Trying their best

Games give Columbia athletes a chance to test new sports
Monday, July 19, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:51 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

At 12, Chris Miller is tough enough to compete against the adults.

Miller, of Columbia, competed in the Show-Me State Games’ triathlon on Sunday with his parents, Brad, 37, and Barbie, 39. The race, which consisted of a half-mile swim, a 20.9-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run, started and ended at Twin Lakes Recreational Area.

The Millers’ team placed third in the family category in 1 hour, 51.38 minutes, with Chris Miller competing in the biking leg of the race. It was the first time the Millers competed in the race as a team.

“I think I did good, honestly,” Chris Miller said. “It’s just fun to do no matter what place you get.”

Chris Miller, who started competing in triathlons three years ago, said he spends about 15 hours per week training. Brad Miller, who swam Sunday, said his son has been improving every year.

“I am really proud of Chris,” Brad Miller said. “His bike time was faster than a lot of adults out here. He is very good at that, and that’s exactly why we put him in bike race, because we wanted to see how he would do.

“I think he has a bright future if he just keeps directed and focused.”

Terry Dunscombe, 67, of Columbia, finished in 2:05.65 to win the 65-69 division of the individual competition. Dunscombe, who said he first tried a triathlon two years ago, said eating properly during the biking leg was important because it gave him energy to run.


The Games’ triathlon consisted of a half-mile swim, a 20.9-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. (PICHI CHUANG/Missourian)

“I was a little tired toward the end of the run, but other than that, it went all by like I thought it would,” Dunscombe said. “I hope I get better and faster as I get older.”

Two Columbians won the overall competitions. Stephen Taylor, who coaches Dunscombe at Wilson’s Fitness Center, won the men’s race in 1:25.10, and Mally Vetter defended her title in the women’s race in 1:28.48.

Vetter, a former Missouri swimmer, won the state triathlon championship in September in Kirksville and has been invited to the national Olympic training camp.

—Kosuke Kinashi


Dakota Aldrich and Jessica Scott bowl in the same league on Monday nights in St. Louis, and on Sunday morning they bowled together in the Game’s youth mixed doubles competition at Town & Country Lanes.

Dakota, 7, and Jessica, 8, competed in the 9 and under age division.

Dakota has been bowling in a league since he was 5. His mom, Carrie Aldrich, said Dakota has been bowling since before he was born because she bowled all through her pregnancy. It took him a little time to look comfortable in competition, with a turned up collar and tussled strawberry blond hair, and he said the reason he was there was because “my mom set me up.”

Jessica has been bowling competitively for a year, and on Saturday her mom, Jill Scott, cried when Jessica won the singles gold medal with a 111. Jill Scott said Jessica was so excited that she wrapped her medal around her stuffed animal and slept with it Saturday night.

Bowling has been a part of the Games since 1988, and Carrie Aldrich and Jill Scott said that they have seen the numbers of participants decreasing since they started bringing their kids five years ago.

Carrie Aldrich started her oldest son, Kris Aldrich, in a league when he was 3, and now he is Continued from page 1B

competing in the Games’ 13 division. Carrie Aldrich said her proudest bowling moment was when Kris Aldrich beat her best score of 269.

At 55 pounds, Dakota stumbled as he carried his eight-pound bowling ball up to the line, but he walked away with a strike. He didn’t do so well his next time up, looking back at his mom and sheepishly shrugging with his arms in the air.

Before the competition, Jessica, who also said she likes cheerleading and wished there could be cheerleading in bowling, said she wanted to get a 113.

— Tammy Portnoy


Not bad for a warm up.

Eric Wetz had an impressive weekend in the Games’ swimming competition at Hickman High. Wetz, 10, set a new meet record Sunday in the 50-yard freestyle at 28.63 seconds. The victory was one of five golds Wetz earned at this year’s meet. He also claimed silver and bronze medals.

John Wetz said he was proud of his son.

“He’s got a championship meet in two to three weeks, so he is using this meet as a tune up, to see where he’s at,” John said.

Eric Wetz will be competing in the Missouri Valley Division One Championships on July 30-Aug. 1 in Lenexa, Kan. He is also swimming in the Central Zones Championships on August 5-8 in Topeka Kan.

Eric Wetz, who has been competing in the Games since he was 7, is a member of the Columbia Tiger Sharks swim club. Many of his teammates joined him at the competition.

Although the Games’ swim competition is not a team sactioned event, Phil Garverick, the coach of the Tiger Sharks, and his assistants, Matt Spencer and Sarah Smith, were on hand to motivate their swimmers.

Spencer said this meet is an opportunity for kids to qualify for the Division One Championships and a chance to compete.

— Andrea Nigh


There was plenty of sunscreen being passed around as a group of about 30 people gathered at Hinkson field to watch the Games’ ultimate competition.

Amy, Dennis, and 10-month-old Lydia Brox, of New Bloomfield, joined this group.

“We were looking for stuff outside this weekend, because it’s so nice,” Amy Brox said.

The Brox family sat in the back of their SUV watching the college division championship between Truman State’s Ju Jitsu and Southwest Missouri State’s Frizzbears.

The teams showed up more than 30 minutes before start time. Ju Jitsu ran laps in a single file line around the field, and the Frizzbears gathered in a circle to do stretches.

The Frizzbears have a new player for the championship game. Mark Berger could not get out of work in Springfield, Mo., Saturday, but one of his teammates drove back to Springfield on Saturday night to pick him up and they both drove to Columbia on Sunday morning.

When the game started, the field became noisy with players yelling at teammates and opposing players. There is no referee in ultimate, so everyone, including the spectators, yells or groans when they think there has been a penalty.

Berger was particularly loud and energetic. In the middle of the game, Berger threw the flying disc about halfway down the field to teammate Leif Eyeberg, who fell to the ground to catch it and set off a loud cheer.

— Tammy Portnoy

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