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TORCH RELAY OPENS GAMES

Seniors compete in inaugural BMX track competition

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TORCH RELAY OPENS GAMES

1960 Olympic swimming gold medalist Anne Cribbs got some impromptu help from Anderson 209 BMX team rider Dylan Gomes on the final stretch of Cribb's leg of the torch relay using a solar-powered tor...

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED May 9, 2010 2:38 a.m.
Allen Thomspon had everything ready to go Saturday morning as he pedaled his way towards the starting gate at the Spreckels Park BMX track, preparing himself to participate in the first ever competition at the park – the kickoff to the second annual Manteca Senior Games.

With his Icee/Anderson 209/Snap jersey tightly secured and his helmet buckled, Thompson headed towards the ramp that leads to the drop-down gate that sends all of the riders down a hill and over the various jumps, mounds, and banked turns before crossing the finish line.

Not only he was glad that he was part of not only the first competition, but also a part of the first group of older riders that would officially christen the track for the community.

“I think that an event like this is great because it gives seniors something that they can do that’s physical and its fun,” Thompson said. “Unfortunately there are a lot of seniors that sit at home and don’t realize that this is a sport that anybody can do, and anybody can do well at.”

A 5.5-mile procession with a torch relay through Manteca that started at Del Webb Woodbridge ended at the BMX park to start the Senior Games. The Games will run through the course of the next week at various locations in town and is expected to draw more than 500 people from as far away as Colorado and Louisiana to participate.

While the Senior Games were the focus of Saturday’s festivities, Icee/Anderson’s 209/Snap team manager Jon Anderson was more than pleased to see the track officially open for business – ending years of delays that stemmed from design issues, insurance, and construction holdups.

The track itself has been ready since October, and members of his team have been taking advantage of it recently – happy that they haven’t had to travel to Atwater to practice before heading to big races in places like Roseville and even the ABA Grand Nationals in Oklahoma.

“Seeing this today makes everything we had to go through to this point all worthwhile,” Anderson said. “This is so cool to see, and it’s great because people aren’t going to have to travel to ride anymore. We’ve got something right here in our own town that we can take pride in.

“This is really a blessing for the entire community – it’s going to bring a lot of people to Manteca and that’s going to mean a lot of tax dollars – and this is a really a cool sport that anybody can participate in.”

The Senior Games will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 11 and 12, with a softball tournament at Big League Dreams. On Saturday, May 15, a pickleball tournament will be held, as will the senior track and field games at Sierra High School.
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