Special Olympians Steven Jones and Andrew Russell brought home four bronze medals between them after participating in the Special Olympics state track and field meet last weekend. (KEIZERTIMES/Laurie Painter)

Keizer athletes Steven Jones and Andrew Russell competed in the Special Olympics track and field state meet over the weekend and one returned home with three bronze medals.

Russell took third in the 200-meter, 400-meter and as part of the 4×100 relay.

“It’s a really fun experience,” said Russell, 21. “I like to win, but I also like seeing and cheering on all the other athletes.” He was particularly fond of the Olympic Village set up during the games at Newberg High School, which featured several games for athletes to win prizes.

Jones, 25, took third in the 4×100 relay alongside Russell and recorded new personal records in the 3,000-meter and the 400-meter. Jones’ time in the 3,000 dropped from 14:41 to 14:31 and he got his 400 time down to 1:14.

“I was just trying to do my best in each race,” Jones said. Jones has competed in the Special Olympics track and field games since he was 17, but still looks forward to meeting new people.Not one to rest on his laurels, he’s already looking forward to basketball this winter. “We need more players though so I encourage everyone to sign up.”

For more information about Special Olympics in Oregon, visit soor.org.

– Eric A. Howald