Seniors set for Olympics

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Sixteen Quay County senior athletes will compete early next month in the New Mexico State Senior Olympics in Las Cruces.

The athletes qualified for state competition at the Quay County Senior Olympics games on May 11-12. The number of athletes who competed this year was higher than the previous year, said Quay County Senior Olympics director, Corene Medcalf.

“We had 26 people participate in the local games,” said Medcalf. “It is wonderful to have so many come out and take part in the games and stay active.”

The 16 athletes who will participate in the state games are Mele Armijo, Paul Bason, Betty Bason, Erlinda Blea, Celso Blea, Betty Boatman, Lynn Hawkins, U.V. Henson, Leona Faye Mayfield, Corene Medcalf, Mary Rivera, Gilbert Romero, Lorraine Runyan, Maurice Runyan, Bob Smith and Eppie Vigil.

Blea of Tucumcari was selected and will receive the Spirit Athlete of the Year award. “Celso was voted for locally and was chosen as athlete of the year for his positive attitude, and eagerness to help others in preparation for the games,” said Medcalf.

Blea and Gilbert Romero are the first two athletes from Tucumcari to ever qualify for the national games. Blea and Romeo competed in the 2007 National Senior Olympics on June 24-July 5 in Louisville, Ky. Blea competed in horseshoes and javelin and Romero participated in the table tennis competition.

“It was a great experience and I enjoyed it a lot,” said Blea. “There were 12,000 athletes from across the country. It was great seeing so many seniors competing that were good athletes.”

The New Mexico State Senior Olympics games will be Aug. 1-7 on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.