Michael Rose, Diane Werner Setting Examples For SSG Athletes

By: Sunflower Games
By: Sunflower Games
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2012 Athletes of the Year


Diane Werner, 54 of Topeka, has been named the 2012 Sunflower State Games Female Athlete of the Year. Werner repeated her performance from 2011 and brought home the gold six times in Tennis and Swimming. Werner challenges herself to lead a healthy lifestyle through participation in sport and uses her life's work to be a role model for all Kansans. In doing so, Diane has become the epitome of what state games are all about. Currently, Diane is a Consultant Dietitian for various facilities and also an Adjunct Instructor at Washburn University in Topeka, KS. She is a registered and licensed dietitian as well as a board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD) and an ACSM certified health fitness specialist. As you can see from Diane's experience, she is dedicated to helping others lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Until she had back surgery in 2004 and was then diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2007, she took it for granted that she could be active and move normally as she always had. It was only after not being able to participate that she realized how much she missed her active lifestyle, the competition, and the socialization. It became a priority for her to rehab, recover and return to the playing field as soon as possible. Diane likes the challenge and competition that the games provide her. Werner enjoys the process of training and then challenging herself through improved results each time out. "The Sunflower State Games are a way to allow athletes to enjoy camaraderie and friendship with other athletes across the state and compete in a sport they like," said Werner. "The Sunflower State Games also provide an avenue to help promote a healthier lifestyle at any age."

Diane's hobbies include playing tennis, swimming, walking, traveling and taking pictures. In addition to the Sunflower State Games, Diane regularly competes in the Kansas Senior Olympics, the National Senior Games and is on the USTA team circuit. Werner also enjoys seeking out new endeavors, like running half marathons and skydiving. Diane recently celebrated her 30th Wedding Anniversary with her husband Jim. They have two daughters, a son and are expecting their first grandchild later this fall.


Michael Rose, 65 of Topeka, has been named the 2012 Sunflower State Games Male Athlete of the Year. Michael has participated in the Sunflower State Games for 12 years. He competes in Registered Trap Shooting, Non-Registered Skeet Shooting and Cowboy Silhouette shooting. Since 2001, Michael has won 22 medals in the Sunflower State Games including ten gold, eight silver, and four bronze. In 2012, Rose earned Gold Medals in both Registered Trap Shooting and Non-Registered Skeet Shooting, as well as a Bronze Medal in Cowboy Silhouette Shooting. Michael loves shooting in the Sunflower State Games and enjoys competing against participants from all over Kansas. "Winning a medal is nice, but more than that, I enjoy the opportunity to visit with old friends from years past and meet new shooters for the first time," said Rose. "I think the most important part of the Sunflower State Games is that there are so many different events for all age groups. There really is something for everyone. The Sunflower State Games give Kansans the opportunity to make new friends and provide good competition. At the end of the day, it makes no difference of your age or athletic ability, it’s fun for all."

Michael graduated from Topeka High School in 1965 and then attended Washburn University from 1965 to 1966. In 1966 he joined the Kansas Army National Guard and went to basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Michael worked for Santa Fe Railroad in Topeka, Kansas for 18 years and worked for Westar Energy for 24 years, retiring in 2009 as power meterman. In his spare time, Michael loves to shoot trap, skeet and rifles. He also enjoys fishing, hiking and going to auctions with his wife. In addition, Rose serves as a Safety Range Officer at the Capital City Gun Club. Michael has been happily married for 45 years and has two sons, along with two grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Past Female Athletes of the Year

Past Male Athletes of the Year
2011 - Bailey Atkinson, Topeka
2010 - Nikki Barrett, Waverly
2009 - Laurie Koehn, Hesston
2008 - Joyce Baker, Topeka
2007 - Alice Lackey, Seneca
2006 - Susan Miller, Topeka
2005 - Gay Bauersfeld, Topeka
2004 - Joanie Starks, Lawrence
2003 - Doris Elliot Watson, Bonner Springs
2002 - Melissa Titel, Iola
2001 - Lindsey Carter, Parsons
2000 - Jana Sandall, Goddard
1999 - Emily Bloss, Emporia
1998 - Pam Miller, Valley Falls
1997 - Doris Elliot Watson, Bonner Springs
1996 - Terra Upham, Chapman
1995 - Keely Malone, Lawrence
1994 - Lavina Haefele, Lawrence

2011 - Travis Conley, Mission
2010 - Justin Garrard, Ottawa
2009 - Cory Kowitz, South Hutchinson
2008 - Matt Brungardt, Topeka
2007 - Kory Cool - Manhattan
2006 - Ian Grover, Topeka
2005 - Larry Law, Auburn
2004 - Maure Weigel, Salina
2003 - Bill Bunten, Topeka
2002 - Bob Lida, Wichita
2001 - Dean Sheets, Linwood
2000 - David Johnston, Lawrence
1999 - Nathaneal Wheatley, Cherryvale
1998 - Tim Schumacher, Hays
1997 - Dick Wilson, Lawrence
1996 - Kelly Green, Mayetta
1995 - Jim Ratzlaff, Winfield
1994 - Jack Haefele, Lawrence

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