2015 Hall of Fame

Harry Carothers

Harry Carothers has been a basketball player since his childhood. He played recreationally for fun and fitness throughout his 28 year career in the Air Force. Harry was a C-130 pilot for 12 years, and flew combat missions in Vietnam. He served in many other capacities as well, and retired as a Colonel in 1993.

Harry first started participating in the Huntsman World Senior Games in 2001. He held the record in the Hot Shot timed shooting event for ten consecutive years, from 2004-2014.

He has won a total of 22 gold medals, and 15 silver medals in basketball events at the Games. He has also been a team organizer and coach for 16 different half-court and full-court basketball teams at the Games. Harry is still going strong, and has received many awards and recognition, including the 2004 Florida Senior Athlete of the year, 2011 Masters Basketball Association Sportsman of the Year, and the 2015 Humana Game Changer award.

When asked to share his feelings on being inducted into the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame, Harry said “I am absolutely thrilled! I have travelled from Florida to St. George 14 times in the past 15 years to compete, missing one year due to health issues.

I often refer to the Games as basketball heaven, where there are 8 solid days of basketball tournaments. I am honored to be permanently associated with this organization, with people I highly respect and admire, and I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to accept this honor.”

Jim Godfrey

Jim Godfrey first attended the Huntsman World Senior Games in 1998 as an athlete competing with the Orange County Spikers Volleyball team. He returned almost every year until 2004, when he made a permanent move to St. George. He continued participating in the Games, and coached his wife Terrie, who was competing in Track and Field.

Jim began participating in Track and Field as well, and in 2005 and 2006, served as the Co-director of the Track and Field events at the Games.

In 2007, Jim became the Facilitator for the Women’s Basketball and the Golf events, and is still acting in this position to date. He used his proficiency with computers to help with a computer program that can finalize scores from multiple courses, and distribute the results within a few hours after play. He has done a great job organizing and coordinating the results.

Jim still competes in the Games. He competes in the Horseshoe competition, and has competed in the Team Triathlon event, Hot Shot basketball and Free Throw event.

Jim has been an active athlete, volunteer, staff member, and promoter of the Games. He uses his exceptional skills freely to help the Games continue to be a world-class event.

Jim said about his induction into the Hall of Fame “It is a great honor to be recognized for hard work. I count it a blessing to be named among the other hall of Famers and to have had the opportunity to work with a great staff.”

Judy Higbee

Kathy Thayne welcomed me to the games family when I was on the faculty at SUU and wanted to bring both undergrads and graduate students down to see what healthy aging looks like.  Volleyball was a sport that could use many volunteers (as scorekeepers) with everyone in the same location.  That was the start of a great relationship with Richard Downer and his crew.

In 2007, I also took on the responsibility of co-coordinating the Healthy Lifestyles Testing, with Gary Measom.  With my students observing high-level sport performance, it was a natural addition to have them see various markers of health and fitness present in so many of the athletes.

Since then, I’ve recruited Nursing students from SUU, DSU, BYU, and UVU and staffed the screenings with these nursing students and others in health and fitness-related areas, including Athletic Trainers, Physical Therapy Assistants, and Exercise Science majors.  We now have professionals from the community providing screenings, like Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma, Spinal health, and Hearing.

I could not have even come close to accomplishing this without the unyielding help  my friends and family, have helped each year, so it has really been a community effort—the true spirit of the games.

When asked to share her feelings on being inducted, Judy says “I’m honored, of course.  While I did not volunteer for recognition, it is great to be appreciated. I’m joining a hard-working group of people who are passionate about the games in one form or another, either helping out or participating themselves. Thank you.”

Mary Ellen Ladle 

Mary Ellen started volunteering at the Huntsman World Senior Games in 1989 as a timer when the events were held at the Green Valley Pool. Soon, she was asked to help with the medals for the swimmers, and then assumed the responsibility for distributing the medals. Mary Ellen states that since she was not a swimmer, it was a learning process figuring out how the medals were awarded, but she finally figured it out.

Mary Ellen has travelled from her home in West Valley City every year since she started as a volunteer. She says that she is grateful for her faithful helpers, including D’On Pearce, who has helped Mary for 15 years.

Mary says “I am grateful for this honor. It is nice to be recognized for the work - and it was very enjoyable work. I have a lot of good memories of my years working with the Senior Games.

I have enjoyed my interaction with the swimmers and their families, many who come from all over the United States as well as other countries. It is fun to see familiar faces each year, and I thank you for this honor.

Frank Piemme

Frank learned to swim in the Feather River in Yuba City, California when he was 7 years old, and has been swimming ever since. Frank first competed in the Huntsman World Senior Games in 1996, and was swimming in the 90+ age group in 2014.

Frank has dominated the United States Masters swimming arena. He has been ranked an “All Star Top Ten” for having the most first place rankings in a year for a total of 21 years, starting in 1987 and continuing through 2013.

He holds 65 World records, and 152 National records in freestyle and medley events, and in 2013, he broke all of the world records in relay, freestyle, and medley events for the 90+ age group.

Upon hearing about his induction into the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame, he states” This is, first, unexpected - but it is a high honor knowing how many accomplished athletes have competed at the Games. Thank you.”

Arnold Pope 

Arnold started competing in the Games in 1988 in softball and basketball. His team won the Gold that year, and Arnold continued to play both sports for several years.

In the early 90’s, he coached and played- bringing “Arnie’s Army” to the softball field and “FHP UTAH” and “Senior Advantage” to the basketball court.

In 2000, Arnold added Horseshoes to his sporting repertoire. Today, he competes in the basketball Hot Shot, Three Point Free Throw, and the Javelin events.

When asked how he felt about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Arnold states “It is a dream come true! Getting to play on teams with great men, and great athletes has been inspiring. I feel humbled for this honor. The people I have competed with in Softball, Basketball, Horse shoes, and javelin are now friends I cherish. I want to thank Bruce Crane, who gave me the opportunity to play in the Senior Games.”

Rose Rahn

Rose has been attending the Huntsman games since 1998, first as a Volunteer and Coach. She says” I couldn’t wait to be 50 so that I could play Volleyball!”

This is her sixteenth year of participating at the Games. She has coached both Men’s and Women’s teams, and has also volunteered to as a referee, umpire, score keeper, and even delivered snacks over the years. Rose enjoys helping people, and brings a lot of energy to any task she undertakes.

Rose exhibits a wide range of athletic talent, and she shares her knowledge and experience with others as a coach. She has coached teams from all age groups, from Kindergarten to Seniors!

Rose is enthusiastic about living an active life, and she says “Every time one of my friends turn 50, I convince them to come and participate in the Games. And they do!”

When asked about her feelings on being chosen for the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame, Rose states “I am very touched and honored to be included and inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Games hold a very dear spot in my heart for everything they stand for. Being included with such an outstanding group of individuals makes me want to be a better person.

The Games encourage us all to stay healthy in our ‘Golden Years’. Age is just a number and there is no limit to what we can do. It is a special feeling to be a future role model for new seniors who join in these magnificent Games. This is the place where we always meet new friends from around the globe who become family.”

Jurgen Schmidt

Jurgen Schmidt has been involved in swimming for most his life as a lifeguard, Red Cross swimming instructor, and a member of the Navy. Jurgen has participated in the Huntsman World Senior Games for 18 years, and 2015 will mark his 19th year of competition at the Games.

He credits his friend Woody Bowersock for convincing him to attend, and Jurgen says that after that first year, he was hooked! He says what really made an impact on him was the camaraderie and the many lifelong friendships that he has made at the Games.

Jurgen has won many events at the Games, and has collected over 100 medals, including 96 Gold medals.  Jurgen holds records in the 85-89 age group in the 200, 800 and 1500 meter free style. He also holds records in the 90-94 age group in the 200, 400, and 800 meter free style. His enthusiasm and dedication to the sport of swimming is boundless, and he is now a spokesman for Speedo.

He is featured in the online video campaign “Fueled by Water”, and has been featured in USA TODAY. The video ends with Jurgen finishing a lap and stating “I plan on competing until the very end.”

When asked about his feelings regarding being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Jurgen states “When I received the letter from Kyle Case informing me that I was to be inducted, it was like ‘WOW!’  What an honor to be considered, especially with all of the thousands of athletes and volunteers who work so hard. I feel very humbled and elated. In all my life, I never thought I would be inducted. Thank you so much for this honor.”

Scott & Valerie Smith

Scott and Valerie have been participating in the Huntsman World Senior Games for sixteen years. Many folks thought it would be impossible to create a judging system that would allow Square Dancers to compete.

Since Square Dancing is generally not a competitive sport, it was up to Scott and Valerie to create a system that would allow the dancers to participate competitively. They spent many hours developing the judging criteria, and if not for their efforts, the Square Dancing competition would not have been possible. Scott also served as one of the featured callers for the first five years of the competition.

Today, the Square Dancing events at the Games are one of the most popular events in the Square Dancing community. The competition has also inspired other festivals to incorporate Square Dancing into their activities.

When asked how they felt about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, the Smiths state “We feel honored to be associated with the Huntsman World Senior Games and the people who work so hard to make it one of the premier senior competitions in the world.

Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an honor for us as we stand with our associates in bringing something good and wholesome to the world.”

Gayle Thomas

Gayle has been involved in the Huntsman World Senior Games for the past twenty-two years. Gayle brought years of managerial experience with her, and she has managed the Gift Shop at the Games for the past eight years.

Gayle assists with all facets of managing the shop, including purchasing inventory, setting up the Gift Shop, and organizing and pricing the inventory. She developed a training program for all of the cashiers, and conducts training for Gift Shop staff.

Gayle says that one of her favorite aspects of the Games is meeting people from all over the world and seeing them year after year. Gayle has an infectious laugh and a warm smile that draws people to her.

When asked how she feels about being inducted into the Hall of Fame, she states “I am so honored to be inducted. There are so many deserving people who do so much, and I am so appreciative of the honor. Thank you so much.”

Santa Clara City

Santa Clara City has hosted Men’s and Women’s Softball events at the Archie H. Gubler Park. Santa Clara is located along the Santa Clara River, and was settled by Jacob Hamblin in 1854. Swiss immigrant members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints settled in Santa Clara in 1861. These Swiss pioneers cultivated the barren land they found into the garden spot of Washington County. Santa Clara is still known for its fruit and vegetable production and is a favorite destination to those seeking locally grown produce.

Santa Clara City was incorporated in 1915, and like all of Washington County, has a rapidly growing population. In 2007, the City completed the historic downtown streetscape renovation project. With quaint shops, restaurants, and a beautiful tree-lined drive, downtown Santa Clara has become a wonderful destination for walking, shopping and dining.

Santa Clara City continues to have a strong sense of heritage through its landmarks and is excited about the continued development and growth of the area. Santa Clara City is very excited to be a member of the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame. They are proud to sponsor the Games, and look forward to hosting for many years to come.