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Frontier hosts 30th annual Cowboy Country regional track meet last weekend

Apr. 16—Upcoming local Special Olympic events Individual Softball Skills State meet — May 2 in Red Rock, OK. State Summer Games — May 15-17 in Stillwater, OK Coaches Camp — May 28-29 in Stillwater, Ok {related_content_uuid}a456a008-2eb1-4742-8593-9a220c9146e0{/related_content_uuid}

This past Saturday, Frontier Schools hosted the Cowboy Country Special Olympic Regional Track meet. The event involved 175 athletes from surrounding cities — including Stillwater, Guthrie, Ponca City, Glencoe, Cleveland, Mannford and Prue.

The event has become an integral part of the Frontier community since it first began in 1994. Local school staff, students and alumni regularly help as volunteers, while Frontier High School boys basketball coach Bob Weckstein helps coordinate the event.

Weckstein helped bring the event to Frontier just two years after he accepted a job at the school district. The event has now blossomed into a 30-year local tradition.

"It's a great pleasure," Weckstein said. "One of the best things is we get our players and other students involved in it. Many of my athletes come back and help and they do it every year."

In the meet, Special Olympians register to participate in two events. Events include field categories such as long jump and softball throw as well as running, walking and wheelchair categories.

Ribbons are given to the top eight of each event.

Special Olympics Oklahoma used to hold the regional track meet in Stillwater, but after Weckstein and former Frontier girls basketball coach Greg Jackson volunteered at an event two years into his tenure that changed.

"After that event, someone at the state office called me and asked if we'd be interested in hosting it ourselves instead of at Stillwater. We said 'Yeah, we'd love to do it.'"

It's been 33 years since Weckstein arrived at Frontier, and to this day the Cowboy Country Regional Track Meet is one of the most fulfilling things he gets to do year in and year out.

"I just get great joy from watching them participate," Weckstein said.

It's a great experience for many of his current players, as well.

"It's hard to get a teenager to think past themselves," Weckstein said. "That's not a criticism of any kid in particular, that's just the way they are. When they go and volunteer, they learn to put someone else ahead of their own needs."

This won't be the only Special Olympic event for Weckstein this spring. Athletes from last weekend's regional meet can also go on to participate in the Special Olympic State games held in Stillwater next month.

Upcoming local Special Olympic events

Individual Softball Skills State meet — May 2 in Red Rock, OK.

State Summer Games — May 15-17 in Stillwater, OK

Coaches Camp — May 28-29 in Stillwater, Ok

Those looking to volunteer for that event or for any future Special Olympics Oklahoma can do so by going to sook.org and clicking on the "Get Involved" tab.

"You've gotta be at one, experience one and volunteer at one to understand it," Weckstein said.