Lincoln--The Cornhusker State Games concluded Sunday with action in eight sports. Officials announced a final count of 11,639 participants, an increase of 123 over the 2011 total. Athletes came from 80 Nebraska counties.
ENERGY walk participant Dakan Walker of Lincoln, at 14 months, was the Games' youngest participant. Former CSG Female Athlete of the Year Dorothy Ekblad of Lincoln was the oldest competitor at age 86. Ekblad participated in track & field.
Final weekend highlights
Jacob Ritonya of Waterloo won the men's open pocket billiards gold medal on the eve of his 57th birthday. Sherri Cuda, 42 of Lincoln, won the overall women's gold.
Former Husker gymnast Katelyn Busacker of Lincoln took the women's silver medal in her first-ever CrossFit competition. The recent graduate took up the sport in June and entered the State Games to establish a baseline and goals for future competitions. Lincoln's Sara Raley, 30, won the women's gold.
CrossFit, which included three days of strength and endurance tests, made a successful CSG debut with 78 participants.
Team Silage, made up of former UNL students, bested their Omaha counterparts, Team UN-Old to take the ultimate frisbee gold with a 13-8 final-game victory.
For the flag football Avengers, the CSG tournament was bittersweet. Team captain and quarterback Will Chamberlain put together the team of 2012 graduates of Lincoln North Star High School for one last hurrah before the friends go their separate ways to jobs, colleges and military service. The team failed to medal, but earned the respect of opponents and fans.
"They were by far the youngest team, but they won some games with great execution and hustle." flag football director Wyatt Godfrey said.
Nate Woodman and Kristin Kleve, both of Lincoln won gold medals as the top overall male and female mountain bikers. The mountain bike race took place at Branched Oak Lake Saturday.
Final statistics, including athletes by sport and county, and medal winners can be found at CornhuskerStateGames.com. Platinum partners include BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Anderson Auto Group and Nebraska Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine. Next year's Games take place July 19-28, 2013.
The Nebraska Sports Council, which conducts the Cornhusker State Games, is currently accepting registrations for the Mud Run, which takes place Aug. 25 at the Lancaster Events Center. Register or find more information at NebraskaSportsCouncil.com.
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