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Locals win medals
at Senior Games

Several Haywood County senior athletes and artists won medals at the 2011 North Carolina Senior Games State Finals, held in Raleigh on September 26– October 2. Sandra Michener, Marcia Tate, Debbie Wilson, Diane Byers, Harry Janetzko, Melanie Newsome and Margo Johnson returned with various medals to display after a superb effort in select athletic and artistic events.

Sandra won gold in the 800 meter run (4:44.44) and 1500 meter run (9:12.34) and silver in the 5K run (36:29.59). Marcia received a gold medal in the 5K run (26:04.14), silver medal in the 1500 meter run (6:47.56), 800 meter run (3:25.66) and 400 meter dash (1:31.30) and a bronze medal in the 200 meter dash (40.35). Debbie won gold medals in the Swimming-200 yd. backstroke (3:03.94) and 500 yd. freestyle (6:54.16) and silver medals in the Swimming-100 yd. freestyle (1:13.38) and Cycling-10K (20:11.00). Diane Byers achieved a gold medal in the Swimming-500 yd. freestyle (9:25.34), silver medals in the 50 yd. backstroke (53.85), 100 yd. freestyle (1:31.17) and 50 yd. freestyle (39.99) and bronze medals in the 200 yd. freestyle (3:25.01) and 100 yd. backstroke (1:56.75). Harry won gold medals in the shot put (41’11.5”) and discus (136’2”). In addition, Harry also set State Finals Records in both events in the Male 55-59 age group. Melanie won a silver medal in the Racquetball event (13-15, 15-7, 4-11). Margo Johnson won a bronze medal in the SilverArts basket weaving division.

While the majority of events were held in Raleigh on September 26-October 2, the State Finals Golf Tournament took place October 11-12 at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, NC. Haywood County residents Betty Henderson and Jack Guinn won a gold and bronze medal, respectively.  Henderson shot an 87 to take 1st place in her age group while Guinn put up an 80 to finish 3rd in his age category.  This 2-day event was rain shortened by a 1 day as heavy rain moved through the state on Tuesday and Wednesday.

All local athletes and artists qualified at the annual 2011Haywood County Senior Games this past spring. Haywood County Senior Games is coordinated locally by Haywood County Recreation and Parks, and is part of a statewide network of 53 local programs sanctioned by North Carolina Senior Games, Inc. NCSG is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing year-round health promotion and education for adults 55 years of age and better.

Senior Games is sponsored statewide by the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services. Gold Sponsor of State Finals is Humana, Inc. and the Silver Sponsors are Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel and Rex Hospital and UNC Healthcare. NCSG also offers SilverArts, the statewide heritage, visual, literary, and performing arts program; SilverLiners senior line dancing program and SilverStriders national award winning walking program.

Qualification for next year’s State Finals will be held in the spring of 2012 at Local Senior Games across North Carolina. For more information on Haywood County’s Senior Games program, please contact Scot Worley, Recreation Specialist with Haywood County Recreation and Parks, at 828.452.6789 or by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . To find out more about North Carolina Senior Games, call (919) 851-5456 or visit their website at www.ncseniorgames.org.