Medal Ceremony Is Family's Reunion Site

October 20, 1991|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff writer

The Maryland Senior Olympics have always been a family affair for Frances Flatau.

Even before the 56-year-old Joppa woman was eligibleto compete, she acted as chauffeur, coach and manager for her motherand step-father, Harriet and Holden Rogers.

Last weekend, four generations of the family turned out at the 12th annual Maryland Senior Olympics to root for all three. Flatau's daughter, Lisa Mathis and her husband, John, and children, Olivia, 3, and Sam, 1, cheered on the family's competitors at the Towson State University track.

All that support helped Flatau win three gold medals and a silver. It also helped Harriet Rogers win two silver medals.

"I've enjoyed going out with my mother and cheering her on," saidFlatau. "It's nice to have another generation cheering me on."

Inthe 55-59 age group, Flatau took gold medals in the discus (49 feet,1 inch), shot put (21-7) and 1,500-meter race walk (13:08). She earned a silver medal in the long jump (7-6).

Harriet Rogers, 82, won two silver medals in the 80-84 age category. She threw 14 feet in thediscus and finished in 22:42 in the 1,500 meter race walk.

HoldenRogers, 86, missed out on competing when his only event, the shot put, was rained out.

In other competition, Harford County's softballentry, the Joppatowne Geriatrics, won a bronze medal in the 55-64 age group.

The Geriatrics won their first game, 11-10, over Bowie, coming back to score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. They dropped the second game, 7-2, to the eventual gold medalistsfrom Anne Arundel County.

When starting pitcher Bob Hruz had to miss the third game to attend a wedding, the Geriatrics knew they werein trouble. "We were stuck with me pitching," said Ted Smith, the team's organizer. "I had never pitched before, and they had no trouble beating us."

The Joppatowne team lost, 18-2, to Howard County in the finale.

Harford County's biggest winner was perennial champ Anna Romagna, who won four gold medals. The reigning national Senior Olympics gold medalist at 400 and 800 meters, Romagna won the 100-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter races in the 70-74 age group.

The 73-year old Joppa resident had scratched from the 100-meter -- at the nationalgames in Syracuse, N.Y. in late June opting to stick with the longerraces instead.

But at Towson, she had recovered enough to post a time of 19.24 seconds.

A silver medalist in the high jump at the national games, Charles Irwin picked up two gold medals in the 70-74 age bracket.

A former track star at Bel Air High, Irwin, 73, won the high jump with a leap of 4 feet. He also won the discus throw with a distance of 96-5.

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