Manatee County has another hall of famer — this time in platform tennis. Lauren Zink, a Pennsylvania native and Bradenton resident, will be inducted into the American Platform Tennis Hall of Fame after more than 20 years of success.
Zink is a three-time individual national champion and two-time winner in mixed doubles. Zink won national titles more than a decade apart, first winning one in 2001 and then again in 2012. She partnered with her husband, George Zink, for her two mixed doubles titles and the duo added four husband-wife national championships.
“Lauren is not just a great player, but an incredibly good person,” said Cindy Pendergast, a longtime doubles partner, in a press release. “Her ability to compete and focus during tournaments is as unmatched as her sportsmanship.”
Zink and Pendergast were champions, as well. Those two won three women’s open national championships as Zink compiled a hall of fame career. Zink was also a four-time finalist at women’s nationals.
Zink’s tennis career began as a standout player in Pennsylvania before she gathered All-American honors at College of William and Mary. She has won a total of nine tournaments in her career and been a finalist six other times.
Cardinal Mooney sets record at Jingle 5K
Records fell at the fifth annual Jingle 5K on Thursday. The 1,700 who attended to compete in one of Manatee County’s biggest 5K runs was the largest yet for the Jingle. And on the course Cal Davidson-Turner and Laura Bowerman set records of their own. Davidson-Turner, a 19-year-old from Sarasota, set the course’s overall record and Bowerman, a 30-year-old from New Mexico, set the female record.
Davidson-Turner, a Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School alumnus who now runs cross country at Seattle University, set the male record with a time of 15:41. The 19-year-old from won the male division with a time of 15:41. Bowerman, an Albuquerque native, set the women’s record in 17:22.
The female side also had two winners from Manatee County. Suzanne Hoffman, 54, won the grand master division with a time 22:20, and Bradenton’s Esther Van Duzee, 76, won the veteran division in 36:55. Danielle Pfeil, a 45-year-old from Sarasota, and Linda Puzzo, a 61-year-old from Sun City Center, rounded out the female side with wins in the master and senior grand master divisions, respectively.
There were no male winners from the county, but three others from Florida took top spots in their divisions. Sarasota’s Shannon Winkleman, 46, won the master division, Fort Myers’ Sammy Mapes, 55, won grand master and Sarasota’s Chuck Berster, 70, won the veteran division. Frank Davis, a 72-year-old from Rock Falls, Ill., won the senior grand master division.
Suncoast Travel Ball returns with World Series
Suncoast Travel Ball’s winter season will conclude this weekend with the United States Specialty Sports Association Winter World Series in Kissimmee. The four-day tournament begins Wednesday and wraps up Saturday on New Year’s Eve.
The offseason won’t last long, though. The Suncoast Travel Ball Tampa Area Spring League begins Jan. 21.