The Heartland Senior Games have wrapped up for another year. What a month it has been. Thanks to the help of the Arcadian, word seems to be spreading and we had great participation from the folks in Arcadia. Those who do well in their age/gender bracket in the Heartland Games, will qualify to compete in the Florida Senior Games in Broward County Dec. 7-15. The event locally is hosted by South Florida State College.
The final event of the Games was tennis. Marcel Marquis from Cross Creek played in the singles 75-to-79 age bracket and came home with a gold medal. Marquis returned with his partner, Frank Rossano, also from Cross Creek. They won gold, competing in the 70-to-74 bracket, as it is the age of the younger player that determines in which group a player competes.
Looking back, it is hard to believe that so many events have been held and how many medals have been toted back to Arcadia.
Andree Larivee from Cross Creek took gold in singles, while Brenda Shevchik and David Tait, both from Craig’s RV Resort, each won bronze medals. In doubles, Larivee teamed up with Terry Johnson, also from Cross Creek, and had the top score of the tournament to win gold. Johnson then teamed up with Cheryl Smethurst from Avon Park for gold in the mixed doubles competition.
No one from Arcadia signed up to compete with players from Sebring and Avon Park.
Brenda Shevchik, the lone cyclist from Arcadia, crossed the finish line in second place in the 5K time trial.
Bob Margetin and Bob Rogers from Cross Creek both struck gold, while Michael Woodall of Oakview Estates captured a silver medal. Bringing home bronze were Norma Woodall and Bill Shevchik. This was the only one of her events where Brenda Shevchik wasn’t on the podium.
There was a good showing from the Arcadian golfers, with Michael Woodall, Fred Keson (Sunrise) and Melody Lewis (Craig’s) earning the right to play in the Florida Senior Games in Broward County in December. Other golfers who had a great day at Sebring Golf Course were; Rich Sawyer, George and Linda Balta, Reed Zellers, Bill Bless, John Eppehimer, Russ and Pam Clevenger, James Schmid and Gary Smith, all from Craig’s, plus Bob Matthews.
Despite the popularity of horseshoes at Craig’s, Toby’s, Arcadia Village and Big Tree, not one player came out to compete in the horseshoe tournament that was just reintroduced to the Games this year.
Not only did the ladies from Cross Creek come out to play at Tropical Harbor in Lake Placid, they agreed to host the tournament in 2020. Theresa Mansfield, Cheryl Kiser, Carol Polk and Janice Larsen cheered on their medal winning friends—Elizabeth Strutt who won a gold medal and Betty Seatter who got a silver.
Pickleball is always the largest event of the Heartland Games. This year was no exception, with 120 competing in doubles and 100 in mixed-doubles.
The Cross Creek pickleballers did well in doubles play, with Bill Monnon and Alex Pavao partnering for a bronze and Andre and Jacques Charlebois teaming up to earn a spot at the state Games. Despite playing well, the teams of Frank Rossano, with Marcel Marquis and Sandy Williams paired with Apolo Starr, were held off the podium.
In mixed-doubles play, Gisela Boyes and Alex Pavao emerged as the winners of their 60-to-64 age group that saw 16 teams competing for supremacy.
Once again, Arcadia had no representatives.
There was lots of excitement when the table-tennis players met at the Sebring Recreation Club, but no one from Arcadia was there to experience it.
Track and field
It was an honor to have 87-year-old Ralph Ricker of Arcadia compete just one month after a stroke. His son, Jim, flew in from Wisconsin to take part in the meet with him. Brenda Shevchik earned herself a gold in the 5K and will be working hard in the fall to encourage athletes throughout Arcadia and DeSoto County to participate in the Heartland Senior Games.
2020 Heartland Senior Games
Jan. 31-Feb. 28, 50 years and older competing against others of the same gender and age group, sanctioned by the Florida Sports Foundation and serving as a qualifying event for the Florida Senior Games for residents of DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands and surrounding counties. www.southflorida.edu