The 54 athletes of all ages competing in the local Athlete's Day for the developmentally disabled Saturday morning, June 27, were as excited as if they were in a national contest as they cheered for each other.

The 54 athletes of all ages competing in the local Athlete’s Day for the developmentally disabled Saturday morning, June 27, were as excited as if they were in a national contest as they cheered for each other.

“I made every one but one,” said Ethel S., after her five tries in the basketball throw contest.

Another athlete happy with his basketball skills was Curtis A., who explained he practices a lot.

This annual event at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center was sponsored by the Marion County Services for the Developmentally Disabled, with Kathy Butler in charge.

Butler was relieved that the flooding water from Bear Creek did not quite get into the building, although it was near the south and east doors of the gym.

The athletes also competed in softball throws and a 25 meter dash.

Valerie L., who threw her softballs much farther than most of the others, was not surprised, as she explained she threw shotput in high school.

The races were run by some and walked by others, with lots of encouraging “you can do it” cheering from their fellow athletes.

The final contest was a dodgeball game between the male and female athletes, with the last man and last woman left on each team becoming the winners.

This year’s theme, “Because I Can,” was displayed on the banner the athletes carried in their parade that began the day’s events.

Each athlete went home with a medal on a ribbon around his or her neck.

Trophies were awarded to the top three winners of each contest.

First- through third–place winners were:

Basketball – female. junior division – Dedire M., Jessica F. and Kahtryna J.; female senior division – Lucy L., Ethel S. and Laura B; male junior division – Ian C, Denny M. and Kayin Y.; male senior division – Edward A., Tod F., and Curtis A.

Softball – female – Valerie L., Kahtryna J. and Lucy L.; male – Ian C., Pedro D. and Curtis A.

25 meter dash – female – Lucy L.; male – Ian C.

Dodgeball winners were Jessica F. and Ian C.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com .