Show-Me State Games 2019 Schedules and Athlete Stories
Weekend of July 19-21
Never lose heart
Kallie Smith: competing in fast-pitch softball July 20-21
Kallie Smith is 17 years old and has been playing softball since she could pick one up. She’s a stealthy base runner and loves to bunt and is a middle infielder. Softball has been her passion. Here is where the story changes. On September 14th, 2018, her life would forever change. She was playing 2nd base, with her high school team, the Crocker Lady Lions, when there was a pop up on the infield, a really high one. Kallie was camped under it, like normal, then as the ball came down she lost it in the sun and it missed her glove completely striking her directly in the eye socket. She was unconscious and having seizures, and bleeding from her eye. She was rushed to Lake Ozark hospital where she regained consciousness and they assessed her damage. Her pupil was blown, and she had fractured her orbital and her sinus cavity down her nose. They transferred her to the University Hospital in Columbia to the eye specialist. The eye surgeon thought she had developed a cataract as he could not see into the back of her. They scheduled a cataract surgery a few weeks later. The surgery went well, but Kallie still had no vision in her left eye.
After many trips (3 days a week) from home to Columbia, her eye cleared up enough that the doctor could see in the back of her and he delivered one of the most heart-breaking answers Kallie could have ever heard. She will be permanently blind in her left for the rest of her life. There are no surgeries, or medicine that can fix it. Her retina was damaged. While all of this is going on, her high school team is playing for the district championship. Kallie was able to attend, but not play. They won districts, and just before the sectional game, she was released to play. She could at least pinch run, in which she did and scored the only run in the sectional game. After high school ball was over, she was really depressed, and wasn’t sure if she wanted to ever play again. Her parents kept encouraging her to really think about it. Now, only eight months later, she is playing travel ball. She has had her struggles relearning the game with one less eye, but she has prevailed. She didn’t give up. We will be there for Show-Me State Games July 19-21. She’ll be the little 4’11” girl with her American Flag eye patch on. Her team is American Made Softball 16U.
Ava Kitzi, Columbia, competing in Powerlifting July 20
Ava is 15 years old and on July 20, she and her friends will be competing in the Powerlifting competition. Ava has been doing CrossFit for five years through CrossFit Fringe, and just recently competed at her first National Youth Championship for Olympic Weightlifting(and took 11th!). Over the past year and a half, she has overcome tremendous adversity as she has been recovering from an eating disorder. This journey hasn’t been easy in the slightest, but learning how food affects her performance and makes her stronger, especially when lifting, has made it easier.
Ava says, “Lifting and being a ‘strong girl’ has been such an empowering experience for me and my friends, who are also competing, and has given us an identity that doesn’t have to do with our size, like most people like to focus on. We have bonded over getting to lift heavy things and do things most boys can’t.” This will be Ava and her friends’ first Powerlifting meet and also their first Show-Me State Games, and they are excited!
In honor of Lizzy
Frank Hazelrigg, 12. Competing in wrestling July 20.
Frank will be competing in wrestling at the 2019 Games. Frank was friends with Lizzy Wampler, a young girl that Columbia lost last year to Osteosarcoma. In memory of Lizzy, Brett designed his own singlet that he has been wearing at each tournament since she passed away and will be wearing it on July 20 as well. Frank is 12 now and spoke at Lizzy’s service in March 2018 when he was 11.
Website coming soon, but here is the twitter page https://twitter.com/lizzy_of?lang=en and FB page https://www.facebook.com/LizzysWalkofFaithFoundation/
Runs for Richardsons
Wicked Fastpitch Softball, July 20-21
Recently in the Wicked Fastpitch softball community, there was a tragic accident. A father died and one of his daughters suffered serious injuries. Wicked Fastpitch, 12U & 14U softball teams are asking for donations per run they score in the Show-Me State Games to help with medical expenses. Here is a link to the team’s Facebook event page.
The team is from Old Monroe but the family in need is from Elsberry, both are in Lincoln County, Missouri.
Golf and the game of life
Gavin Frevert, Golf, July 21
Gavin is from Jefferson City and will be playing golf in the Games on July 21. Growing up, Gavin was always competitive. However, the sports he was playing were not going to be lifelong activities for him (football,powerlifting). Becoming more patient was a big personal goal for himin 2018. That’s when he challenged himself to pick up the game of golf. Gavin says, “Not just to scratch my competitive itch, but also to help me develop into a more patient and empathetic human being. Since beginning golf, I have progressed to a 13 handicap, I have become more patient, and have made some awesome relationships along the way!”
Powerlifing for life
Brent McCune, Mt. Vernon Mo, competing in Powerlifting July 20
Brent is 72 years old. He was born in Springfield, MO and now live in Mt Vernon, MO. He will compete at Lange Middle School in the powerlifing competition. Brent began weight training and powerlifting in his 30s. He improved until he was injured when 58. He had personal best lifts of 695 squat when 54, and 451 bench & 711 deadlift when 57. This year, he hopes to approach 50 percent of his bench and deadlift bests at the Games. Brent is an ADFPA master champion many times, world champion four times and second once.
Bonding on the golf course
Mary Jane Turner, competing in golf July 20
Mary Jane and her son have played in the adult Mother/Son golf competition for at least 17 years and maybe longer. They have lost track of exactly how many years, but they know that they started playing in the event before his oldest daughter was born and she’s now 16. A memory that stands out for Mary Jane over their many years playing is that one year she (and a close friend) had a “hole in one” on hole #2.
Better with age
Linda LaFontaine – Powerlifting – July 20; Duathlon – July 21; Track & Field – July 28 1500m
At age 68, Linda sees age as an advantage, not a barrier. In 2012, she and a fellow woman older lifter founded OWOW, Older Women on Weights, comprised of mostly women over 50 who wanted to improve their health. Her husband, Tom LaFontaine, exercise physiologist and world weightlifting record holder, agreed to coach the OWOW team. They decided to enter powerlifting competitions, the first being the Show-Me State Games in 2012. Since that time, many of the OWOWs have continued to compete, even internationally. Linda will return this year to compete once again in the Show-Me State Games, 7 years older, 12 pounds lighter, and much stronger. Her bench press has improved by 20 lbs, and deadlift by 45 lbs.
Tom retired this year, and decided he would focus his efforts on training Linda to compete in multi sport events for the Show-Me State Games. For the past 10 years, she has competed in the Missouri River 340, a kayak/canoe race that begins in Kansas City and ends in St. Charles, MO, paddling 340 miles across the state on the Missouri River. It is normally held mid July. However, the river is still at flood stage and the MR340 has been postponed until September, so Linda is free to compete in the Show-Me State Games. Linda has not competed in a duathlon since she was 36, and stopped running competitively when she was 45. Training for those events has been challenging. Her balance has declined, and her hands go numb on the bike, causing her to crash several times. Her hamstrings give her trouble when she runs, so she uses aspirin, thigh braces and liniments. But with Tom and her women training partners’ encouragement, she is determined to set age group records in all events.
Linda says, “Getting better with age? Well, I’m in much better shape!”
Never miss a Games
Rick Matheny, cycling
Rick has competed in the SMSG every year of its existence: this will be number 35! He stumbled across an entry form in year one when there were only about 500 participants and has since competed in 10-15 different sports in addition to coaching multiple youth teams and volunteering. This year he will be cycling for the first time in the 19-mile road race.
“My hands aren’t broken”
Gabbie Carmichael, basketball, July 26-28
Gabbie Carmichael is coming to Show-Me State Games with the 4th grade girls, Wildcats (Dubrey). She had an ankle injury in December with her elite team. Even in extreme pain as a commitment to her team, she would not leave the bench until her team took the championship. She took a quick picture then off to ER. Even at the sweet age of 10, she didn’t miss one practice. As she says, “my hands aren’t broken.” After multiple sessions of physical therapy she is now a strong competitor and ready for Show-Me State Games. Her dedication to basketball shows her true passion for the sport.
Weekend of July 26-28
Team Grosso, competing in basketball July 26-28
Teal Snoddy will play in the men’s basketball league on the weekend of July 26-28 with his team, Team Grosso. This is going to be the team’s 12th year in a row playing in this tournament with the same group of guys. Most of them met either playing basketball in college at William Woods University or in high school at Jefferson City. It’s a good mix of mid-Missouri guys and out of state guys. The team is named after an old football coach from Jefferson City to pay homage to him.
Teal says, “This is now our favorite weekend of the year and has pretty much became our ‘guys weekend’. This year we have team members traveling from California, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis and Kansas City just to play in the Show-Me-State Games. ” According to Teal, they have even coined this weekend as “Grosso Weekend”. While they enjoy hanging out with each other the most, they also have a lot of success in their division.
Playing through Adversity
Catson Bassett, Baseball-Withrow Shockers, July 26-28
Caston son has a rare metabolic genetics disease that causes soft bones. He struggles with fatigue and pain. He loves playing sports, especially baseball, but they come at a cost. He takes six enzyme replacement injections a week. He eats a diet to help him stay strong. And there’s always a rest period before and after playing games as well as pain meds. But he never gives up.
“The kid just doesn’t quit”
Mason Grosz, 12U Baseball, Knob Noster, Mo, July 26-28
Mason has been through a lot since playing baseball in the Show-Me State Games last year. Shortly after the Show-Me State Games in 2018, he started preparing for the football season, in Knob Noster, Mo. Very early in the football season, he unfortunately broke a bone in the top of his foot. He’s a very athletic kid, with baseball and wrestling being his top passions. Fortunately, after missing the entire season of football, but still coming to the practices and games to support his team, he was allowed to wrestle. Fighting the pain of his foot, he still managed to have a fairly strong season. At the end of the wrestling season, he started back into baseball. His foot was much stronger at this point, and it looked like it was going to be good. Then, as the story goes, four days before the end of school, during a field day kick ball game, he re-broke the same bone. After a lot of discussions with his doctor, family and his mom, who also works in orthopedics, they all agreed that Mason could play baseball, but limit him to pitching and when he batted, he would have to get a pitch runner. It was not the ideal solution for Mason, but he knew he had to accept. During the time of playing rec baseball, he and his family started talking about the Show-Me State Games, and putting a team together. His coach says, “I could not dream of putting a team together, without Mason, or his stepbrother Trent Smith. They are a great combo in pitching and catching, and work so well together.”
So, long story short, after Mason breaking his foot twice, since the last Show-Me Games, and still pushing through and competing in a season of wrestling, and baseball, he will be showing back up at the Show-Me Games this year. His stepfather and coach Scott Smith says, “Not completely healthy, but much better off, and ready to play. The kid just doesn’t quit, and to me, that’s newsworthy.”
F A M I L Y
Jerry Pankey Jr and team, basketball July 26-28
Jerry has been playing in the Show-Me Games since he was 8 and now is 29. His team has been the St Louis Trotters for years but his team members believe they are more than that….that’s why this summer Jerry decided to make the team name FAMILY. They love competing but the number one thing is to have fun, a lesson he learned from his coach. Jerry is instilling a love of sports in his 5-year-old son as well, Jerry has introduced him to baseball, football and soccer and this upcoming year he will be playing basketball for a team. He loves watching his dad play.
The “Ultimate” calling
Corey Miller, Ultimate “Frisbee”, competing 7/27-7/28
Corey is the Coach/Captain of Q.U.A.IL (Quincy Ultimate Alliance of Illinois), a regional team based out of Quincy, IL that focuses on introducing the game of “Ultimate” to new players, and encouraging them to succeed. Corey loves this game, and over the past 19 years of playing, he has connected with 100s of players from all over the world. The reason he believes Ultimate is the best sport of all time (mic drop) is simply because of the “Spirit of the Game”.
As a community-minded team, they use every opportunity to help others such as…
-Jersey sales to raise money for players’ family members with cancer
-After Storm Clean-up
-Sandbagging for the flood effort
Coming together for the Games
Wallace Plumbing, competing in basketball July 26-28
Blake Berry and his team will be playing in the 19 and over basketball Recreational league July 26-28. The team is Wallace Plumbing where Blake currently works. He has filled the team with his friends from his hometown Harrisburg. But most importantly, he invited his dad who works for Wallace Plumbing with Blake and his brother who is in the Navy coming down to visit to play. Blake says, “Playing with my brother and my father is a blessing! My brother has been gone in Navy for six years. Our Mom passed away three years ago. My dad and I had a falling out like two years ago. But after the birth of my son in March of 2018, we have worked out our differences. I love being able to play with them. This is probably the last time in a while.”
Preparing for China
Keith Major, track and field, July 27-28
Keith is running the 100m and 200m track races at the Show Me State Games. Since 2011, he has served his community as a police officer in St. Louis City. This track meet in Columbia is preparing him for his track events at the 2019 World Police and Fire Games in Chengdu, China next month where he will represent the St. Louis police department. Over the past few years, he has competed and won medals during the World Police and Fire Games held respectively in Ireland and San Diego, CA.
He has been training 5-6 days a week for the last 14 months for this meet in China – all while being a father of three children and serving his community as a police officer – often working overtime to make ends meet. His participation in the World Police and Fire Games is funded solely with his own money based on his love of this sport and country. He has run in various open track meets across the United States this past year in preparation for the World Police and Fire Games.
“He is truly a wonderful role model and motivation to all, but especially to his children and fellow police officers,” said Lindsey DeHaan, his girlfriend. Lindsey will be competing with Keith in her first-ever track event!
Becoming a leader, one pin at a time
Richard Hochecker I, Ballwin, Mo., bowling
Richard’s dedication to bowling has led to many opportunities for him. He earned scholarships from his local USBC three consecutive years, state four consecutive years, plus two national scholarships. He was named Young Ambassador in his freshman year of high school. He earned enough scholarships to pay for his two-year degree at Ranken Technical College to become a precision machinist. Now 21, Richard is very successful in his field and still bowls two or three times a week.
Running into the Games
John Curtis Anderson, 3000 meter track run, July 27
John is 70 years old and a competitive runner in the 70-74 age group. From Columbia, he just finished 5th in the 5000 meters at the USATF (United States of America Track & Field federation – the governing body of all US track & field) National Masters Championships on July 11th at the Iowa State University track with a time of 23:53 – 7:41 per mile). A runner for many years, John is the prior membership Chairman (1978-1981), Vice President (1982) & President (1983-1984) of the 2,000 member Tulsa Running Club. In his early 30s, his best times were 9:56 for the 2 mile, 16:10 for the 5K, 32:48 for the 10K and 2:36:19 for the Marathon.
John started running again in 2015 following knee surgery in 2014 and has been ramping up his speed (around various injuries) since then. He is a member of the USATF, The Columbia Track Club & the Jefferson City Road runners.
20 Years Later
Kenny Williams, Track 800M and 3000M, competing July 27
Lives in Columbia Mo (Current)/ Tucson AZ ( Hometown)
Kenny was a high school track and cross country runner in Tucson, AZ. He ran the 800 M, 1600 M, 4×800 M 4×400 M and the 2 mile. His PR for the 800 m was 1:56 and 4:30 for the mile. He received medals in multiple events in state his junior and senior years and had at least one offer for a full ride scholarship to a 2 year college in Arizona and other potential collegiate running opportunities, but after my last state track meet in 1999, Kenny decided he was done and walked away from running altogether. He says, “Looking back it is puzzling to me that I would give up on something that had become one of the major defining pieces of my life since my childhood. As far back as I can remember was competing to be the fastest mile runner, and my competitiveness drove me to stretch and grow throughout my youth. Maybe it was that competitiveness that finally drove me to the breaking point. Whatever it was, I had had enough, that part of my life was over.”
Fast forward 16 years, January 5, 2015, four days after the birth of his third son, Kenny had knee surgery due to an injury incurred while arm wrestling his 4-year-old son months before. The recovery for the surgery was much longer than expected. The few weeks described by the doctor turned into many months. He could barely bend his knee, and had no strength to lift his leg. Physical therapy, shock therapy seemed to be doing little good. So Kenny decided to start walking on the treadmill. It stretched out his knee and seemed to help. Over time he slowly increased the pace and was eventually able to reach a ver,y very slow run pace. It was during one of these workouts that his wife made the suggestion, why don’t you try doing a 5k or some other race to give you something to work towards. Bang! That little spark was what he needed to light a new fire. From that day on, he focused on improving his running distance and time. He had a goal, and in June of 2016, Kenny ran his first 5k. His time was somewhere around 24 minutes. In July of the same year he ran a 4 mile race and had a time of 30:43 a 7:40 min/ mile. The fire was burning and he did not want to put it out. Since then he has slowly improved his times and has become a competitive runner. Kenny’s last 5K was 18:43 and he ran that same 4 mile race this year at 24:58. His knee is feeling great.
About two years ago he started doing some track running again. He felt anxious about track. Even getting near a track and hearing the gunfire gave him anxiety. It was a pastime that he had pushed away, filled with repressed nervous yet excited emotions, but he felt ready for it. Kenny started training on the Mizzou Stankowski track. His times were unimpressive, but last year he decided that he would work towards running at the Show-Me State Games. He decided to run the 800m, the race he was most competitive in during high school. He also decided to run the 2 mile since he has been running longer distances the last few years. So after another year of training, and exactly 20 years after walking away from track, Kenny is finally ready to run at a track meet. He says, ” I don’t expect to be what I was in high school, but for a 38 year old I hope to have a competitive time. What is most interesting to me is that it was in injury that got me back on the track. That’s how life seems to work. When challenges come, when things get hard, when something trips us up or knocks us down, we can choose to either stay on the ground or we can get back up. If we decide to use our challenges to help us grow, we may find that we are even stronger than we were before.”