Nearly every corner on the campus of Liberty University had a different sport being played, and provided a platform for athletes of nearly all age groups. Ages ranged anywhere from 10 to 81 as athletes from across Virginia came together for anything from basketball to ultimate Frisbee to racquetball despite a grueling heat that put a halt to some of the outdoor activities in the afternoon.
The senior member of the racquetball competition, Al Gorman, an 81-year old retired veteran of the Air Force, said he uses the sport as a way to stay active and compete with friends across the Lynchburg community.
“You can see by looking around at the courts, that (racquetball) is a lifetime sport,” Gorman said.
Gorman described his racquetball division as “the old division,” but said since he was the only competitor over-80 division that he had to play with a younger age group.
He proudly noted that he still won his match.
The table tennis portion of the Commonwealth Games was hosted at Timberlake Christian Academy and featured 14 players from ages 10 to 60.
The actual tables were purchased for the event by the Commonwealth Games and Saturday’s play marked their first official use. After today’s action, they will be donated to the Liberty University table tennis team and used in sanctioned events.
Competitors included collegiate players from William and Mary and LU and several others ranked by the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation). It is hoped that next year it will also be an ITTF one as well, drawing more players. Last year’s Commonwealth Games in Lynchburg did not include the sport.
Jonathan VanName (Forest, 20 years old) won the singles tournament, Cornellius Patti (Lynchburg, 12) the junior title, and Costel Constantin (Harrisonburg, 45) and Sam Berry (Charlottesville) captured the doubles crown.
This year’s softball field exploded in the number of teams competing, jumping from around 50 a year ago to 71 this weekend. The breakdown in age groups is 10 teams in the 10U division, 14 in 14U, 12 in 14U, 17 in 16U and 18 in 18U. Games were at Liberty Softball Stadium, Peaks View Park, Shrader Park in Madison Heights and at Forest Youth Athletic Association.
“We are really excited about the number of teams we have this year,” said Maggie Mace, the recreation services director with Lynchburg Parks and Recreation and a member of the local organizing committee. “Everybody must have had a good time last year, so we had to expand to additional fields.”
Teams came from all over Virginia and the Carolinas.
Medals will be awarded in each age group at the completion of play today in each age group.
One of the more unique events of the weekend was the Fitness Competition held at Lynchburg CrossFit.
More than 90 competitors in teams of two took part in three different workouts, with the top five in…