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Date of Issue: June 09, 2010

Basketball races tightening up

Ellen Jones, left, takes second in her age group, while Rae Ann Darling Ree takes first in her group at the Spring into Summer 5K race June 5 in Tampa.

Holmes Beach resident Ellen Jones has put together a couple of impressive 5K runs recently, winning the Lakewood Ranch YMCA 5K May 22 and a ninth-place finish at the 5K Sammy’s Run in Sarasota May 29. Her times of 30:18 at the Ranch 5K and 28:41 at Sarasota run are impressive enough in the 55-59 age group, but you have to know how far Jones has traveled to get a clear picture of her dedication and perseverance.

In her own words, Jones says her family tree is a history of medical maladies. Her mother, both of her sisters and her aunt all battled breast cancer, and diabetes runs in the family as well. A running family joke is to ask which wing of the hospital will the family reunion be in this year?

Jones almost died of a colon blockage — mainly from not eating enough fiber in her 20s — and she experienced calcifications of her arteries and high cholesterol in her 30s. Oh, and let’s not forget the brutal joint pain exacerbated by being years of being overweight.

Seven or eight years ago, Jones made a decision to change her life and it started with eating more plants. That decision resulted in a loss of almost 30 pounds, which helped reduce the pain in her joints.

Jones found she wanted to run more and run faster, and boy, did she ever. She now is a member of the Bradenton Runners Club, runs four days per week and has placed in her age group several times, including a couple of first-place finishes. She participated in a two-week, cross-country running boot camp hosted by Manatee High School cross country coach Rae Ann Darling-Reed. Jones gives her coach a lot of credit for her improved times.

Jones has run two half marathons (13.1 miles). The first was in October on the flat running surface of Fort DeSoto Park in Pinellas County. Her second one came in Sarasota, which included running up and over the John Ringling Bridge twice and lowering her time by 15 minutes. She said she hopes to keep running until she’s 100.

While most folks her age are “slowing down,” Jones is showing that one can get better with age if she sets her mind to it.

Key Royale golf news

The Key Royale Club golfers played a team low-net, coed tournament June 4. The team of Lorraine Towne, Markie Ksiazek, Adam Ksiazek and Web Cutting combined for an average score of 18.8. The team of Terry Westby, Bob Kral, Matt Behan and Al Guy took second place with an average score of 22.2. Ralph Bassett won the closest to the pin contest on the third hole, while Frankie Smith-Williams did the same on eight.

The Key Royale women played a nine-hole, individual low-net game on June 1. Diane Miller carded a 1-under-par 31 to win Flight 1 by four strokes over second-place finisher Penny Williams. Meredith Slavin’s even-par 32 earned her the top spot in Flight B by one shot over second-place finisher Markie Ksiazek.

Horseshoe news

Only two teams emerged from June 5 horseshoe action at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Debbie Rhodes and Norm Good were too “good” in destroying Ron Pepka and Steve Grossman 22-3.

Two teams managed the prerequisite three victories in pool play and were left to battle for the day’s bragging rights during June 2 horseshoe action. Sam Samuels and Ron Pepka rolled past Jay Disbrow and Jarry Martinek by a 21-10 score.

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.

Youth sports news

Information on the games played in the Anna Maria Island Community Center basketball and baseball leagues was not submitted by the Center this week.

AMICC basketball league standings

Premier Division

Team                            Won        Loss

Gathering Place           6              2

Rotten Ralph’s            5              3

Tortilla Bay                 1              7

Division II

Walter & Assoc.          6              1

Vita Lawn Serv.          4              3

Ross Built                   4              2

Beach to Bay              3              4

Oyster Bar                 0              6

Division III

Connie’s                    5              3

Sandbar                     5              3

Bistro                         2              6

AMICC basketball schedules

Date                             Time       Away vs. Home

Premier (ages 13-16)

June 9                           8 p.m.      Play in game

June 10                         8 p.m.      Second vs. Third

June 12                         10 a.m.    June 10 winner vs. First

Division II (ages 10-11)

June 9                           7 p.m.      Play in game

June 10                         6 p.m.      Fifth vs. Second

June 10                         7 p.m.      Fourth vs. Third

June 11                         7 p.m.      6/10 7 p.m. winner vs. First

June 12                         11 a.m.    Championship game

June 12                         2 p.m.      All-star game

June 12                         4 p.m.      Coaches game

Division III (ages 8-9)

June 11                         6 p.m.      Third vs. Second

June 12                         1 p.m.      Championship game

June 12                         3 p.m.      All-star game

June 12                         4 p.m.         Coaches game