PENN TOWNSHIP, Ind. (WNDU) - For the first time ever, Penn High School has organized a unified track team. The decision couldn’t have made Penn’s exceptional students any happier.
“Awesome,” Penn senior Erin Darr said. “Amazing. Blew my mind away.”
Starting a unified track team at Penn has always been on head coach Bennett Blazo’s mind, and now the program is off the ground and running. Blazo says the first year of unified track at the high school has been nothing short of a success.
“Every meet, every practice, I see these students running and having fun collaborating with each other, cheering each other on, having fun and playing games with each other,” Blazo said. “You don’t see that all the time, and it’s just epic to see it. Smile on all the coaches' faces. You see all the track teams looking at us and they are like, ‘Man, that is an awesome community that they already have established.’”
But that established community wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the assistance of Penn students like A.J. Tu, who help the athletes compete to the best of their abilities.
“Unified track gives me an opportunity to see all the athletes have fun and be a part of a team,” Tu said. “I love just seeing their reactions and how they love the team and how they actually interact and be on a team.”
The team mentality gives these Kingsmen an opportunity to do something they’ve never done before: be on a team. And that’s something that will live with them forever.
“Having a kid come up to me and say, ‘Man, this is the greatest year for me ever because of this team,’” Blazo said. “It really melts my heart, because you don’t hear that all the time from students, and when you do, it’s just spectacular, because you know you are going to leave an imprint on their brain for the rest of their lives.”
That imprint is already taking shape and giving these kids memories they’ll never forget.
“Very glad, I’m just the happiest person I can be right now,” Penn senior Hunter Hines said. “To be making more friends and treating them like family as they do to me.”