Big win for Talladega Parks and Recreation Special Olympics Swim Team
May 24, 2023
(Talladega, AL) Every member of the outstanding Talladega Special Olympics Swim Team earned gold medals during the Special Olympics Alabama State Games at Troy University last weekend.
City of Talladega Parks and Recreation Program Manager, Aquatics/Senior Citizen Coordinator Brian Hutton, who has coached and participated in Special Olympics for 15 years, was thrilled by his team's performance.
"It was an amazing feeling. I am so proud of these athletes. They have worked hard to achieve this," said Coach Hutton, who had five swimmers competing this year.
Nikki Crowe, Holli Patterson, Meagan Haynes, Devan Huffaker, and Wyatt Moore all took home top medals. Nikki Crowe won a gold medal in the 25 yard freestyle and the 25 yard backstroke. Devan Huffaker seized a gold medal in the 50 yard backstroke and a bronze in the 50 yard freestyle. Holli Patterson took home a gold in the 25 yard freestyle and a silver in the 25 yard backstroke. Wyatt Moore won a gold in the 50 yard freestyle and the 50 yard backstroke. Meagan Haynes won a gold in the 25 yard freestyle and the 25 yard backstroke. Holli, Nikki, Wyatt and Meagan won a gold in the 100 yard medley relay, and Wyatt, Nikki, Meagan and Devan won a gold in the 100 yard free relay.
In addition to the crew representing Talladega Parks and Recreation, athletes from Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind also participated. Both groups enjoyed a special sendoff prior to the competition. Well-wishers, including family members and friends from the ARC of North Talladega County gathered in the Walmart parking to wave as the Talladega Police Department and Talladega Fire Department escorted the athletes down Battle Street, and city employees gathered at the Big Spring Monument to cheer as the team and their escorts passed by.
“I am proud of the City of Talladega Special Olympics Swim Team and all of the competitors from Talladega,” said City of Talladega Parks and Recreation Department Director Summer Ammons.
Prior to the competition, she stated, “Our swimmers practice diligently twice a week and they are thrilled to have an opportunity to compete at Troy University. Brian is a great coach with a phenomenal track record and the team is very competitive, so I am sure that they will do well this weekend.”
And well they did!
Photo: Nikki Crowe, Holli Patterson, Meagan Haynes, Coach Brian Hutton, Devan Huffaker, and Wyatt Moore