2007 Sunflower State Games Athletes of the Year Selected
TOPEKA, KAN. – Alice Lackey, a 56 year-old rower from Seneca, Kan, has been named the 2007 Female Athlete of the Year. She pulled in 14 Sunflower State Games Rowing medals in her past four years of competing and added a bronze Governor’s Cup medal to the collection this year. Manhattan’s Kory Cool, 20, won the male honor following up his fourth consecutive overall win in the Governor’s Cup 10K race with at time of 33:00.
In 2004, Lackey and seven friends decided to begin training for the SSG Rowing event as a way to have fun and test their fitness. The team won SSG gold and Lackey says she fell in love with the sport and continued to practice with Topeka Rowing Association. In less than four years, she has become a well-respected competitor recognized by her peers for her speed, power and feistiness.
“The State Games showed me that it is never too late to begin to compete. The State Games introduced me to rowing and my life has changed greatly due to that experience,” Lackey says, “I plan to participate as long as I am physically able.”
Cool is a junior as Kansas State University where he competes on the Cross Country and Track team. In his past four years competing in the Sunflower State Games, he is undefeated in earning overall gold in the Governor’s Cup 10K. Cool uses the challenging Gage Park course as a benchmark every summer to test his current fitness level and naturally, to defend his title. The past two years, his average time is 32:54 which is nearly two minutes faster than his first win in 2004.
“I’m just trying to help one of the oldest sports (the Governor’s Cup road race) keep its reputation as a great chance for kids of all ages to get out and compete with one another,” Cool says.
Lackey and Cool have been nominated for National Congress of State Games Athlete of the Year Awards, which will be presented at the NCSG Annual Banquet in Lincoln, Neb. on Sep. 28.
The 2007 Sunflower State Games were held July 13-22 in Topeka with 6,446 athletes participating in 36 sports. Medal results for all sports are available at sunflowerstategames.com. The Sunflower State Games is a non-profit organization based out of Topeka, Kansas. The Games are held annually to promote physical fitness, personal health and well-being for Kansans of all ages and skill levels.