TWENTY YEARS AGO É..
By Nancy Kronenfeld
IN MADISON, WISCONSIN A TOURNAMENT FOR WOMEN 35+ ONLY WAS BORN. THERE WAS NOT A WOMENÕS SENIOR/MASTERS RACQUETBALL ASSOCIATION OR A WEBSITE TO ANNOUNCE TO ALL THE WOMEN RACQUETBALL PLAYERS WHERE THIS GREAT TOURNAMENT WOULD BE HELD BUT 31 WOMEN ENTERED AND MADE HISTORY. ALTHOUGH MOST WERE FROM WISCONSIN A FEW WERE NOT CHEESEHEADS (keep in mind this is all in fun)!
WE ACTUALLY HAVE A LIST OF THESE WOMEN AND YOU WILL PROBABLY KNOW SOME OF THEM:
Mary-Low Acuff Jo Kenyon
Bernadette Bruner Janice Lucht
Paula Carter Kathy Mueller
Carol Colletti Carol Murguia
Linda Covault Marilyn Nelson
Johncey DeFresne Diane Peck
Kathy Evans Bonnie Pennock
Rosalind Gusinow Bev Powell
Barb Harrison Kathy Roskopf
Sharon Hastings-Welty Susan Rowe
Sandy Haupert Doris Singler
Holly House Rose Stoltman
Pat Hults Louise Tayler
Julie Jacobsen Sharon Welze
Pauline Kelly Jean Wilfer
MOST AMAZING IS THAT KENDRA HAS NEVER MISSED A WS/MRA TOURNAMENT.
FOR TWO YEARS THIS TOURNAMENT WAS HELD IN MADISON, WISCONSIN. THIS WAS POSSIBLE BECAUSE AT THAT TIME THE TOURNAMENT WAS HELD IN LATE MARCH SO MUCH OF THE GLACIER RECEDED.
BUT IT WAS TIME TO BRING THIS GREAT WOMENÕS TOURNAMENT TO NEW PLACES. THE 3rd YEAR THE TOURNAMENT WENT SOUTH TO CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA AND THIS WRITER ENTERED FOR MY FIRST TIME IN THE 35+ DIVISION. JUST THINK LOLA MARKUS WAS IN THE 55ÕS WHERE I AM THIS YEAR!!!! AND DEB TISINGER-MOORE WAS NOT EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO PLAY IN THE TOURNEY!
SIXTEEN YEARS AGOÉ..
WAS THE BIG YEAR WHEN THE WS/MRA WAS (LOOSELY) FORMED. AT OUR 4TH TOURNAMENT IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI NANCY BUTTS BEGAN TO ASK SOME OF THE ENTRANTS TO HAND OVER SOME $$$$ TO HELP GROW THIS ASSOCIATION THAT DID NOT YET EXIST. AND MANY WOMEN GLADLY HANDED IT OVER DUE TO THEIR LOVE FOR THIS GREAT WOMENÕS EVENT. MEANWHILE IT WAS STILL BEING HELD AT THE END OF MARCH FOR WHATEVER THAT IS WORTH.
NANCY BUTTS THEN HANDED THE MONEY OVER TO KENDRA AND ME TO ORGANIZE THIS ASSOCIATION AND THUS THE WS/MRA WAS BORN BUT NOT YET CALLED THAT (IT WAS THE WS/MRC)!!!! THE FIRST BOARD MEMBERS WERE:
Mary-Low Acuff Linda Grambow Merijean Kelley
Laurel Davis Jo Kenyon Nancy Kronenfeld
Kathy Mueller Bev Powell Kendra Tutsch
FYI - THE PRESENT WS/MRA BOARD IS:
Merijean Kelley Nancy Kronenfeld Debbie Tisinger-Moore
Vickey Utter Terry Rogers Lynne Weisbart
SOME OF US JUST WONÕT CALL IT QUITS!!!!
SO ENOUGH HISTORY ????? KENDRA AND I HAVE PUT SOME FUN FACTS TOGETHER FOR ALL OF YOU TO BROWSE THROUGH – THESE COULD BE CONSIDERED HISTORICAL IN NATURE TOO I SUPPOSE BUT I HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM ANYWAY.
WHO ATTENDED THE MOST TOURNAMENTS?
Well of course Kendra attended the most as she made it to 19 and then a host of us made it to 17 (no, no one made it to 18): Margaret Hoff, Nancy Kronenfeld, Pauline Kelly and Lola Markus – since we all travel together it must have been peer pressure! Mildred Gwinn, Merijean Kelley and Renee Fish all attended 15 WS/MRA tourneys. (NOTE: I did not include attendance this year as my kids taught me to believe in the jinx and as this was written before we all arrived I did not want to jinx or double jinx anyone).
WHO WON THE MOST GOLD MEDALS?
It amazed me that when the calculations were done Jo Kenyon (who hasnÕt played in our tourney since 2003) took home the most gold. Jo won 12 gold medals playing in 13 of our tournaments. Also, very noteworthy are Mary-Low Acuff and Sharon Hastings-Welty who each won 11 gold medals over the years.
AND WHO WAS THE BRIDESMAID BUT NEVER THE BRIDE???
Linda Moore won the most silver medals. She won 6 silver medals over the years. But I have to be honest I just liked the way that question sounded - Linda has actually won four gold medals too!! (P.S from Kendra- Linda won another silver in 2009!!).
WHO RAN THIS TOURNAMENT TWO OR MORE TIMES?
Julie Jacobsen (Madison, WI), Jean Trimble (Orlando, FL) and Terry Rogers (San Francisco, CA) all ran this tournament twice for us. DEB TISINGER-MOORE RAN IT THREE TIMES INCLUDING THIS YEAR!
HOW MANY CLUBS CLOSED AFTER WE HELD OUR TOURNAMENT THERE???
We are very sorry to say as far as we know four of them and they were Racquetpower in Jacksonville, Ballwin Athletic Club in St. Louis, Merritt Athletic Club in Baltimore and Orlando Fitness and Racquet in Orlando.
WHICH TOURNAMENTS HAD OVER 100 ENTRANTS?
Los Angeles (1998) 113
San Francisco (2004) 109
Chicago (1999) 107
Baltimore (2000) 106
Orlando (2007) 103
WHY IS MY DIVISION THE ONE THAT ALWAYS HAS THE MOST ENTRANTS????
OK REALLY? WHATÕS THE DEAL? WHEN I FIRST ENTERED THE 35ÕS 18 YEARS AGO WE HAD THREE FLIGHTS OF WOMEN AND THAT TREND HAS CONTINUED. THE 55ÕS HAVE THE MOST PLAYERS IN THIS EVENT (AS OF THIS WRITING I DONÕT KNOW IF IT WILL BE 2 OR 3 FLIGHTS BUT GEEZ???? WHY CANÕT WE GET SOME YOUNG WOMEN OUT TOO???) HELP US OUT SO OUR TOURNEY SURVIVES – BRING A YOUNG FRIEND NEXT YEAR!!!
WHY DOES KENDRA GIVE AWAY COW PIES EVERY YEAR?
ITÕS JUST A CHEESEHEAD THING NOTHING ELSE!!! BUT I LOVE HAVING THAT COW PIE FOR A SNACK ON THE PLANE RIDE HOME SO KEEP THEM COMING KENDY.
WHY IS THE WS/MRA SPONSORED BY WILSON??
In 2004 Chris Evon of Wilson Sporting Goods came to this writer to see if the WS/MRA would be interested in a sponsorship by Wilson. Being the small tournament that we are (most participants ever was 113) it was a wonderful opportunity for the WS/MRA. Wilson has provided us with much of their sporting equipment for our auction as well as balls for our tourney plus $$$ to run the event. THANK YOU CHRIS EVON & WILSON!
HOW MANY MEMBERS DOES THE WS/MRA HAVE?
The WS/MRA has about 290 members who are 35 years plus. What that really means is that 290 crazed senior women racquetball players have donated money to the WS/MRA. The WS/MRA Board decided that our association would not require membership to play in our tournament but of course you must be a member of the great USAR. So any woman who has ever given us a donation (no matter how much) is a member forever. As far as I know only one member has passed away and that was Mary-Low Acuff who made every effort to attend all our tournaments except once when she and Earl could not get through the snow. You will note she was at the very first tournament!!! Is that history?
So we do depend on your generosity and try to reward it with a wonderful directory of members every two years as well as a newsletter at least once a year.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE MADE THE WS/MRA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT A CONTINUING SUCCESS.
Sorry I canÕt end here – Kendra wanted me to add who made it to both the first & the 20th tournaments – of course she did but so did Linda Covault and Pauline Kelly – THATÕS ALL FOLKS!!
Yes I was all done but Merijean Kelley has the last wordÉ.she asked that I name all the locations that we have held our tournament over the past 20 year so Merijean youÕve been on this board long enough that your wish is granted – HERE IS WHERE WE HAVE BEENÉ.
Madison, WI (2) Charlotte, NC St. Louis, MO
Jacksonville, FL Atlanta, GA San Francisco, CA (2)
Chattanooga, TN Canoga Park, CA (3) Chicago, IL
Baltimore, MD Detroit, MI Orlando, FL
Indianapolis, IN Arlington, TX Kansas City, KS
AND YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER- KENDRAÓS UPDATE AS OF JAN 18, 2009
Who has attended the most tournaments? Kendra has now been to all 20; Lola, Margaret, Pauline and Nancy have been to 18; Merijean and Renee have been to 16; Mildred, Reta, Linda Moore, Carol Gellman, and Paula Sperling have been to 15!
Which state has had the best participation over the 20 years? California is first with 258 players, followed by Illinois with 195, and Florida with 183.
THATÕS ALL FOLKS!! (FOR NOW)