Villager captures third gold medal in pickleball at Florida Senior Games

Local residents probably had to stop at the Clearwater U-Haul dealer to rent something to haul all of their medals back from the Florida Senior Games, which recently concluded.

A big winner was Villager Tiny Cazel, who broke three 80-84 age group records with a long jump of 8 feet, 10.5 inches, a shot put of 23 feet, 3.5 inches and a discus throw of 65 feet, 2 inches.

The 2003 Florida State Games Female Athlete of the Year, Cazel topped her own discus throw record, which was set last year, by 13 feet.

Cazel now holds 10 field event records in the 70-74, 75-79 and 80-84 age groups.

Deb Harrison

The Villages’ Deb Harrison won her third pickleball gold medal of the 2018 games when she teamed with fellow Villager Ruth Weil to win the women’s division of the 70-74 age group.

Since 2005, Harrison has won a total of 31 gold medals in women’s singles and doubles and mixed doubles.

Gary Miller, of The Villages, teamed with Steve Wojcik, of Naperville, Ill., to take the 60-64 gold medal in the pickleball men’s doubles.

They defeated Villager Paul Cash and Doug McClintlock of St. Augustine in the championship match.

It was the winning team’s fourth consecutive championship in the 60-64 age group.

In basketball free-throw shooting, Chis Evans, of The Villages, hit 24-of-30 shots to take the gold medal. It was her third consecutive gold-medal performance in the 65-69 age group.

More than 2,000 athletes competed in the 2018 Florida Senior Games.

This year’s games were a qualifier for the 2019 National Senior Games to be held in Albuquerque, N.M. on June 14-25.