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Zukas, Faller compete in multiple activities at National Senior Games for Senior Olympics of Western Pa.

Doing double and triple duty

This is the second in a two-part series recognizing the achievements of the Senior Olympics of Western Pa. at the National Senior Games.

The slogan of the 85-member Senior Olympics of Western Pennsylvania — based out of the Butler Cubs hall — is “Redefining Senior Moments.”

For Donna Zukas and Sue Faller, that is multiple senior moments.

Both were quite busy during the National Senior Games held in Pittsburgh this summer.

Zukas, of Apollo, was captain of the age 65-69 Steel City Stars that won a gold medal in volleyball. She also competed in track and field, taking a sixth-place ribbon in the triple jump, seventh in the hammer and javelin. She took fifth in pickleball.

“Pickleball was the largest event of the Senior Games. There were 34 doubles teams in my division alone,” Zukas said. “I was proud of placing fifth because there were so many competitors.

I compete in USA Track and Field, Masters, and plan to go to Sweden to compete there. I love staying active.“

Among her volleyball teammates were Tina Brun of the Cranberry Township area, Terri Deah of Hampton, Abby Corbin of the Wexford area, Suzanne Girard of Butler and Mary Ann McCabe of the Mars area.

Ironically, the Steel City Stars defeated another SOWP team, the Steel Citty Renegades, in the gold medal match.

“We’ve been together for a long time and we’ve gotten plenty of practice in,” Zukas said. “It's always good to be able to practice.”

Faller, who lives in Morgantown (Pa.), played for the 70-over Steel City Young at Heart volleyball team that won a gold medal, the the 70-over Steel City Cagers that won a silver medal in basketball, along with winning the silver medal in the javelin and seventh-place ribbons in the discus and hammer.

“I play pickleball three times a week, too, and wanted to compete in that ... You only have so much time,” Faller said. “You can’t compete in every event you’d like to.”

Faller first joined the Butler organization in 2001 at age 50. She will soon be 72 and remains as active as ever. She is the throws coach for the Twin Valley High School track and field team. She’s played table tennis, softball and tennis. She recalls attending tryouts for field hockey.

“I didn’t know a thing about that sport, but it was the only one offered for females to play at the time and I wanted to play,” Faller said.

Nancy Harvey, a New York resident, was captain of the Steel City Cagers basketball team. Faller was the only one on the team from Pennsylvania. Other players on the squad live in New York, Delaware and Illinois.

“We all still get together at tournaments and play,” Harvey said. “As you get older, teams have to consolidate because people eventually stop playing. The 16 teams in our division at the National Games were phenomenal.

“Some of those tems are all from the same area and have been practicing and playing together for a long time. That’s a big advantage. We got blown out by two or three of those teams, but we hung in and got the silver.”

Franklin Park resident Nancy Graham was captain of the 65-69 Steel City Pursuit basketball team, which won a bronze medal out of 19 teams. Three of their players were from New Castle, Laurie Suprano is from Sarver, Gina Brun from Allison Park.

“Connecticut was the top team and a team from San Diego got the silver,” Graham said. “We were proud to be a team from Pennsylvania to do as well as we did.

“That time we spend on Saturdays at the Butler Cubs pays off. I thought our entire group represented us well.”

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