A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Special Olympics USA: First-timer Jennifer Rhein gets 4 gold medal; Blakeney wins silver, bronze

First-time USA Games gymnast Jennifer Rhein of Ludlow added two more gold medals to her already impressive haul at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Wash.

Rhein tied for the gold in the uneven bars, matching Illinois gymnast Tasjenay Feigh’s score of 18.70. Rhein stood atop the podium alone after the floor exercise, posting a score of 19.03, nearly 2.5 points better than Feigh. She closes the USA Games with four gold medals, including the all-around gold, and one silver.

Jennifer Rhein of Ludlow

Gymnast Danielle Blakeney of Erlanger took home a silver medal in the uneven bars Thursday. She posted a score of 18.15, finishing just .33 points behind gold medalist Madeline Csont of New York. She also grabbed a fourth place ribbon in the floor exercise, finishing with a score of 16.85. She was just .35 points behind bronze medalist Kellie O’Donnell of Illinois and .64 behind silver medalist Samantha Berndt of Massachusetts.

Kentucky’s Lee Dockins won the gold.

Blakeney finishes with one silver and one bronze medal, two fourth-place ribbons, and a sixth place. This was Blakeney’s first major competition since moving up to a Level 3 gymnast.
 
Swimmer Hunter Eudy of Independence placed fifth in his heat of the 50-meter freestyle today.  He swam a time of 34.35, which was less than two seconds behind silver medalist Ian Soules of Florida in a very close race. Maxwell Reynolds of Arizona won the gold. He has one more shot at an individual medal Friday when he swims the 50-meter backstroke. He did win a bronze with the 4×50-meter medley relay team yesterday.
 
Jennifer Rhein of Ludlow added two gymnastics medals to the all-around gold she claimed Wednesday.

Rhein posted one of the highest scores of the day at any level in the balance beam, with a 19.43 to beat silver medalist Tasjenay Feigh of Minnesota by 1.33 points.

The relay team

In the vault, Rhein scored an 18.93, but Feigh got the better of her with a 19.38.

Gymnastics teammate Blakeney of Erlanger, who won bronze in the all-around earlier, also took home a fourth and a sixth place ribbon on Wednesday. Her vault scored a 12.89 to finish sixth. Her beam routine scored a 16.16, missing a bronze medal by .37.

Golfer Jude Zilliox of Alexandria closed out the 9-hole individual stroke play competition with a final round 61 and a silver medal.

His three-day total of 181 left him seven shots behind gold medalist Danny Dasis of Mississippi in his flight.
 
Swimmer Hunter Eudy earned a bronze medal for his leg of the 4×50-meter medley relay.

Team Kentucky once again set a team-best mark with a time of 3:20.56, but after the fast preliminary swim they were bumped to a higher division and couldn’t catch silver medalist Colorado.

Eudy also placed fifth in his heat of the 100-meter freestyle Wednesday. Eudy swam a personal best 1:17.58, just .02 seconds out of fourth and less than three seconds behind bronze medalist Adam Smith of Pennsylvania. Eudy has two events remaining – the 50-meter freestyle and the 50-meter backstroke.

Danielle Blakeney of Erlanger won bronze in the all-around.

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