ROD Special Oympians “Awesome” At USA Games
By Mike Perleberg
(Princeton, N.J.) – Local individuals competing at the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey are bringing some shiny hardware back to southeast Indiana.
Becky Cashman, Christa Mullins, and Jacob Eldridge are all participants with Special Olympics –Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties competing against other special olympians from across the country. There were representatives from every state.
On Friday in the pool at Princeton University, Cashman captured gold in her division of the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:48.53.
“I don’t think she’ll stop smiling for a year,” said Cashman’s mother, Anne. “It was the best thing in the world on top of the experience of going to the Games.”
Anne Cashman said the race was tight throughout, but Becky pulled away on the final stretch through the pool to finish first.
Earlier in the week, Cashman picked up a bronze medal for her performance in the 100 yard individual medley and a 4th place ribbon in the 100 yard freestyle.
Cashman and Mullins were part of Indiana’s 4 x 50 yard freestyle relay swim team along with fellow Hoosiers Katie Williams and Victoria Roberts. The group earned the silver medal Thursday.
Individually, Mullins was able to earn bronze in the 100 yard freestyle and the 5th place ribbon in the 50 yard breaststroke.
On the track, Jacob Eldridge scored two medals Thursday. He was awarded the silver medal as a member of the Indiana second place 4×400 meter relay run. Eldridge’s 800 meter run performance netted him the bronze medal and he was given the 5th place ribbon in the 400 meter run.
Special Olympics Indiana’s awards count going into the final day of games Friday included 31 gold, 14 silver, 13 bronze, six 4th place finishes, six 5th place, five 6th place, five 7th place, and three 8th place medals.
Anne Cashman says she and her husband, Jerry, have involved their daughter with Special Olympics – Ripley Ohio Dearborn Counties since the local organization was formed 10 years ago. This was only the second time the group has been to the national competition, Cashman said in crediting Special Olympics ROD coordinator Greg Townsend for making the week-long trip happen.
“And New Jersey did a really good job hosting it. They took really good care of the families,” she said.