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Date of Issue: March 19, 2010

Islander takes third in Ironman World Championships

Holmes Beach resident Sandy Meneley, 62, finished in third place in her group (ages 60-64) in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships held in Clearwater Nov. 14.

Sandy Meneley runs the last leg of the Ironman Championships in Clearwater on the way to a third-place finish..

An ironman competition is a triathlon event which includes swimming, biking and running. A 70.3 ironman competition is half the usual ironman of 140.6 miles. Sandy swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles and then finished with a run of 13.1 miles.

Sandy, who qualified for the world championships by finishing the September Augusta, Ga., ironman with a time of 6 hours 11 minutes. She shattered that in Clearwater with times of 42 minutes in swimming, 2 hours, 52 minutes on the bike and 2 hours one minute in the running portion to complete the event in 5 hours 44 minutes.

Her goal going into the event was to put together a time somewhere around the 6-hour 10-minute mark.

Sandy had plenty of support at the race, as her son and his wife came down from Indianapolis to help her husband and some Holmes Beach friends cheer her on along.

Participants don’t usually know where they stand because the athletes all start at different times, so Sandy’s daughter stayed home to chart her progress on the computer, relay the information to her dad, and he in turn updated Sandy.

Sandy’s main concern was having to run the Clearwater Bridge four times, but she came through with fantastic results.

A marathon runner for 30 years, Sandy worked out 4-5 hours per day in the six weeks she prepared for the championships. She rode her bike down to the Ringling Bridge in Sarasota, then ran across repeatedly to prepare for the Clearwater Bridge. She practiced her swimming in the Gulf.

With her third-place finish in Clearwater, Sandy now has the itch to compete in the full ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii, but she would first have to qualify by competing in another full ironman and winning her age group. To train, she said it will take nine months of training 4-5 hours a day.

Congratulations to Sandy and her family from the Islander.

Soccer finale

The results of the awards distributed Nov. 10 for the Anna Maria Island Community Center soccer league were provided late last week by the Center.

The results are, for Division 2, ages 8-9: Kenny Randall Sportsmanship Award Morgan Burns, MVP Dylan Joseph, Most Outstanding Female Maya Sapienza and Officer Pete Lannon Goalie of the Year Emma Moneuse.

Division 1, ages 10-11, award winners: Most Outstanding Female Sydney Cornell, MVP Jake Ross, sportsmanship winner Emma Peery, top goalies Keegan Murphy and Mikayla Kane.

Premier Division, ages 12-15: sportsmanship Michael Duffman, MVPs Trevor Bystrom and Molly Stoltzfus and goalie Max Miller.

Horseshoe news

Two teams emerged from pool play to battle for the day’s bragging rights during the Nov. 21 horseshoe competition at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Norm Good and Bruce Wagner took on Debbie “Flop” Rhodes and Jeff Moore, but the Rhodes-Moore team was too strong, winning by a 21-11 score.

The Nov. 18 games also saw two teams come out of pool play with Norm Good and Carl Thomas battling John Crawford and Jeff Moore. With the score tied at 15-15, Moore came through with a six-pack, double ringer to win the match.

Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.

Pirates announce spring schedule

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced its 2010 spring training schedule for games at McKechnie Field, Bradenton. The 33-game schedule consists of 16 home games, including the annual charity game against State College of Florida.

The Pirates will open the 2010 Grapefruit League season against the World Champion New York Yankees in Tampa March 3. Then on March 6 the Pirates will host the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies in the home opener.

Pirates spring training season tickets, which went on sale Nov. 16, remain one of the lowest priced in the Grapefruit League.

For more information or to purchase season tickets, call 941-747-3031 or go online to www.pirates.com.