Special to Iredell Free News

More than 1,300 athletes from across North Carolina recently competed in the Summer Games in Raleigh.

Iredell County athletes competed in swimming, bowling, and basketball and brought home dozens of medals. The athlete chauffeurs responsible for transporting the athletes to various locations in Raleigh to compete all weekend were Joe Keenan, Ted Williams, Matt Cartner and Randy Stroud.

The Special Olympics Iredell County caravan included 27 athletes, five unified partners, eight coaches and about 40 parents and siblings.

Local Coordinator Bobbi Williams announced the athletes brought home 30 gold medals, seven silver medals and eight bronze medals.


The basketball team brought home gold for 3-on-3 Basketball. Coaches Randy Stroud and Unified Partner Evan Crater coached the winning team at four state summer games. Other coaches who helped prepare the basketball athletes are Clarissa Reinhart, Bri Rucker and Cody Phelps.

Receiving gold medals were Tyler Bowie, Jonathan Humes, Zion McAlister, Sissy Olson, Chase Stroud, and Keith Smith. The team was also accompanied by Preston Fox, who was unable to play due to an injury.


Nine bowlers from Iredell County competed. The bowling singles coached by Joe Keenan competed at Bowlero in Cary. Monique Farmer and Josh Moore received bronze medals and Randy Wynn came in fourth place.

Those bowling doubles were coached by Cindy Snook and competed at Buffaloe Lanes South. The Bowling for God Team of Kari Dixon and Kim Snook won a bronze medal, and the Iredell Rockers of Will Gandy and Brett Troutman came in fourth place. Team Tony (in memory of long-time swim coach Tony Stikeleather) comprised of Delaney Hensen and Reece Williams, won gold medals. Coach Keenan and Snook coach all the bowlers weekly at Plamor Lanes in Statesville.

“I am very excited for each athlete,” Snook said. “They worked so hard, and I could not be more proud of them.


Special Olympics Iredell County Dolphins had an outstanding showing in the aquatics event. Amber Hampton earned a bronze medal in 100m freestyle, a bronze medal 50m freestyle and a gold medal in 50m backstroke. Braeden Bailey earned a gold medal in 25m freestyle, a gold medal in 15m unassisted freestyle and a silver medal in 25m kickboard. Chase Mullins earned a gold medal in 50m backstroke, a silver medal in 100m freestyle and a silver in 50m freestyle. Merritt Tuck brought home a gold medal in 25m freestyle, silver in 25m kickboard and silver in 15m unassisted freestyle. Jaxson Eroh earned gold medals in 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle and 50m backstroke.

Sierra Manning also brought home gold medals in 25m freestyle, 15m unassisted freestyle and 25m kickboard. Sophie Funderburk earned gold in 15m assisted swim, was fourth in 25y assisted swim and fifth in 25y flotation race. Hunter Williams earned a gold medal in 100m freestyle, a silver medal in 50m freestyle and fourth in the 50m backstroke. Dawson Nealy secured a bronze medal in the 25m backstroke, bronze in the 25m freestyle and a fourth-place finish in the 50 m freestyle. Pat Reid won gold medals in the 15m walk, 25m assisted and 15m assisted swims.

Karlie Cartner earned fourth in the 25m backstroke, a silver medal in 25m freestyle and bronze medal in 50m freestyle. Ben Kasprzak also brought home gold medals in the 25m freestyle, 15m freestyle and 25m flotation race.

The 4 x 25 freestyle relay team of Amber Hampton, Jaxson Eroh, Hunter Williams and Chase Mullins also earned a gold medal.

The swim team had several unified partners throughout the season. Those attending and assisting swimmers at summer games were Jacob Cartner, Andrew Cockerham, Paula Lorton, and Cole Williams.

Swim coaches for the three day competition were Lisa Cartner, Jeanne Massey, Kim Eroh, Dennis Williams, and Tammy Bowie.


To learn more about how you can become involved in Special Olympics follow us on Facebook at Special Olympics Iredell County or email Bobbi Williams, Local Coordinator, at iredell@sonc.net

Unified Partner and coach Evan Crater, athletes Keith Smith, Zion McAlister, Chase Stroud, Jonathan Humes, Tyler Bowie, Sissy Blackwell, Preston Fox and coach Randy Stroud receive Gold medals (first place) in the 3 on 3 division summer games at the NC State Carmichael Gym recently.
Coach Randy Stroud and Unified Partner and coach Evan Crater discuss strategies for the Special Olympics Iredell Eclipse Basketball Team at State Games.
Unified Partner and Coach Evan Crater and Coach Randy Stroud are pictured with athletes Jonathan Humes, Sissy Blackwell, and Keith Smith, who are taking a break and cheering for their Special Olympics Iredell County Eclipse teammates Tyler Bowie, Chase Stroud, and Zion McAlister at State Games.
Special Olympics Eclipse basketball team won first place in the 3-on-3 Division at the state games at NC State’s Carmichael Gym. Front row: Sissy Blackwell, Preston Fox; Row two: Chase Stroud, Tyler Bowie, Keith Smith, Jonathan Humes; Row 3: Zion McAlister, Unified Partner and coach Evan Crater and Coach Randy Stroud.
Athletes Brett Troutman, Delaney Hensen, Monique Farmer, Randy Wyn, Coach Joe Keenan, Reece Williams, and Will Gandy celebrate after receiving medals and placements in bowling at the State Special Olympics Summer Games.
Athletes Reece Williams and Delaney Hensen celebrate after winning a gold medal in bowling with Coach Cindy Snook (center) at the State Games in Raleigh.
Athlete Randy Wyn scores for Special Olympics Iredell County at the Summer Games.
Athletes Will Gandy and Brett Troutman (the Iredell Rockers team) celebrate their team winning fourth place in the bowling at the Summer Games.
Will Gandy, Brett Troutman, Kimberly Snook, Coach Cindy Snook, Keri Dixon, Reece Williams, and Delaney Hensen display their medals and ribbons in bowling at Summer Games.
Swimming athletes Amber Hampton, Jaxson Eroh, Hunter Williams, and Chase Mullins display their medals at Summer Games.
Athlete Hunter Williams won two gold medals in freestyle swimming and a silver medal and fourth place in the backstroke.
Athlete Braeden Bailey won a gold medal for freestyle swimming at the Special Olympics Summer Games.

Athletes Will Gandy and Dawson Nealy had a blast at the Saturday Night Bingo/Dance/ and other fun activities for all 1,300 athletes at State Games.