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2014 USA Games Team Missouri newsletter — Wednesday edition!

Wednesday: Singles competition begins to wrap up

More and more of our athletes are receiving medals in their respective sports, which is great to see, but more importantly they’re having a blast competing against the best of the best and making plenty of new friends.

I’m sure other states are getting rather tired of having to hear our MO Magic chant at every venue, but I guess that’s just too bad, huh?

Athletics –
Maria Arnett, Paige Hall, Jason Coffman and Danny Topete all ran their first preliminary in the 4x100m relay and finished second in their heat. Paige, Maria and Jane Highland all did prelims in the running long jump. Jason, Allen Tobin and Maria all did prelims in the 200m run. All of those athletes who competed in prelims today will have their finals tomorrow either during the day or during the Sports Showcase at night.


  • Eric Wright: Gold in the 100m walk; 4th place in softball throw
  • Shelley Antle: Silver medal in softball throw; bronze in 100m walk
  • Allen Tobin: Bronze in shot put
  • Jason Coffman: 6th place in shot put

Aquatics – 
Another great day for the Team Missouri swimmers with everyone who competed taking home at least a fourth place ribbon. Kirstin Carlson and Libby Waddell were in the same heat of the 100 backstroke and it was a really tight race where Libby just barely squeaked by Kirstin. Cody Anderson swam a personal best in the 100 backstroke, which earned him a silver medal. Nathan Baldwin’s swim in the 100 free was also a personal best and a gold medal. According to Coach Amy Wurst, the highlight of the day was seeing Jennifer take the awards stand thinking she was getting the silver medal, but being awarded a gold because of another athlete’s DQ. She was completely surprised and overcome with emotion. Thursday’s swims will include the last of the finals including the 4×50 freestyle relay. Two of the finals will be in the evening as part of the aquatics Sports Showcase at Princeton University.


  • Jennifer Neihouse: Gold medal in the 25 fly
  • Cody Anderson: Silver in the 100 backstroke
  • Libby Waddell: Bronze in the 100 backstroke
  • Kirstin Carlson: 4th in the 100 backstroke
  • Nathan Baldwin: Gold in the 100 free

Basketball (men’s) –
Wednesday was much more kind to the men’s basketball team than was Tuesday. The guys squared off against a very good, but evenly-matched Indiana squad and lost by two points in overtime. Coach Stan Smith said the guys had a shot at the buzzer go in that would have given them the win, but it was just a split second too late and it didn’t count. The team starts the medal round tomorrow with a game against New York at 9:15 p.m. at The College of New Jersey.

Basketball (women’s) –
Coach Keith Patterson said today was the first day that the team actually played like a team. The opponent today was a little lower in ability than our girls, but Keith said Team Missouri took the floor with a plan and executed it with perfection, which was really nice to see. The medal round begins tomorrow with a re-match against Texas – a team the girls played the other day and lost by only two points. The game is at 9:15 a.m. at the Hun School.

Bocce – 
Unified doubles and Unified teams finished up their portion of the competition schedule on another scorching day at The College of New Jersey. You can find the results below. Thursday’s schedule includes singles competition for six of Team Missouri’s athletes. UP and assistant coach Mike Lowry said that one referee for a match complimented one of the bocce teams on how well they worked together and really tried to make strategy a part of their game. The referee said that it was the first time he had seen that from a team at any point during the week.


Unified doubles — 

  • Mike Lowry and Lonnie Thornton: Bronze
  • Linda Tyler and Morgan Coombe: Gold
  • Jeanie Byland and Melissa Buss: Silver
  • Courtney Patton and Rebecca Tincknell: Silver
  • William Reese and Matthew Cepeda: Silver
  • Scott Copeland and Pierce Rash: 4th place

Unified teams —

  • William Reese, Scott Copeland, Matthew Cepeda and Pierce Rash: 4th place
  • Linda Tyler, Courtney Patton, Morgan Coombe and Rebecca Tincknell: Gold
  • Mike Lowry, Jeanie Byland, Lonnie Thornton and Melissa Buss: Silver

Bowling – 

The bowling team had another great day of Unified doubles and regulation doubles competition. It was tough for the coaches to tell the divisions based on who they were bowling with on the adjoining lanes, but they somehow found their way around the lanes to watch everyone. You can find the full results for the day below, but for the doubles team of Tiffany Wright and Lindsey Hawkins, Coach Bea Webb and Sports Manager Mandi Steward Ballinger said they didn’t think the girls would medal based on their score and how low it was compared to their averages. When they eventually lined up for awards later in the day and Tiffany and Lindsey found out that they did in fact receive the bronze medal, they were just over the moon about it. It was a great surprise not only for the athletes, but for the coaches as well.


Doubles — 

  • Tiffany Wright and Lindsey Hawkins: Bronze medal
  • Michael Lunceford and Ryan Fant: Gold medal

Unified doubles —

  • Tanya Johnson and Amanda Geno: 4th place
  • Chris Miller and CJ O’Neal: Silver medal (this is a correction from a mobile alert that said they received the gold medal)

Flag Football – 
Despite losing again and still having yet to win a game, the flag football team is looking on the bright side of things: Coach Steve Wilmesherr said that the team has yet to lose a coin toss in the team’s four games. Steve said they might have to figure out a way to lose their coin toss before tomorrow’s game to see if that helps the team in actual competition. After losing today to Colorado, the team plays tomorrow at 9 a.m. and if they win then they will play for the bronze medal later on Thursday.

Golf –
All of the golfers finished up their competition schedule today and while there were some highs

and lows for everyone involved, everyone again came off the course with smiles on their faces.

While the golf competition is finished, the results are not completely finalized, so be sure to find read the Thursday night newsletter for the final standings for Team Missouri golfers. The information will also be sent out via an alert on the mobile app as soon as they are awarded Thursday mid-morning.

Powerlifting – 
The powerlifting team was finished yesterday and just rotated around to the different venues cheering on their fellow Team Missouri members.

Tennis –
The officials at the tennis venue continue to brag on UP Ashley Wurst and Brittany Selken for how well they’ve played together over the last few matches. They played well enough to take home the gold by beating Maryland 4-0, 4-2. The guys’ team of UP Jeremie Ballinger and Bobby Williams also continued to impress by also taking down Maryland 4-0, 4-2.

Later in the afternoon, Bobby was filmed by an SOI crew to help train coaches on the best way to instruct their athletes. He was really tired and kind of dragging by the end of the day, but he powered through without complaining and the film crew acknowledged how well he did during the taping of the video; they said they were really impressed with him.

On tap for Thursday is singles competition with both Brittany and Bobby playing for the bronze medal at 8:45 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. respectively.


  • Unified team of Ashley Wurst and Brittany Selken: Gold medal
  • Unified team of Jeremie Ballinger and Bobby Williams: Gold medal

Volleyball –
Sports Manager Diane Brimer said she felt really good about the team going 2-1 in competition today. After losing its first match against New Jersey (who was added to their bracket today), the team battled back to take down Colorado and Pennsylvania, both in only two games. Diane said she thinks the team was kind of caught off guard by a new team coming into the bracket and were a little intimidated by them.

Diane mentioned one of the highlights for her being Shaina Galloway’s serves and how she caught on fire in the second two games and at one point getting seven serves for points in a row. The other athlete who stood out was Harry Beleme who had kind of been struggling with his serves taking full advantage of the situation he was in during the third game and winning the game with a great last serve, which should hopefully do wonders for his confidence.

In addition to the huge crowd at the team’s final match against Pennsylvania, the new Special Olympics Inc. CEO Janet Froetscher came to see what this MO Magic business was all about. She attended the game wearing a pair of the team’s Opening Ceremony Loudmouth argyle shorts that have been the talk of the Games. It was a real pleasure to meet Janet and get the chance to teach her the MO Magic chant. A huge thanks to Janet for supporting our athletes by being in attendance and staying around to take photos following the game.

The team will play New Jersey again Thursday at 8 a.m. at Rider University. If the team loses it will play again at 11 a.m. for the bronze medal, but if it wins then Team Missouri will play for the gold on Friday.

Blog posts – 
“This bowling alley had 85 lanes. It was huge. Definitely helps speed things up. I was so impressed with our athletes. They were cheering on the other athletes and they were bowling well I thought.”
See more of Rachel Antal’s (PR Assistant while at the 2014 USA Games) blog here.  

“The day began very well with both Unified Tennis teams receiving gold.  It was weird that the both teams played Maryland teams and ended up with identical scores.  Both teams won the first match 4 -0 and the second 4 – 2.”
See more of Linda Wiederholt’s (sports manager for powerlifting and tennis) blog here.  

See Jeremie Ballinger’s (Unified Partner in tennis) blog here.

See Mandi Steward Ballinger’s (sports manager for bowling) blog here.

Mobile App –
Don’t forget to download the Team Missouri mobile app on your Apple or Android devices. This will be the most immersive MO Magic experience and the best way to follow the team all week while our athletes are busy making you all proud back home. Whether you’re joining us in New Jersey or watching from afar, the app really does have something for everybody (schedules, photo galleries, alerts on when athletes receive awards, videos and more!). If you don’t have a mobile device capable of utilizing the app, you can still access the app via the web at or just stay tuned at

Videos –
Get a first-hand account of what it’s like for the athletes throughout the day as women’s basketball player Dakota Perkins talks to fellow basketball athlete from the men’s team in Patrick Andrews.

Also check out the video of her and the other women’s basketball team members at the Unified Sports basketball showcase.

Photo Galleries –
Photos from the sports and fun activities are available both on our Flickr account and on our Facebook page. They will be updated throughout the week so be sure to check in on a daily basis!