possible, Allegretto noted.
“They all loved doing the meet,” Allegretto said. “Even though some of the heats didn’t have a lot of participants, the athletes were all able to swim. The thrill on the athletes’ faces when they competed made it all worthwhile for the volunteers.”
Qualifying swimmers will move on to the sectionals in hopes of qualifying for the Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games from June 10 to June 12 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, N.J.
A meet is scheduled for Saturday, May 7, of Special Olympics New Jersey Area 8 Track and Field athletes at Carey Stadium in Ocean City.
For more information about Special Olympics New Jersey and for swim meet results, visit https://www.sonj.org/