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34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships

by Cheryl Kirk

34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers

34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships

Glass Court Swim & Fitness, Lombard, Illinois

January 11-14, 2024

Tournament Directors: Cheryl Kirk and Laurel Davis

34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: WSMRA

They came from 15 states (and Guatemala) to compete, reunite with dear friends, and make new ones. Besides the impressive number of pinch kills, the weather was the big story of this 34th Annual event. After a fairly balmy holiday season in the mid-30’s, apparently one of our players (the usually flawless Marie Gomar of Guatemala, the one who makes us an international tournament each year), put in a request to the universe for a snowy cold-weather experience. Uh-oh. We received it in that order – snow first (a lot) and then frigid cold (we’re talking polar vortex, -30 deg. wind chill). Some of our more southern players varied between flabbergasted and “deer in the headlights,” two terms I’ve been wanting to use in an article for quite some time.

Ingrid Callmann (Delaware) commented, “One of the reasons why this tournament was extra special was due to the weather. No one was able to go golfing or touring, so we all just hung out playing and watching our favorite sport!” We thought that was a lovely way of commenting on what some could have labeled a near-fiasco.

But it wasn’t. It was on with the show! Racquetball women are tough.

So Let’s Talk Racquetball

This was a somewhat sparsely attended event compared to other years, but that was secondary considering the truly excellent competition in the two singles and three doubles divisions. Four of five were combined, all were round robins with the format two games to 11 plus bonus points for game win (2 pts) and match wins (4 pts). Self-refereed has always been the way we roll.

Congratulations to the winners!

50+ Singles: Letty Maldonado (Illinois)

55+ Singles: Marie Gomar (Guatemala)

60+ Singles: Laura Brandt (Florida)

65+ Singles: Cindy Tilbury (California)

70+ Singles: Christy Cramer (Texas)

75+ Singles: Paula Sperling (New Mexico)

80+ Singles: Mildred Gwinn (North Carolina)

35+ B/C Singles: Stephanie Hazen (Indiana)

65+ B/C Singles: Patricia Meyer (New York)

Open/A Doubles: Lori Southwick (Minnesota)/Page Kern (Minnesota)

B/C Doubles: Joyce Satorius (Illinois)/Stephanie Hazen (Indiana)

35+ Doubles: Rebecca Bowman (Indiana)/Doris Roberts (Indiana)

55+ Doubles: Lynn Fonseca (Georgia)/Marie Gomar (Guatemala)

60+ Doubles: Cindy Tilbury (California)/Janet Tyler (Florida)

65+ Doubles: Ingrid Callmann (Delaware)/Jane Snyder (Tennessee)

70+ Doubles: Terry Rogers (Nevada)/Patricia Meyer (New York)

80+ Doubles: Mildred Gwinn (North Carolina)/Marquita Molina (California)

To view the draws and matchups, visit https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/viewResults.asp?TID=41733.

But there’s more!

Incorporated into each WSMRA annual event are fundraising activities. For starters, the Thursday Fun Doubles includes a raffle benefiting breast cancer research.

A silent auction is set up on Thursday as well and runs through Saturday afternoon when winners are determined via sealed bids. This year, it benefited the WSMRA and Bridge Communities (bridgecommunities.org). The mission of Bridge Communities is “to transition DuPage Country families facing homelessness to self-sufficiency by working with partners to provide mentoring, housing, and supportive services.”

At the Saturday evening banquet, “squares” are purchased on a grid, and prizes such as national tournament entries are drawn.

In view of the generosity of the players in donating items and bidding, over $1,700 was raised!

The Embassy Suites host hotel was the site of the banquet. It began with a cocktail hour and entertainment by magician John Castaldo. Laurel Davis did a beautiful job with the centerpieces. A buffet dinner was followed by music courtesy of DJ Eddie Meyers. We were treated to Mildred Gwinn’s dancing to Rocky Top, another tradition at our WSMRA event (video on Facebook).

Thanks to volunteers Jennifer Donath, Nidia Funes, Pat Meyer, Eddie Myers, Nancy Large, Lois Palmer, Andy Pitock, and Karen White who contributed in so many ways to ensure a smooth tournament: check-in, meals, silent auction, photography, DJ, tournament desk, assembling welcome bags. And this list doesn’t include the players themselves who so often lent a hand here and there when they saw something that needed to be done.

The WSMRA Board of Directors were in the house! Terry Rogers, Cindy Tilbury, Jane Snyder, and Paula Sperling were there in support of the tournament directors and volunteers. WSMRA Chair Kendra Tutsch was not able to attend but sent plenty of Cow Pies (a traditional tasty treat, not kidding) for the attendees. I’ve been to enough of these tournaments to know that the absence of cow pies would cause an immediate stampede. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, I know, but I think it’s kind of funny...

We are grateful for the event sponsors: Penn, Response Graphics & Embroidery (Lynn Yeazell), Glass Court Swim & Fitness (Dan Jaskier, Joe De Armas, and staff), Kendra Tutsch, the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau, and USA Racquetball.

Although Kendra Tutsch couldn’t make the trip this time around, she was busy at home in Wisconsin collecting photos from the event (many supplied by Eddie Myers) and posting them on the Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Association Facebook page. Check them out! https://www.facebook.com/WSMRAssn

This article couldn’t conclude without a special thank you to Lynn Yeazell for her work in designing the tournament logo and then integrating it onto the tournament jackets and awards. The WSMRA and the ISRA are lucky to have the advantage of Lynn’s expertise.

So the 34th Annual WSMRA Championships are a wrap, and all that’s left is to warmly thank everyone once again and wait for a forthcoming announcement on the location of the 35th Annual!

Have a great 2024, everyone!

34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Penn & Response Graphics & Embroidery
34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers
34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers
34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers
34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers
34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers
34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers
34th Annual Women’s Senior/Masters Racquetball Championships
Photo by: Cheryl Kirk and Eddie Myers

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