By Jane Scovic
Note: The USTA Board will be voting on whether to add the Ultra Senior Father/Daughter division to the list of national championships. The call item requests that this be added effective January 1, 2007. The Adult/Senior Competition Committee already voted last year to add this division to the national schedule, but until the Board approves the call item, it’s not final. They will be voting on it next Tuesday, March 27th, in Tucson at the USTA Annual Meeting.
The South Barrington Club has been the home to the USTA National Indoor Championship Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Tournament for the past four years. This year, the USTA added the Ultra Senior Division for the Father/Daughter tournament, meaning that the father has to be at least 80 years old this year. We are proud to report that we had four teams meeting this criteria that traveled to South Barrington for this first annual event. The players that attended this year’s event are:
Don Bentz and Jane Matelski, Palm Desert, California and LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Don and Jane are both dentists. Don is 81 years old and winters in Palm Desert, California. Jane is one of nine children and is married to Dave. Don and Jane began playing in Father/Daughter events about 5 years ago and their best finish was third place in the super senior. Last November, they won the pilot of the ultra division in Florida.
2006 Indoor: 4th Place (Super Senior Division)
Charles Cook and Jennifer Cook Clark, McLean, Virginia and Kailua, Hawaii
After graduating as a nuclear physicist, Charles W. Cook, Ph.D., worked for over 30 years in the commercial aerospace industry and served several government agencies including DARPA, Air Force and OSD. He has played tennis in senior categories for over 25 years and now, in spite of number re-construction projects, plays Father/Son and Father/Daughter tennis regularly. Jennifer currently lives in Kailua, Hawaii, after growing up in the McLean, Virginia area. Jennifer has always played tennis with her family, especially mixed doubles with her father. Usually her brother plays with their father in the national USTA tournaments, but this South Barrington Event will be ultra special as this will be their first Ultra Senior Father/Daughter outing.
W.T. Mathes and Myra O’Dell, Johnson City, Tennessee and Kingsport, Tennessee
W.T. has been married for 62 years to Alyne Farnsworth Mathes. They have two daughters,and four grandchildren. Myra is married to John O’Dell and they have two children.
Harold McCollum and Laura Baetz, West Des Moines, Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri
Harold is a widower, whose wife and four children all played tennis. He has been playing the game for 83 years and played on his high school and college tennis teams. With his wife, he won the gold medal five times in the National Senior Games Mixed Doubles. Daughter Laura is married to a tennis player. She started playing tennis at the age of 10 and was #1 on her high school team. She plays USTA league tennis and competed in the senior national games, winning third place in 2003 with her husband. Outside of tennis, Laura enjoys traveling and has been to six of the seven continents.
The four teams competed in a round robin draw, with the following results:
1st Place Bentz & Matelski
2nd Place Mathes & O’Dell
3rd Place Cook & Clark
4th Place McCollum & Baetz