Vermonters picked up four more golds and seven medals total in Wednesday action at the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Flo Meiler added gold medals in the W85 discus and high jump to her impressive collection from these games. Her discus toss was 51’3” and she cleared 2’11.75” in the high jump. Also at the track Zane Rodriguez dominated the M60 javelin field with a throw of 167’4” to take gold there. Matt Guild added a bronze in the M55 800 meter run with a time of 2:18.00.
Action in the pool wrapped up with the 500 yard freestyle competion. Katherine Branch won the W60 division in a time of 6:17.79 to pick up her second gold and third medal of this competition. Sarah Beth Bombardier was third in the W50 division to pick up her first medal.
In the 40 km cycling road race, Dee Barbic finished second in a time of 1:14:01.4 to pick her second medal of these games.
A number of other Vermonters were in action at the track. Sandra Wall ran her W60 200 meter prelim in 34.51 seconds to qualify for Thursday’s final. Margaret McCoy high jumped 3’11.25” in the W55 division to take fourth and just miss a medal. Jill Broderick continued to demonstrate her versatility by taking ninth in both the W65 hammer throw at 48’7” and the W65 high jump at 3’1.25”. Francesca Moravcsik finished 6th in the W85 discus with a heave of 39’9”. And Peter Davis threw the shot 23’1.25” to take 23rd in the M75 shot put.
Mary Clifton was the only other Vermonter to take on the 500 yard freestyle in the pool as she swam the distance in 8:08.20 to take sixth place in the W60 division.
Cyclists Brian Conchieri (13th, M60, 1:07:10.8), Andre Sturm (29th, M55, 1:14:20.0), Lawrence Myer (21st, M70, 1:20:45.4), and John Bertelsen (25th, M70, 1:24:17.1) all competed in all four cycling events at these games, representing Vermont well.
The Celebration of Athletes was held Wednesday evening at the University of New Mexico’s Dreamstyle Arena. Athletes from all events gathered for an Olympic style parade of flags, followed by speeches and entertainment. The best part of the evening was meeting the other Vermont athletes and sharing stories. Vermont was well represented and our group greatly outnumbered that of some neighboring states here in the southwest.
I couldn’t find the results online, but I did learn at the Celebration of Athletes that Vermont’s lone table tennis competitor, John Bolton, finished sixth in the high-level M50 singles competition.
On the tennis courts Eugene and Valentina Demidenko continued their winning ways finishing pool play with a 8-6 match win and a 3-0 record. The only other tennis results I can find online this morning show the 70-74 mixed doubles team of Richard Theken (VT) and Louise Gerhart (MA) losing two 8-0 matches in pool play; and the 60-64 mixed doubles team of Charlie Acker and Karen Didricksen putting up a good fight before losing their second match of pool play be a score of 8-4. It appears the W65 doubles teams were in action Wednesday but their results have not been posted online yet.
In basketball action the only team listed from Vermont was the Vermont Foliage in the M85 division. They wrapped up pool play with a 1-3 record Wednesday, bowing to the Oldies but Goodies by an 11-7 score and losing a close one to the Larks 24-20. On a tip from Lisa Lillibridge, I found out that Vermonters Stan Wilbur and Don Gilman are playing on the New Hampshire Olympians in the M75 division. After two days of competition that team is at 0-4 with one game to play on Thursday. They finished Wednesday with their closest game of the tournament, a 20-18 loss to the Tulsa Slowbreakers.
By Matt Guild