Among the 10,000 athletes from around the country who competed in the 2015 National Senior Games, held July 3-16 in the Twin Cities, were six Minnesota hopefuls profiled in April’s issue of “The Good Life.” Here’s how they did — and what they thought of the Games.
Randy Hall, 64, Willmar, Minn. Pickleball, men’s doubles (with Dean Loveland): bronze medal in the 65-69 age group; Pickleball, mixed doubles (with Nancy Meyer): 8th place in the 60-64 age group.
“Wow, what an experience — 34 teams in men’s doubles and we got third in the nation. Fantastic! This was a quality tournament in every age bracket. You had to bring your A-game to every match to get a victory!”
Jane Shallow, 53, Crystal. Women’s basketball: 7th place with her team, the 1960s Girls, 50-54 age group; Women’s javelin: 8th place (distance: 17.94 meters, or 58 feet, 10.3 inches), 50-54 age group.
“The competition was great, the camaraderie was wonderful, and the volunteers were very friendly and helpful. We are happy with 7th place for our first time. I am hopeful we can organize Minnesota with a three-on-three league for women over 50. People who want to play can contact me at email@example.com.”
Anita Macias-Howard, 60, Edina. Women’s racewalking, 1500 meter: silver medal (time: 00:09:21.770), 60-64 age group; Women’s racewalking, 5000 meter: bronze medal, (time: 00:33:09.000), 60-64 age group.
“The whole games have just been very exciting, all the people that I’ve met. I feel really good about my experiences this time. I think there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm. … I was able to participate in some of the other events, like the Celebration of Athletes. Having access to some of those activities and being that it’s my home territory was very nice. I was very proud of our home state.”
Sherwood Sagedahl, 76, Fairmont, Minn. Competed in several track and field events, won a gold medal in the 800-meter race (time: 00:02:54.150) and silver medals in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 1,500-meter races in the 75-79 age group.
“I had fun and reached some of my goals. A highlight was winning the 800-meter for males age 75-79. My time was the second best time ever for that event for males 75-79 since 1987, [the year of] the first National Senior Games meet. I missed the National Senior Games record by about one second.”
Jackie Cogan, 55, Pequot Lakes, Minn. Archery: 5th in Women’s Compound Release, 55-59 age group.
“In the days leading up to the start of the games, my husband and I were extremely lucky to represent Minnesota in the National Senior Games Torch relay. We were assigned the task of presenting the National Games torch at a number of cities along the route via Amtrak. Our first stop was Washington, D.C., from there we went to New York City, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee and then back to St. Paul for the kickoff of the National Senior Games. It was so thrilling and exciting to be part of the relay. The National Games was an amazing experience. I met a lot of really super individuals that all had the same passion and interest. In fact, we all talked about seeing each other at the 2017 National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala. Viewing the variety of events and the ages competing was absolutely inspiring! Seeing the 70-plus, 80-plus and 90-plus seniors compete and succeed has sparked my drive to become and stay healthy and fit.”
Tom Rohman, 67, South Haven, Minn. Triathlon: 5th place (time: 01:11:34.000), 65-69 age group.
“It was a great day. There were lots of people — 26 in my age group, but boy, you put all the age groups in one place, there must have been 100-some people. The results were the best that I’ve had, personal records. That’s enjoyable for me. If I can do as good as I expect or better, then I’m happy. To come in fifth was just a bonus. The Senior Games promote competitive sports with the goal of good health and having fun. There isn’t a high emphasis on the competition part. [But] there was enough adrenalin going that there was competition, all right. You’d think we were kids, trying to win something. But it was a good time.”