Three area bowlers -- Tom Humphreys of Sarasota, and Harry Witt and Ona Wood, both of Rotonda West -- captured two gold medals apiece in the Florida International Senior Games and State Championships in Fort Myers over the weekend (Dec. 7-8).
In the bowling competition at Pin Street Lanes, Humphreys, a 77-year-old lefthander, won gold in men's singles (75-79 age group) and men's doubles (50-54) with Robert Gibson of Lakeland, with the age classification being based on the age of the younger bowler.
In addition, Humphreys tied for the runner-up position in mixed doubles (55-59), paired with Lorrie Pead of Bradenton.
"I've bowled in this tournament for at least 10 years, and I really enjoy the competition because the people are always so pleasant and nice," Humphreys said. "I always try hard in these events, and it definitely paid off this year."
Humphreys blasted a 269 game as part of a 663 series in his men's singles victory, which was 24 pins better than the 639 posted by runner-up Pete Chapman of The Villages.
In men's doubles, Humphreys rolled a 588 series while Gibson had a 639, and in the mixed doubles, Humphreys totaled 528 with partner Pead adding 461. Pead added a bronze medal in women's doubles (55-59) with Patricia Bissell of Palmetto.
Witt, Wood are two-time gold medal champions
Witt and Wood also claimed two gold medals each in the 65-69 age classification, including a tie for first place in mixed doubles with a score of 1,114.
Witt also prevailed in men's singles with a 663 series that included a 257 game, while runner-up Ed Fenstermacher of The Villages finished far back with 598. Wood's singles triumph came on a series of 578.
"Ona and I bowled just good enough to win doubles on (lane) conditions drier than the Sahara Desert on Saturday," Witt said. "On Sunday, it was a different story with fresh oil on the lanes, and we both did a lot better. Many tournament bowlers were in their 80s and 90s, and I just hope I can find the bowling alley, let alone compete, when I reach that age."
One other area player, Mary Kyle of Port Charlotte, was a medalist, capturing a bronze in women's singles (55-59) with a 490 series.
In all, 146 senior athletes competed in the bowling events, and more than 1,700 participants of age 50 and up will have taken part in 23 sports before the Games conclude on Dec. 15 at various Lee County venues.
The Senior Games movement first started in Florida when created in Sanford in 1974, and soon thereafter, similar local and state Senior Games began appearing nationwide. For a link to up-to-date results in all of the events, including bowling, click here.
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