Thliveros repeats as Bass Fishing champ
Sunday's ESPN Great Outdoor Games recap
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Entering the bass fishing competition at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games presented by Jeep, Peter Thliveros thought repeating his Gold medal performance of a year ago would be a longshot. However that's exactly what he did weighing in 12 pounds, 4 ounces during Sunday's finale.
"It feels great," said Thliveros of Jacksonville, Fla. "It is a personal triumph that leaves a real good feeling inside. A lot of things came
together for me the right way today. It takes your breath away when you realize the caliber of the competition, I'm stunned."
Thliveros' winning pattern turned out to be the exact same technique he used during the 2000 games.
"I pitched a Zoom pitching tube (black and red flake) into the same grassbed that I fished last year," explained Thliveros. "When I tried the grassbed during practice, it had shrunk since last year and I didn't think I would catch anything off it."
Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, finished second, claiming the Silver medal with 11-2.
The Bronze medal went to Clark Wendlandt of Cedar Park, Texas, who brought in 10-9.
Greg Hart won the gold medal in the Tree Topping event at the 2001 ESPN Great Outdoor Games today in Lake Placid, N.Y. Hart fended off rivals Guy German, of Columbus, Neb., and Wade Stewart, from Parksville, B.C., Canada.
The 44-year-old Hart won the silver medal at last year's Games, while Stewart took the bronze a year ago.
Prior to the event, Hart felt that Wade Stewart was the "one to watch." He felt that he would have to give one of his best efforts to
defeat his rival, and was excited that he was able to do it.
"Today was phenomenal," Hart said. "There was nobody who could
Stewart returns to Canada with two bronze medals this year. Earlier in the week, he won the bronze medal in the Speed Climbing event. Overall Stewart has now won four medals at the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. He won the gold in Speed Climbing and the bronze in Tree Topping at last year's Games.
Silver medallist Guy German, on the other hand, won his first ESPN Great Outdoor Games medal. Last year he finished 12th in Tree Topping and sixth in Speed Climbing. German finished seventh in the Speed Climbing event this time around, as he improved his position in each of the climbing events that he entered this year.
Large Agility Dogs
At the end of a very close competition, there were only two handlers on the three medal stands at the Large Dogs Agility Event at the 2001 ESPN Great Outdoor Games. Julie Daniels and her dog, Spring, won the gold medal, while Stacy Peardot-Goudy won the silver with Secret and the bronze with her other dog, Blitz.
The 2000 ESPN Great Outdoor Games were the beginning of a difficult period for Daniels and her Border Collie, Spring. After entering the final round of the Large Dogs Agility event at the Games in first place, Spring suffered an injury on the second jump and was unable to finish. Then last December, Spring was attacked by a coyote near Daniels' home in North Sandwich, N.H.
Spring underwent dozens of hot compresses and a lot of physical therapy, and has, fortunately, recovered fully with no ill effects.
Daniels was excited about her 2001 ESPN Great Outdoor Games victory, and the win meant more to her considering the misfortune of the last year.
"I feel a lot better than last year when my dog got hurt," she said. "I'm just happy to walk out of here and not be carrying her."
Small Agility Dogs
Jean LaValley, a veterinarian from Murfreesboro, Tenn., guided her dog Taz to the gold medal today in the 2001 ESPN Great Outdoor Games Small Dogs Agility Event.
LaValley, a newcomer to the Games, inched out her victory over Barbara Davis, the 2000 silver medallist in the event, by just over two seconds over the four rounds of the event. Davis's total time for the four rounds actually put her behind bronze medallist Barbara Lombard, but she moved ahead of Lombard based on the amount of faults incurred by the bronze
medal-winning dog, Turbo.
Davis felt confident about Shimmer, a black, white and brown Sheltie, before the start of the event.
"I thought if we ran well, we would be up on the podium," she said. "Turbo always gives us a run for our money."
The ESPN Great Outdoor Games feature more than 250 competitors from 29 states and five countries competing for medals and prize money in four sport categories. The free-to-the-public event is July 12-15 in Lake Placid, NY. Television coverage begins July 26 on ESPN.