Local athletes win big at Senior Olympics


A number of local athletes competed and received several medals at the 2013 Wyoming Senior Olympics in Casper July 10-13.

Saratoga resident Armand Zahn, 77, took home six first-place wins in the track and field events at the senior olympics. Zahn, a competitor in the senior olympics for more than 10 years, received gold medals in the javelin throw, standing long jump, softball throw, discus throw, shot put and high jump.

He also took home a third-place bronze medal for the long jump.

The even older Darrell “Whitey” Stewart, 85, achieved five gold medals Friday. Stewart, who lives in Encampment and turns 86 in November, said he received his gold medals in the 5K race/walk (47 minutes), 100 yard race/walk (1 minute 36 seconds), 100 meter dash (1:9), 200 meter run (slightly more than 2 minutes) and 200 meter race/walk (2:11) Friday morning.

“The events were back to back, and I received the five medals all in one morning from 7 to 10:30 a.m.,” he said.

Stewart said he participated in the senior games since he was 62 years old, and has received more than 30 medals from the games since then. He also ran in local events while living in the Platte Valley.

“I have received 35 to 40 Senior Olympic medals from bronze to gold, and I’ve also been to three national senior games,” Stewart said. “I’ve also ran in a lot of the events that Saratoga has had.”

As first-time competitors in the senior olympics, Dan and Jean Runner of Saratoga competed for events in the 55-59 age group. Jean received first place in the 800 meter run, 5K run and high jump, and second place in the 200 meter run.

“I enjoyed watching the people who are in their 80s and 90s, some of them are just so inspiring,” she said. “They may not be the fastest people, but they finish everything, even the 1500 meter run.”

As a swimmer, Dan placed first in the 50 meter breaststroke, 50 meter sidestroke, 100 meter sidestroke and 25 meter backstroke, and second in both the 100 meter breaststroke and 200 meter breaststroke. He also placed first in the standing long jump, and, like Jean, was amazed by the performances of the athletes older than him.

“I can tell you that it was an inspiration watching these people who were 20 or more years older than I compete at such a high level,” Dan said.

As one of those being in great shape for their age, Stewart said he challenged anyone his age to get out and try the senior games for the fun of it.

“It’s not that my times in the events were that great, but I challenge any other 85-year-old man in Carbon County to do the same,” he said.


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