June 7, 2015
Weather does not deter Sunshine State Games athletes in Sarasota-Bradenton Festival
SARASOTA – Sunshine State Games athletes dodged thunderstorms Sunday but all events were completed and champions were crowned in Canoe/Kayak, Synchronized Swimming and Ultimate in Sarasota. Swimming wrapped up after three days in Gainesville, where thunderstorms delayed events on occasion.
The two Ultimate Champions emerged undefeated in the Open and Mixed Divisions at the 10th Anniversary of the sport joining the Games. Force, a collection of players from all over Florida, defeated Wooly Mammoth 7-1 in the Championship Game of the Open Division and G Unit, of Merritt Island, beat Swing State 12-8 in the Mixed Division Final.
Both runners up suffered their only two losses of the tournament to the champions, losing in pool play Saturday and again in the championship bracket on Sunday.
Following the championship games, Jonnie Lancaster, of the Mixed Division team, KOD Y, won the annual Ultimate Layout competition, where athletes find creative and athletic ways to throw and catch discs on a tarp drenched with water and dish soap. Lancaster propelled himself over a motorized cart at the Premier Sports Complex to earn the award and much respect from his fellow Ultimate players.
Back in the water Sunday was the Canoe/Kayak athletes but this time in 6 mile and 12 mile Marathon Races at Fort Hamer Park on the Manatee River. Jeff Moore, of Clearwater, turned in the fastest time in the 6-mile race with a time of 1:11.20.
The fastest time in the 12-mile raced was recorded by Larry Frederick, of Dunnellon, who maneuvered the six mile course, out and back, in 1:49.22
The Gator Swim Club ran away in the standings of the Women’s Team Rankings finishing with 1000.5 points, nearly 600 ahead of ATAC (Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club) at the Dwight Hunter Northeast Pool in Gainesville. Nine Gator Swim Club women combined to win 27 individual gold medals and nine Relay Golds. Leading the way was 14-year old Isabel Ivey, who won eight individual gold medals and a Relay Gold. 10-year old Sydney Kang won five gold medals, Georgia Bates won four and Hannah Burns won three.
ATAC led the Men’s Team Rankings compiling 691 points edging the Gator Swim Club that scored 635 points. Points are accumulated from first place through eight place finishes. The three-day event featured 120 events for swimmers beginning at the 8 and under level through 20-year old swimmers.
Winning the Synchronized Swimming Mary Rose High Point Trophy for the Intermediate Division was the Miramar Mermaids coming in ahead of All Star Synchro and the Hialeah Stormettes. The Miramar team finished the day with three gold medals, a silver and two bronze.
The trio of teams were the top three in the Novice Division Saturday with Hialeah and Miramar swapping first and third spots. All Star Synchro finished second both days.
The final day of Synchronized Swimming will be held Monday at the Selby Aquatic Center with the Age Group, Junior Olympic and Masters Divisions in the pool beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Sunshine State Games action continues next weekend with the Palm Beach County Festival where eight sports will be contested. The Palm Beach County Convention Center hosts Fencing, Judo, Karate, Powerlifting, Taekwondo, Weightlifting and Wrestling. BMX Cycling will be held at Okeeheelee Park.
The Sunshine State Games Badminton Championships will be held at Clear One in Orlando. Visit www.flasports.com for more information about upcoming events of the Sunshine State Games during the month of June.
Over 6,100 amateur athletes have competed in Sunshine State Games events since February. Over 10,000 are expected to compete in nearly 30 sports during 2015.