County athletes do well at state Senior Olympic Games
More than 40 Senior Olympians from all over Valencia County made the trip to Roswell in July to participate in the State Senior Olympic Games.
Of the 49 area Senior Olympians who participated in the four-day event, 32 finished in the top three of their respective competitions, which ranged from dancing to shooting to track and field and everything in between.
“We had a great showing,” said county Senior Olympics board chairman Nick Blea, who himself won a pair of medals in the games. “We had a lot of great participation locally and I think that shows when you look at the state Senior Olympics.”
Those in the top three qualified for the National Senior Olympic Games to be held in Minneapolis, Minn. in the summer of 2015.
Seventeen Valencia County Senior Olympians — Helen Abeyta, Nick Blea, Corby Chávez, Phil Gregory, Eddie Hurbina, Rita Karson, Carolyn Kearns, Fred Laureta, Gerda Lee, John Martin, Jerry Olguin, Dick Pelland, Mary Radcliffe, David Shorr, Elizabeth von Toll, Glen Whitting and Margie Zamora, finished with multiple medals in the competition.
Laureta, Olguin and Radcliffe were among the big winners with Laureta winning 19 medals total, including six gold medals, mostly in the dance competition; Olguin won six golds, all in track and field competitions ranging from the 50-meter dash to the 800-meter run; Radcliffe won six medals, including five gold and also broke the state record in the 800-meter run. Von Toll also broke a state record in the shot put and took a gold in the discus throw.
Olguin, 85, who has been involved in Senior Olympics for more than 17 years, said he has scaled back his participating to only running events.
“I used to do a lot more events but I had to do less this year. But those (running) events are what I’m best at.”
Laureta, who has been involved in Senior Olympics for 20 years, changed up his routine this year.
“Every year I try to do an event that I hadn’t done before,” he said., “but this year I concentrated on the things I do well (such as) dance, race walking and long jump.”
To see a full listing of area medalists and the events they won medals in, go to www.nmseniorolympics.org.