Mark Kaczmarek won four of five games to take second place in the men’s B Division to highlight the efforts of the Pahrump Dust Devils in the Nevada State Horseshoes Championship on Aug. 25 in Hawthorne.
Kaczmarek connected for 61 ringers out of 200 shoes pitched, a percentage 4.82 percent over his entry percentage of 25.68. His only loss was to Lance Hahaj of Round Mountain, who swept his five games to win in B.
Eight pitchers from Pahrump took part in the state championships, with the town represented in all six divisions contested: championship, men’s B, men’s C, elders, mixed and women’s. Mike Norton of Pahrump, secretary-treasurer of the Nevada State Horseshoe Pitchers Association, said Hawthorne was an ideal site for the championships.
“The city of Hawthorne did a remarkable job taking care of us,” Norton said. “Christina Boyles, the recreational director, was like a personal assistant preparing the area.”
The turnout also helped make the tournament a success.
“Thirty-three pitchers is a good turnout for Nevada,” Norton added. “After the sanctioned tournament, we played until dark both days.”
Aside from Kaczmarek, the next best performance by a Pahrump pitcher came from Dennis Andersen in the Elders Division, which includes pitchers who are 70 years of age and older. Anderson finished in a five-way tie for third place with a 2-4 record, but his ringer percentage of 43.92 was easily the best out of the group. Harold Holbrook of Carson City went 6-0 to win the division.
Don Brown and Dok Hembree of Pahrump competed in the championship division, with Brown finishing fifth and Hembree sixth. Brown actually finished in a tie for fourth, but was nudged out of that spot by Cody McNeely of Gardnerville on a tiebreaker.
The championship division was won by Foster Kenton Jr., who came in hitting ringers slightly more than 60 percent of the time. He didn’t quite match that in the tournament in his hometown, hitting at a 52.41-percent pace, but he did sweep five games in the top division to claim the tournament championship.
Pahrump’s Kim Bradshaw had a rough day in a very strong women’s field. She actually finished slightly above her entry ringer percentage, but her 97 ringers and 115 points in six games were only good for fourth in the women’s championship. Carol Lanfair of Gardnerville went 5-1 to capture the women’s title.
Craig Jahnke and Stacie Nicosia represented Pahrump in the Mixed Division. None of the five competitors swept his or her opponents, and Jahnke and Nicosia wound up part of a three-way tie for second at 2-2. The tiebreaker of total points narrowly gave second place to Lela Hardy of Las Vegas, with Nicosia one point behind and Jahnke six points behind Nicosia. Elaine Perry of Sun Valley won the Mixed title.
“The Mixed group happens when the pitching percentage is so far apart,” Norton explained. “I had five players with 12 percent and under, this way the players can pitch with someone closer to their ability.”
Finally, in the Men’s C Division, Randy Salzwimmer finished third at 2-2 and Mike Nicosia placed fourth at 1.5-2.5. Victor Williams Sr. of Schurz went 3-1 to win the bracket.
Next up on the Nevada horseshoes calendar is the Leavitt Fall Open on Saturday and the Lois Prihepa Open on Sept. 22, both in Las Vegas. There will then be a tournament at the Pahrump Fall Festival on Sept. 30. That event is not sanctioned by the sport’s governing body, meaning anyone can enter and compete.
Contact Sports Editor Tom Rysinski at firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter:@pvtimes