MANSFIELD, P.A. (WENY) -- Athletes put their best foot forward starting Friday morning, competing at the Annual Track & Field Meet hosted by Special Olympics Tioga County. It was the perfect day for hundreds of athletes to compete at Mansfield University. 

“We do it once a year... we have a little bit of everything for everybody’s ability,” Addie Milheim, the Track & Field Coordinator for Special Olympics Tioga County, said. 

Competitors from the Southern Tioga and Wellsboro School Districts joined others from local day programs for a day of competition at Van Norman Field. Roughly 175 athletes of all ages had the chance to go head-to-head in walking, running, and field events, in addition to the softball throw, tennis ball toss, and wheelchair racing.

“I'm a special education teacher, my brother has down syndrome, so it's kind of been what I've done for my whole entire life,” Milheim said, adding, “It's a lot of work, it takes a lot of people, and I have a big team that helps me with this but I wouldn't want it any other way.” 

Todd Crumb from Wellsboro has been competing for Special Olympics for over 25 years. On Friday, he took 1st place in the softball throw and 2nd in the 100-meter walk. 

He came into 2023's competition eager to do his best and leave it all out on the track. 

“I'm going to do my best,” Crumb said, adding “I hope I'm going to win and everything like that.” 

Jesse Monks competed in the annual track meet in years past, but on Friday, was there as a volunteer. He says he felt it would only be right to spend his time cheering on his friends. 

“It feels amazing to volunteer and compete,” Monks said, adding, “Look at all these people; what else can you ask for? Days like this are just gorgeous.” 

All the athletes that came out to compete today will have the opportunity to compete again, when the event returns in 2024.