FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/14/17 Contact: Matthew Gillespie 615-889-6740

Unified Track & Field State Invitational Teams Announced by TSSAA, Special Olympics Tennessee

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) and Special Olympics Tennessee are pleased to announce the eight high schools that will participate in the inaugural Unified Track & Field State Invitational. Each of these schools will work closely with Special Olympics Tennessee in training students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. The schools are as follows: Bartlett High School (Bartlett, TN) Glencliff High School (Nashville, TN) Hardin Valley Academy (Knoxville, TN) Harpeth High School (Kingston Springs, TN) Lebanon High School (Lebanon, TN) Sycamore High School (Pleasant View, TN) Volunteer High School (Church Hill, TN) White County High School (Sparta, TN) Sean Stake, VP of Sports at Special Olympics Tennessee spoke of the decision-making process. “It was a difficult decision to choose just eight schools for this first year, but we are excited about the schools that have been selected. We have a great mix of East, Middle and West Tennessee schools with both established and newer Unified Sports programs. Each school is passionate about their Special Olympics athletes, have excellent peer tutor programs, and are excited about the opportunity to compete for a championship for their school.” TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress stated “We are very pleased with the leadership displayed by these eight schools in the first year of this event. We think this is just the first step in a program that will continue to expand to include more and more student athletes and we are excited about the direction this is heading.” The first TSSAA Unified Track & Field State Invitational will take place on Thursday, May 24, 2018 as part of the Large Class Track & Field State Championships. Events included will be the 100 meter Dash, 400 meter Run, 4x100 meter Relay, Shot Put, and Long Jump. The Unified Track & Field events will be incorporated into the Large Class Track & Field schedule, with individual medals awarded and a Unified Track & Field Champion and Runner-up team decided.