Club pitches Senior Games horseshoe competition site

Staff Reporter

GROTON — Although the overcast skies looked a bit threatening, the Empire State Senior Games’ horseshoe competition would not have been affected even if it had rained midday Wednesday.
For the first time, the event was held at Luke’s Tri-County Horseshoe Club on Route 38, about a mile north of Groton.
Al Stockholm of Cortland oversaw the competition, as he has for the last six years.
“We’d been outdoors on temporary courts (on the SUNY Cortland athletic fields) that were … less than good,” Stockholm said. “They weren’t fair, they weren’t even legal. They’ve worked out a pretty good arrangement with the organization here.”
Stockholm said that before the temporary courts, the Senior Games had used facilities at the Pioneer Horseshoe Club in Syracuse.
The Tri-County Horseshoe Club was founded in 1993 said club President Lukosavich, of Locke. Melvin “Luke” Luther had donated 5 acres of land for the club to build its eight-pit arena. Avich said the club, which has 150 members, holds league events Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The club had contacted the Senior Games about hosting this year’s event in Groton, Avich said.
“Luke went over and watched them for the past couple years and … he contacted the guy who was running it,” Avich said. “In case it rains, they’ve still got a place to play.”
Jennie Hill of Syracuse plays in a league at the Pioneer Horseshoe Club, and won the gold medal in the 75-79 age bracket at this year’s games.
“I won the gold medal last year in Pittsburgh at the Senior Olympics, and I’ve won this quite a few years,” Hill said. “If I don’t win silver or gold medals here, I can’t go on to nationals. I can’t qualify.”
Edna Wilder, from Theresa, Jefferson County, competed against Hill on Wednesday morning.
“I thought I did well. She’s very good, I like her (Hill),” Wilder said. “She’s a very nice person.”
Wilder’s friend Pat Smith of Hammond, St. Lawrence County, who competed in the 65-69 age bracket, both also won gold in this year’s Games.
“That’s my other sport,” Smith said. “I’ve never done well in that either, but it’s just a fun thing to do.”
Smith said that she preferred the Tri-County Horseshoe Club’s facilities to both the pits in Syracuse and the temporary courts at SUNY Cortland.
Jean Applegate, of Endicott, said that she enjoyed pitching her horseshoes outside.
“I was kind of sorry we were traveling all this distance. I kind of liked it on campus,” Applegate said.
Applegate, who competed in the 80-84 age bracket, threw shoes against Hill despite the age disparity.
“I guess I’m the only one in my age bracket this year, and I will be next year,” Applegate said. “I usually have someone to play against.”
Stockholm said that although they had nearly three times as many entries, only 10 women had shown up for the event. The men’s event, which started later in the day, had 32 entries.
“There were supposed to be 12 people in my age group—I think it’s the conflicting events,” said Smith, who took silver to Hill’s gold medal.
Marlene Vrooman of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County, accompanied Smith and Wilder to the club, although she doesn’t pitch horseshoes.
“It’s a mini-vacation,” Vrooman said of the Senior Games. “I just play golf and cheer them on.
“I’d probably hurt somebody if I threw one of those shoes, or break a leg,” she laughed.
Barb Gabel, of Conklin, Broome County, had no reservations about playing.
“It’s for a good time, and if you do well that’s fine, but if not, oh well,” Gabel said. “I think they do an excellent job. It’s great for us.”


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Red Dragons drafted

SUNY Cortland second baseman Will Groff and right fielder Andrew Mead were selected in this week’s 2006 professional baseball draft.
Groff, a junior from Queensbury, was chosen in the 29th round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Groff batted in the leadoff spot, leading the Red Dragons with a .464 batting average, with four home runs and a team-high 29 stolen bases.
Mead, a senior from Baldwinsville, was selected in the 40th round by the World Series champion Chicago White Sox. He batted .349 this spring for the 39-9 Red Dragons, and is the school’s all-time hit leader with 235.
Groff and Mead are the seventh and eighth Red Dragons, respectively, to be drafted.


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Lofty Malarkey state meet goals

Staff Writer

You’d think that this state outdoor track meet thing would be getting old to Amanda Malarkey by now.
The Cortland High senior has, after all, won three straight Section 3 enrollment class pole vault championships — taking the Class B-1 title twice and Class A-2 once. She also took first in the event at the last three sectional Division I state qualifiers, including this year’s.
She was 12th out of 25 competitors in the state meet at 10-0 as a sophomore (and the top finisher in her class), and last year was fourth in Division I and sixth overall out of 25 at 10-9 (then a school record), the second-best junior in the competition.


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