North Brunswick sends first ever Special Olympics Unified Partner team to state championship

Multiple Scorpions earned medals

LELAND, N.C. (WWAY) – Special Olympic North Carolina Unified track and field is combining athletes with and without intellectual disabilities. North Brunswick sent a team to Greensboro for the first time ever. Obviously it means a lot to the special athletes, but it debatably has as big as an impact on the unified partners.

“You kind of just realize they are all people … Everybody is the same.”

“I am coming out here to help them improve and help them get somewhere. And every since then it’s been – wow.”


Everyone laces up shoes the same, but not everyone is allowed to run. The NCHSAA now sponsors a Special Olympics championship.

That’s why Reade Frink and Cormauni Morrison and the other Unified Partners at North Brunswick feel so passionate about what they are doing and why they do it.

“For me it really clicked because these – they probably haven’t gotten this many opportunities in their life,” said Frink, a freshman. “When this whole program came together the first day it got approved – there were 7 or 8 that came out the next Monday. It was like, wow, they have an interest, and they want to do this. And I was like well I would love to give them that opportunity and those memories.”

“I kind of threw myself in to it my sophomore year,” said Morrison, a junior. “They are around the same people every day so when I am in gym, they get to do things play volleyball basketball and learn how to do this, so I thought — let me do this every day and it was a really good feeling – I actually enjoy doing it.”

But it wasn’t the unified partners that are credited with the idea. Boris Horton had competed on the Scorpions track team by himself before asking the school ‘why can’t we have a special Olympics team?’

“I was just here to make friends… Next thing I know I am the reason this school has a special Olympics team.”

“These guys are more than friends – they are family,” said Horton. “This is my first year in high school but as the years go on it’s going to be big!”

That’s the hope of the unified partners too.

They don’t want the 8 scorpion athletes that competed Friday to just take home medals; they want the next special athletes to have the same opportunity.

“I like running with Unified. I think its fun other people might not – but I think its fun,” said Morrison.

“We all have likes, dislikes, hobbies,” said Frink. “Like it can just be as simple as starting a conversation ‘I like your shoes’… It’s that simple.”

If you are interested at starting a Unified track and field program at your high school, please contact Hailey Miller with SONC to get started today.


Categories: Sports