Sports Scene: Miami Rowing Club junior crews win US Club National titles in New Jersey


About this feature

Sports Scene is a Miami Herald feature that spotlights news and notes from all youth sports activities in your neighborhood. The aim of the section is to feature game notes from any sport and the accomplishments of athletes from Miami-Dade County.

We rely on the directors and coaches of each league as well as community members, parents and schools to submit information for Sports Scene. We also accept photos, but we ask that everyone pictured be identified with a first and last name and the name of the team or park they represent.

The section is free and open to anyone. Email

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Miami Rowing Club

The Miami Rowing Club’s Junior crews were outstanding during the US Club National Rowing Championships in Camden, N.J.

MRC won gold in the eight-man, gold and silver in the coxed four-man and silver in the senior lightweight eight.

Miami Rowing Club won the prestigious eight event, which included 34 stellar entries. In an exciting finish, MRC took the lead for good in the final two strokes of the 2,000-meter race, defeating the U.S. national high performance team by 0.8 seconds. Its time of 5 minutes 54 seconds was the fastest of any youth or college crew and faster than the national junior crew that will represent the United States at Worlds.

The national champion eight are Emily Scwartz, cox; Nicholas Montalvo, stroke; Leo Mercenari, seven seat; Samuel Helms, six seat; Luciano Mercenari, five seat; Chase Navellier, four seat; Dominic Prego, three seat; Jeffrey Hou, two seat; James Baker, bow; and Head Coach Cesar Herrera.

MRC, in a dominating performance, won gold and silver in the coxed four-man event, besting a field of 51 boats with the national champion crew consisting of Marcie Vidaurri, cox; Nicholas Montalvo, stroke; Luciano Mercenari, three seat; Samuel Helms, two seat; and Leo Mercenari bow.

The silver medalists are Jeffrey Hou (stroke), Ryan Pristo, Chase Navellier, James Baker and Natasha Ribeiro-Austich (cox).

The silver medalist senior lightweight eight is formed by Natasha Ribeiro-Austich (cox), Nicholas Montalvo, Leo Mercenari, Dominic Prego, James Baker, Jeffrey Hou, Ryan Pristo, John Michael Toohey and Jose Bared.

Other MRC crews performed well with eight boats reaching the semifinals including a girls quad and double.

Herrera, who was elated with the team’s performance, noted that those are the first national championships for the Miami Rowing Club in nearly 20 years.


Fifteen athletes from DB Karate School in Sunny Isles Beach won 27 medals during the USA Karate Nationals at the Bi Lo Center in Greenville, S.C. DBK athletes won 24 medals at nationals in 2012.

These young athletes are not only becoming elite athletes, but they are also learning karate ways, including respect, discipline, honor and self control. DBK has the ability to change people’s lives by making their practitioners more positive, confident, respectful, better behaved kids.

It is impressive that this karate school has such accomplishments in just three years.

At this year’s nationals, DBK was represented by Mateus Borges, Jordana Borges, Anthony Ortiz, Tommy Epstein, Richie Epstein, Elia Markman, Fabiana Lander, Mishell Shamis, Sebastian Arenas, Hanna Markman, Manuela Peralta, David Markman, Leandro Santos, Jessica Jochheim and Lisandro Santos.

DB Karate School is at 17070 Collins Ave., Suite 264, Sunny Isles Beach, 33160.


Kariann Pierre-Louis of Miami won the girls’ 14s singles title by defeating Rachel Papavasilopoulos of Boca Raton 5-7, 6-3 7-6 during the USTA Boys and Girls’ 14s National Clay Court Championships at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens.

The event drew 32 boys and 32 girls from throughout the country.

Pierre-Louis also won the doubles title, teaming with Anna Bright of Boca Raton as they beat Anna Brylin of Short Hills, N.J. and Victoria Emma of Naples in the finals.

• Miami’s Katerina Stewart, the No.2 seed, was runner-up at the USTA National Girls’ 16 Clay Court Championships in Virginia Beach, Va. Top seed CiCi Bellis of Atherton, Calif. beat Stewart in the finals.

More tennis

South Miami-Dade County had two team finalists during the USTA Florida 18-Older League Championships at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

In the finals of the Men’s 3.5 Division, Marion County (Country Club of Ocala) edged South Miami-Dade (Salvadore Park, Coral Gables) 3-2. South Miami-Dade won at No.1 singles (David Rodriguez d. Jose Ramon Davila 6-0, 7-5) and No.1 doubles (Carmelo Rubio/Geronimo Chala d. Todd Duffy/Troy Leonard 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 super tiebreak). South Miami-Dade beat Orange/Seminole counties 3-2 in a semifinal.

In the finals of the Women’s 3.5 Division, Duval County (San Jose County Club, Jacksonville) defeated South Miami-Dade (Coral Reef Tennis Center, Miami) 3-2. South Miami-Dade won at No.1 singles (Marlene Amione d. Mary Thompson 6-2, 6-0) and No.1 doubles (Raysa Marrero/Donna Golik d. Raquel Clark/Cindy Berzsenyi 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 super tiebreak). In a semifinal, South Miami-Dade shut out Orange/Seminole counties 5-0

The Florida 3.5 men’s and women’s division champions advance to the USTA National Adult 18 & Over 3.5 Championships on Oct. 25-27 at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz.

This year’s USTA Florida 18-Older 2.5/3.5/4.5 League Championships drew the top 68 teams from throughout the state. The teams -- which represent various clubs, parks, recreational departments and organizations -- finished at the top of their local leagues.

The Florida 3.5 men’s and women’s division champions advance to the USTA National Adult 18 & Over 3.5 Championships on Oct. 25-27 at the Jim Reffkin Tennis Center in Tucson, Ariz.

• Nationally the USTA League was established to provide adult recreational tennis players throughout the country with the opportunity to compete against players of similar ability levels. Players compete on teams in a league format, which is administered by the USTA through its 17 Sections.

The league groups players by using six National Tennis Rating Program levels, ranging from 2.5 (entry) to 5.0 (advanced). For information on NTRP levels go to

Tulloch football camp

Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch, a former Kendall Hammocks Warriors youth tackle football player, hosted his sixth annual NFL Camp for more than 275 local kids at Devonaire Park.

Tulloch, a Miami Killian High School grad who played collegiately at North Carolina State, participated in the camp along with some of his NFL friends.

“We would like to extend a big thank you to all the NFL players who came to help out with the camp,” wrote Mike Pintado, president of the Kendall Hammocks Warriors. “We truly appreciate the time you have taken for our kids. We would also like to send out a big thank you to Marcie Wiggins and all the KHW coaches and volunteer staff in making this a successful camp.”

Under the auspices of The Stephen Tulloch Foundation, Tulloch also presented a check for $2,500 to the Kendall Hammocks Warriors.

Pintado added: “A very special thank you To Stephen Tulloch for your generous donations to the Kendall Hammocks Warriors. Thank You Stephen for giving back to the kids.”


North Maimi Beach football

Hundreds of North Miami Beach’s stars of tomorrow participated in the Hang Out Day at Patricia A. Mishcon Field. As part of the event, boys and girls worked on football drills with NFL players, past and present, including E.J. Biggers, Tim Brown, Max Jean-Gilles and Sammie Stroughter.

The annual Hang Out Day also featured cheerleading drills, bounce houses, children’s physicals and food — all free. The festivites were organized by the Stars of Tomorrow Foundation as a way to give back to the community.

Visit the North Miami Beach Leisure Services Department on Facebook at to see photos.


Doral’s Lianna Farnesi, 16, won the women’s division of the Mack Cycle Duathlon Trilogy No.2 at Virginia Key in Key Biscayne.

Farnesi covered the 1-mile run, 10-mile bike and 3.1-mile run in 1 hour 3 minutes. Michael Ashworth, 31, of Miami Beach won the men’s title in 52:46, followed by Aventura’s Hans Heinz, 46, in 54:14.

Other top local finishers: Clydesdale 185: 1. Fernando Carvajal, Miami, 1:25:36. Clydesdale 225: 1. Javier Perez, Miami, 1:12:39.

Female: 15-19: 1. Andrea Pena, Miami, 1:29:09. 30-34: 1. Jennifer West, Miami Beach, 1:14:48. 40-44: 1. Shanel Carmenate, Miami, 1:18:55. 45-49: 1. Beatriz Lluen, Miami, 1:42:58. 50-54: 1. Jerri Halgowich, Miami, 1:12:55. 55-59: 1. Rosario Harper, Miami, 1:30:36. 60-64: 1. Linda Kelly, Miami, 1:15:45. Fat Tire: 1. Izumi Araki, Miami Beach, 1:17:44.

Male: 20-24: 1. Amir Merali, Miami, 57:29. 35-39: 1. Maikel Cusimano, Hialeah, 1:01:34. 40-44: 1. Rodrigo Gomez, Doral, 1:02:44. 60-64: 1. Christian Poirier, North Miami, 1:03:21. Fat Tire: 1. Anthony Fiallo, Miami, 1:32:04. Masters: 1. Lucas Theophilus, Coral Gables, 55:42. Physically Challenged: 1. Sebastian Gomez, Miami, 1:11:53.



Miami Beach’s Ola Besser, 28, won the women’s title during the Mack Cycle International Triathlon Trilogy No.2 at Virginia Key in Key Biscayne.

Besser completed the 0.5-mile swim, 20-mile bike and 6.2-mile run in 1 hour, 52 minutes and 57 seconds. Sandra Forero, 35, of Sunny Isles was runner-up in 1:56:42 and Miami’s Kristell Acosta, 30, third in 1:57:47.

Other top local finishers: Clydesdale 200 40+: 1. George Garcia, Miami, 2:21:22. Clydesdale 225 0-39: 1. Jose Perez, Hialeah, 2:50:59. Clydesdale 225 40+: 1. Gustavo Fernandez, Miami, 2:36:40.

Female: 20-24: 1. Christy Gardner, Miami, 2:14:56. 25-29: 1. Nicole Rendos, Miami, 1:58:03. 30-34: 1. Karol Mejia, Miami, 2:23:12. 35-39: 1. Miriam Klein, Sunny Isles, 2:06:13. 45-49: 1. Aileen Bogert, Pinecrest, 2:21:08. 50-54: 1. Barbara Wach, Miami, 2:19:30.

Male: 15-19: 1. Christian Cruz Sosa, Miami, 1:54:16. 35-39: 1. Ernesto Zerda, Key Biscayne, 2:03:37. 45-49: 1. Michael Soppelsa, Miami, 1:55:42. 65-69: 1. Tim Regier, Miami, 2:16:51.

• In the Triathlon Trilogy No.2 (0.25-mile swim, 10-mile bike, 3.1-mile run), Miami’s Marianne Curtis, 27, was the women’s champion in 59 minutes 36 seconds.

Monica Rossi-Montero, 44, of Miami was second in 1:01:55, and Miami Beach’s Rachelle Ginsberg, 35, third in 1:02:54. The men’s title went to Alejandro Rodriguez, 18, in 53:21. Miami’s Tim Curtis, 31, placed third in 54:42.

Other top local finishers: Clydesdale 185 0-39: 1. Leon Ojalvo, Miami, 1:15:23. Clydesdale 225 0-39: 1. Carlos Fernandez, Miami, 1:13:29.

Female: 15-19: 1. Nicole Carpio, Miami, 1:11:37. 20-24: 1. Julia Betancourt, Key Biscayne, 1:14:25. 25-29: 1. Nikki Nasher, Coral Gables, 1:12:18. 45-49: 1. Isa Machado, Doral, 1:19:10. 50-54: 1. Leonora Gonzalez, Homestead, 1:14:28. Fat Tire: 1. Karina Menendez, Miami, 1:52:51.

Male: 15-19: 1. Serafin Dominguez Cid, Miami, 1:01:56. 30-34: 1. Bradley Kuper-Smith, Coral Gables, 55:21. 35-39: 1. Luciano Smith, Miami, 59:54. 45-49: 1. Tris Snyder, Miami, 59:34. 50-54: 1. Carlos Betancourt, Key Biscayne, 1:00:10. 60-64: 1. John Weston, Miami, 1:10:00. 70-74: 1. Peter Menendez, Miami, 1:31:24. Masters: 1. Santiago Pazos, Miami Beach, 58:40.


Women’s self defense

Carlson Gracie Miami offers a women’s self defense class at 10 a.m. Aug. 10. All ages welcome. Cost is $10 per person. Call 305-386-4103 or email

Pro Wrestling at Marlins Park

Bill Goldberg and The Hart Foundation (Bret The Hitman Hart, Jim The Anvil Neidhart, Jimmy Mouth of the South Hart) will headline a Legends of Wrestling Night on Saturday, Aug. 24 when the Miami Marlins host the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park in Hialeah.

Joining Goldberg and The Hart Foundation will be Greg The Hammer Valentine, Koko B. Ware, Brutus The Barber Beefcake, Bushwhacker Luke, The Nasty Boys, The Genius (Lanny Poffo), Mr. Anderson (Mr. Kennedy), Chavo Guerrero Jr., Garett Bischoff, Wes Brisco, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and more.

Goldberg will throw out the first pitch. There will be an autograph session on the Promenade Level during the game. Three to four wrestling matches will follow the game on the West Plaza. Wrestlers subject to change.

Just buy a Marlins ticket for the game on Aug. 24, and the wrestling event is included. For ticket information, visit

WWE in Miami

A WWE pay-per-view will be in South Florida on Sunday, Oct. 27 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.

This is the first pay-per-view at the AAA since WWE’s Survivor Series in November 2010.

The AAA is a long-time host of WWE events including the first SmackDown of 2013, the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony during WrestleMania Week in 2012, the Raw after WrestleMania in 2012 and the Rock’s birthday on Raw in 2011.

Tickets for the WWE PPV go on sale to the general public on Saturday, Aug. 17. Keep posted at

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More events, leagues, programs


The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade County and the Swim for Jenny Memorial Fund invite swimmers of all ages, abilities and skill levels to participate in iSwim for Jenny, a week-long fundraising event Aug. 10-16 at participating Miami-Dade County Parks and community pools.

Set a goal to swim a certain number of laps and solicit pledges from friends and family. Participants can be individuals or teams. Monies raised benefit the Swim for Jenny Memorial Fund to provide scholarships for beginner learn-to-swim lessons for underserved children and water safety education.

Swimming must be done at a neighborhood community pool with lifeguard and/or one of the Miami-Dade County Parks aquatic facilities/donation collection sites listed below:

AD Barnes Pool

3401 SW 72 Ave.


Palm Springs North Pool

901 NW 176 St.


South Dade Pool (Helen Sands)

16350 SW 280 St.


Tamiami Pool

11201 SW 24 St.


To register a swim team at a different pool than those listed above, or to register a community pool as an official site for the iSwim for Jenny, contact Jim O’Connor at A.D. Barnes Pool at 305-665-1626. All donations must be turned-in from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 16 at one of the four approved Miami-Dade County Parks’ aquatic facilities/donation collection sites listed above.



The USA Swimming Foundation granted more than $250,000 to help local Make a Splash partners in 19 states provide children with life-saving, learn-to-swim instruction for free or at a reduced cost.

More than 130 applications were received, and 41 local programs were selected as recipients of 2013 Make a Splash grants. Among the 41 recipients nationwide was Hialeah.

Make a Splash is the national child-focused, water-safety initiative of the USA Swimming Foundation. Make a Splash partners with more than 600 learn-to-swim providers in all 50 states in an effort to provide the opportunity for every child in America to learn to swim.

“This funding allows our local partners to provide swimming lessons to children who otherwise may never have the opportunity to learn the life-skills of swimming,” said Debbie Hesse, Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “The USA Swimming Foundation is excited to see continued growth, as we now have programs in all 50 states and have reached nearly 2 million children since 2007. We are incredibly grateful to our donors and corporate sponsors who are dedicated to making sure all children in American learn to swim.”

The USA Swimming Foundation grants money to partner organizations on an annual basis, and, to date, has disbursed more than $2.8 million. Grants are made possible by the support of donors, foundations and corporate partners.

Since June of 2007, more than 1.8 million children have taken lessons though local Make a Splash partners. Grant recipients like Hialeah provide a portion of its lessons for free or at a reduced cost, or provide free water safety education in their communities.

• About USA Swimming Foundation

The USA Swimming Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of USA Swimming. Established in 2004, the Foundation works to strengthen the sport by saving lives and building champions – in the pool and in life. Whether we’re equipping our children with the life-saving skill of learn-to-swim, or providing financial support to our heroes on the U.S. National Team, the USA Swimming Foundation aims to provide the wonderful experience of swimming to kids at all levels across the country.

The Foundation also serves as the home for our National and Olympic Team Alumni reunions and regional events. The development efforts of the USA Swimming Foundation aim to establish an endowment to strengthen the future of USA Swimming’s programs and services. To learn more, visit


Florida Soccer Expo organizers will bring an estimated 8,000 fans to Sun Life Stadium on Sept. 14-15 in Miami Gardens. This celebration of “the beautiful game” will host the soccer community including soccer clubs, associations, tournament organizers, coaches, trainers, referees, soccer families and players from throughout the world.

The event features hosting a trade show, an indoor soccer tournament and interactive areas where the soccer public can participate in numerous soccer-related activities, organized by Florida Soccer Expo partners, sponsors and other exhibitors. This highly anticipated show will include coaching clinics, referee and nutritional and health seminars.

Several key soccer associations have been invited and are joining the efforts as Institutional Partners and will contribute with the promotion and success of this event, these include:

CONCACAF, American Youth Soccer Organization, Women Premier Soccer League, Miami Dade Soccer League, Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Florida State Referees, Florida State Soccer Association, SunLife Stadium and Miami Dolphins.

The expo includes six indoor soccer fields. For those interested in soccer shopping, the event features more than 80 exhibitor booths available at the event, including a wide variety of soccer and sports-related products, gear and equipment, food and drinks sampling, and other consumer goods and services. Exhibitors interested can contact the organization via email at or send a message at

For information:, or call 305-280-2088.

South Miami soccer camp

The South Miami Grey Ghosts Soccer Club is hosting a summer camp, weekly through Aug. 16 at South Miami Park, 4300 SW 58th St.

Grey Ghosts Soccer Club offers male and female players, age 5-15, an opportunity to learn the game in a fun and challenging environment. Techniques and basic individual tactics are emphasized. The philosophy of learning skills through fun games, which require maximum touches of the ball, introduces the young player to the most advanced techniques. To register or for information go to

Soccer 5 Academy

Soccer 5 Academy Mini Soccer Program, also referred to as small-sided soccer, makes its South Florida debut at three Miami-Dade County-owned parks – Tropical Park (7900 SW 40 St. in Miami), Kendall Soccer Park (8011 SW 127 Ave.) and Amelia Earhart Park (401 E. 65th St in Hialeah).

Headed by Soccer 5’s Director of Coaching Development Alan Georgeson, who has more than 15 years of experience in Europe in mini/small-sided soccer, kids, age 3-12, will learn the history of mini soccer, the basics of how to play, reasons why mini soccer is the preferred form of soccer play for kids, youth and even adults, and will have the opportunity to play in 3v3 to 7v7 matches.

With Kendall Park, ts recent grand opening of Soccer 5 Tropical Park and its third location at Amelia Earhart Park, mini/small-sided soccer will be available across the county, providing a greater opportunity for children and families to access the proper 4G turf game fields specifically designed for “5v5,” “6v6” and “7v7” games.

With smaller fields, mini soccer is much easier for young children or children who have never played. In addition, mini soccer is designed for competitive play against less number of players, providing more opportunity for pick-up games, as well as more opportunity to play the ball making mini soccer popular with older players, too.

Soccer 5 Tropical Park is open 3 p.m.-midnight Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m.-midnight Saturdays and Sundays.

“I cannot thank Miami Dade Parks and our Soccer 5 coaching staff enough for making our dream of developing small-sided soccer for kids in the Greater Miami area a reality,” Georgeson said. “It is an exciting time for us at Soccer 5 as we continue to expand our Kids Academy in South Florida built on the success of our public/private partnership with Miami Dade Parks and the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.”

Allison Diego, Director of Business Development, Fundraising and Advocacy for Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, added: “The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is delighted to partner with The Soccer 5 vision to provide an outstanding experience for this community through soccer. We are happy to be a part of this important child sports development.”

For information or to register, visit

More soccer

South Kendall Sun Blazers ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79 St. (305-630-3314).

Miami Dade Soccer League ( at Three Lakes Park, 13375 SW 136 St. (786-488-5216).

Soccer 5 ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave. (1-888-575-2976).

Club Atletico De Miami ( at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave. (305-764-5783).

Soccer Academy of the Americas ( at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St. (786-486-3804)

Pinecrest Premier Soccer ( at Deerwood Bonita Lakes, 11511 S. Dixie Hwy. (305-255-3422).

Optimist Club of Westchester ( at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St. (786-370-4222).

Coral Estates Soccer Club ( at Coral Estates Park, 1411 SW 97 Ave. (305-279-2328)

South Kendall Soccer Club ( at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, 11395 SW 79 St. (305-630-3314).

Southern Soccer Coalition-AYSO ( at Millers Pond Park, 13350 SW 47 St. and Westwind Lakes Park, 6805 SW 152 Ave. (305-965-0083).

Thunder basketball

Thunder Basketball opened its new year-round facility at ThunderPleX, 1440 NW 82 Ave., Miami.

Thunder Basketball is currently running a day camp and summer league, open to boys and girls, age 5-17. Thunder Basketball’s mission is to teach the principles, fundamentals and basic skills of the game. They stress the importance of team and sportsmanship.

Thunder also encourages players to succeed in the classroom and all aspects of life. For information visit Registration is now open. Contact or call 786-505-5585.

Miami Lady Express basketball

The Miami Lady Express girls’ basketball team needs funding to continue competing in tournaments throughout the United States. The coaches volunteered to train the girls, giving them something positive to do, and the parents have been fundraising.

Travel costs, food, tournament fees and lodging are very expensive for these girls. They practice at the Keys Gate Gym in Florida City and South Dade High School where their coaches teach. Contact Coach Larry Hicks at 786-301-2577.

Tamiami basketball

Tamiami youth basketball registration is open for girls and boys, age 5-16. Email or call 305 -273-1145.

USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon aims to return multisport to its roots with the inaugural USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series, which debuts this spring with 10 beginner-friendly events -- one in each USA Triathlon region including Miami.

The focus of the Retro Tri Series is participation, rather than competition. The aim of the events is to introduce the sport of triathlon and educate race participants about the healthy and active multisport lifestyle. The events are open to first-timers, seasoned veterans and those looking to stay active -- swimming, biking and running in a safe atmosphere. Each event is sanctioned by USA Triathlon.

“Our new Retro Tri Series events offer something for anyone interested in participating in the sport of triathlon,” USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach said. “These races can be for athletes who want a good, safe workout, or for someone who may feel intimidated by going to a larger race. We’re looking forward to this year’s events and can’t wait to introduce more and more newcomers to the multisport lifestyle.”

The Retro Tri Series events are geared toward adult and youth competitors age 13 and older. Each race will feature a 300-400-yard swim, 5-10-mile bike and 2-5-kilometer run.

USA Triathlon Retro Series Schedule

Aug. 4: Omaha Retro Family Triathlon, Omaha, Neb.

Sept. 8: FIU Triathlon, North Miami.

Nov. 3: Old Dominion University (ODU) Triathlon, Norfolk, Va.

For more on the USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series, visit

USA Duathlon

With the aim of introducing more athletes to the exciting multisport discipline of duathlon, USA Triathlon unveiled the 10 events that will comprise the 2013 USA Triathlon Duathlon Race Series including one in Florida.

Ten races comprise USA Triathlon’s 2013 Duathlon Race Series. (David Sanders/USA Triathlon)

With one event in each of USA Triathlon’s 10 regions, athletes across the country will have the opportunity to compete in a top run-bike-run event. Each event is sanctioned by USA Triathlon and will count toward the popular end-of-year Duathlon National Rankings for USA Triathlon annual members.

Awards will be presented to the top finishers in each series event.

The series will continue through the Oct. 20 Longboat Key Duathlon in Longboat Key. USA Triathlon’s Duathlon National Championships is Oct. 26 in Tucson/Oro Valley, Ariz. Visit for information on Duathlon Nationals.

USA Triathlon sanctioned nearly 600 duathlon races in 2012, more than doubling the number of sanctioned races from 2006.

Florida Race: Oct. 20: Longboat Key Duathlon. Distances: 2-mile run, 20-mile bike, 5-mile run. Website: Contact: or 813-966-7844.

Tennis classes, programs

Tennis classes and programs for all ages are at the Penny Sugarman Tennis Center at Sans Souci, 1795 Sans Souci Blvd., North Miami. Call for information on group lessons, annual passes, court rates and private lessons. Tennis pro is Ross Dubins. Call 305-893-7130.

JCC Maccabi Games

The Levis JCC in Boca Raton proudly hosts the JCC Maccabi Games Aug. 10-15. The Olympic-style event welcomes thousands of Jewish teen athletes who will compete in team and individual sports and participate in social and community service activities.

The JCC Maccabi Games, managed by JCC Association, began as a 1982 pilot project in Memphis with 300 Jewish youth and has ballooned to an annual summer event which attracts thousands of teens from North America and abroad to multiple sites in the United States and Canada.

“We are thrilled to again welcome the Levis JCC to the long list of host communities,” said Dan Deutsch, director of JCC Maccabi Experience. “Hosting the Games is an incredible community building project. The impact of hosting can be felt for years.”

Locally chaired by Levis JCC Board of Directors members Bonnie Schweiger and Matt Baker, the Levis JCC will welcome Jewish teens from the United States, Israel and several other countries. Athletes will compete in a variety of team and individual sports including girls’ and boys’ soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf and swimming at venues throughout Boca Raton.

“Having hosted the Games in 2000, we are very excited about being given the opportunity to host the JCC Maccabi Games in our community for a second time. We anticipate another extremely successful JCC Maccabi Games,” said Randy Colman, Executive Director of the Levis JCC. “Involvement begins now. We are actively recruiting host families, athletes, volunteers, sponsors and coaches to participate in our Games. This is an incredible experience for all who are involved and for the Levis JCC to engage our entire community.”

In every team and individual contest, Games participants are encouraged to follow the “Rachmanus Rule,” a credo that dictates fair play, based on the Jewish values of mercy and compassion. Teamwork, sportsmanship, and respect for opponents are prized over winning at any cost.

Supplementing the team and individual sports competitions, there are fun and engaging social programs that promote friendships and JCC Cares projects that instill the Jewish values of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (social justice). That creates an informal educational instruction that foster a personal connection to the State of Israel. Over the years, participants have spoken of making new friends and memories to last a lifetime, motivating many to return to the Games annually, even volunteering as delegation heads and coaches when they are no longer participating as athletes.

Since they were established in 1982, the Games have offered a life-changing experience, not just to the athletes themselves, but also to their parents and coaches and the legions of volunteers in host communities who work hard for more than a year to plan a busy week of events on and off the field. There are numerous opportunities for people to become involved, from greeting athletes as they arrive, to hosting teens, to raising funds.

To encourage a stronger connection to Israel, the Opening Ceremonies will include a moving tribute to the 11 Israeli athletes killed by terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

The JCC Maccabi Games are a joint project of JCC Association, Maccabi Canada, Maccabi World Union, and Maccabi USA.

Those interested in being part of the JCC Maccabi Games in any capacity should contact Nancy Carroll, JCC Maccabi Games Director, or call 561-852-3117.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, contact Cindy Bergman or call 561-852-3253.

Heisman high school nominations

Now through Oct. 23, high school class of 2014 seniors can apply for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, a program honoring outstanding high school scholar-athletes for their commitment to academic achievement, community service involvement and athletic prowess.

To apply, students can go to for a chance to win the Award and the prestige of joining an ever-growing family of distinguished past winners. The first 25,000 students with completed applications will receive a Wendy’s gift card valued at $10.

Created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas in 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award has impacted the lives of thousands of scholar athletes who have been a part of the program for the past 20 years. Since its inception, Wendy’s High School Heisman has received more than 400,000 applications and honored more than 228 National Finalists and 38 National Winners.

A partner award with college football’s acclaimed Heisman Memorial Trophy, the Heisman caché touches students at every level of the program. In addition to recognition at school and state levels, six female and six male national finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City to attend the Wendy’s High School Heisman Awards Ceremony and college Heisman Memorial Trophy Award weekend festivities in December 2013. The one male and one female Wendy’s High School Heisman Award winners will also earn $10,000 for their high school and a $500 Wendy’s gift card.

The Wendy’s High School Heisman Award is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Memorial Trust, host of the College Heisman Memorial Trophy. The 2012 winners were Samuel Prakel of Versailles, Ohio, who plans to study chemical engineering or biology this fall, and Zoe Alaniz of Corpus Christi, Texas, who plans to swim at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall and to follow a pre-med track.

A complete list of past WHSH finalists and winners can be found at

Moments of Month

Liberty Mutual Insurance announced the annual search for the most responsible youth sports moments of the year, in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance.

Now in its third year, the “Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments” of 2013 seeks to identify and applaud acts of sportsmanship, selflessness, integrity, fairness and honesty from youth sports fields, rinks, courts, mats and pools around the country.

This year, with the help of U.S. Olympic skiing legend and youth sports parent Picabo Street, Liberty Mutual Insurance will name the “Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments” at the close of 2013.

Aligning with the brand’s ongoing commitment to responsibility, Liberty Mutual Insurance recently announced its partnership with the United States Olympic Committee and Team USA as the Official Property and Casualty and Life Insurance Partner of the 2014 and 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams that will compete in Sochi, Russia, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Street, best known for her gold medal performance in the super-G at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and silver medal downhill performance in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway, joins Liberty Mutual’s commitment to youth sports as a mother and avid supporter of sportsmanship at all levels.

“As an athlete and now a mother of four young sons, I know first-hand the influence youth sports have in enriching a child with the values of sportsmanship and responsibility,” Street said. “To see U.S. Olympic Team partners like Liberty Mutual Insurance celebrate responsibility on the youth sports level is something I am proud to be a part of, and I urge fans across the country to share their examples of selflessness with us as nominees for 2013’s ‘Top 10 Responsible Sports Moments.’”

Now through Nov. 30, coaches and parents can submit a moment that celebrates the inherent goodness in youth sports at or by tweeting a nomination using #RSMoments. In addition, throughout 2013, Liberty Mutual Insurance and PCA will scour local headlines across the country and identify additional moments that exemplify sportsmanship within local communities.

Each month, three nominees will be highlighted on the Responsible Sports site where fans can tweet their vote for the most responsible “Moment of the Month.”

Winning moments will be announced at the close of 2013 and be honored by Liberty Mutual Insurance with a charitable donation of $1,000 to the 10 organizations that are responsible for each Responsible Sports moment. The Top “Moment of the Year” winner, as voted on by fans on Twitter, will also earn an extra $1,000 honorarium for its organization.

For information, visit or join the conversation @RespSports.

Heads Up

Former tight end Troy Drayton played nine seasons in the NFL, including 1996-99 with the Miami Dolphins, and he is now the Dolphins’ youth program coordinator.

Drayton is adding a new title to his listing – NFL Ambassador for Heads Up Football.

The NFL and USA Football jointly announced the national launch of Heads Up Football, a youth football program aimed at making the game of football better and safer for all who play it. The program is being supported with a $1.5 million grant from the NFL Foundation.

Three million kids already play tackle football and the game can be even safer. Heads Up Football includes a tackling model that removes the head from the game.

Heads Up Football has five core elements: 1) The use of the Heads Up Tackling model, 2) coaching certification, 3) Player Safety Coaches, 4) concussion education, and 5) proper equipment fitting.

The program was launched in three pilot markets last year. This year, it will expand to more than 600 youth leagues throughout 50 states. Of these leagues, 100 will be assigned a former NFL player mentor. Drayton will serve as a mentor to a local Heads Up League – the Tamiami Colts of the Miami Xtreme Youth Football League.

Big Shot Volleyball Series

The Reflekt Polarized Big Shot Volleyball Series, presented by Rider Sandals, started the 2013 season at sites throughout Florida.

Top male and female doubles teams will compete for over $75,000 cash prizes during the 2013 season. Tournament play will start at 9 a.m. with women’s finals scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturdays and men’s finals Noon Sundays. Admission is free for spectators.

Separate divisions for players of intermediate and novice levels on Saturdays and Sundays. The $60 entry fee entitles players to a day of tournament play, an official Reflekt Polarized Big Shot Volleyball T-shirt and a chance to win merchandise prizes from tournament sponsors Spalding, Rider Sandals, 4C Totally Light 2Go Energy Drinks, Rox Volleyball, 1st Place Volleyball, SOB Volleyball Vacations, Sixpak Volleygear, Zem Booties, Dig Magazine, Bally’s Casino and Park and Sun Sports.

The Big Shot Volleyball Series holds 35 events leading to the $8,000 Big Shot Championships at Bally’s Casino Sept. 7-8 in Atlantic City and the $5,000 Volley America National Championships in October in Clearwater Beach. Visit

Rebelle volleyball

Rebelle Athletics Club offers girls’ volleyball tryouts at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School, 4949 NE 2nd Ave.

The volleyball club, a member of the United States Volleyball Association, is under the direction of Mandi Tate, Dee Rey and former Barry University player Kelly Dantas. They are former coaches with South Florida Volleyball Club and currently coach at Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senior High School in Biscayne Bay.

Rebelle Athletics is dedicated to providing developmental and participatory athletic sports programs beginning at the youth development level. It offers a progression of sports activities for persons of all ages, races and creeds. It strives to enhance the physical, mental and moral development of amateur athletes at all levels, promoting sportsmanship and active citizenship.


Marlins Tours

The Miami Marlins offer behind the scenes tours of Marlins Park. The tours are open to the public on non-event days for $10 a person.

The tour includes visits to the field (behind home plate), home clubhouse, home batting cage area and Diamond Club, Promenade Level featuring the art in the facility, the bobblehead museum and the premium areas including the Suites.

Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except when the Marlins play at home or when other major events are scheduled at Marlins Park. Group tours, accommodating between 10 and 25 people, are available by appointment.

For information, fans can call 1-877-MARLINS or e-mail Tickets can be purchased at the ticket windows on Felo Ramirez Drive (NW 6 Street between NW 14 Avenue and NW 15 Avenue) and are for the time and date specified.

Tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

HOF baseball

Hall Of Fame Baseball is sponsoring travel baseball teams for 11-12, 13-14, 15-18 (high school).

Hall Of Fame Coach Rich Hofman and his staff will coach the teams which will practice and play in tournaments and leagues. Register for a tryout at or call David Hofman at 954-804-5600 or Ed Tisdale at 803-463-2591.

Youth Rugby South Miami

The Miami Rugby Youth Division, boys age 6-18, practices 6-8 p.m. Mondays at Murray Park and Wednesdays at Palmer Park, 6120 SW 67th Ave., South Miami. Call 305-400-0134, ext. 101. Visiti


Jai-alai is open to anyone, age 10 to 80.

With a rubber ball and cestas, the amateur jai-alai facility is at 1935 NE 150th St. in North Miami, near FIU’s north campus.

It is indoors, air-conditioned and open to all. Contact Luis at 305-389-2313 or Bob at 786-556-3574.

Jai-Alai for women

Who said you have to be a male to play jai-alai? Just as females play the sport in Spain, France and Mexico, and gals can play it in South Florida at an amateur indoor air-conditioned fronton at 1935 NE 150 St., North Miami, near FIU’s north campus.

There are also leagues for males and children. Rubber or plastic balls used with free lessons by former pros. Cestas and balls also provided free with a nominal court fee. Open everyday. Email or call Brucio 786-629-5428. The American Amateur Jai-Alai Academy is a not-for-profit organization.

Got Milk

The National Milk Mustache “got milk?” campaign launched the call for entries for the 15th annual Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Awards.

The SAMMY scholarship recognizes 25 student-athletes who excel in academics, athletics, community service, leadership and who fuel their daily success with milk.

Milk Mustache celebrity judges will help select 25 winners from across the country who will receive a $7,500 college scholarship, an awards ceremony at Walt Disney World and an opportunity to appear in their own special Milk Mustache ad.

For complete contest rules and applications log onto where visitors can also learn more about the exclusive SAMMY awards weekend and view behind the scenes footage.

CB Sports Leagues

CB Sports Club offers Youth Basketball, Flag Football, Youth Soccer, Adult Soccer and Adult Basketball. Visit Call 786-273-5639.

Physically Challenged

Miami-Dade Parks welcomes children with disabilities in its youth leagues. If you need accommodations to participate, call 305-735-7847 (V/TDD).

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