Special Olympian prepares for national competition

TOPEKA – A local teenager will begin his summer vacation competing on the national stage.

Trevor Hallman, a 17-year-old junior at Washburn Rural High School, is one of a few Kansans set to embark on the 2014 USA Special Olympics Games.

“I’ve been training,” Hallman said. “Training hard and I feel like I’m ready to go. I’m a little bit nervous but I’ve been prepared.”

Trevor competes for the Topeka Junior Blues and will hop in the pool for several swimming events. He will participate in the 25 yard backstroke and breaststroke, 50 yard freestyle, and a relay event.

Since January, Trevor has trained with Washburn Rural swimmer and state medalist Craig Haug.

“He’s a really good guy,” Hallman said. “He’s trained me harder and harder than I have ever get.”

Craig met Trevor through Circle of Friends, which is an organization at Washburn Rural that assists with special needs students.

“In itself, it’s an amazing experience just to come here and train with a Special Olympian, but the fact that it’s Trevor and he’s one of my best buddies it just makes it that much better,” Haug said. “It’s really just amazing.”

Trevor’s spent nine years in Special Olympics. In addition to aquatics, he’s competed in softball, volleyball, basketball and track and field. He’s captured more than 130 medals, including 60 gold medals during that span. However, this is Trevor’s first trip to a national competition.

“I feel like I’m going to be strong to swim,” Hallman said.

Trevor raised $750 for next month’s week-long trip in New Jersey. His parents Britney and Bryan are overwhelmed with the support.

“Trevor’s my best bud,” his mother Britney said. “I love spending time with him. He’s been a great son, excellent student. Really easy guy to get along with and we have a lot of fun together.”

At Washburn Rural, Trevor participates in the percussion section of the band, he’s active in the school’s weightlifting class and he’s earned a spot on the honor roll throughout high school.

“The expectations we have every time we go to a local, or this time a national competition, is the opportunity for him to make friends and experience competitions,” his father Bryan said. “Excel at something that they normally don’t do on their regular day-to-day life. That’s what’s really important to us.”

Trevor will depart for New Jersey on a private plane, along with other Special Olympians from Kansas, in June. The Special Olympics USA Games take place June 14-21 in Princeton, New Jersey.

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