After some 3,300 participants, 3,500 medals, six days, 20 sports, postponed opening ceremonies and makeshift closing ceremonies, the 1988 Utah Summer Games are now history.
No matter that some competition finals were still happening during Saturday night's closing ceremonies at SUSC's Thunderbird Stadium. And no matter that the ceremony itself - with a half-dozen Hall of Honor inductees, master of ceremonies Frank Layden, Gov. Norm Bangerter, fireworks, hot-air balloons and the works - is a holdover from Monday night, when a violent thunderstorm postponed the opening ceremonies.Other than the finale, the day's biggest draw - make that the week's biggest draw - was the championship basketball game for the gold medal in the men's open, between a Woodbury Corp. team laden with former BYU players and a Pro Image team thick with Utah State talent.
The contest looked like a sleeper, with Pro Image running up consistent leads of a dozen-plus points. However, Woodbury battled back in the closing minutes, thanks to some clutch baskets by Jeff Chatman.
Rather than help itself, Pro Image hindered its chances to put the game away as Reid Newey, Chris McMullen and Nathan Grant - all with USU ties - missed the front end of one-and-ones in the final 90 seconds. Karl Tilleman (ee related story below) canned a threepointer to tie it at 81-all with 55 seconds. However, former PCAA Player of the Year Greg Grant stole the ball from Woodbury's Scott Runia for a fast break lay-up for the go-ahed points and added a free throw for the final 84-81 margin.
Although some medals were still to be given, Saturday night's regional breakdown of gold medals awarded was: Salt Lake, 267; North, 137; Central 131; and South, 125. The regional breakdown of total medals awarded was: Salt Lake City, 680; North, 360; South 330; and Central, 322.
Some 1,692 medals were awarded to first, second and third-place finishers. Individual medals were given to team members of winning squads, bringing the total number of medals distributed to approximately 3,500.
Gov. Bangerter was on hand to award the first-ever Governor's Cup, a huge traveling trophy that he awarded to the South region. The award is determined by medals earned as well as population rates and participation ratios.
Saturday's gold-medal slugfest between a pair of Salt Lake area women's open teams - Dig-It and Studebaker - proved to be a marathon back-and-forth battle, with Dig-It winning the gold in a full five-game series.
Dig-it won the first evenly played game, but Studebaker came back to win two of the next three games and had a match-point at 14-7 in the fifth and final game. But Dig-It dug in - thanks to the play of former Weber State player Karen Nielsen and Annette Cottle, a former all-American who played at Utah State and BYU - to score the next seven points, knotting the score at 14-all before winning the game, 16-14, and the gold medal.
In the men's open, nationally ranked Fallout downed Hill Air Force Base. In a late match, South's Sunset Spikers defeated North's Regs in the the gold in the women's scholastic.
In the men's scholastic gold-medal game, Rocky Mountain Hoops - in actuality next season's Timpview High team that will defend the 3A state prep title - overcame a double-digit deficit to beat American Fork, 83-76. Bryon Ruffner, a junior-to-be frontliner, scored a game-high 30 points, while Quincy Lewis, Timpview's only returning starter, added 20. Former Provo prepster Brian Santiago scored 23 for AF.
In other gold-medal contests, Ringers whipped fellow Salt Lake area team South Valley 102-61 in the men's masters. Meanwhile, the women went overtime - Ogden downed Taylorsville 79-71 in two OT in the open, with Salt Lake's Valley Stars beat Clearfield, 54-51.
The finish in the 40-mile race for 14- and 15-year-old licensed cyclists was so close that two gold medals were awarded - to Gavin Storie of Sandy and Dave Francis of West Valley.
The hometown family affair continued in Saturday's singles as Cedar City's Dennis Ohms won the gold in the men's masters, Seth Ohms the silver in the men's scholastic, and Jenny Ohms the bronze in the women's scholastic.
Bill Sayre of Salt Lake City finished with the day's best time of 2:39:21, giving him the gold in the men's masters division. Second-place finisher Gene Turner of Salt Lake City was the only other under the three-hour mark with a time of 2:56:19, while Diane Beckstead of Cedar City was the top women's finisher, winning the open with a time of 3:07:05. Manuel Kalt won the men's open.
Saturday morning's best time was a sub-35-minute time posted by Travis Anderson of Cedar City. Anderson's time of 34:57.9 was good for a gold in the men's scholastic, while Shana Price of Orem took top honors in the scholastic with a women's-best time of 45:06.8. Other gold-medal winners were Harvey Franco, Murray, men's open; John Brewer, Salt Lake City, men's masters; Jill Frampton, Bountiful, women's open; and Vicki Peacock, Sandy, women's masters.
Ed Eliason, the Olympic team's first alternate after his fouth-place finish in the national trials earlier this month, struck gold in the men's open Olympic-style competition Saturday. Incidentally, the score of 1,319 by the Stansbury Park archer was the highest score registered this year, even bettering the scores at the Olympic trials.
It was a Salt Lake City sweep in team competition - Reds Classic in the youth division, Ritz Classic in the women's and Family Center Lanes in the men's. Cedar City's True Ott rolled a 1,292 for the men's individual gold, with three Salt Lake City competitors taking th other first-place finishes - Scott Moser, youth boys; Lon Fry, youth girls; and Ann Slattery, women.