Sun City succeeds at Senior Olympics
While Michael Phelps and more than 500 of his fellow American Olympians prepare to “go for the gold” at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Sun City has been busy building success at the Six-County Chicago area Senior Olympics competition.
More than two dozen senior athletes are participating for Sun City at the 31st annual event held July 9-26 at Maine East High School in Park Ridge and several nearby venues. As in the big-time Olympics, bronze, silver, and gold medals are awarded for 3rd, 2nd, and 1st places in more than 60 events in 20 individual and group sports and recreational activities.
Sun City’s Senior Wreck volleyball team brought home the gold medal July 9 after a marathon series of games and matches at the Schaumburg Sport Center. Their overall record was 6-1 over two days of competition. The team has won gold or silver at these games for the last four years.
“Teams are permitted to mix in outside (non-Sun City) players as long they have a core from our community,” said Joe Droho, a long-time volleyball player in Huntley, who plays on one of eight in-house teams in Sun City. “We have a guy from DeKalb, David Keys, who is a professor at Northern Illinois University, and he has recruited many experienced and talented players to help us.”
Sun City team members other than Droho include Don Wickersham, Rich Desmond, and Kay Winkelhake. The team competed in the over-70 recreational division, and Sun City teams have also competed in the competitive division at these Senior Olympics.
In softball last week, Sun City’s competitive division team won bronze on July 11 after winning gold for three straight years. This year, they won their first game, and lost the next one to finish with a 1-1 record in the over-70 division.
“We ran into a little tougher competition this year, but we were close,” Sun City coach Glenn Groebli said.
Team members were Tom Tobin, Pete Karambelas, Bill Gagne, Tom Briglio, Matt Barone, Ron Tenggren, Fred Thomas, Stan Lempa, Ken Andersen, Jules Pelka, Harry Dalof, Dennis Kuta, and Ed Nastek, in addition to Groebli. All but one of them – Barone, are from Sun City.
Almost all of Sun City’s Senior Olympics softball players play on teams in the Sun City Softball League, whose season runs from April to September each year at Eakin Field.
In swimming, nearly a dozen members of the Sun City Stingray Swim Club are representing the community in seven aquatic events in the Maine East High School pool. Competition takes place Thursday July 26, as one of the final events of the competition.
The Stingrays will be led by Caryl Fabian, their top competitor, along with Phyllis Nordlof, Joanie Koplos, Virginia McCann, Joan Souchek. Pat Hatton, Joe Loughlin, Sandra Lott, Ann Broderick, Lisa Yost, and Len Minarcik.
“We’ll have at least one entrant in all the events,” Souchek said.
Sting Ray swimmers have won many awards in Midwest area competitions in recent years, and are expected to take home some medals at Maine East.
Swim events include 100-yard freestyle, 50-yard backstroke, 500-yard breaststroke, 100-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard butterfly, and 200-yard freestyle.
Other sports included in Senior Olympics include 9-hole golf, horseshoes, bike race, billiards, bowling, shuffleboard, tennis doubles, basketball free throw, ping pong, 18-hole golf, trap shooting, and track and field.