Northeast senior athlete brings home the gold

In the Sept. 9 issue of the Northeast News, lifelong Northeast resident Ray Kopek shared his love of running with readers. For the past two weekends he has been competing in the Sunflower Kansas Senior Games in Topeka, Kan.

Kopek threw the shot put 26 feet, 2 inches for 4th place, and threw the discus 71 feet, 4 inches for 4th place. 

Kopek took home the gold in the race walk 5K with a time of 43 minutes, 13 seconds, and ran the 200-meter dash in 40.8 seconds for 7th place.

Kopek golfed 18 holes on Friday with a score of 114, and walked away with the bronze, which qualifies him for Nationals next year in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

With a time of 32 minutes, 56 seconds, Kopek won second place in his age group for the 5K.

He got third place in singles bowling with scores of 167, 152 and 112 across three games, making his overall score 425.

In the 5K bike race, Kopek got 2nd place with a time of 13 minutes, 1 second. For the bike 10K, he got 2nd place with a time of 26 minutes, 49 seconds.

In horseshoes, Kopek took home the gold in his age group, and won 2nd in doubles.

He took home two gold medals, four silver medals and 2 bronze medals to add to his collection.

“One thing I want to mention is how well everybody got along competing with each other,” Kopek said. “The sportsmanship was great and I made a lot of new friends.” 

He was most impressed with a 93-year-old man, also named Ray, who drove by himself all the way from Denver, Co. to compete in golf and horseshoes. Kopek is proud to now call him a really good friend.

He would like to thank everyone who has trained with him and wished him luck.

As an update to the previous story, Kopek plans to run the stairs at Concourse Park for the 1,111th time on Friday, Sept. 25.

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