Daily Diary from the 2015 Florida Senior Games
~ A Sample of the Daily Highlights and Spotlights ~
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DAY NINE – Sunday, December 13
Iowa Sprinter becomes Florida Senior Games Fastest Man
It took 24 years for a Florida Senior Games athlete to run 100 meters in less than 12 seconds and 200 meters in under 25 seconds.
Until Sunday, when Michael Fitzgerald, a sprinter from Mason City, Iowa, became the fastest man in the history of the Florida Senior Games on the final day of the Games, setting new overall best times in the 50, 100 and 200 meter dashes.
The 55-year old Fitzgerald began the day running the 50 meter dash in 6.59 seconds. In the 100 meter dash, he turned in the first sub-12 second time in the history of the Games with a sprint of 11.98. He ended the day with the Games first under 25 seconds 200 meter dash when he crossed the finish line with a time of 24.94.
Fitzgerald is ranked third in the U.S. among Men’s 55+ sprinters by World Masters Rankings, the official rankings for Masters Athletics. His 11.98 time at Clearwater High School was the second time he has run the 100 in under 12 seconds this year. He had a time of 11.93 at the USATF Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championship, in St. Paul, MN in June.
Another Iowan, Gary Patton, of Rock Rapids, set records in the 800 and 1500 meter runs. His time in the 70-74 age group in the 1500 meter run was more than 35 seconds faster than the previous record. His time in the 800 topped the previous mark by more than 15 seconds.
After the 1500 meter race walk, Donna Graham, of Lowell, Ohio, was awarded with the annual Bob Fine Award for Race Walk Excellence. While Graham’s award was for her performance at the 2014 Florida Senior Games, she won the 2015 gold medal in the 65-69 age group. Lowell also played singles pickleball on Friday.
While the Pickleball Ironman of the 2015 Games, Robert Welter, of Cape Coral, was one of the last people to leave the Long Center again Sunday, he walked out with a silver medal. After he and his partner, Darryl Noble, of Hanover, PA, dropped their first match of the day to Gary Miller and Steve Wojcik, they held on for six elimination matches for a return match in the 60-64 age group gold medal game.
In Welter’s 18th match of the weekend, he and Nobel came up short 11-9, 11-6. Welter won the men’s singles gold medal Friday and the mixed doubles gold in the 60-64 age group Saturday. A total of 166 men’s and women’s doubles teams began play at 8:00 a.m. and completed matches after 10:00 p.m. More than 35 hours of Pickleball was played from Friday morning through Sunday night.
Sarasota’s Peter Carlin was the lone croquet player at Jack Russell Stadium to go through two days of competition without a loss. Carlin had five wins on Saturday to win the singles gold medal in the 75-79 age group and teamed with his wife, Judy, in doubles for four wins to take the 70-74 age group doubles gold medal.
Judy nearly mirrored her husband’s feat of going undefeated but finished with a tie in one of her singles games Saturday. She won the women’s singles gold medal in the 70-74 age group.
On a lighter note, showing the sportsmanship of the Florida Senior Games, Dorothy Jarboe and Patricia Fincannon, both of Key Largo, who had competed in shuffleboard last weekend, decided, on a whim, to register for croquet on a whim.
“It’s all about getting out and doing things,” said Fincannon. “If you don’t learn something new you’re just wasting brain cells.”
Upon their arrival, they learned their backyard croquet mallets did not meet competition standards and the two were loaned equipment by fellow players.
Jarboe’s mallet, on loan from Karla Rueck, of Palm Beach Gardens, was a commemorative mallet sold as a fundraiser celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the New York Croquet Club in 2007. Rueck serves on the management committee of the U.S. Croquet Association, based in West Palm Beach, as the recording secretary. She is documented as playing in the most tournaments of any woman in the U.S., playing an average of 21-25 tournaments a year.
Over the nine days of the 2015 Florida Senior Games, more than 2,000 athletes competed in 24 sports in Clearwater and Pinellas County. The Games return to Clearwater for the 25th Anniversary Florida Senior Games, December 3-11, 2016. Florida Senior Games Series Qualifiers begin in January and run through April. The qualifiers resume in the fall beginning in September and concluding in November. The 2016 Florida Senior Games will be a qualifier for the 2017 National Senior Games, to be held in Birmingham, Alabama.
DAY EIGHT – Saturday, December 12
A pair of Florida Senior Games athletes added to their impressive list of accomplishments on the track and on the court Saturday, the busiest day of the 24th Annual Olympic-style Sports Festival with 10 sports in action throughout Clearwater and Pinellas County.
In the Florida Senior Games records and results the name, Ethel Lehmann, Largo, has been a track and field fixture since 1993. In 2015, with the Games being held in her own backyard, at Clearwater High School, Lehmann, etched her name in the Florida Senior Games record book six times in 85-89 age group field events.
Her performances in the high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus and javelin set records by a little and by a lot. Her javelin throw of 41 feet topped the previous record by more than 20 feet and her discus throw of 39 feet broke the previous mark by 10 feet.
Lehmann was named the 1997 Florida Senior Games Athlete of the Year and after today’s performances, her name appears in the Games record book 19 times. Over the years, she has played for the Freedom Spirit softball team that traveled to the 2015 National Senior Games and has won numerous medals in national competition.
For the second day in a row, Cape Coral’s Robert Welter was one of the last players to leave the pickleball courts at the Long Center Gymnasium as he won his second gold medal in as many days. He teamed with Bobbi Little of North Fort Myers to advance out of a 23-team bracket in the 60-64 age group for the gold medal.
Playing together for the first time in the Florida Senior Games, Little and Welter defeated Nancy Meyer, of Fort Myers and Randy Hall, of Willmar, MN in straight sets in the championship match.
Welter played five singles matches Friday, to win the 60-64 age group and five mixed doubles matches Saturday. He plays men’s doubles on Sunday.
By winning the Cycling 20K and 40K Road Races in Oldsmar, Luigi Fabbri, of Hallandale added the 12th and 13th Road Race gold medals to his collection from the Florida Senior Games dating back to 2000. He has won medals in four age group categories from 65-69 to 80-84.
Kathy Petrillo, of Jupiter, was the top female finisher in both races giving her four50-54 age group gold medals in the 2015 Florida Senior Games cycling events. Also winning medals in all four events were Dave Lewis of Sarasota and Eric Marc Lippens, of Naples.
Two basketball shooters achieved perfection in the free throw shooting competition as Jack Layton, of Spring Hill, KS and Ronn Wycoff, of Sarasota hit 30 of 30 free throws. The perfect totals earned Layton the gold medal in the 65-69 age group and Wyckoff in the 70-74 age group.
Wyckoff also posted the highest total points in the spot field goal shooting with 14 of a possible 15 to win the 70-74 age group medal. Wyckoff has been a basketball coach and instructor for more than 50 years and is a founding member of the National Basketball Shooters Association, whose mission is to improve free throw shooting at all levels of competition.
Diane Foli, of Lakeland, posted the highest overall timed field goal shooting with 130 points, hitting a total of 26 three point shots in three one minute segments. Foli, the women’s basketball coach at Florida Southern College from 1997-2006, also had the high women’s totals hitting 27 of 30 free throws and scoring 11 of a possible 15 in the spot field goal shooting to win gold medals in the 50-54 age group.
Howard Thilenius, of Okeechobee and William Lawrence, of Lakeland both won their second gold medal in Billiards with Thilenius winning the 75-79 age group in the Eight Ball Singles event and Lawrence winning the 55-59 age group.
DAY SEVEN – Friday, December 11
Cape Coral’s Robert Welter wins Pickleball Gold Medal with dramatic comeback
Down 7-0 in the tiebreaking game of the Men’s Singles Pickleball Gold Medal match in the 60-64 age group, Cape Coral’s Robert Welter called a time out. He leaned against the wall at the Long Center in Clearwater as if he was winded or injured.
Upon returning to play, he scored the next 12 points and outscored his opponent, Michael Thaler, of Briny Breezes 15-1 to win the third game 15-8 after splitting the first two games.
“I had to change the momentum,” said Welter. “He was dominating. I was just hoping something would open up.”
It was Welter’s third consecutive gold medal in the 60-64 age group and the third consecutive year he has beaten Thaler in the age group finals.
It looked to be Thaler’s year to win the gold medal as he advanced out the elimination bracket and defeated Welter 11-7, 11-8 forcing an if necessary game and jumping out to the early lead.
On the court next to Welter and Thaler, as the rest of the Long Center had cleared out, was the championship match in the 65-69 age group where David Warner, of Fort Myers won his fifth consecutive gold medal. He defeated Nolan Fagerburg, of Sarasota, in three games winning the final 15-8. Warner and Fagerburg met in the championship match of the 2013 Florida Senior Games with Warner winning the gold.
Playing in the most crowded field of the men’s singles, with 11 players, Fagerburg dropped his first match of the day against bronze medalist Gabriel Wong and won four elimination matches to reach the final.
Pickleball continues Saturday with mixed doubles competition beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Walter Chalfant, of Mulberry, won his 11th Horseshoes gold medal dating back to 1996 at Ed C. Wright Park. The 90-year old Chalfant his 28 ringers of the 60 horseshoes he threw for a 46.6 ringer percentage. It was the fifth age group in which Chalfant has won a gold medal.
Winning all five of his pool play matches, Richard Stull of Port Orange, won his third consecutive gold medal in the 65-69 age group. He hit 53 ringers of the 150 horseshoes thrown for a 35.3 ringer percentage.
The overall high ringer percentage, of 56.6 percent was recorded by Claudette Braswell, of Lake Wales, hitting 34 ringers in 60 throws to win a gold medal in the 75-79 age group.
At the first day of Billiards competition, Howard Thilenius, of Okeechobee, won his third nine-ball gold medal in four years in the 75-79 age group.
DAY SIX – Thursday, December 10
Lake Wales couple wins nail biter gold medal match on final day of Tennis
The final day of Florida Senior Games Tennis closed with a nail-biter of a match in the 65-69 age group mixed doubles event. The three-set match brought the six days of tennis to a close with a come-from-behind win for a Lake Wales couple at the Innisbrook Golf Course and Resort.
The husband and wife team of Judi and Aubrey Whitaker, of Lake Wales, scored a 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (13-11) win over Martha Poitevent, of East Palatka and John Baker, of St. Augustine, to repeat as gold medalists in the age group.
After dropping the close first set, the Whitakers stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the second set only to find themselves tied at 5-5 before taking the second set 7-5.
“We felt real good going into the second set because we made a lot of unforced errors in the first game,” Judi Whitaker said. “They weren’t making a lot of winning shots.”
In the third and final one game set, the Whitakers fell behind 5-0, only to rebound. They fought off several match points, down 9-7 and 10-9. With a “one point at a time,” mentality, the Whitakers overcame the early and verge of defeat deficits to win 13-11.
“We had momentum going our way and when we fell behind, I started thinking, at least we can say we were the best husband and wife team,” she said. “We just hung in there and kept playing. It was some good tennis.”
It was the fourth overall Florida Senior Games mixed doubles medal for Judi and Aubrey dating back to 2010 and second medal of the Games for each. Aubrey teamed with Scott Campbell, of Haines City, to win the men’s doubles 65-69 age group gold. Judi teamed with Sharon Lucas, of Wimauma, to win the women’s doubles 65-69 age group silver.
The 65-69 age group mixed doubles bronze medal match also went three games as Judy Crago and Gary Fair rebounded from a first set loss to defeat Janice Sullivan and John Bates 2-6, 6-3, 10-6
The roads and scenery of Fort DeSoto Park must have provided inspiration for a trio of Florida Senior Games cyclists who set age group records in both the 5K and 10K Time Trials. Cheryl Cherry, of Clermont, Patricia Beam, of Caledonia, IL and Dave Lewis of Sarasota all raced to record setting times in the both races.
Both Cherry and Lewis topped their own 5K marks they set last year, Cherry in the 60-64 age group and Lewis in the 50-54 age group. Beam’s time in the 10K beat the previous best in the 75-79 age group by more than 2:30 and her record setting time in the 5K was 26 seconds faster than the old record.
Showing the inspiration and commitment of senior athlete were Joe Hill, of Sarnia, Ontario, who not only traveled a great distance to compete, he did so with his right arm in a sling. Hill was involved in a cycling accident which destroyed the nerves in his shoulder. He had surgery to replace the nerves from his “ear to elbow,” in December of 2014 and turned in a time of just over 20 minutes in the 10K time trials riding with one arm.
94-year old Dr. John C. Taylor of Atlanta, returned for his annual 5K and 10K time trials competitions. Taylor competed in his 14th Florida Senior Games dating back to 2000 when he rode in the 75-79 age group. During that span he missed only the 2011 and 2012 Games.
DAY FIVE – Wednesday, December 9
Nick Kent wins first Florida Senior Games 36-hole Golf event
The easy way to win the first two-day Florida Senior Games Golf competition became a reality for Nick Kent, of The Villages (at left). He shot the overall low score of each day at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club.
His 75 on Tuesday, followed by a 72 on Wednesday, gave him the lowest score in the field of 50 golfers, a 147, to win the 70-74 age group gold medal. Kent was one of only two golfers to record scores under 80 on both days, along with Robert Nebel, of Lakeland, who shot a 76 and 75, for a combined 151 to win the 60-64 age group.
Kent’s 147 was 18 strokes lower than the next finishers in his age group, John Mahre, of Canada and Donald Koll, of The Villages. Maher’s 165 topped Koll after applying the USGA tiebreaking method to win the silver medal.
Kent had the lowest overall score at the 2015 National Senior Games with a three day total of 220, but settled for a silver medal due to a tiebreaker.
Lakeland’s Janet Brown (at right) had the lowest two-day total of the women’s 36-hole field with a 170, shooting 85’s on both days. Brown shot the overall lowest women’s score of the Florida Senior Games, a 72 in 2004.
14 Lawn Bowl teams were on the rink at the Clearwater Lawn Bowling and Shuffleboard Complex and David Murray (Skip) and Arthur Allen (Lead) (at left) used the home club to their advantage. The members of the Clearwater Lawn Bowling Club, Murray and Allen topped Jackie and Gary Williamson, of Mt. Dora for the gold medals.
DAY FOUR – Tuesday, December 8
Medal Winning Streaks continue for two FSG Athletes
In a salute to the determination and longevity of Florida’s senior athletes, a pair of long standing medal winning streaks continued Tuesday in Table Tennis and Golf.
John Shultz, a table tennis player from Inverness, won a medal in his 24th consecutive Florida Senior Games and golfer Corkey Nydle, of The Villages, won her 12th consecutive gold medal. While Shultz won his gold medal advancing out of a crowded field in the men’s singles 75-79 division, Nydle admitted to having one of her worst outings on the golf course in quite some time.
Shultz won the men’s singles gold medal out of a field of 13 in the 75-79 age group. He advanced out of pool play into the four-player championship bracket and defeated Jim Nason, of North Port, in four games and Jose Borges, of Spring Hill, in a five-game gold medal match. After winning the first of five games, Shultz dropped the next two. He rebounded to win the last two games 11-9 and 11-7.
Shultz, who also won the 75-79 age group men’s singles gold medal in 2014, won a pair of silver medals teaming with Deane Chickering, of The Villages in 75-79 men’s doubles age group and Sylvia Longley, of Crystal River, in the 75-79 mixed doubles competition.
The first medal of Shultz’s streak came in 1994 in the 55-59 age group. He has now won medals in five different age groups.
Also in the second day of table tennis events in the 70+ age groups, Jan Cline, of Sun City Center, won her third consecutive gold medal in the women’s singles 75-79 age group and Joe Cincotta, of Myakka City, and Robert Johnson, of Sun City Center won their fourth consecutive men’s doubles gold medal in the 80-84 age group.
Even though she reached a triple digit score, Corkey Nydle still won a gold medal in the 85-89 age group extending her streak to 12 consecutive gold medal winning performances at the Florida Senior Games. A member of the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame for her playing and coaching days in the state, Nydle shot a 100, “for the first time in 20 years,” she said.
“I was in 11 sand traps,” she admitted. “That’s how you shoot a 100. It was great company and a beautiful day though.”
A pair of Clearwater golfers shot the lowest scores of the 18-hole competition Tuesday as James Fitzpatrick carded a 72 to win the men’s 60-64 age group gold medal and Lisa Hartley shot an 82 to win the gold medal in the 70-74 age group.
For the first time, the Florida Senior Games golf competition will be a 36 round event, along with a single-day 18 hole event. Only 18-hole competition awards were received today. Tee times for those competing in the two-day event, begin at 7:30 a.m., at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Course Wednesday.
Men’s tennis doubles champions were crowned in three divisions Tuesday at the Innisbrook Resort as John Steinemann, of Ponte Vedra Beach, and John Baker, of St. Augustine, repeated as the 60-64 age group gold medalists. It was Steinemann’s second gold medal of the week after winning the men’s singles gold medal in the 60-64 age group. Scott Campbell, of Haines City and Aubrey Whitaker, of Lake Wales, teamed to win the 65-69 age group gold medal and Terry Tetzlaff, of Clearwater, and Richard Whissel, of Palm Harbor won the 70-74 age group gold medal.
DAY THREE – Monday, December 7
Kissimmee Table Tennis player sweeps through competition
Hisae Senko, of Kissimmee, was the only table tennis athlete to climb to the top of the medal stand three times Monday at the Long Center. She was the lone player to win gold medals in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, winning all three in the 50-54 age group.
Monday featured the younger table tennis athletes of the Florida Senior Games, the 50-69 age groups, playing on 20 tables in the Long Center Sports Complex in Clearwater. The 70 and over age groups play Tuesday, beginning at 9:00 a.m. A total of 134 athletes registered for table tennis in the 2015 Games.
Joan Ruggiero, of Jacksonville, won her fourth gold medal in five years, winning the championship in the 65-69 age group for the first time. Ruggiero defeated Catharina Tjiook, a former Indonesian champion now living in The Villages, in the gold medal match. She lost the first game of the five-game set, but rebounded to win the next three.
The Newton brothers, Dwight and Damon, won a men’s doubles silver medal and Dwight defeated Damon in four games en route to a gold medal in the men’s singles 50-54 age group. Their father Wendell Newton, a longtime Florida Senior Games athlete and table tennis director will play Tuesday.
Like most dads during their son’s competitions, he was there to cheer them on. “They’ve been around the game with me playing and directing tournaments,” Wendell said from the sidelines. “They’ve always been good table tennis players and still are.”
A 2012 Paralympian, Tara Profitt, of Apollo Beach, competed in all three events in a wheelchair and won a silver medal in women’s doubles and a bronze in mixed doubles. She was also competed in the 1984 Paralympic Games and has been in many other international competitions.
Arthur Burns, of Palm Harbor, won his second gold medal of the tennis competition, teaming with Charles Gamble, of Dunedin, to win the 75-79 age group. He won the men’s singles gold medal for the same age group on Sunday.
DAY TWO – Sunday, December 6
Navy Veteran rolls high women’s singles bowling score at 2015 Florida Senior Games
Prior to the start of the 2015 Florida Senior Games singles bowling competition at Seminole Lanes Sunday morning, tournament director Bob Peters asked all military veterans to step onto the bowling platform to be recognized for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Only three women among the 124 on the lanes stepped on the platform.
Nancy Wroe, a Navy veteran from Port Charlotte, was one of the three and went on to roll the highest women’s score of the day to win the gold medal in the 60-64 age group.
Wroe’s three game total of 676 was 87 pins higher than the silver medalist and included game scores of 203, 205 and 268. During her seven years in the Navy, Wroe earned the All-Service Bowler of the Year in 1984, an award that spanned all branches of the military.
The high men’s score of the day was posted by Lakeland’s Stan Sprow with a 734 to win the 55-59 age group gold medal. He began the day with seven consecutive strikes in the first of three games, en route to a 277 in game one.
Sprow and his wife, Pam, each won three gold medals over the weekend, winning doubles medals yesterday and pairing together for a mixed doubles gold medal. Pam won the women’s singles 55-59 age group gold medal with a three game score of 646.
The final day of swimming at the Clearwater Long Center concluded with 16 Florida Senior Games age group records being broken and a total of 47 in the two days of swimming.
Sarasota’s Keefe Lodwig completed his sweep of six age group records in six events over the course of both days. The 72-year old former Nebraska University All-American swimmer swam the 100 yard freestyle in 58.74 to set the new record and become the first 70-74 age group swimmer to post a time under one minute. Lodwig also set new records in the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly.
Pam Falcigno, of Naples, set records in the three events she swam Sunday to bring her weekend total to five in the 60-64 age group. Her record-setting time in the 200 IM was eight seconds faster than the previous record, set in 2011 by Patrice Hirr, of The Villages. Falcigno also set new marks in the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly.
Larry Ardito, of Bonita Springs, won gold medals in all three racquetball events at Richey Racquet and won his fifth consecutive men’s singles gold medal winning the 65-69 age group. He teamed with Ken Drew, of Winter Haven, to win the 65-69 men’s doubles gold and with Lucy Ramsay, of Naples, for a mixed doubles gold.
Don Sperber, of Palm Beach, won his fifth men’s singles gold medal in six years, in the 75-79 age group. Sperber has now won gold medals in three different age groups dating back to a gold medal in the 65-69 in 2006.
Two Men’s Tennis singles age group gold medal matches went to tie-breaking sets and an age group champion won a second consecutive gold medal at the Innisbrook Golf Club and Resort. Daniel Beck, of Clearwater, defeated Alan Holden, of Winter Haven, 5-7, 7-5, 10-5 to win the 55-59 gold medal and John Steineman, of Ponte Vedra Beach, beat Jim Norfolk, of Kissimmee, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7, for the 60-64 gold medal.
Julian Rainwater, of Jacksonville, won his second consecutive 70-74 age group gold medal, defeating the 2013 gold medalist, John Robertson, of The Villages, 6-2, 6-2 in the finals. Rainwater was consistent in his winning ways, winning all three of his matches on the way to the gold medal by scores of 6-2, 6-2.
DAY ONE – December 5, 2015
Sarasota swimmers set records on opening day of 2015 Florida Senior Games
A pair of Sarasota swimmers each established three age group records on the opening day of the 2015 Florida Senior Games in Clearwater. Rudy Vazmina and Keefe Lodwig glided through the Long Center Pool with Vazmina winning setting records in the 65-69 age group and Lodwig in the 70-74 age group.
Vazmina (pictured at left), who is swimming in the 65-69 age group for the first time in the 2015 Games, set records in the 50 and 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. His times in the 50 and 100 yard breast, topped records set by Melbourne’s Edward Nessel, who set new marks in the same two events in the 70-74 age group.
Lodwig, who bested the previous 500 yard freestyle record by over a minute, earned All-American status for the Nebraska Cornhuskers swim team in the 1965-66 year and was named the 2008 Cornhusker State Games Male Athlete of the Year. He also set records in the 200 freestyle and 100 IM.
Roxanne Olmstead, of The Villages, broke a 20 year old record in the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 1:38.47 to win the 65-69 age group gold medal. Her time topped Jean Troy’s record set in 1996. While Troy, from Sun City Center, was being knocked out of the record book for her two decade old mark, she set records in the 85-89 age group in the 200 freestyle and 100 IM.
Roy Packard led a trio of Lakeland shuffleboard gold medal winners, claiming his fifth gold medal since 2008 in men’s singles. His first gold in 2008 was in the 50-54 age group and he won the 60-64 age group medal today. Packard was men’s singles silver medalist at the 2015 National Senior Games.
Stan Tredway and Craig Stein also won gold medals for the second consecutive year, Tredway in the 55-59 age group and Stein in the 70-74 age group. Packard and Stein paired to win a 2015 National Senior Games men’s doubles gold medal in the 60-64 age group.
Also joining the shuffleboard gold medal winners was 94-year old, Paul Allaire, of Clearwater. Shuffleboard continues with doubles competition Sunday at the Clearwater Shuffleboard Club beginning at 9:00 a.m.
With an easterly gusting wind blowing across the field at the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, St. Petersburg’s Jack Cason (center in photo with Sport Director Tim Austin, left, and Marc Ricker, NSGA CEO), set a new record in the 80-84 age group in the compound release event with a score of 808. Steve Snider, of Vero Beach, fought off the wind to record the day’s highest score of 851 to win the compound release gold medal in the 50-54 age group.
The Clearwater Aces 70+ Men’s Volleyball team won their 17th consecutive Florida Senior Games gold medal winning four matches in a span of six hours at the Long Center. The Aces defeated the Florida Fun Volleyball team for the 70+ gold medal and also beat two 65+ teams in pool play.
In Doubles Bowling at Seminole Lanes, two of the top husband and wife teams combined to set men’s and women’s doubles age group records and then battled it out in mixed doubles.
Pam and Stan Sprow, of Lakeland and Carol and Gerald Teel, of The Villages, have been winning medals for the last few years. On Saturday, they combined to set records. Pam Sprow and Carol Teel established a new women’s doubles record in the 55-59 age group with a combined score of 1269. Their score topped the previous mark set by Teel and Donna Carroll in 2011, by 22 pins.
Stan Sprow and Gerald Teel, combined for a 1447, to set a new ,men’s doubles record in the 55-59 age group. Their score was only six pins shy of the all-time best men’s doubles score of 1453.
In mixed doubles, the Sprows (at left) won the gold medal over the Teels as Pam and Stan combined for a gold medal winning 1296 score while Carol and Gerald took the silver with a 1254. The Sprows rolled the highest overall mixed doubles score while the Teels had the third highest.
The Men’s Singles Tennis 70-74 age group has a talented group remaining in the semifinal matches to be played Sunday at The Innisbrook Resort and Spa. The 2013 and 2014 gold medalists remain along with the 70-74 Men’s Doubles champions from 2014. The 2013 gold medalist James Robertson, of The Villages, meets doubles champion Jay Bortner, of Valrico, in one semifinal while the 2014 gold medalist Julian Rainwater, of Jacksonville, meets Bortner’s doubles partner Barry Shollenberger, also of Valrico. The semifinals begin at 10:00 a.m. with the gold medal match scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
The day began with an official welcome and the presentation of awards to three deserving Senior Games athletes at the Long Center.
The 2014 Florida Senior Games Athletes of the Year, volleyball player Walt Deal, of Clearwater and distance runner Danuta Kubelik, of Crystal River, were presented with their awards. Deal (second from left in photo below) is a member of the Clearwater Aces Volleyball team that has won gold medals in 16 consecutive Florida Senior Games as well as a volunteer administrator for the Good Life Games of Pinellas County. Kubelik (third from left in front in the photo below) has won five consecutive gold medals in the 5K Road Race, is the record holder in the 10K Road Race 65-69 age group and was a gold medalist at the 2013 National Senior Games.
The National Senior Games presented a “Personal Best” award to 90-year old Ryan Beighley (third from right in front below), a swimmer and track and field athlete from The Villages. The NSGA Personal Best program is a health and wellness Initiative of the National Senior Games Association to drive a healthy aging message as Senior athletes provide the best examples of Personal Best attitude.
Presenting the awards were State Representative Kathleen Peters (second from right), Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos (far right), Florida Sports Foundation President John Webb (third from right) Senior Vice President Stephen Rodriguez (far left) and National Senior Games Association CEO Marc T. Riker (third from left in back).