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Rec center hosts High Altitude Shootout

Racquetball mania is alive and well here at Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center.

This past weekend, 36 players descended on the courts to play in the High Altitude Shootout.

Thirteen of the 36 participants traveled from Albuquerque, Farmington and as far as Alamagordo, New Mexico. The visiting players were pleased at the number of locals that played in the tournament. Ten of the 23 local players were of high school age or younger.

Some of the highlights from this past weekend’s tournament included an exciting mixed doubles match in which local player Chris Smith and his partner, Patty Green (Albuquerque), beat Gary Mazaroff and Patricia Thiemen. Mazaroff is a former world ranked player and the current president of New Mexico Racquetball Association, and this is the first time that anyone from Pagosa has had a victory over Gary.

Another local player, Brian Baker, was able to challenge his opponents through the men’s A division all the way to the finals before losing to Zack Jaramillo from Alamogordo.

Other locals who got a lot of play in this weekend included Tye Fehrenbacher and Blake Bruekner. Blake took second in both Men’s B and D divisions, while Tye nabbed third in Men’s C and fourth in Men’s A. Michael Weir scored a first-place victory over fellow Pagosan Dave Gustafson in the men’s novice division. Jacob Ormonde tallied a victory over the No. 1 seed in the men’s C division and ended up taking second place in that division.

The sweetest highlight, however, was watching the kids play and show improvement. Jonathan Gustafson, Allen McIver, Derek Hujus, Russell Hector, Sully Smith, Michael Weir and Jacob Ormonde are all young players developing creative shot selections and plenty of determination. They are the next generation of racquetball players.

There were newcomers to the tournament scene this past weekend that included Jacob Thelen, Bobby Hart, Brian Hart and Scott Galabota. These folks are rounding out and adding fresh energy to the field of racquetball players in Pagosa.

Lastly, kudos to Todd Ormonde for organizing the High Altitude Shootout. For every successful event there are countless hours of planning and behind-the-scene preparation.

Name the park

The PLPOA board of directors would like to invite owners to enter into a park-naming contest for the newly-constructed fishing and picnic park on Lake Pagosa.

For those of you that have not had a chance to see the new park up close, it is located on the east side of Lake Pagosa, next to Piedra Road, right by the lake. This newly built park consists of a covered picnic pavilion, a floating fishing pier, several picnic tables, new landscaping and parking for eight vehicles. This spot is already very popular with anglers and folks that want a nice spot to enjoy the lake.

The park name might include something that captures the essence of the lake or the surroundings, or tie into the wildlife or fishery in and around the lake.

If you have an idea for a good name for the park, please let us know by e-mailing your park name nomination to plpoa@plpoa.com, or mail your idea to PLPOA, 230 Port Ave., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147. All entries must be received no later than Oct. 31.

The park name nomination will be reviewed by the Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee and a final name selected by the board of directors at the November regular board meeting. The owner of the winning name will receive a combination fishing rod and reel that will come in handy for enjoying the newly named park.