Two siblings who were tragically killed on the Lake of the Ozarks this past fourth of July are being honored at the GAMES this year. The Southern Boone Eagles 8U coach pitch baseball team will showcase memorial ribbons to honor their classmate, Brayden, by placing them on their hats while playing. Susan Blackburn, a mom to one of the players, made the ribbons for the team. “It just seemed a natural thing to do in light of everything that has happened,” Blackburn said. Brayden Anderson, 8, and his sister, 13-year-old Alexandra, were electrocuted while in the water at the lake. The team will honor the two and is scheduled to play the weekend of July 27-29. The group of players consists of: Gavin Blackburn, Hayden Steelman, Adam Wiseman, Carter Wood, Glenn Frazier, Sam Hampton, Cade Crowell, Jack McCluskey, Bradly Smith, Tate John and Carter Northway.
Wil, 24, and Markie, 23, Lampkin will be competing in their first sprint triathalon together at this year’s STATE GAMES. Markie says that they have ran marathon relays, half marathons and both competed collegiately as individuals. Wil is an accountant and originally from Hermann, Mo., and Markie is a health teacher and coach and is originally from Centralia, Mo. The couple now lives in Union, Mo. “We’ve overcome adversity, as all people have, but [we are] an incredibly blessed couple that loves the outdoors, staying active and enjoys one another’s company,” Markie said.
Dr. Thomas Dresser, 68, has been a high-performance athlete for 50 years and has adopted a way of thinking that supports healthy living for any age group or fitness level. “People ask me how I do in competitions, and I tell them that I won my division…I make my division so small that I’m the only one in it,” Dresser said. He has done much enduring athletics over the years including track and cross-country. In his 50s, Dresser picked up cycling and at 60, he ran a 5-kilometer race, was involved in a triathalon and was the state champion in the 40-kilometer bicycling time trial. After this tremendous year, Dresser’s heart condition– called an atrial fibrillation, which occurs when the heart is out of rhythm– flared up and prevented him from such endurance sports. He says that his heart is technically normal again after surgery, but he is conscious of putting too much stress on himself. Dresser explains that any type of sport is necessary, though, as a stress reliever and to maintain healthiness. “That’s what is so great about the Show-Me STATE GAMES,” he says, “I get the chance to participate in something.” Dresser’s son plays disc golf, and the experienced runner decided to try his hand at it. Although he has run 51 marathons, Dresser says that you don’t have to run that many to still be involved and active. “The GAMES give great opportunities for everyone to participate,” he says, “everyone is fortunate to do the best he or she can.”
Johnathon Swymeler tried his athletic skills at track and field for the 2011-2012 season and not only did well but broke long-standing running records. Swymeler is an upcoming high school freshman at Tri-County High School is Jamesport, Mo. In several Junior High School meets, the runner broke Tri-County’s records in high jump, 100 meter, 200 meter and 400-meter dash events. In only his second track meet, Swymeler broke a 20-year-old meet record at the Worth County Tiger Relays in the 200-meter dash, which he also won. With such a fresh start, Swymeler has competed in the AAU Junior Olympics and made it through the qualifier and sectional competitions – he missed the cut to compete in the National AAU Junior Olympics by just .08 of a second placing 6th in the 200 meter dash. This fast, young athlete is scheduled to compete at the GAMES in the 200 and 400-meter dash competitions.
Dressage has attracted a whirlwind of news around the country, especially with Steven Colbert’s report highlighting Mitt Romney’s horse qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. The sport is one of precision between a trainer and a horse where they are both expected to perform a series of predetermined movements much like gymnastics. The Show-Me STATE GAMES has, in the past few years, added dressage to the list of sports offered and brings out enthusiastic athletes to this unique sport. This year, the dressage athletes are scheduled to march together in an exquisite procession during the Opening Ceremonies on July 20. Sarah Patrick, president of the Columbia Dressage & Combined Training Association, says that her organization has embraced the national attention of the sport fully. “We take great pride in cheering on and supporting the highest level of competition in our sport,” Patrick said. She also mentioned the red foam fingers that will be present in the crowds at the competition as a way to cheer on athletes and honor the sport. “We all do this for the love of our horses and a shared sense of excitement and pride over what we can collectively do with them,” she said.
Stuart Radloff, 62, describes his Ladue High School track and field coach as a “no-nonsense guy who was very good at his job.” Radloff says that Coach Brusca, who was also his driver’s education instructor, would push him and encourage him to go faster and longer at the sport. Years later, the runner found himself in his mid-30s and no longer in the shape he once was. Radloff then joined the YMCA to stay active and physically engaged. By age 50, he competed in the St. Louis Senior Olympics but pulled his hamstring 30 meters into his first event, which was the 100-meter race. “I soon realized that even though the mind still thought I was 20, the body had a different idea,” Radloff said. The injury did not stop the runner, and he competed the next year in the St. Louis Games in the 100 and 200-meter races and won both. These seniors/masters track events reunited Radloff and his high school coach. “He was already something of a legend in the field events,” Radloff said. Soon the athlete expanded his expertise in running to further than the 200 meter and competed in the 400-meter race after hearing about the Show-Me STATE GAMES. Radloff describes the 400-meter as a race that is “supposed to be run as a sprint; only the lungs, legs and brain all want to go on strike about three-quarters of the way through.” The experienced runner won the race that year and explains that “success breeds success” as his reasoning in continuing to run to this day. Among other outstanding records that Radloff holds, he has set the record for the Missouri Senior GAMES in the 50-54 men’s 400-meter race, has set the Show-Me STATE GAMES record in the 55-59 men’s 400 and has finished in the top 25 rankings in the world for the 60-64 men’s 400-meter. “As it turns out, the 400 seems to have become my ‘signature’ race,” Radloff said. He reminisces about one of his memorable events in which he participated in the 2003 Senior GAMES. He was running another 400-meter and was about to hit the runner’s wall around the 250-meter mark.
“I heard this instantly recognizable voice yell: ‘Pick it up Radloff!’ Immediately I knew it was Coach Brusca, and instantly I was back in 1966 where I knew that if I didn’t pick it up I’d probably be kicked off the track team,” Radloff said.
Coach Brusca is retired, holds numerous local and national records and continues to inspire Radloff. The runner has also learned a lot over the years and says, “one thing I’ve found about competing as a senior is to stay healthy.” Radloff is scheduled to run this year in his signature race pending a hip flexor that he has recently suffered.
Tony Lupo says that he has always been active since his teenage years. He worked out to stay involved in soccer and soon joined the wrestling team in high school. “This was a great stress reliever and a way for me to get exercise,” Lupo said. His hard work came with trophies that he obtained in regional competitions through his community college where he took second in powerlifting each time. In 1989, Lupo and his wife packed everything up and moved for graduate school at Purdue. In the process, however, their moving van and all its contents were stolen. “There was no record that we had a life before 1989,” Lupo said, “This hit me harder when kids came along, and we have nothing to show them about our past.” Lupo began working toward his goals in life and put powerlifting on pause as he finished his studies and worked toward tenure at the University of Missouri. It was in 2008 that the athlete-at-heart took up the sport again as he realized he was getting older and needed to get more exercise. Lupo is participating in this year’s 45-49 age group of the powerlifting competition, and his family is no stranger to the GAMES as he has played softball in the past, and his daughter has competed in track and field. The powerlifter hopes to place in the top three but says he will be content with trying his hardest.