Jul 12, 2011 8:34 PM by Jordan Mason
Colorado Springs, July 12-----------Familiar names are beginning to appear everywhere on the roster of athletes who are signing up to compete in the 10th Rocky Mountain State Games this month in Colorado Springs.
James Davis (Longmont) returns to compete in the 100, 200 and 400 meters on the track, where he won gold medals in the 400 at the 2008 State Games of the West (46.0) and 2009 State Games of America (46.54).
The 35-year-old athlete was a football wide receiver at Colorado in 1995 and was an NCAA All-American in track and field. He was the Big Eight Conference MVP at the 1996 outdoor championships after winning the 200 and 400 for the Buffs.
Davis also competed for Team USA internationally and was sixth at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400 meters (45.40). He was the USA national champion in 2000 indoors in the 400 meters.
Michelle Blessing (Colorado Springs), is a decorated triathlete who won the gold medal in her division at the 2009 State Games of America in Colorado Springs, and she was the U.S. Olympic triathlon head coach as the sport made its debut in the Games in Sydney in 2000. She also helped carry the torch for the opening of the State Games of America at the Colorado Springs World Arena.
George Soule (Longmont) won three gold medals at the 2010 Rocky Mountain State Games in the discus, high jump and shotput. The 71-year-old senior athlete will defend his titles in those three events and has added the javelin this year to his list.
Bowler Randy Gulley (Colorado Springs), won two gold medals and a silver at last year's State Games, and the 69-year-old Colorado Bowling Association Hall of Fame inductee is entered in four events this summer.
Mary and Michael Holzer (Pine), will be back again to defend their titles in the Target Archery barebow/bowhunter divisions. The 55-year-old wife-husband athletes are State Games regulars.
There are plenty of new faces to watch for in the Games:
Badminton athlete Sumina Shrestha (Denver), is a former national Champion in Nepal. The 26-year-old athlete represented Nepal in the Asian Games, and teamed with her sister, Poojah, to win a silver medal in the national championships.
Rampart High two-sport star Ryan Cook will compete in the high jump after winning the state 5A title with a personal best 6-10 last spring. He's also a basketball star for Rampart who averaged 10.5 ppg last season.
Powerlifting star Tyler Moore (Pagosa Springs), is the national record-hodler in the "Raw" competition in the 60kg division, and the 18-year-old lifter is also a top skier.
12-year-old wrestler Ashlynn Ortega (Pueblo), won the USA Wrestling Girls National Folkstyle 110-pound Championship in Oklahoma City on March 26.
This year's edition of the state's largest multi-sport event will take place in Colorado Springs primarily on two weekends for the first time, July 22-24 and July 29-31, with 34 sports on the menu for an expected 7,000 competitors. Swimming competition took place last weekend as 500 swimmers competed for medals at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The Rocky Mountain State Games, presented by AT&T and organized and managed by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, is a multi-sport festival for Colorado and Wyoming citizens of all ages and athletic abilities, including physically disabled, visually impaired and Paralympic athletes. The Games are recognized by the National Congress of State Games, a member organization of the United States Olympic Committee.
Competition will take place in the Pikes Peak Region at venues including the U.S. Olympic Training Center, United States Air Force Academy, Memorial Park, Fort Carson, Colorado College and other venues in Colorado Springs.
Athletes may register to compete and get full details at: www.coloradospringssports.org
Call (719) 634-7333, ext. 1000 for more information.