Fifty-six teams took part in the 2001 Special Olympics Alaska (SOAK) State Bowling Tournament held Nov. 18 in Anchorage, including the Central Kenai Peninsula Alley Cats, Fireballs and Lightning Bolts. Thirteen communities were represented at the state bowling playoffs. The 224 athletes, 98 coaches and chaperones and about 100 other volunteers came from Anchorage, Barrow, central Kenai Peninsula, Dillingham, Grayling, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su, Sitka, Tanana Valley and Unalakleet.
Along with traditional competition between the 46 teams of Special Olympics athletes, there were 10 unified teams from Anchorage, Mat-Su, Ketchikan and Kodiak. Unified sports is a Special Olympics program that pairs people with and without mental retardation to train and compete in a number of events, including team bowling.
The Central Kenai Peninsula Alley Cats racked up 2,735 points to emerge as the overall traditional team champion. Michelle Davidson, with 611 points, Beverly Savage, with 688 points, Rob Wilusz, with 717 points, and Juanita Matson, with 719 points, carried home the traveling team trophy that they will keep for one year. The traditional team trophy has been awarded since 1977.
Chuck Davis, with 635 points, Richard Reger, with 654 points, Ryan Rogers, with 603 points, and Samantha Romig, with 698 points, were on the Fireballs team. Kendra Derning, with 649 points, Darla Mamaloff, with 605 points, John McIntosh, with 673 points, and Randall Roger, with 631 points, were on the Lightning Bolts team. Kimberly Eby, with 703 points, was on the Juneau, Anchorage and central peninsula combination team.
Established in 1969, Special Olympics Alaska is an accredited program of Special Olympics Inc., a global organization that provides sports training and competition to more than 1 million people with mental retardation in about 150 countries. In Alaska, Special Olympics serves more than 800 athletes through local training programs in nearly two dozen communities around the state.
For more information about SOAK, the tournament and how to get involved, call the SOAK state office at (907) 753-2182, or toll-free at 1-888-499-SOAK (7625).
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