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63 Orlando area senior athletes to compete in the 2017 National Senior Games

Posted on Friday, June 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

The State of Florida will have its best showing at the National Senior Games since 1999 with a total of 870 athletes over the age of 50 competing in 19 sports of the 2017 National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama.

The biennial event begins Saturday, June 2 and concludes on Saturday, June 15 with over 10,000 athletes competing in the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Games that began in 1987.

Of the 870 athletes, 63 are from the Orlando area including track and field athlete Lionel Bonck, of Lake Mary, who set a 400 meter run record in the 75-79 age group at the 2016 Florida Senior Games.  The Orlando mixed doubles table tennis team of Patricia Benitiz and Ricardo Abril will play at the 2017 National Senior games having won Florida Senior Games mixed doubles gold medals in five of the last six years in both the 50-54 and 55-59 age groups.

Clermont’s Cheryl Cherry, the Florida Senior Games 5K Time Trials record holder in the 65-69 age group, is registered for both the 5K and 10K Time Trials, along with her husband, Tom.

The Florida athletes traveling to Birmingham qualified for the 2017 National Senior Games at the 2016 Florida International Senior Games & State Championships last December in Clearwater and Pinellas County. Since 2001, nearly 4,000 Florida athletes have travelled to the National Senior Games.

Other notable fact about Florida Senior Athletes in the 2017 National Senior Games

·         Seven former Florida Senior Games Athletes of the Year will be competing in the 2017 National Senior Games, including both 2016 Athletes of the Year, Kathy Petrillo, a cyclist from Jupiter and John Horwath, an archer from The Villages.  Also registered to compete is Rudy Vazmina, of Sarasota (2015), Avis Vaught, of The Villages (2010), Patrice Hirr, from The Villages (2009) Claudette Braswell, of Lake Wales (2007), Harry Carothers, of Pinellas Park (2004) and Madelaine  “Tiny” Cazel, of The Villages (2003).

·         Of the 19 sports of the National Senior Games, softball tops the list of the sport with the most Florida athletes, with 114.  Not far behind is Pickleball with 100 athletes competing, followed by Track and Field with 81 and Swimming with 62.  The state of Florida is represented in all 19 sports.

·         The oldest registered Florida athlete is 94 year old Mary Kemp, of Boca Raton, who turns 95 on June 14.  Kemp will run in the 50 meter dash during the track and field competition, June 5-11.  A little more than a month younger is the 2016 Florida Senior Games Male Athlete of the Year, John Horwath, who will shoot in the archery compound release event, June 4 and 5.

2017 National Senior Games Dates of  Sports Competition
Archery, June 4-11
Badminton, June 10-15
Basketball, June 4-13
Bowling, June 6-11
Cycling – 5K & 10K Time Trials, June 5-6
Cycling – 20K & 40K Road Races, June 8-9
Golf, June 12-14
Horseshoes, June 10-14
Pickleball, June 3-8
Race Walk – 1500 meters, June 8
Race Walk – 5K, June 6
Racquetball, June 7-11
Road Race – 5K, June 12
Road Race – 10K, June 10
Shuffleboard, June 6-13
Softball, June 8-14
Swimming, June 5-10
Table Tennis, June 10-15
Tennis, June 3-14
Track & Field, June 7-11
Triathlon, June 11
Volleyball, June 5-10

63 Orlando area athletes competing in the 2017 National Senior Games
Archery – 60-64, Gary Perigo, Groveland
Archery – 70-74, Bob Bigler, Mount Dora
Archery – 65-69, Charles Lucas, Titusville

Basketball – 75+, George Kanistras, Oviedo
Basketball – 75+, John Salter, Oviedo
Basketball – 80+, Larry Davis, Tavares

Cycling – 55-59, Kevin Clark, Geneva
Cycling – 70-74, Tom Cherry, Clermont
Cycling – 65-69, Cheryl Cherry, Clermont
Cycling – 55-59, Denise Leheup, Orlando

Golf – 70-74, Dan Alley, Sanford
Golf – 90-94, Arthur Howland, Leesburg
Golf – 60-64, Trinke, Mason, Sanford

Horseshoes – 65-69, Gene Burch, Kissimmee
Horseshoes – 70-74, Donald Nelson, Kissimmee

Pickleball – 55-59, Gerald Shurman, Orlando
Pickleball – 75-79, Steve Arlen, Kissimmee
Pickleball – 60-64, Timothy Malone, Deland
Pickleball – 60-64, David Roy, Kissimmee
Pickleball – 50-54, Erica Gonzalez, Poinciana
Pickleball – 55-59, Jean Vasicek, Orlando

Road Race – 65-69, Steven Kleinfeldt, Winter Park

Shuffleboard – 70-74, Howard Hudelson, St. Cloud

Softball – 50+, Marie Dean, Apopka
Softball – 50+, Tammy Quinn, Mount Dora
Softball – 50+, Susan Robertson, Mount Dora
Softball – 50+, Terry Ryan, Longwood
Softball – 50+, Mary Sallas, Leesburg
Softball – 50+, Betty Vavalis, Orlando
Softball – 55+, Coreen Benedetto, Orlando
Softball – 55+, Doralisa Sherrod, Orlando
Softball – 65+, Carolyn Oliver, Leesburg
Softball – 70+, Joyce Turner, Mount Dora
Softball – 70+, Jacqueline Viers, Leesburg
Softball – 75+, Marian Milham, Leesburg

Swimming – 60-64, Stephen Cunio, Titusville
Swimming – 65-69, Bob Heacock, Clermont
Swimming – 65-69, Linda Fulton, Celebration
Swimming – 55-59, Paula Cunio, Titusville

Table Tennis – 50-54, Chi Chan, Orlando
Table Tennis – 55-59, Ricardo Abril, Orlando
Table Tennis – 65-69, William Lee, Orlando
Table Tennis – 65-69, Chih-Lei Liu, Orlando
Table Tennis – 65-69, Lianying Zhang, Orlando
Table Tennis – 50-54, Kenardo Griffiths, Orlando
Table Tennis – 50-54, Juliana Milanov, Winter Garden
Table Tennis – 55-59, Patricia Benitez, Orlando
Table Tennis – 55-59, Hisae Senko, Kissimmee
Table Tennis – 65-69, Anita Lam, Winter Park

Tennis – 60-64, Jim Norfolk, Kissimmee
Tennis – 90-94, Charlotte Fisher, Leesburg

Track & Field – 75-79, Frederick Atterbury, Winter Park
Track & Field – 75-79, Lionel Bonck, Lake Mary
Track & Field – 50-54, John Marini, Oviedo
Track & Field – 85-89, Raymond Wright, Leesburg
Track & Field – 70-74, Patricia Czar, Sanford

Volleyball – 55+, Chris Halliday, Ocoee
Volleyball – 55+, Roger Lucas, Clermont
Volleyball – 60+, James Hoffman, Leesburg
Volleyball – 60+, Dan Jagodzinski, Leesburg
Volleyball – 50+, Michelle Pringle, Oviedo
Volleyball – 50+, Sheri Sweitzer, Orlando
Volleyball – 55+, Kathy Russell, Sanford

To follow the progress of the Florida Senior athletes and their results, please visit http://nsga.com/2017results.