Season starts for Senior Olympics

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The Valencia County Senior Olympics began its 2014 season recently for seniors age 50 and older in more than 30 events.

Competition began in March and will continue for the next three months, as seniors get active and at the same time qualify for the New Mexico State Senior Olympics in Roswell in July.

This is of interest to competitors because the New Mexico state games are the qualifier for the 2014 Senior Games in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.

Among the local athletes who have earned medals at national events are Helen Abeyta, Elizabeth Van Toll and Phil Gregory, as well as Mary Radcliff, who earned five medals in running events at state last year, and newcomer Margie Zamora, a special education teacher in Belen, who earned a gold medal in shooting.

Competitions began in March with air pistol and air rifle competitions as well as pickle ball, which also has a competition this Tuesday, April 8.

Other competitions in April include table tennis and shuffleboard on Thursday, April 17; golf (18 holes) on Tuesday, April 22; frisbee and softball throws, and soccer kick competitions on Saturday, April 26; and bowling, including singles, mixed doubles and team events, Tuesday, April 29, through Friday, May 2.

May is full of competitions as well, with the dance competition, including country-western, jitterbug, cha cha, tango, ballroom and waltz as well as a talent competition and instrumental competition on Thursday, May 1; horseshoes on Friday, May 2; and track and field on Saturday, May 3; with 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,500-meter runs; 400-meter and 1,500-meter walk competitions as well as the high jump, long jump, shot put, discus and javelin throw.

Archery takes center stage on Thursday, May 17, while the 5K and 10K road races are on Friday, May 25. Men and women’s basketball, volleyball and softball are among the activities that are year round.

Tennis and swimming are also planned. Athletes interested in those events should call either Marcos Castillo at 352-7662 or Nick Blea at 450-5300 for event times, locations and information.

Registrations packets are available at the Daniel Fernandez Recreation Center in Los Lunas, all Valencia County senior centers and the Belen Recreation Center or download the application from the Los Lunas village website at www.loslunasnm.gov. There is a $20 fee that covers the cost of unlimited local events, except golf and bowling.