weather icon Clear

Pahrump resident Behrens hopes more seniors choose to compete

Cathy Behrens has a message for her fellow seniors: It’s time to get off the bench and get in the game.

Behrens is one of several Pahrump residents who have participated in the Nevada Senior Games, an event that includes events from archery to weightlifting each year.

The Senior Games was not Behrens’ first competition. The Euclid, Ohio native took part in a Corporate Challenge 12 years ago, when she was working as an esthetician on the Las Vegas Strip.

“A guy had a table in the hallway, and he cornered me as I was leaving to go home,” Behrens recalls. “All I saw was tennis, golf, running … but then there was swimming. I said, ‘Well, I can swim, I’m a pretty good swimmer.’ And he really pushed, because he needed people. So I was in the swimming competition, and I won against eight women, and I was shocked. I was thrilled.”

She entered a couple of other competitive events, including winning a swimming competition and finishing second in a dance contest; she puts the blame for not winning on a wardrobe malfunction with her strapless dress.

Behrens, who remembers coming to Las Vegas with “no job, no furniture and a little bit of money” before “tripping and falling into a good job,” had purchased property in Pahrump by that time.

“I bought the property as an investment and a place to go to be quiet,” she recalled. “I worked on the Strip, and I worked with a lot of people. I wanted a place to be quiet. It took me six months to find my property, and I love my property. I never thought I’d live on it.

“I got a tent, then bought a travel trailer and came out some weekends. Sometimes I wouldn’t talk to anybody for two or three days. It felt so good. I slept outside. People would say, ‘Aren’t you afraid the coyotes will get you?’ I’m like, ‘No, they don’t want me, they want their rabbit.’ “

Behrens, 76, has lived in Pahrump for the past three years. She said she learned about the Nevada Senior Games from the internet, not assuming success.

“I went in there and didn’t know anything and didn’t know what to expect,” she said. If anything, she was a bit intimidated by some of the competition. But, after 1 minute, 3.69 seconds in the pool, she had a gold medal in the 75-to-79-year-old division of the 50-meter freestyle.

“I just love to win, and I was this way when I was 10 years old,” said the self-described tomboy. “I competed. I was really good at roller skating, I was good at running. I’m good at swimming. It comes naturally to me.”

So naturally that Behrens has expanded her activity.

“I’m going to do two competitions,” she said. “The first one, on Saturday, will be backstroke, which will be difficult for me. And Sunday I’ll do the 50-meter freestyle again.”

The swimming competition will take place Oct. 6-7 at Pavilion Center Pool in Las Vegas. Pahrump was well-represented in last year’s games: In addition to Behrens’ gold, Susan Zink brought back three silvers and a bronze in the 65-to-69 swimming division, and Debra Moore won two golds in backstroke in what was her debut in the competition.

Out of the pool, Marvin Caperton added to his hefty haul of hardware with golds in the 50 and 100 meters in the 60-to-64 division in track.

But Behrens wants more seniors out there competing.

“There are swimmers that I swim with that are great swimmers, better than me,” she says. “My goal is to keep in shape, swim every single day of my life, and that’s about it. Do I want to swim a mile every morning? No. But there are people that do. And I mention that I’m in the Senior Games, and they don’t want any part of it. It’s true with everything. It’s not their bag.”

Even though Behrens loves to compete and loves to win, just being there is a victory of sorts for her.

“The people that do this are healthy,” she said. “I’m healthy, and I love being healthy. I strive for that. I do all of the things you’re supposed to do. When I’m at the swimming, I’m with like-minded people, and it feels good. It’s good for me, and I like that.”

Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at trysinski@pvtimes.com On Twitter:@pvtimes

‘Here we go’: Tonopah coach gets ready for next year

TONOPAH — A retired Nye County Sheriff’s sergeant who traveled the nation has parked his RV in Tonopah once again to coach the Muckers baseball team.

Sportsman’s Quest: The Story Teller

The time of hunting and fishing conventions has come to an end and the hunting guides-outfitters have returned home to prepare for another season. I’m left with my head full of new stories and my sides still aching from laughing at the crazy tales and humorous, if sometimes dangerous, adventures we’ve shared at vendor booths, in the hallways, hotel rooms and yes, while sipping a beverage in the local “watering holes.”

JIM BUTLER DAYS: Horseshoes group honors Tonopah founder

Six competitive horseshoe pitchers met in a Nevada town with roughly 2,000 residents and home of the Clown Motel, which is next to a cemetery that dates back to 1901 in Tonopah.

Pahrump Valley baseball | 3 Trojans make top 100 in division

The defending state champion Pahrump Valley baseball weren’t able to bring home another title this season, but three standouts for the Trojans ranked in the top 100 players in the 3A division for their batting averages.

Off-roaders compete in 60-mile Beatty poker run

Beatty was filled with off-road enthusiasts for last month’s BigHorn Outback Explorers’ annual Poker Run. In all, 176 vehicles, including ATV’s, UTV’s, Jeeps, and trucks, took to the 60-mile route through Beatty’s outback backyard

Pahrump Valley baseball gets fifth straight win

Sitting undefeated in the 3A South-Mountain baseball standings, the Pahrump Valley Trojans got their fifth win in a row.

PVHS slowly catching up to No. 1 The Meadows

Kayne Horibe (8) has been essential in the last two games the Pahrump Valley baseball team has played, earning the most RBIs on the team.

Trojans home run isn’t enough for win

A home run from Madison Rodriguez (6) wasn’t enough for the Pahrump Valley softball team to beat the Sports Leadership & Management (SLAM) Bulls in a conference game on Wednesday.