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Five Special Olympians rise to top

Five finalists from around the state have been chosen for the Special Olympics Oregon Athlete of the Year Award.

The winner will be announced at the Oregon Sports Awards on Sunday at the Tiger Woods Center at Nike in Beaverton.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. awards show are $50 each and are available by calling 503-721-7477, ext. 13, or e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Oregon Sports Awards have more than 70 finalists for 13 awards to the best professional, college and high school athletes and coaches in 2003, by vote of a statewide media panel. Two merit awards also will be presented at the stage show, which is sponsored by the Portland Tribune, Nike, KATU (2) and Standard TV & Appliance. KATU provides live coverage.

The Special Olympics finalists are:

nJason Brodkorb, Philomath ÐBrodkorb helped his U.S. soccer team win the silver medal at the 2003 World Games in Ireland. He also participates in baseball and track and field.

nJennifer Deras, Portland ÐDeras anchored the U.S. women's 4x100 relay team from last place to a bronze medal at the World Games. She lettered in track and field at Wilson High and was the only girl in her class to pass the U.S. Marine Corps physical fitness test.

nWilliam Durfee, Milton-Freewater ÐDurfee competed in the 10-kilometer run and half-marathon at the World Games. He also takes part in softball, bowling, aquatics, alpine skiing, golf and basketball.

nJennifer Hill, Turner ÐAt age 16, Hill already is a six-year veteran of Special Olympics competition. She was a gymnast at the 2003 World Games and competes in aquatics.

nLaurie Hyde, Gresham ÐA member of the U.S. power lifting team, Hyde has trained with Special Olympics since 1976 and competes in aquatics and alpine skiing.

ÑTribune staff