2024 Florida Senior Games, December, 2-15, Florida's Sports Coast/Pasco County

Florida Senior Games Athlete of the Year and Others Produce Impressive Numbers
The FSG daily wrapup, courtesy of SilverSneakers®

Before receiving her 2022 Florida Senior Games Female Athlete of the Year during the swimming competition at the Temple Terrace Aquatic Center, Linda Fulton, of Celebration reacted with humility.

“What have I done to deserve this,” she asked. “There are so many good swimmers out here.”

Linda Fulton is one of those good swimmers who annually dive in the pool at the Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana.

At the 2023 Games, Fulton won gold medals in the 70-74 age group, in all six events she entered, and set two age group records. She accomplished the same feat at the 2022 Florida Senior Games.

Since last December, Fulton won five gold medals and a silver at the 2023 National Senior Games. She has won 33 Florida Senior Games gold medals since 2016.

She’s quite worthy of the honor.

During the first weekend of the 2023 Florida Senior Games, Fulton and basketball player EJ Tarpey, of Vero Beach, were etched in history as the 57th and 58th Florida Senior Games Athletes of the Year.

Fulton and Tarpey had some impressive numbers this weekend, much like the 56 other Athletes of the Year before them. Take a look at the following impressive numbers produced Florida Senior Games Athletes in the first two full days of the 32nd Annual Games.

Accuracy From the Charity Stripe
Florida Senior Games Basketball shooters made 692 made free throws Saturday at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus. The 35 athletes took a total of 1,050 free throws for a 65.9 success rate.

Three shooters, EJ Tarpey, William Oliver, of Reunion and Ronn Wyckoff, of Sarasota, each hit 29 of 30 shots. A total of 19 shooters (more than half of the field) hit 20+ free throws, 12 hit between 25 and 29 and seven hit between 20 and 24.

In the Men’s 80-84 age group, all three shooters hit 83% or better. Ronn Wyckoff connected on 29 of 30, Harry Carothers made 27 of 30 and Gene Reagan was good on 25 of 30. Ron Plano, in the 85-89 age group hit 26 of 30.

To put the Florida Senior Games Basketball Shooters 65.9% success rate in perspective, five NBA teams currently have a team free throw percentage under 75%.

Climbing on the Bike
Of the 68 total cyclists who completed the 20K and 40K Cycling Road Races, with a start/finish line at San Antonio Elementary School, riders pedaled for a total of 1,980KM or 1,230 miles. Riders circled the six+ mile course, six times in the 40K Road Race and three times in the 20K Road Race.

Pulling Back the Bow
Standing as far as 60 yards away from the target, 92 Florida Senior Games archers shot a total of 8,280 arrows during Saturday’s competition at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus.

The format calls for archers to shoot 30 arrows (5 ends of 6 arrows), followed by 30 from 50 yards and 30 from 40 yards. Besides their accurate shooting, archers get some walking in, 120 yards five time, 100 yards five times and 80 yards five times.

The top overall scores were turned in by Joe Loureiro, of Port St. Lucie, with an 871, of a possible 900 points. The top female performance was from Diane Watson, from Hudson, with an 864. Both were gold medalists in the 55-59 age group

Diving in the Pool
Over the course of two days at the Temple Terrace Aquatic Center, over 120 swimmers swan 2,648 laps in the 25 yard pool for a total of 66,200 yards, or 37.6 miles.

Florida Senior Games swimmers established 28 new age group records in 2023, 15 from men’s swimmers and 13 from women.

Jeanne Hackett, of The Villages, set four new records in the 80-84 age group to lead all record-setters.

Senior Athlete Light Up the Nets
On the basketball courts at the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus 1,657 points were scored by the 15 teams on the floor. Florida Senior Games 3-on-3 Basketball games are two halves of 15 minutes played on half court length floors.

Setting Them Up and Knocking Them Down
During two days of bowling at Pinchasers in Zephyrhills, Florida Senior Games athletes knocked down 130,284 pins. Here’s the breakdown by events.

Women’s Singles 16,538 by 34 bowlers
Men’s Singles 36,797 by 65 bowlers
Women’s Doubles 14,154 by 13 teams
Men’s Doubles 28,625 by 26 teams
Mixed Doubles 34,170 by 33 teams

Team Bowling scores will increase the total to an even more impressive number.

More numbers will be created on Monday with three sports taking place in three different locations.

Schedule for Monday, November 4
Golf – Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club, South Course, Dade City; 9:00 a.m. start time
Table Tennis (50-69 age groups)– Legacy Park Multi-Purpose Center, Alachua; 9:00 a.m. start time
Tennis (M/W Doubles) – Sarah Vande Berg Tennis Center, Zephyrhills; 9:00 a.m. start time

The 2023 Florida Senior Games is an annual program of the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida, presented in conjunction with Florida’s Sports Coast and SilverSneakers®.