Today the 2019 National Senior Games presented by Humana got underway with Softball competition at the Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex. New Mexico athletes Ellyn Wong and Bonnie Coleman were among the local players in competition, and results were still pending at deadline. For official results in all sports and the Medal Count, visit the National Senior Games results page at nsga.com/2019results.
Saturday’s schedule: The schedule is jam packed with competition including Badminton (M/W 50-69, M/W 55+, 65+); Basketball (singles, all ages, M/W); Bowling (all ages); Pickleball (women’s doubles, 50-64); Power Walk (1500M, all ages); Race Walk (1500M, all ages); Raquetball (singles, M/W, all ages); Softball (women’s 55+, 65+); Tennis; and Volleyball.
Meanwhile, The Village at the Albuquerque Convention Center is the daytime hub of activity where athletes and the public can enjoy exhibits, activities and entertainment in a festive atmosphere. Civic Plaza is active too. The Climbing Wall is up and the Flame Arrival Ceremony, also known as “Noche de Fuego”, begins at 7 pm.
New Mexico Athletes
Kerri Segell is defending her Gold Medal in the 1500M 60-64 Race Walk at 8:30 am.
Mandy Owens is also defending a Gold Medal in the 1500M 50-54 Race Walk at 9:30 am. Both of these races will be at UNM Track & Field, 1800 Avenida Cesar Chavez SE.
Louise Kiss is defending her Gold Medal in Womens Singles 85-89 Raquetball on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. vs. Beth Carrin at the Downtown Sports & Wellness, 40 First Plaza NW.
Qian-Yun Zhang is defending a Gold Medal Womens Singles 55-59 in Badminton. That match will be at 3:10 p.m. at the ABQ Convention Center.
Also competing Saturday is Jean Davies of Los Lunas. She dedicates her competitions to fallen heroes in the “Memories of Honor” program. She wears their names and sends her medals won in NMSO to surviving families. This is Jean’s first time at the National Senior Games, and she will be honoring Army SPC John A. Pelham.
Additional Athletes to Watch
Former Miss Tampa Cheryl Cherry will be traveling to Albuquerque to compete in the cycling 5K on Saturday morning. She is not only former Miss Tampa, but a breast cancer survivor, coming back to compete in the National Senior Games after an injury in 2018.
An advocate for activity being crucial for your mental and physical health is practicing what she preaches this weekend. Susan Paulson, a family practice doctor, who overcame the congenital heart disease which had sidelined her athletic activities as a young adult, became a physician and started cycling competitively age 51. Watch Susan Paulson as she races in the 5K cycling competition on Saturday.
Donna Gonzales from Terry, Miss., will also be competing in the National Senior Games this year. Donna will be competing in the 1500 meter Race Walk on Saturday. She is an accomplished Race Walker, winning Gold in the 1500M and 5000M in 2005, 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Donna taught fitness and belly dancing at the YMCA, had an aerobics segment on Jackson morning TV show for 5 years.
Another competitor to keep an eye out for is Hollyce Kirkland from Sevierville, Tenn. Hollyce set world record times in 2017 in the women’s 95-99 400- and 800-meter races at 4:29:64 and 9:30:46 respectively. She has also earned an American record in the 200-meter race. Hollyce will be celebrating her 100th birthday in October.
The Village Health & Wellness Expo
The Village, located at the Albuquerque Convention Center, is the daytime hub of activity where athletes and the public can enjoy exhibits, activities and entertainment in a festive atmosphere. Saturday’s activities include:
|7:45-8:15||Activity Zone||Morning Wake Up||Nancy Cottrell|
|8:00-Noon||Tewa Room||Air Marksmanship Demo||Bob Distlehorst|
|8:00-Noon||Civic Plaza||Climbing Wall||Chuck Malagodi|
|10:30-11:30||Activity Zone||Enhance Fitness Call to Action||Paige Dennison|
|12-12:45||Stage||Western Music Association||Betty Carter Maes|
|1-1:45||Stage||Western Music Association|
|1:00-4:00||Tewa Room||Air Marksmanship Demo||Bob Distlehorst|
|3:00-4:00||Stage||Keyboard Music||Carol Sanchez|
|7:00-9:30 p||Civic Plaza||Flame Arrival Ceremony||Noche de Fuego|
Suggested hashtags for the 2019 National Senior Games are #TheGames, #RealSeniorMoments and #OneABQ.