Senior athlete accomplishment abound at busiest day of 2015 Florida Senior Game

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Senior athlete accomplishment abound at busiest day of 2015 Florida Senior Game


CLEARWATER – A pair of Florida Senior Games athletes added to their impressive list of accomplishments on the track and on the court Saturday, the busiest day of the 24th Annual Olympic-style Sports Festival with 10 sports in action throughout Clearwater and Pinellas County.


In the Florida Senior Games records and results the name, Ethel Lehmann, Largo, has been a track and field fixture since 1993.  In 2015, with the Games being held in her own backyard, at Clearwater High School, Lehmann, etched her name in the Florida Senior Games record book six times in 85-89 age group field events.


Her performances in the high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus and javelin set records by a little and by a lot. Her javelin throw of 41 feet topped the previous record by more than 20 feet and her discus throw of 39 feet broke the previous mark by 10 feet.


Lehmann was named the 1997 Florida Senior Games Athlete of the Year and after today’s performances, her name appears in the Games record book 19 times.  Over the years, she has played for the Freedom Spirit softball team that traveled to the 2015 National Senior Games and has won numerous medals in national competition.


For the second day in a row, Cape Coral’s Robert Welter was one of the last players to leave the pickleball courts at the Long Center Gymnasium as he won his second gold medal in as many days. He teamed with Bobbi Little of North Fort Myers to advance out of a 23-team bracket in the 60-64 age group for the gold medal.


Playing together for the first time in the Florida Senior Games, Little and Welter defeated Nancy Meyer, of Fort Myers and Randy Hall, of Willmar, MN in straight sets in the championship match.


Welter played five singles matches Friday, to win the 60-64 age group and five mixed doubles matches Saturday.  He plays men’s doubles on Sunday.

By winning the Cycling 20K and 40K Road Races in Oldsmar, Luigi Fabbri, of Hallandale added the 12th and 13th Road Race gold medals to his collection from the Florida Senior Games dating back to 2000.  He has won medals in four age group categories from 65-69 to 80-84.


Kathy Petrillo, of Jupiter, was the top female finisher in both races giving her four50-54 age group gold medals in the 2015 Florida Senior Games cycling events.  Also winning medals in all four events were Dave Lewis of Sarasota and Eric Marc Lippens, of Naples.


Two basketball shooters achieved perfection in the free throw shooting competition as Jack Layton, of Spring Hill, KS and Ronn Wycoff, of Sarasota hit 30 of 30 free throws.  The perfect totals earned Layton the gold medal in the 65-69 age group and Wyckoff in the 70-74 age group.


Wyckoff also posted the highest total points in the spot field goal shooting with 14 of a possible 15 to win the 70-74 age group medal.  Wyckoff has been a basketball coach and instructor for more than 50 years and is a founding member of the National Basketball Shooters Association, whose mission is to improve free throw shooting at all levels of competition.


Diane Foli, of Lakeland, posted the highest overall timed field goal shooting with 130 points, hitting a total of 26 three point shots in three one minute segments. Foli, the women’s basketball coach at Florida Southern College from 1997-2006, also had the high women’s totals hitting 27 of 30 free throws and  scoring 11 of a possible 15 in the spot field goal shooting  to win gold medals in the 50-54 age group.


Howard Thilenius, of Okeechobee and William Lawrence, of Lakeland both won their second gold medal in Billiards with Thilenius winning the 75-79 age group in the Eight Ball Singles event and Lawrence winning the 55-59 age group.


Sunday is the ninth and final day of the 2015 Florida Senior Games with four sports in action.  More than 2,000 are competing in 24 sports of the Florida Senior Games over nine days of action.


Schedule of Florida Senior Games events for Sunday, December 13

Pickleball (Men’s and Women’s Doubles), The Long Center, Matches begin at 8:00 a.m.

Track & Field (Running Events) – Clearwater High School, First event begins at 9:15 a.m. with Race Walk.  Final event begins at approximately 1:00 p.m.

Billiards (Eight Ball Doubles) – Strokers, First break at 9:00 a.m.

Croquet – Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, First shot at 10:00 a.m.


Results from the 2015 Florida Senior Games will be updated daily and can be found at  Click the “Results” link at the bottom of the page and choose from the events and sports.  Individual athletes can be searched by name and by city and county.  A daily wrapup of featuring athlete accomplishments will be sent out daily.  To request a photo of any of the athletes, please contact Nick Gandy at [email protected] and every effort will be made to meet the request.


The 2015 Florida Senior Games are a program of the Florida Sports Foundation, which serves as the state’s lead organization in promoting and developing Florida’s Sports Industry.   The 2015 Games are being held in conjunction with the St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission and the City of Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department.

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