Most of my sports material happens on or around the Island — more specifically — at the Center of Anna Maria Island.
However, locals often venture out into the world to compete. Holmes Beach recently saw Izzy Gomez and Sandy Meneley represent the island from afar.
It’s all good news.
Gomez wins 5th APP world title
Former island native Izzy Gomez claimed her fifth Association of Paddlesurf Professionals World Title Nov. 17 in Bathsheba, Barbados.
Izzy is the granddaughter of West Coast Surf Shop owners Ronny and Jim Brady, daughter of Brandy of San Clemente, California, and Raul Gomez of Naples.
She went into the event leading the world rankings and knew a victory in Barbados would clinch a record fifth world title ahead of the World Tour Finals in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Dec. 11-18.
The victory, her 12th, broke a tie with Kai Lenny for most APP victories and gave her the world title.
Thanks to Vania Torres’ strong semifinal performance that eliminated Shakira Westdrop, Izzy clinched the title as she watched the semifinal heat from the beach.
She did her part, too, posting the highest heat totals of the event with 9.5 and 8.6 in the finals, putting an exclamation point on the victory.
For the season, Izzy has been dominant, taking second place at Sunset and garnering wins in New York and Barbados — and she’s only 19!
Izzy started paddle-board surfing when she was 11 or 12 and joined the tour at 14, promptly winning her first world title. She successfully defended her title every year until last year when Iballa Moreno of the Canary Islands took the title.
In addition to competing on the APP tour, Izzy hopes to represent Columbia in shortboard and paddleboard surfing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, which kicks off in July 2020.
Congratulations to Izzy and her family and friends. The Islander is proud of you.
Thank you to appworldtour.com for information used in this report.
Meneley, family run marathon
The family that runs together … wins!
Holmes Beach resident Sandy Menely, 72, daughter Jamey Briscoe and granddaughter Bailey Briscoe ran the Fort Worth Marathon Nov. 10 in Texas.
This was not a first for mother/daughter racing, as Sandy and Jamey have run 10K races together since Jamey was 10.
But the marathon bug bit the extended family in 2004, when Jamey and husband Colin, Sandy and sister Lesley and her husband, John Brainard, all ran the Chicago marathon.
As a former high school cross country and track coach during her teaching career in Illinois, Sandy has influenced many young runners, including her two daughters and now her granddaughter Bailey.
Bailey, a high school senior ran cross country for her high school team, but had never tackled such a long race before. Jamey and Sandy were excited to experience the Fort Worth Marathon with the Menely third generation.
For the record, at 72, Sandy was the oldest female runner and 17-year-old Bailey was the youngest. The average time for the women was 4 hours, 38 minutes. Sandy and Jamey crossed the finish line together in 4 hours, 14 minutes, while Bailey finished the race in just over five hours.
Prior to the race, Sandy was overheard saying it would be her last full marathon, but the joy of running with daughter and granddaughter might mean another family marathon is in the future.
Congratulations to the Menely’s extended family from the Islander.
Basketball action continues
The adult basketball league concluded its regular season last week with a full slate of games at the Center of Anna Maria Island.
Final seedings were set with Ugly Grouper securing the top spot on a perfect 6-0 record, while Gulfview Windows and Doors grabbed second seed. Both teams earned byes into the Dec. 11 semifinals thanks to their the standings.
Moss Builders earned the No. 3 seed and will take on No. 6 Gnarly Mangrove in the first playoff game set for 6:15 p.m. Dec. 4, while No. 4 Progressive Cabinetry and No. 5 Beach Bums will square off in the second playoff game of the night.
Action Nov. 21 tipped off with Moss Builders edging Beach Bums by a 64-60 score behind 21 points from Jacob Kiester and 15 points from Joey McElfresh.
JJ Friszman led all scorers with 31 points, while Dalton McMahon added 14 points in the loss.
The second game of the night saw Gulfview roll to a 60-35 victory over Gnarly Mangrove behind 18 points from JB Shuck and 15 points from Ray Gardner.
Austin Miller had the lone double-figure scoring output for Gnarly with 11 points in the loss.
Ugly Grouper remained undefeated, edging Progressive Cabinetry 60-57.
Andrew Terman paced Ugly Grouper with 24 points, while Dominick Otteni added 15 points in the victory.
Soccer action winds down
With only a week of regular-season action to go before the playoffs kick off, Blalock Walters leads the standings with a 6-0-1 record and 19 points, three points ahead of second-place Vintage Beach, which is 5-1-1 with 16 points.
Sato Real Estate follows with a 5-2 record and 15 points, while Ross Built, MuniPlan and Flynn Law are bunched together, each with 12 points and four victories. Moss Builders holds down the seventh spot with a 3-4 record and 9 points, while Vacasa and Lancaster Design are both 0-7 on the season.
Week 7 action has a couple of matches that could affect the playoff seedings. Blalock Walters has already clinched one of the top two seeds. Vintage Beach will finish in second with a victory over Ross Built, but Sato Real Estate could sneak into the second seed with a victory over Flynn Law and a loss by Vintage Beach.
However, the most pressure-packed game is the match up between winless Vacasa and Lancaster Designs with the loser eliminated from post-season play in the nine-team league.
The playoffs are set for Dec. 12 with four back-to-back quarterfinal matches starting at 6 p.m. Semifinal action is Dec. 18 with the championship game set for 7 p.m. Dec. 19.
The AMI horseshoe group took their talents off the island Nov. 18 to Trailer Estates mobile home park in Bayshore Gardens for a friendly tournament.
The AMI pitchers cruised to a 27-9 victory, but a rematch is in the near future. Trailer Estates tournament organizer said he Brooks Nelson expect a better result in the rematch. “Some of our best players haven’t returned to Florida yet, but we should be at full strength for the upcoming rematch.”
Play gets underway at 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays 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.
Key Royale golf news
Golfers were in full swing last week at the Key Royale Club, starting with the men and a nine-hole, modified-Stableford system match Nov. 18.
Mike Gille and Bill Shuman tied for individual honors with scores of plus-6.
Gille and Shuman also helped their team, including Tom Solosky and Bob Soos, to a plus-9 to win the team competition.
The women were on the course Nov. 19 for a nine-hole individual-low-net match in four flights.
Helen Pollock took first place in Flight A with a 2-over-par 34, while Jana Samuels captured Flight B with a 4-under-par 28.
Jan Turner’s 5-under-par 27 was the low-net score of the day and gave her first place in Flight C.
Jane Perkins took the top spot in Flight D with a 3-under-par 39.
MaryLou Dreier had a chipin on the seventh hole.
The men played a nine-hole shamble Nov. 21, that saw the team of Brian Comer, Rod Hammond, Bob O’Brien combine on a 4-under-par 28 to win the day’s proceedings.