Hudacko, the only Bayonne athlete in the games, was an integral part of the Garden State squad which captured the championship in Division III last week at Rider University in Lawrenceville.
New Jersey advanced to the final round in their division by beating teams from Virginia, Texas, and Missouri. They then played Colorado for the title.
“It was so close for Team New Jersey,” said Sheila Hudacko, Ian’s mother, who was in attendance.
After winning the first game of the set against Colorado, the second was tied 24-24 before New Jersey went ahead by a point. But since volleyball games must be won by two points, the match wasn’t over yet.
“So Team New Jersey had possession to serve,” Hudacko said, “and in a nail-biting attempt, they scored the final point to win against Colorado.”
Hudacko was one of the 270 athletes representing the state, and one of the 3,500 participants from across the country. The games were held throughout Mercer County from June 14 to 21.
The national competition celebrates the Special Olympics movement. It also promotes the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sports. – Joseph Passantino