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Local athletes shine at Special Olympics Summer Games

Crestview News Bulletin - 5/24/2019

May 23-- May 23--CRESTVIEW -- Six local athletes competed in the Special Olympics Florida Summer Games last weekend at Disney'sESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando.

Three of the athletes are brothers who are considered Walton County athletes but attend school in Crestview: James, Jeffrey and Jeremy Barber.

James and Jeffrey, freshmen at Crestview High School, are twins who competed in two different tandem cycling events. The brothers won gold in the 2K cycling event and received bronze in the 5k event.

James also received the Special Olympics Florida -- Walton County Inspirational Unified Partner award.

"I thought I could have done better, but it was a nice feeling (to win)," said James.

"I gave it my best and I was like 'Finally!'" Jeffrey said of his reaction to winning.

Jeremy, the youngest of the three brothers who is a seventh-grader at Davidson Middle School, won gold in his 1K cycling event and finished fourth in the 2k event.

"I gave it all my best, but I could have done better," Jeremy said.

Jennifer Barber, the boys' coach and mother, said watching them compete and win was breathtaking.

"Each event they participated in, they broke their own records. They worked hard for that and I couldn't be more proud for them" Jennifer said. "I have raised them to know that medals don't define them. They are a prize for all of their hard work."

The other three athletes who represented the area are also students at Crestview High School.

Harrison Mauldin, a senior, won silver in the 10,000-meter run.

"I put in a hefty deal of effort to get my best state time," Harrison said. "I am proud of the silver medal I earned. Next year I will shoot for the gold."

Ricky Overstreet, a sophomore at the school, won two gold medals: one for the 400-meter walk and another for the 800-meter walk.

"I feel I did a good job," said Ricky. "I am proud of myself and the other athletes. I really liked it."

Kaleya Frelix, a Crestview freshman, won gold in the 50-meter run and received bronze in the softball throw.

"I felt that I did a good job because all the practice my coaches helped me with," said Kaleya. "My reaction was happiness. All my hard work made it happen."

Karen Mauldin, a classroom assistant at Crestview High, coaches her son, Harrison, as well as Ricky and Kaleya.

"My heart races for every event and every athlete in a good way," said Mauldin. "I always have happy tears hidden under my sunglasses. There is such joy in coaching and watching them work so hard to do their best. Whether they win or not, it is all the same feelings."

Mauldin received the Special Olympics Florida -- Okaloosa County Inspirational Coach award.

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(c)2019 Crestview News Bulletin, Fla.

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