Meet the 2018 South Dakota Special Olympians

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Seattle, Wash. July 1-6. More than 4,000 athletes and coaches will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports. They represent 50 state programs and the District of Columbia and have the support of tens of thousands of volunteers and spectators.

Team South Dakota will be comprised of 51 athletes (including nine Unified Partners) plus 18 coaches and support staff. 

Adrianna Bamsey – Sioux Falls

This 16-year-old enjoys being with animals like horses. Her favorite sports are basketball, bowling, soccer and track/field. 

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Samuel Howell – Madison

This 16-year-old says friendships allow him to be himself and provide leadership to others. He will be participating in track/field, swimming and bowling at the 2018 games. 

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Chana Sandoval – Sioux Falls

This 23-year veteran to Special Olympics, loves the socialization most of all at the Games. She plans on training hard for the Pentathlon event to improve her times and distances. 

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.Tanner Stirling – Parkston

 This 21-year-old college grad is going for the gold in track/field, basketball, softball, swimming and bowling! He enjoys volunteering, hanging out with friends and playing video games. 

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Coaches of the Athletics Team are Missy Hill & Brandon Sandoval

Mallory Bingham – Aberdeen

Mallory has been in the Special Olympics since she was 12. She competed in basketball, bowling, track/field and swimming. She started in unified bocce when she was older. In her off-time, Mallory bowls on two leagues and enjoys time with friends and family.

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Matthew Morin – Black Hawk

Matt has been in the Special Olympics for over 20 years, competing in bowling, bocce, swimming, track/field, softball, basketball and skiing. Matt likes to collect hats and watch sporting events,and he’s interested in the weather.

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Dominick Roselund – Bryant

Dominik has participated in the Special Olympics for 10 years. He especially enjoys the unified sports like bocce, but he’s also competed in soccer, bowling and track/field. Dominick loves fishing and tubing when he’s not competing. 

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.Denelle Wilson – Sioux Falls

Denelle started in the Special Olympics 15 years ago. Since then, she’s competed in the World Games and USA Games and is excited to represent South Dakota. Besides bocce, Denelle competes in unified bowling, swimming and track/field.

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Unified Partners (assisting athletes as needed)

(left to right: Gary Alickson, Joe Burmeister, Tea Hill, Kaylee Namken)

Coaches of the Unified Bocce Team are Peggy Heermann & Brian Jacobsen

Jacob Anderson – Yankton

For Jacob, competing is the best when he gets to play with old friends and meet new ones. He’ll compete in basketball, bowling, softball, soccer and athletics.

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Eva Blake – Spearfish

Eva has been at the Northern Hills Training Center for three years and has won the Achievement Award every year since joining. She has excelled in softball, and this will be her first time participating at the USA Games.

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Derrick Boegel – Rapid City

There isn’t a sport that Derrick doesn’t like! He participates in softball, track, basketball, bowling and skiing. Outside of the games, Derrick works at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

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Kyle Duke – Yankton .?

Kyle joined the state Special Olympics in 2000. He loves basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and softball. He’s won awards in archery and looks forward to being a part of Team South Dakota!

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Mike Estman – Rapid City

Mike says the Special Olympics has helped him become a better person. He has 60 gold medals and took part in the 2006 National Games. Mike also participates in basketball, softball and bowling.

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Josh Gilbert – Rapid City

Josh has played softball with the Special Olympics since 2001. He’s going for the gold in basketball and softball. In his spare time, Josh likes to announce games and attend Rush Hockey games.

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Chad Hanten – Brandon

This 27-year-old athlete participates in softball, unified bowling, unified basketball, bocce and track/field. He’s won honors in softball and basketball and has made friendships with people from across the state.

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Anthony Kelly – Mitchell

This 17-year-old has been involved with the Special Olympics for six years, playing basketball and softball. His extracurriculars have included Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts. He’s honored to represent the state this year.

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Luke Nagel – Mitchell

This 20-year Special Olympic veteran competes in basketball, swimming, track/field and softball. He loves participating and has won The Spirit Sportsmanship Award. Outside of the games, Luke likes to write and collect baseball cards.

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Jody Neitzel – Watertown

Jody moved to South Dakota in 2000. She participates in skiing, basketball, bowling and softball. She believes the games have helped her to be more positive. In her spare time, she plays video games and listens to music.

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Noah Pierce – Sioux Falls

Noah’s nickname is "Mr. Automatic" for his batting skills. He plays Men’s Fastpitch Softball and Church League Softball. His Special Olympic sports include basketball, bocce, bowling, softball, soccer and track/field.

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Tim Schellhouse – Sioux Falls.?

This 46-year-old has been in the Special Olympics since he was 8. He competes in softball, bowling, basketball, track, volleyball and bocce. He loves to watch sports and make friends.

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.Chris Smith – Sioux Falls

This 35-year-old has been in the Special Olympics since 6th grade. It lets him play sports and make friends. He plays basketball, softball, bowling, bocce and swimming.

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Blake Stephens – Watertown

Blake has been in the Special Olympics for a couple years, playing softball, bowling, basketball, track and soccer. This high school senior also enjoys fishing, going to movies and playing video games.

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David Tanner – Rapid City

David started in the Special Olympics in Minnesota, moving to South Dakota in 2008. He plays softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and bocce. This Eagle Scout is honored to represent South Dakota.

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.Coaches of the Traditional Softball Team are James Duke, Mary Hieb & Amy Jobgen

Garet Alickson – Spearfish

Garet joined the Special Olympics at 8 years old. His favorite sports are basketball, softball, skiing and equestrian. When he’s not competing, he volunteers at SunCatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy, assisting riders who have disabilities. 

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.Taylor Allen – Sioux Falls

Taylor has been in the Special Olympics since the 7th grade. He likes both individual and team sports, but his favorite sport is basketball. He’s excited to attend the 2018 USA Games!

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Sarah Faue – Sioux Falls.

Originally from New Jersey, Sarah plays basketball, softball, alpine skiing and bowling. She participated in the 2010 National Games and is excited to play for South Dakota this year.

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Aaron Krouse – Mitchell

Aaron’s favorite part of the games is meeting new people and competing. He participates in basketball, softball and equestrian. He also loves spending time with family and friends and spending time on the farm. 

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Skylar Pagel – Aberdeen

Skylar plays bocce and basketball. He’s lettered in those sports and has received some special awards. In his spare time, he likes watching hockey.

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Casey Tetzlaff – Watertown

Casey plays basketball, powerlifting, bowling and skiing. He has a supportive family and loves being around other athletes. He’s won gold medals in all his sports, and he’s proud to compete in the USA Games.

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Jasmine Tonneson – Aberdeen

Jasmine has been in the Special Olympics for six years. Her sports are bowling, basketball and swimming.She enjoys listening to books on tape, making jewelry and dancing.

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Wade Uhrich – Aberdeen

Wade is a 16-year veteran of the games, and being an athlete is very important to him. He participates in basketball, bowling and powerlifting. He also likes stock car races.

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Jon Underberg – Sioux Falls

Jon plays basketball, athletics, soccer, bowling and softball. Jon likes to sing, play sports and hang out with family and friends. He also helps his high school football coaches out. 

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Bruce Weeldreyer – Sioux Falls

Bruce says the Games have allowed him to make new friends. He won the Spirit of a Champion award after being voted South Dakota Athlete of the Year for 2017. Bruce enjoys basketball, bocce, bowling and softball.

Coaches of the Traditional Basketball Team are Chad Hellenga & Laurie Schmig

Caleb Adermann – Huron

Caleb joined the Special Olympics in 2010 in 4th grade. He competes in bowling, basketball, track/field and soccer. When he’s not playing, he’s cheering on his teammates!

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Nicole Conrad – Lake Preston

This 15-year-old enjoys every minute of being in the Special Olympics. She participates in basketball and track/field. Additionally, she participates in One Act Plays and Oral Interpretation.

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Dylan Motzer – Clear Lake

Dylan has always loved basketball. But he also participates in bowling, track/field and soccer. In his spare time, he goes fishing and plays basketball with friends.

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Cole Pederson – Arlington

He’s been in the Special Olympics for three years, but Cole has played basketball since he was 3. He also plays for his school golf team and manages his school football team.

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Gavan Schultis – Goodwin

Gavin has been in the Special Olympics for 10 years, laying basketball, soccer, bowling and track/field. Besides sports, he likes Star Wars, fishing and hanging out.

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Unified Partners (assisting athletes as needed)

(left to right: Kellan Benck, Alayna Benike, Darah DeKam, Xander Sheehan, Kyler Tvedt)

Coaches of the Unified Basketball Team are Amanda Katzenberger & Chris Lather

John McHale – Sioux Falls

John has been a swimmer since he was 3. He enjoys the water anywhere. John also bowls and plays bocce. This 18-year veteran of the Special Olympics enjoys the opportunity to earn medals for his team.

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Megan Mills – Rapid City

Megan has been in the Special Olympics since she was 8. Swimming is her favorite. She started swimming at 3. But she’s also participated in basketball, golf, softball, bowling, gymnastics, volleyball and skiing.

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Kent Mulholland – Spearfish

Kent is a 15-year veteran of the Special Olympics. He competes year-round in swimming, track/field, softball, bocce, bowling, alpine skiing and basketball. The Games provide Kent a channel for his energy and lets him express himself.

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Addison Whitney – Rapid City

This 10-year veteran of the Special Olympics is busy all year with available sports. She has played middle school basketball and volleyball and has participated in a hip-hop dance program for the last three years. Today, she competes in bowling, basketball, swimming, softball, bocce and golf.

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Coaches of the Swim Team are Cathy Grubb & Rich Mulholland


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