Special Olympic Athlete from Haysville named Big 12 female Athlete of the Year

Wichita, Kan. (KSNW) – Casey Hostetler can be found most days at her job at Dillons Marketplace in Derby. But when she’s not working, there’s a good chance she is working out, trying to hone her tennis game.

“She’s very friendly, she’s an extremely good sport,” says Casey’s father, Lenard Hostetler. “We try to get her to achieve beyond what she thinks what she is capable of.”

Lenard says his daughter was diagnosed as someone with different abilities when she was five. And, he says, Casey has really found that sports is a way to improve and enrich her life.

Casey has been awarded medals for several events in the Special Olympics. And, now, Casey will be recognized for some of her sports events.

Casey is being named and recognized as the Big 12 conference, Special Olympic female Athlete of the Year. There will be a ceremony at the Big 12 football championship game for Casey.

“She’s excited about it. She’s been telling all her friends and talking about it,” says Lenard. “I don’t think it’s really hit her yet. I’m expecting some tears when it actually happens when they walk out on the field.”

And this week, as Casey bags groceries and chats with customers at her job, she sometimes talks about sports.

“I like sports. And I do basketball and volleyball, bowling, track and field, softball, soccer and, off to the side, I do horseback riding,” said Casey. ”

After winning multiple medals in Special Olympics, Casey seems to take it all in stride. Casey is just as likely to tell you about her latest sports pursuit, as opposed to her winning medals.

“I’m training right now,” says Casey, talking about her tennis game. “I do need to improve… My serving. I would have to say my serving, because I don’t get the ball high enough.”

Lenard Hostetler says he’s equally proud of his daughter whether she’s working on her serve, or at work helping customers.

“She takes it all in stride, she just has a very good time,” says Lenard. “She’s upbeat, a happy person… gets along with everybody.”


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