Senior Olympics: Local athletes shine at state

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By Mike Cote

Athletes from Los Alamos earned 14 slots to the National Senior Games earlier this month.

Local residents were among the leaders in numerous categories at the state Senior Olympics Games. Those placing in the top three in their age group in events earned a trip to the National Senior Games, which will be held August 2009 at Stanford University in northern California.

In all, 20 Los Alamos seniors competed in the New Mexico Senior Olympic Games July 30-Aug. 3, which were held at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

Unofficial preliminary results showed local seniors winning 64 total medals and 9 total ribbons, including 37 gold medals, 14 silvers, 13 bronzes, eight fourth-place ribbons and one fifth-place ribbon.

Jackie Marr, world–class local swimmer, led the way with 10 gold medals in 10 events. She also shattered state records in all 10 events she participated in, the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke the 100- and 200- yard individual medley, the 100 butterfly and the 100, 200, and 500 freestyle events.

Mary Billen brought home nine medals — eight of them gold — including three golds in cycling (5K, 10K and 20K), four golds in track (100 meters, 200, meters, 800 meters and 1500 meters), a gold in the 10K road race and a silver in the 5K road race.

Billen broke her own state record in the 10K road race, finishing just ahead of Santa Fe’s Carolyn Robinson, although Robinson topped Billen for the gold medal in the 5K.

Newcomer Abel Castillo won a pair of golds, one in horseshoes and one in washers, as well as picking up a bronze in the highly-competitive 50-54 age division of men’s singles table tennis which qualifies him for Nationals in table tennis and horseshoes.

Los Alamos athletes brought home a total of 10 medals in singles and doubles table tennis.

Joyce Blanco had two golds — singles and mixed doubles with John Warren — and a silver in women’s doubles 60-64 with Ann ReVelle.

ReVelle also picked up two golds — one in singles and one in mixed doubles with Santa Fean Jon Redman — while Warren finished with a gold in men’s doubles in 55-59, partnering with Jon Redman. Warren also won a bronze in men’s singles 75-79.

Table tennis newcomer Cy Jakubowski and Richard Thompson also participated.

On the women’s side, newcomers Patricia Jakubowski and Jackie Peckham got their first taste of Senior Olympic State competition.

Peckham played singles and doubles shuffleboard, partnering with Blanco. In singles she won two matches before bowing out to stiff competition in the 60-64 age group.

Jakubowski won silver in washers and was fourth in bowling mixed doubles with husband Cy Jakubowski.

ReVelle, entering a bowling event for the first time, finished 14th in 60-64, two spots behind Jakubowski. Helen Cruz placed 19th in women’s 65-69 singles.

Cy Jakubowski qualified for Nationals in bowling by winning a bronze in men’s singles 60-64, finishing with a 3-game score of 573. He also earned a silver medal in men’s doubles, partnering with Jose Cruz. Cruz/Jakubowski had a combined score of 1,114.

With a silver in horseshoes, Jakubowski also qualified for Nationals in that event. Along with that, he took gold in washers.

Ted Williams was also a newcomer to bowling and finished 18th in men’s singles 60-64.

Los Alamos cyclists did well bringing home a total of 12 medals (four gold) and a fourth-place ribbon.

Richard Thompson won gold in the men’s 40K bike race (65-69) and bronze in the 1-mile sprint.

Frank Pabian finished with three silver medals (1-mile, 5K and 20K) and a bronze in the 10K.

Pat Nelson returned to competition this year in the 50-54 age-group and won silver in the 5K, bronzes in the 1-mile and 20K and took fourth in the 40K. Nelson also picked up three other golds (basketball freethrow, 5K road race and 10K road race) during the event.

Los Alamos racewalkers also did well. Roy Cope won four golds in racewalking (1500 and 5000 meters, 800 estimated walk and 400 power walk) in the men’s 65-69 age division.

Duane Marr returned to competition and picked up a bronze in the men’s 1500 racewalk 70-74 age division. Marr also qualified for Nationals in swimming with two bronze medals, one in the 50 backstroke and 50 breaststroke.

In track and field, local athletes earned eight medals and three ribbons, including six golds, one silver and one bronze.

Warren took silver in the 1500 meters and bronze in the 400 meters. He finished fourth in the 100 and the 800 estimated walk/run.

Bob Weeks participating in the men’s 70-74 age group placed in javelin with a throw of 94 feet, 9 inches.

Inez Ross repeated her winning ways in talent, taking gold with a performance of “A Walk on the Trail in 1856,” for the solo reading event in the 70-plus age division. Ross also qualified for Nationals with a bronze in the 5K road race.

Thompson won a silver in the 10K and a bronze in the 5K to qualify for Nationals.

In recreational events, Blanco won gold in soccer accuracy. ReVelle earned fifth in Frisbee accuracy and Warren picked up a silver in Frisbee distance.

The 2009 state games at Las Cruces will be held May 27-31 with no local qualifying required.

For more information, contact ReVelle at 662-3526.