The 2016 Florida Senior Games Athletes of the Year are both record-setting athletes who have proven themselves on the National Level as well.
Jupiter’s Kathy Petrillo achieved success on a bicycle and John Horwath, of The Villages has done the same with a bow and arrow.
Kathy Petrillo set 5K and 10K Time Trials records in the 55-59 age group, at the 2016 Florida Senior Games, giving her records in the 50-54 and 55-59 age groups. Petrillo (pictured at left) had the top female times in both time trials races and her time of 15:10 in the 10K Time Trials was over a minute faster than the next best overall time. At the 2015 Games, she won four gold medals in all four Cycling events with the best times in the 5K and 10K Time Trials while being the top female finisher in the 20K and 40K Road Races. At the 2015 National Senior Games Petrillo won a 50-54 age group gold medal in the 20K Road Race, two silvers and a bronze medal.
“Kathy embodies the spirit of the Florida Senior Games,” said Felix Hernandez, the Florida Senior Games Cycling Sport Director. “She is an athlete that trains not just to be an elite competitor, but to help and inspire other senior athletes. She is an advocate for the Florida Senior Games and encourages not only her fellow competitive riders, but those novice participants just being introduced to the Games.”
94-year old John Horwath, of The Villages broke his own Compound Release record in the 90-94 age group in 2016 with a score of 807, 35 points better than his 2014 record-setting performance of a 772. Horwath (pictured at right) was the most experienced archer of the record number of 135 shooting at the 2016 Games. He also set the Compound & Finger records in the 80-84 age group in 2003, the 85-89 age group in 2008 and the 90-94 age group in 2012. Of the three record-setting totals, his best Compound & Finger score came in 2012, with an 825, to set the 90-94 age group record. Horwath also won gold medals at the 2009 National Senior Games in the 85-89 age group and in 2013 in the 90-94 age group.
“John Horwath is a fine, talented man who is an inspiration to everyone who knows him,” said Tim Austin, the Florida Senior Games and Sunshine State Games Archery Sport Director. “His accomplishments at the Florida and National Senior Games have set records that will be very difficult to equal. John’s continued ability to shoot high, record scores is impressive. He celebrates his 95th birthday in July and gives us all a high standard to approach as we continue on in our quest for a better life.”
Petrillo is the first Palm Beach County athlete to be named Athlete of the Year and Horwath is the fifth athlete from The Villages to earn the honor.