Sheila Parkinson, Dianne and Bob Zimmerman, JoAnn and David Zapatka represented Sun Lakes in the 2015 Rocky Mountain State Pickleball Championships July 25 and 26. Coloradans now know Sun Lakes!
The seasoned partnership of Sheila Parkinson and Dianne Zimmerman dominated the Women’s 50-54 Doubles competition losing only one game en route to their gold medal win. That single loss came at the hands of JoAnn Zapatka and Judy Arnold (Colorado Springs), silver medalists. Parkinson/Zimmerman played like a well-oiled machine sending every opponent to the “opportunity” bracket of their double-elimination tournament. Their match against Zapatka/Arnold was a topsy-turvy affair. Strong northerly winds blew through the court causing both pairs to make severe adjustments. Zapatka/Arnold won the first game big only to lose the second game equally big. The court savvy experience of the Parkinson/Zimmerman pair paid off in the third and deciding game. Following the match pattern, the Zapatka/Arnold pair jumped out to a 6-1 lead only to lose the next 10 points after switching sides of the court. Smiles, hugs and congratulations were shared across the net at center court as the four competitors basked in the glory of a tremendous out-of-state medal haul.
Tournament-tough David Zapatka and Don Simmons rolled through the Men’s 60-64 Doubles competition losing no games en route to their gold medal win. Don Simmons spends his summers in Colorado and is well known in Colorado pickleball circles so it was no surprise when he came in with someone unknown to Coloradans to win this division.
Sunday was the mixed doubles brackets and it was more than tournament-tough competitors who needed to be faced. A two and one-half hour early afternoon rain delay deluged the courts. It took 20 volunteers to sweep, squeegee, mop, vacuum and blow the courts dry restoring safety to the courts. Play resumed at 3:00 p.m.and the final match concluded at 8:00 p.m., making for a long, tough day.
Once again Sheila Parkinson brought her “A” game pairing with Tim Kuss of Centennial, CO in the 50-54 Mixed Doubles bracket. They went undefeated in the winners’ bracket sending the tournament-tough Dianne Zimmerman/David Zapatka pair to the “opportunity” bracket with a crushing 11-3, 11-5 defeat. But Zimmerman/Zapatka pressed on beating one pair after another to set up a rematch with Parkinson and Kuss. In a two out of three thriller, Parkinson/Kuss won the first game handily. Not to be denied, Zimmerman/Zapatka made the successful, strategic adjustment they needed when they stacked for the remainder of the match winning 11-3, 11-4. This set up the deciding winner-take-all 15-point final game. Parkinson put Kuss on her shoulders and played the game of her life winning the gold medal in a decisive 15-7 thrashing. Silver medalists Zimmerman/Zapatka were disappointed but at the same time so proud and happy for their friends who played so well.