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7:16 PM Sun, Sept. 23rd

Local rollers earn honors in Vegas<BR>

Jump on the quads and take a spin around the rink.

"Quads" are traditional roller skates, not in-line skates, and a couple of Prescott residents have lately been spinning to applause.

Ken Adams and Nancy Pettit recently won third place in the Las Vegas Invitational roller skating competition against 450 participants in different divisions – the only competition either had ever entered.

As a team, Adams, 65, and Pettit, 62, won the award in the amateur division – the Junior Olympic Group – alongside competitors from kids to seniors.

"We're a little late (competing)," Pettit said, "but it was a real hoot. I think we'll keep competing – as long as we hold out."

"It was my first-ever experience like that," Adams said. "I'm going to do it again. I'm addicted now."

Roller skating is great fun and dynamic exercise, too, both Adams and Pettit believe.

Adams is now at Roller Rave on Sixth Street about three times a week practicing, Pettit, four to five times.

"It's great exercise and it's fun. Why jump up and down in an exercise gym when you can have fun?" Pettit said.

Both skated as youngsters and returned to it after many years.

"I've been skating about 150 years," Pettit joked, "but only been doing it right the past couple of years."

As a child in Cleveland, she learned to skate at a rink in Euclid Beach Park.

"I loved it," she said. "I lived to go roller skating – still do."

She and her husband Maurice have been in Prescott about 13 years. She was happy to find a roller rink locally and has been skating ever since.

Adams, who'd also skated years ago, was glad to get back to it.

"Just because I'm 65 doesn't mean I have to die," he said. "It's fun and it's great aerobic exercise.

"I can't understand why more people don't do it. It's almost like a medication for me," he said.

About six months ago, Adams, a partner since 1995 at Hometown Travel on Sheldon Street, began roller skating with clients for Senior Day at Roller Rave, where most people would "skate in circles and visit," he said.

As his competence grew, Adams joined the Artistic Skate Club, where he and Nancy were the only seniors.

Now he is skating across more and more hurdles.

"I still fall on my keister, but I just get up and do it again," Adams said.

"So, the quiet, mild mannered travel agent is now a champ on wheels," joked Adams' partner, Stan Kephart, not trying to hide his admiration.

"The competition took me to a whole new level," Adams said about watching the national champions at the invitational, "just seeing what could be done."

Adams and Pettit are readying for another invitational competition as a team next month in Mesa.

Both give much of the credit for their win to their Roller Rave instructors, Linda Joyce Brown and owner Dean Koressel, both past national champions.

"We are so lucky in this little town to have national champion coaches," Pettit and Adams concurred.

Contact the reporter at smoss@prescottaz.com.