Story by: Dominik Fuhrmann
WDRB Photojournalist

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Something special is happening on the track in Floyds Knobs, Indiana.

The Floyd Central High School track team is pairing track stars and kids with disabilities. The Unified Track team is helping every athlete succeed, on and off the track.

"Unified Track is a very unique combination of pairing a child with a disability with a typical teenager," said Slysia Wade, an assistant coach with the team. "And they practice together. They also compete together, which is very, very unique."

Wade's son, Joey, is a special needs child on the team.

"When you're a mother with a child with a disability, these kids don't have much that they can participate in," Wade said. "It gives Joey ... an opportunity to come out and be a normal kid."

"Seeing these kids interact with special needs students, it just melts my heart," said Elley Levell, who helps coach the team. "I love seeing all the smiles on the kids' faces and being able to participate in something."

"When they sign up, people don't know who is the athlete and who is the partner, which is very neat," Wade said. "They get to feel like they are participating in a regular event like everybody else.

"I can't even explain to you the difference between March until now. Their athletic ability enhances 10 times."

"When people cheer me on, it makes me faster," said Hallie, one of the special needs runners.

"They are much more social, more social than they ever thought they could be," Wade said. "They are developing relationships with their typical peers."

"By the end of this season, the memories these kids are gonna have are gonna last a lifetime," Levell said.

Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.