LINCOLN — Several outstanding Nebraska athletes have been named 2020 Cornhusker State Games Athletes of the Year in their respective categories.
The 2020 Cornhusker State Games Athletes of the Year include: multi-sport athlete Annie Carda, 10, of Omaha; bowler Isaac Skalak, 17, of Lincoln; trap shooter Chloe Bowman, 18, of Firth; sprinter Kevan Heuftle, 35, of Eustis; golfer Sue Rohrschneider, 60, of Ralston; track athlete Elmer Murman, 90, of Hastings.
The six were chosen from nearly 7,000 total participants and will be honored in a Nebraska Sports Council virtual awards ceremony later this year.
“Our 2020 Athletes of the Year represent the best of Nebraska in every way,” NSC Executive Director Dave Mlnarik said. “It’s a diverse group of people and sports, which reflects the variety of the Cornhusker State Games.”
The headliner of the group is Heuftle, who just became the ninth Nebraska athlete to also be named National Congress of State Games Athlete of the Year. After losing his left foot during a hunting accident in 2005, he tried returning to the track and field team at the University of Nebraska-Kearney where he had been a successful track athlete. He then fell into a depression and turned to alcohol to cope. After nearly a decade of heavy drinking, he was able to stop in 2015 and has been sober ever since. In 2017, he got back into running and began training daily. This year in the Cornhusker State Games, Hueftle comfortably won his age-group in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Among his other achievements, he is also a Paralympian for Team USA and won gold in the 100 and silver in the 200 at the Parapan American Games. Hueftle has an immense fire for competition and excellence regardless of his situation.
Carda has been running competitively since she was five and has competed in the State Games the past five years. This year she competed in track and field and diving. She won a gold medal in the 1,500 meter and took silver in the 1-meter diving competition. In both 2018 and 2019, she received gold medals in the 800 and 1,500. She also excels in cross country, soccer and basketball.
Skalak set a goal of acquiring five gold medals in bowling, and even though he didn’t hit his goal, his performance was impressive with two golds and two silvers in five events (under 18 singles, youth doubles, adult/youth doubles, 4-person mixed team and youth all-events). He also improved his career high series with a score of 761.
Bowman has competed in CSG trapshooting since 2016. In those five years, she has earned a CSG medal each year, including the bronze in female high overall and female 16 yard this year, and more than 50 individual and team medals overall. She has also won numerous awards during her time shooting for Norris High School since she was in eighth grade.
Rohrschneider has competed in the CSG golf tournament for nine years and this year took home the bronze in the senior women stroke play division. In total, she has won six CSG golf medals including gold (2016), silver (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019) and bronze (2020).
The 90-year old Murman was so popular at the CSG Track Meet this summer that he went viral on Twitter. He has been competing since 1970 and used to compete in Army track meets while enlisted. He runs the 50-meter and 100-meter sprints nowadays. He has won the gold medal in the both of those divisions in his age group since 2013. He says he continues to run because it gives him an incentive to stay in shape.
NSC Officials reported that, thanks in part to the virtual Torch Run format, all 93 counties were represented in the 2020 Games, with Lancaster — 2,709, Douglas — 1,142, Sarpy — 467, Platte — 135, Hall — 123 and Buffalo — 106 making up the top six counties. The youngest participant was Council Bluffs armwrestler Josephine Hall, 1; the oldest was trackster Elmer Murman, 90, of Hastings. Top five sports in participation were volleyball — 696, slow pitch softball—550, soccer — 460, shooting sports — 438, and basketball — 385.
The 37th annual Cornhusker State Games will be held July 16-25, 2021.
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