2 locals compete at World Senior<BR>Games<BR>
PRESCOTT – Two area racquetball players representing Athletes International Ministries successfully competed in the World Senior Racquetball Championships recently in Albuquerque.
Steve Joannes of Prescott Valley and Jerry Northwood of Williamson Valley, both playing out of the Territorial Courthouse.
Joannes, well known as one of the top players in the tri-city area as well as the state in the 50+ division competed for the first time in the World Championships.
At one point in the tournament, he had won 14 out of 15 games before running into two of the top players in the world. He finished high enough in his flight to qualify for the overall portion of the tourney where he was eliminated in the first round by an excellent player.
Northwood competed in the 65+ division and won his flight by winning 20 out of 21 games, qualifying as the No. 2 seed in the overall.
Northwood beat two quality players in the quarter and semifinals. On the way to the finals, he ran into Lee Graff, one of the top three players in the world in the finals. Northwood lost the first game 11-7 and won the second game 11-7. He dropped the tie-breaker to Lee 11-8.
"Although I missed the world title by three points, I was still happy with the silver medal," Northwood said. "Considering the level of competition as this tourney attracts the best players in the game from (in this case) 40 different states and 12 foreign countries.
"My next opportunity will be in October at the Huntsman Senior World Games in St. George, Utah. I have been blessed to win both the single and doubles the last two years in the 65+ division."
Tournament results for year:
January: Key Sports Round Robin Series (Phoenix) – 1st 65+ singles.
February: State Senior Olympics (Prescott) – 1st 65+ singles; 1st 55+ doubles with Bill Mathewes.
March: State Singles (Phoenix) – 1st 65+ singles; 1st 60+ singles. National Masters Racquetball Championships (Conoga Park, Calif.) – playing injured, 5th in flite of 11 and 10th in overall in group of 21. Finished 7th out of 11 in 65+ doubles.
May: Key Sports Round Robin (Flagstaff) - 1st 65+ singles. Pro Am Nationals (Phoenix – ASU) – 3rd 55+ singles.
June: National Senior Olympics (Norfolk, Va.) 65+ 1st in flite, 4th overall.
July: International Masters (Minneapolis, Minn.) 3rd in flite, 3rd overall 65+ division. Beat the #1 ranked player in the world.
Aug.: Pan Pac Master Games (Sacramento, Calif.) - 1st 65+ singles. Senior World Championships (Albuquerque, N.M.) 65+ singles 1st flite, 2nd overall.