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National pickleball tournament draws locals

BUCKEYE, Ariz.- The first national pickleball tournament sponsored by the USA Pickleball Association was held November 2-8 at Sun City Festival in Buckeye, Ariz. Over 400 athletes from 26 states and Canadian provinces participated.The youngest athlete was 10 years old and the most senior was 85 years old. This was the largest pickleball tournament ever.

The following are the San Diego County players who medaled. Overall, six gold, 11 silver and seven bronze medals were won by local pickleball players.

Open Women’s Singles - Gail Penacho – bronze

Open Men’s Doubles - Mike Gates/Steve Wong – silver

Open Women’s Doubles - Gail Penacho/Sarah Gaines – silver

Men’s Singles 60-64 - Paul Coletta – silver

Women Singles 60-64 - Gail Penacho – silver

Women’s Singles 65-70 - Nancy Sass – gold, Pat Carroll – silver

Men’s Doubles 65-70 - Bob Youngren/Richard Juarez – silver

Women’s Doubles 50-54 - Pam Jensen/Cindy Upton – bronze

Women’s Doubles 60-64 - Gail Penacho/Pat Carroll – bronze

Women’s Doubles 65-70 - Nancy Sass/Jo Hancock – silver

Women’s Doubles 70-74 - Carleta Jones/Joanne Browning – gold

Women’s Doubles 75-79 - Gigi Sartor/Pat Dingacci – silver

Senior Women Master 50-64 - Gail Penacho/Sarah Gaines – gold

Senior Women’s Legends 65-99 - Nancy Sass/Jo Hancock – gold

Adult Mixed Doubles 35-97 - Tony & Treena Negrete – silver

Junior Men’s Singles - Drew Gates – gold; Jeremy Gates – bronze

Junior Men’s Doubles 1-18 - Drew Gates/Jeremy Gates - silver

Junior Mixed Doubles 1-18 - Drew Gates/Rylee Mendez – bronze

“We are especially proud of Gail Penacho, one of our players who medaled in all five events she entered,” said Beverly Youngren, ambassador for USA Pickleball Association. “She won silver in Open Women’s Doubles and a bronze in Open Women’s Singles.”

“Our North County Picklers group won as many medals as some of the larger clubs,” said Youngren. “We have about 150 members. Some clubs have over 1,000 in their membership. This was truly an awesome achievement!”

To view all the tournament results, visit Pickleball access is available in San Diego County. For more information, contact Beverly Youngren at [email protected] or Pat Carroll at

[email protected].


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