Peach of a pickleball performance

Peach of a pickleball performance

Three pickleball players from Lakewood Community Center came away with medals in a recent tournament that drew players from across the country as far away as the Atlantic coast.

Top national players were drawn to the tourney in eastern Washington by its prize money and the host, Tyson McGuffin, the nation’s leading men’s singles player.

Bev Utt and CJ Morlan from the Lakewood contingent won gold medals in the under-50 age group, 3.0 skill-level doubles competition. They won their first three matches and entered the championship match undefeated. They then played their final match against a team whose only loss in earlier matches had been to Utt and Morlan.

After losing the first two games and the match, thereby tying their opponent’s record of one loss, the Lakewood team immediately began a playoff match of one game to break the tie. Winners would be champions. The experience of Utt and Morlan against a younger team prevailed, producing a winning score of 15-8 in a nerve-wracking but happy end to their day.

Utt teamed with Steve Thorndill for a bronze medal in the mixed doubles competition in the 3.0 skill-level and under-and-over-50-year-old bracket. They won their first two matches but lost their third 16-14. Had they won that squeaker, they would have played in the gold medal final.

Utt’s gold medal equaled her gold medal performance in the Washington State Senior Games last August, and Morlan’s gold medal play complemented her two bronze medals in the state Games.