Lincoln—Badminton, which outgrew its one day Cornhusker State Games format with 79 competitors, wrapped up Sunday at the HPER Complex at UNO with Apirat Lattison of Omaha outdueling Wei Ming Lim of Lincoln for the Men’s Open Gold and Polina Kaniuka taking the Women’s Open Gold over Lourdes Mena of Grand Island.
Temperatures were up and so was the wind Sunday, making for a challenging debut of the Gravel Grinder bike race. The top four finishers included masters-age riders Mike Bartels, 51 of Papillion and Michael Saif, 52 of Lincoln. Kahoe Elementary P.E. Teacher Eric Vacek of Lincoln, the 4th rider in, said the tailwind made for a fast final 15 miles but canceled the cooling effect of some wind in the face. Grant Rotunda of Papillion was the first overall finisher, completing the 111.9-mile course in six hours and 50 minutes.
Sunday marked the second full day of competition in the 30th annual edition of the state’s annual multi-sport festival, with action in 30 sports. The total number of 2014 participants topped 13,000 Sunday, and organizers regrouped late Sunday for a handful of week-night events this week and the final 23 sports next weekend.
Jodi Wegner’s Wymore baseball team failed to medal but finished on a high note with a win in its consolation game Sunday. Games Executive Director Dave Mlnarik said that Wegner is the first and only female head baseball coach he’s seen in the Games and the only one he’s seen in several years of his own sons competing in baseball around the state. Wegner, who works as a Physician’s Assistant at the Women’s Clinic in Lincoln said she’s coached the now 12 year-olds in both baseball and basketball since they were five.
Archery organizers said the new indoor facility at Lincoln Archery Range worked great for the National Archery in the Schools Program, or NASP, portion of the competition Saturday, and it was a nice respite from the heat for archers competing outside in target and 3D events Sunday. Archer volunteer Janice Tubbs said there was just one glitch the entire weekend.
“A whitetail attacked our 3D Elk target, but other than that things have gone great,” Tubbs said. Mlnarik praised the Grand Island Third City Archers club and the Tubbs family from Lincoln for its work in promoting and conducting the CSG archery competition. He said archery numbers were up by 39 archers for a total of 197.
The big winner in golf was youth golfer Harrison Agena of Syracuse, who posted the best overall score of 146 for the two-day competition, featuring rounds at Pioneers Saturday and Highlands Sunday. Keevan Statz of Lincoln, won the men’s open with a 147. Statz won by a stroke over Nick Cepure, who carded the best round of the tournament on Friday, a 69 at Pioneers, but struggled to a 79 at Highlands Sunday, still earning the silver. Patty Henry of Kearney was the top overall female with a 182, and MaKenzie Fuss earned the youth female gold with a 171.
Medal results from completed sports are now available—and sortable by city, county, sport and name at CornhuskerStateGames.com. Photos and other competition highlights can be found on the Cornhusker State Games Facebook page.