Special Olympics swim team continues to develop with a strong passion


The Special Olympics swim team hosted a meet during the school day in the Aquatics Center. on Thursday, March 9. Schools from around the area and in the DuPage Valley Conference participated in the swim meet. Throughout the day, there was excitement and positive energy that filled the pool.

With 126 different events to complete throughout the exciting day, many athletes from all the schools that participated in the swim meet received medals for their placement in every event. Athletes from Metea were able to place first, second, or third in their events.

“No matter if [the athletes] win or they lose, they always have a smile. Even if they’re hanging out with their friends, they still smile. If you have a bad day, you can go talk to them, and your day just got ten times better,” junior Abby Widd said.

Andy Anaya, Nathaniel Berglind, Kirsten Dullnigg, Ethan Gallenbach, Lucas Guerrero, Satwika Pitchala, Rachel Sloan, and Jackson Weiss were a handful of Metea athletes that placed first in majority of their events.

“Although I’m their coach, I feel like [the athletes] give me so much more than I can give them and that’s really the great thing about it. I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m with them, there’s so much love and energy and happiness when we’re all together. That’s something I won’t be able to find anywhere else,” coach Meghan Manley said.

Brandon Byrne, Kirsten Dullnigg, Ethan Gallenbach, Thomas McCabe, and Rachel Sloan also placed second in some events. Other athletes, including Miguel Fernandez, Brandon Byrne, and Taiyanna Bryant, placed third.

As a result of the athletes from multiple schools competing and placing very well at the meet, they are getting the opportunity to swim at State this year.

“It’s very eye opening when you see how people come together during these events. It makes me feel very honored to have the opportunity to work with [the athletes],” Manley added.