Like a number of other athletes competing in this week's Utah Summer Games V, Kim Bird is entered in two different events. Little did she know that she would end up doing double duty Tuesday - competing simultaneously in tennis and a makeshift marathon.
Officially, Bird - the Deseret News 3A girls basketball MVP and all-state honoree in softball at Springville High - played tennis Tuesday and will play basketball later this week with some of her soon-to-be-teammates from Utah Valley Community College. But her involvement in singles tennis Tuesday ended up being an endurance contest itself.For starters, she needed three sets and some three hours to win her semifinal match Tuesday morning against Central Region peer Arianna Bradley of Provo. After the customary hour break before the next match, Bird started the afternoon finals in the girls' 15-18 division against Shara Swan of Hyrum, who ironically had eliminated Bird in last fall's 3A state quarterfinals.
Bird needed two hours to claim a two-set triumph - 7-6, 6-4 - against Swan. The two not only had to battle each other, but Mother Nature served up her best shots with a scorching sun, temperatures reaching the 100 mark, and a blustery wind.
After two matches, five sets and five hours of tennis, a drained Bird could muster only a meager smile when confronted with the age-old question of "Tennis, anyone?"
"You had to play aggressive into the wind on one side, and then play soft with the wind on the other," she said, explaining her strategy.
Other highlights from the week's early Games events:
Tennis: Sandy's Cory Barton garnered a pair of gold medals in the boys' age 14 tennis division, beating St. George's Jeff Atkin 6-3, 6-3, then teaming with Mark Ludlow to win the doubles competition.
Triathlon: David Wignal of Salt Lake City posted the best men's time of 3 hours, 14.40 minutes while competing in the 40-44 age division, while Brett Gessell of Ogden logged a 3:15.24 in the 25-30 division. Joana Mitchell of the North Region had the top women's time of 4:08.98.
Mountain biking: St. George's Chris Fox won two golds and a silver, taking the scholastic men's cross country and combined cross country/trials events. Monte Schooley won a pair of golds in the men's open, as did Alan Engen in the men's masters.
Bowling: The South Region's Mary Coon scored a 651 in the women's senior division, breaking the old USG record of 599.
Ogden's mother-son duo of Sharon Wanczyk and Kelly Wanczyk combined for four gold medals. Sharon Wanczyk won the women's master's scratch singles and then combined with True Ott for the masters' mixed doubles gold. Kelly Wanczyk finished first in the men's master's youth singles and then was part of the Ritz Classic foursome that won the masters' youth team title.
Youth track and field: Despite the winds, some four dozen Games records were set in the 10 age divisions - five each for boys and girls. A fourth of the records were set in the long jump (seven records) and discus (six records).
One of the most noteworthy performances was the three-record effort by Orem's Becky Perry in the intermediate girls' long jump (17 feet, 10 inches), triple jump (36-91/2) and 400-meter hurdles (1:11.55). Several others had record-setting double wins, including Orem's Li Dawe in the young women's javelin (116-7) and discus (112-9); Tropic's Shelly Shakespear in the midget girls' discus (61-4) and shot (29-11/4); and West Jordan's Robbie Duncan in the intermediate boys' steeplechase (6:54.6) and 800 meters (2:09.81).
Perry wasn't the only triple winner in Tuesday's track. Shakespear and Duncan added third victories in the high jump and 1,500 meters, respectively. Other three-gold efforts were logged by St. George's Marci Harker in the girls' 100, 400 and 800; Kearns' Joshua Carrell in the boys' discus, shotput and 200-meter hurdles; and Orem's Brian Heaps in the boys' 100, 200 and long jump.
A dozen athletes were double-gold winners.
Gymnastics: In the boys' divisions, the North Region's Reed Holbrook won five golds, a silver and a bronze in the all-ages Class I; the Bountiful duo of Casey Bryan and Rob Kjar from the North Region combined for seven golds and seven silvers in Class II competition; and Salt Lake City's Josh Lee finished with six golds and a silver in a separate Class II age division.
Other heavy-medal winners in boys' competition included Centerville's Lance Bybee with five Class III golds; North Region's Chris Hurst with seven total Class III gold and silver medals; Salt Lake City's Jimmy Duane with two Class IV all-ages golds and four 10-plus division golds; and Woods Cross' Sterling Richards with five golds in the Class IV 7-9.
In the girls' Open ages 9-11, Riverton's Regan Butterfield won four golds in the 9-11 age division, and Sandy's Jenni Worthington had four golds and a 9.55 beam score in the 12-14 Open division.