Covert returns to roots for Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana
The last four years of the Florida Senior Games have been a homecoming for Doug Covert, a Tallahassee athlete, who has been a regular on the bowling lanes but laced up a different pair of shoes to compete on the track lanes in 2018.
Covert and his family moved to Dunedin when he was in fifth grade and is an alum of Dunedin High School. After graduating from Florida State in 1987, he returned to the Tampa Bay area where he met his wife, Lisa, and the couple moved back to Tallahassee where they have resided for more than 25 years.
It’s the classic Senior Games athlete story. An athlete excels in a sport in their youth, becomes a successful professional in their field, raises a family and once the family grows up, they return to action.
For the last few years, Covert’s success has been limited to rolling strikes at the bowling alley. In the 2018 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, he returned to the track for the 400 meter run.
On the first weekend of the Games, he turned in a milestone performance at the Seminole Lanes. He spent plenty of time on the lanes as a youth as his parents were league bowlers. He was in youth leagues and admits he was “well decorated,” in the sport. He bowled on the FSU Intramural team as a student.
He has been bowling in the Capital City Senior Games since turning 50 and qualified for the four years in Clearwater. Covert earned a 2018 silver medal in Men’s Singles, with a combined three-game score of 681, which included a personal best game of 289, in his first of three games. . .so close to a perfect game.
“I hit the first 10 strikes and the 11th was a good ball but it just didn’t go,” he said. “I left the 10 pin on my 11th roll and picked it up on the 12th for the 289.”
The second weekend of the Games, he returned to Clearwater to a stadium where he competed with the Dunedin High School Track and Field team, “at least 10 or 12 times,” in the early 1980s.
Running in the 50-54 age group of the Florida Senior Games, he ran the 400-meter dash in 1:06.42, for a sixth place finish in a very competitive field.
“I did better than I thought I would,” he said after the race. “I’ll just have to work harder for next year.”
In his high school and college years, Covert ran the 400-meter dash in the area of 48 seconds. He also competed in Masters Track and Field events in his early 40s and made the full lap around the track in 57 seconds.
“My goal with training for next year is to lower my time to 60 seconds flat,” he said. “I’ll also move up into the 55-59 age group and I’ll be the youngest in the age group. I think I can get there.”
Join Covert and hundreds of other athletes to create your own 2019 Capital City Senior Games story and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Games – whether it’s at Capital Lanes for bowling or at Godby High School for track and field, during the, March 1-11. Visit Talgov.com/SeniorGames for more information.