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Wheelchair athlete secures spot in cross-country state meet

October 27, 2019

CUMBERLAND, Maine (AP) — A high school cross-country athlete who uses a wheelchair has completed his regional meet race, paving the way for him to compete in the state meet next weekend.

A year ago, the state denied Jonathan Schomaker’s petition to compete. But this year, the Maine Principals’ Association reached an agreement to let him participate in the regional meet Saturday in Cumberland.

The Leavitt Area High School sophomore started the race with runners. Then he separated from them onto a modified course aimed at ensuring safety.

The Lewiston Sun Journal reports Schomaker finished his modified 1.8-mile course in just over 37 minutes, a few seconds before the final runners who ran the 5-kilometer course.

Schomaker, who has cerebellar hypoplasia, has competed alongside runners this season and has even recorded a 7-minute mile.