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Riverside's Jamar Distel enjoying competing alongside sister Jacinda

Jamar is headed to UW in the fall for running, but is getting one last season to be on the same track team as his sister, Jacinda, who has Cerebral Palsy.

CHATTAROY, Wash. — If you’re at a track meet this spring that Riverside is attending, you’ll most likely see Jamar Distel running circles around kids on the oval track.  

The Riverside senior won the individual 1A state title in cross country this year and had the second-fastest time across all classifications at 15 minutes flat. 

He’s headed to UW to run next season, and although he's going to get all sorts of special experiences there, he’s also getting one final special experience this track season with the Rams.

"It warms my heart," said Jamar's mom, Julie. "That’s every mother’s dream I think is to have the kids support each other. To be able to go to one event and see both my kids do their events is really, really fun."

Adopted at a young age from the same Ethiopian orphanage, Jamar and his sister Jacinda are six months apart in age.

Jacinda has Cerebral Palsy, but that hasn’t stopped her from competing for the same team as Jamar.

"She works really hard. It’s fun to see her throwing. She did a 100 a few meets ago. It’s always fun to see her competing, and it’s cool to have that," said Jamar.

"It’s a really awesome. He’s a good brother," said Jacinda, of getting to do a sport with Jamar.

Jamar couldn’t even bear weight on his feet until he was 18 months old, and when the Distels first got Jacinda, there was a question of if she’d ever be able to talk. 

The strides they have made both on and off of the track are an inspiration to all.

"It’s been really neat to see my kids thrive and grow and become the people that they’ve wanted to be and that they may not have had the chance to be if they stayed where they were," said Julie.

"I feel pretty lucky," said Jamar. "Every time I think about it I just think, like, dang, that’s crazy that I’ve gone through all this stuff. I just feel happy that I’m able to do what I like to do."

The high school track season comes to an end this month, and it will be Jamar’s last as he’s graduating, meaning this is his last month being able to don the same jersey as his sister.

"They have a couple more meets, and then I think I’m going to cry that it’s the end of this era, for sure. It’s the end of my kids doing track together, but they’ve had a lot of good memories, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next chapter brings," said Julie.

That next chapter brings a huge smile to Jacinda’s face.

"It’s really going to be awesome," said Jacinda of Jamar running at UW. "I’m going to cheer as hard as I can."


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