Hartland added a second day and many temporary pickleball courts–set up on tennis courts adjacent to the regular pickleball courts–to expand their tournament this year. This tournament serves to reunite Midwestern pickleball players who have been whooping it up all winter in sunny Florida and Arizona with those of us who must tough it out in the Rust Belt. (But we’re not bitter!)
Saturday started out a little chilly and breezy, then turned much warmer and windier. There was a noticeable increase in whiffs and service errors–highly amusing until it happens to you. These difficult conditions were accompanied by a strict no-cussing policy, which hardly seemed fair. You ought to be able to cut loose when the wind eliminates any bounce to the ball, but that’s just my opinion. Sunday was hotter, but less windy.
The good news is that no ambulances were called. The strangest injury of the day occurred when Chris Mccathney was stung by a bee on his hand. A call for Benadryl went out over the loudspeaker as young Mr. Mccathney is somewhat allergic to bee stings, so that was worrisome. The big question, of course, is was it his playing hand? Interestingly enough, Chris switches hands pretty frequently when he plays. Anyway, he was all right and played through like the trooper that he is.
Speaking of drugs, the amount of Alleve, Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatories consumed at these events is cause for concern. If you are sucking this stuff down like jellybeans at Easter, you might want to review potential side effects. The panic in a number of players’ eyes when they realize they have forgotten to imbibe is a crack-up. But, of course, everyone is holding so scoring is no problem. I know these drugs will never be barred as performance-enhancing, but considering the intensity of some players, can steroids be far behind? It’ll be embarrassing when a pickleball doping scandal arises.
A huge thank-you to Bobbi Bonace and Jan Doke and all the volunteers who worked so hard to make it a wonderful weekend. And the Toledo folks would also like to thank Jess LeMire’s mother and father, David and Marie, for generously supplying us with snacks and delicious homemade cookies.
Toledo Pickleball-affiliated medalists:
Connie Mierzejewski and Betsy Kenniston, Gold
Connie and Betsy worked their way out of the Losers Bracket and into first place. This was Betsy’s first tournament so this victory is particularly impressive.
Women’s 4.0 and 4.5:
Marsha Koch and Jessica LeMire, Gold
Susan Wiartalla and Sandy Kushma, Silver
Bill Hickey and Tom Stone, Bronze
Men’s 4.5 and 5.0:
Jeff Chantiny and Tom Wells, Gold
This was an exciting final as Jeff and Tom came out of the Losers bracket, so there was extra play involved. Tom Wells said Jeff Chantiny played great–very consistently over the long day, which is difficult to do.
Mixed 3.5: Bill and Sue Hickey, Gold
Mixed 4.5 and 5.0:
Marsha Koch and Tom Wells, Gold
Susan Wiartalla and Chris Mccathney, Bronze
Sandy Kushma reporting