2018 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, Comes to A Conclusion in Clearwater
CLEARWATER, Fla. — The 2018 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, came to a close on Sunday at 7:02 p.m., at the North Greenwood Recreation Center when Bob Gill, of Weeki Wachee, and Michael Goodrich, of St. Joseph, Mich., defeated Steve Arlen, of Kissimmee, and John Trafalski, of Hernando, 11-5, 11-5, to win the Men’s Doubles Pickleball Gold Medal in the 75-79 age group.
When the final gold medals were presented to Gill and Goodrich, it brought the nine days of the 27th Annual Florida Senior Games to a conclusion, where over 2,600 athletes age 50 and over competed in 25 sports.
Deb Harrison, of The Villages, won her third Pickleball gold medal of the 2018 Games teaming with Ruth Weil, also from The Villages, to win the Women’s Doubles 70-74 age group at the Ross Norton Recreation Center. Since 2005, Harrison has won a total of 31 gold medals in Women’s Singles and Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
Tobias Kaye, of Boca Raton and Rick Owen, of Boyne City, Mich., advanced out of the 18-team Men’s Doubles 65-69 age group bracket, winning five matches. The duo was pushed to three games in both the semifinal and final matches and they defeated Ed Falkenberg and Rick Johnson, Jr., of Ill., in the championship match 4-11, 11-3, 12-10.
Kaye also won bronze medals in Racquetball during the first weekend of the Florida Senior Games in the 65-69 age group and a gold in Men’s Singles in 2016. He competed in Men’s and Mixed Doubles pickleball in the 2017 Games and did not earn a medal.
With an hour and a half of rain to start the morning, the start time of the Track and Field competition was delayed until 11:45 a.m. and all races were completed by 4:00 p.m. at Clearwater High School.
A total of 12 age group records were set, with nine coming in women’s sprint races, four in the 50-meter dash, four in the 100-meter dash and one in the 200-meter. Johnnie Reid, of Naples, set new marks in the 55-59 age group with a 50-meter time of 7.59 and a 100-meter time of 14.15. Jane Barnes, of Raleigh, N.C., was the only other woman to set two new records with a dash of 8.34 in the 50 meter and a time of 15.58 in the 100 meter.
Mary Kemp, of Boca Raton, set the 95-99 age group record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 2:13.32. She is the first woman to ever compete in the age group in the 27 years of the Florida Senior Games.
Alan Wells, of Inverness, set a new record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:17.34, 23 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher in the age group. Wells now holds the 800-meter run records in the 50-54 and 55-59 age groups.
The 2015 FSG Female Athlete of the Year, Danuta Kubelik, of Crystal River, ran in all five races Sunday, winning gold medals in the 70-74 age group. She also won a gold medal in the 5K Road Race on Saturday.
In Basketball action at Highland Recreation Center, the Georgia Boys, scored 97 or more points in each of their four games en route to the gold medal in the 60-64 age group. They defeated FL/GA Line 97-39 in the Championship Game and won their four games by an average margin of 53 points.
The Broward Heat Women’s 55-59 team was undefeated in four games to win the gold medal. The Heat topped Second Wind, of Reno, Nevada, 65-38 in the championship game. Ida Montgomery led the Heat with 19 points in the championship game and totaled 98 points in all four games.
The Sugar and Spikes Women’s Volleyball team, from Canada, was undefeated in three pool play matches at Morningside Recreation Center and two bracket play games to win the 55+ Gold Medal. Sugar and Spikes defeated the Stingers, from Bristol, Virginia, 25-11, 25-16, in the Championship match.
In the Men’s Volleyball division, the Spikers, from Palm Harbor, were undefeated in four pool play matches to win the 50+ age group gold medal for the second consecutive year.
Lonnie McNew, of Ocala, closed out the weekend with a pair of Billiards gold medals winning the Eight Ball competition Saturday and the Eight Ball Doubles event on Sunday. He teamed with Dan Newby for the doubles gold.
It was McNew’s first Eight Ball gold medal and his second Eight Ball Doubles gold medal. He also won two Nine Ball gold medals in 2016 and 2017.
Over 2,600 athletes competed in the 2018 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, in Clearwater and Pinellas County. The 2018 Games are a qualifier for the 2019 National Senior Games, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 14-25.
The 2018 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, are an annual presentation of the Florida Sports Foundation, the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization and are held in conjunction with Visit St. Pete Clearwater and the City of Clearwater.
The 2019 Calendar of Florida Senior Games Local Series Qualifiers begins the weekend of February 2, 2019 with the Heartland Senior Games, in Sebring, the Lee County Senior Games and the Gulf Coast Games for Life in Sarasota County.