Our Towns 10/14 | PostIndependent.com

Our Towns 10/14

our townsBattlement Mesa Activity Center’s 3rd Annual BiathlonWith its indoor running track and Olympic size pool, the 53,000 sq. ft. community center at Battlement Mesa is geared for a lively community.The center held its 3rd annual biathlon on Sept. 25 to raise money for an outdoor playground expansion.While there might be a perception that the area is mostly a retirement community, according to the 2000 census, the demographic is spread evenly between age groups with only 24.5% who are 65 years of age or older living in the community.People from all over the United States call Battlement Mesa home and many have interesting backgrounds: a Hollywood set designer, a satellite cartographer, the Titan Missile Engineer, ten published authors and a Chicago detective. “They don’t wear it on their sleeves.” Said events coordinator Fran Storm.However, they do give their time and talent back to their community in programs like Fireside Chats where presenters share their life experiences with others.Leah Perry, who swims for the Rifle Middle School Sting Rays, competed in the swimming competition so she could practice in a long race during the off-season. Perry had her own cheering section that included her mother, Diane, and two sisters, Trinity and Bethany who sat at the end of the race lane.”She is an awesome distance swimmer, she just holds all her energy.” Said Bethany. As Leah approached, having completed 28 links, Bethany gave the warning: “Be careful!” She said.Just then the coach in Bethany kicked as she shouted to Leah, “Pick it up! Let’s go!”Trinity pumped the lap counter wildly in the water while Bethany urged Leah to increase her speed and begin the sprint. However, Leah had her own ideas.Leah popped up out of the water and blew water, whale-like on both of them.”She wants to be a marine biologist. She never puts a book down.” Bethany said.79-year-old George Bowden, who has been swimming since college, won the 32-lap race in just over eighteen minutes. Barbara, his wife of 56 years, has watched her husband swim since college and was amazed when George not only won the race, but also never faded, not even in the last laps.The center, now 21 years old, is the heart and soul of an ever-growing community. However, it has done something even greater than provide activities for the surrounding community, it has connected people and built relationships.”Most everyone around here is from somewhere else,” Said Storm.But you would never know it.3424From left, Daniel Chaffin, 17, of Battlement Mesa, is a junior at Grand Valley High School; Drew McFarland, 16, of Battlement Mesa is a junior at Grand Valley High School; Jennifer Casey of Battlement Mesa, manages the pool at the center and Charlie Smyth, 17, of Battlement Mesa, is a senior at Grand Valley High School. 3425 (please crop George Bowden out of this one)June Zacharias of Battlement Mesa, who is retired, won the biathlon.3436From left, Diane Williams-Perry of Rifle is a paralegal assistant at Beattie & Chadwick; Leah Perry, 13 of Rifle attends Rifle Middle School; Trinity Perry, 18, of Rifle is pursuing an associate of arts degree at Colorado Mountain College and Bethany Perry, 10, of Rifle attends Rifle Middle School.3439Barbara Bowden, left, of Battlement Mesa is retired and George Bowden, of Battlement Mesa who won the 800-meter swim.3451Directing traffic for the Sheriff’s Auxiliary from left, Larry Rowe of Battlement Mesa, who is retired; Mary Louise Rowe of Battlement Mesa, is retired and John Bendetti of Rifle who is attending the Police Academy at Colorado Mountain College.3453Volunteering at the race are Janelle and Tom Terrall, of Battlement Mesa.3456Nick and Sharon Massaro volunteered their time and watched their son and daughter-in-law run in the race.3467Lori Sweers of Battlement Mesa is retied and Mindy Campbell of Battlement Mesa teaches pre-kindergarten at Grand Valley Early Childhood Literacy Center and works at the activity center.3473Race volunteers Kathy Morris, left of Battlement Mesa is retired and Orene Speyer of Battlement Mesa is retired.3475Adam Ford, left, of Battlement Mesa is office manager at the activity center; Fran Storm, of Battlement Mesa, is events coordinator at the center and race director Robin Martin of Greeley.

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