With the sensory pleasing backdrop of stunning St. George and its surrounding expanse as a motivational pull for competitors, North America’s foremost fall meet, the iconic Huntsman Senior Games concluded its mid-October gathering with the usual output of quality performances.
Fifty-three-year-old Lithuanian native Neringa Jakstiene, a former youth hurdler who emigrated to Tennessee in 1994 racked up some significant hardware, rocking multiple meet records and finishing with seven victories.
Judging by a series of strong results, world-class sprinters on-site rebuffed the late-season “tired legs” narrative with crisp, outstanding times. Damien Leake (M65), Brenda Matthews (W65), Bob Lida (M80), Don McGee (55) and Barbadian Shirley Harper (W70) shone in every sprint discipline.
Patrick Bourne (Christ Church, Barbados) edged Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico’s Miguel Magana in a thrilling (M50 1500m showdown 4:53.0 to 4:53.1. Among the women distance stars: Westwood, KS 1500m ace Cindy Blakeley-Cameron notched gold in a meet-best 5:38.3 in addition to collecting a victory at 3000m. Gary Patton (M70) and (M55) Rick Cordes had productive Gold medal bearing trips at 3000m as well.
Dennis Diaz (M60) lead a large field in the men’s discus, winning with a mark of 49.41 m over runner-up, Canadian Michael Deady’s 41.66m effort. In the javelin, John Kelly of Boise, ID (M50) won the overall title following a 50-plus meter throw. Jennifer Swanston-Jones (W55) and Chicago’s Sharon Sears (W50) paced all with 9.73m and 9.14m results respectively.
Christa Bortignon (W80) won 50m, 100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump, high jump and standing long jump. All all except the high jump were meet records!