Chelsea Michigan High School Track Makes State History With First Adaptive Relay

Chelsea, MI. – On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon the Chelsea Michigan High School track team hosted the Adrian Maples and not only did the Chelsea Bulldogs defeat Adrian they also made a big mark in the history of high school sports. As the boys lined up for the 4×100 relay it was announced that it was possibly the first adaptive relay in the state of Michigan which had a wheelchair athlete in it.

The relay consisted of Ronan King, Kevin Rinderknecht, and Jason Zander, who handed the baton to the anchor of the relay 2023 state champion Jacob Nelson by placing it in a special cup strapped to the back of his wheelchair just for this event. 

Jacob, or Jake as he’s mostly known to his friends and family, is in his super-senior year at Chelsea. Jake has been doing track for many years and is strongly encouraged by his teammates and his dad Dan who coaches him throughout everything, and his mother Marijane who is there cheering for him every step of the way.

In 2023 Jake became a state champion in the adaptive races and shotput. This year he is not throwing but he did compete in the 100, 200, and 400 races for the Bulldogs. He raced in the 400 immediately after finishing the 4×100 relay. Jake loves doing track and also participated in bowling.

When he is not participating in sports he can be found at sporting events in his referee jersey or umpire uniform helping to enforce the rules of the games and ensuring fair play for all.

Adaptive sports are a newer thing in the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and many athletes across the state can show off their skills in front of their friends and family. This relay will hopefully help others to be able to participate in the future.

Jake gets ready to race as his father Dan coaches him
Jake is cheered on by his mom Marijane in the background
Jake relaxes after making history