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Polk County Wraps Up a Busy Summer of Events

Posted on August 1st, 2013 by

Categories: Baseball, Bowling, Cycling, Judo, Karate, Running, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, Uncategorized, Water Sports, weightlifting, Wrestling

The 2013 summer marked not only an eventful year for Polk County Sports Marketing with a number of events including IRONMAN 70.3 Florida, the Sunshine State Games: Polk County Festival and the NSA Fastpitch World Series, but also marked a successful one as well. Find out about these great events and their turn-outs below.

IRONMAN 70.3 Florida

May wrapped up the second year that the Ironman 70.3 Florida triathlon was held in Polk County at Haines City’s very own Lake Eva Park. 2012 marked the event’s first year in Polk County, and 2013 continued the success over the course of three days, Friday, May 17 through Sunday, May 19, with more than 2,220 athletes. Saturday, May 18 was a day of endurance for 400 younger competitors with the United Healthcare IronKids Florida race, while the adults showcased their own endurance on Sunday, May 19 as they tackled the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike course and 13.1-run.

See photos from the event on Pinterest.

Florida USBC Youth State Bowling Championships

The Annual Florida USBC Youth State Bowling Championships returned to Polk County over five consecutive weekends from Saturday, May 25 through Sunday, June 23. The United States Bowling Congress’ championship events were held at AMF Lakeland Lanes and Cypress Lanes Family Fun Center in Winter Haven and featured youth from around the state of Florida. Each weekend featured different age groups who competed for the title of State Champion. Approximately 2,175 youth participants traveled to Polk County to compete, along with 3,750 spectators.

WABA Florida State Championships

Thirty of the top high school showcase baseball teams from across Florida traveled to Polk County to participate in the World Amateur Baseball Association’s inaugural event, the WABA Florida State Championships.  The tournament featured teams in the 14U-18U age divisions, and was held over six days from Thursday, June 20 to Tuesday, June 25 at Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale to determine state champions in each age bracket.

Sunshine State Games

The Sunshine State Games returned to Polk County on Friday, June 21- Sunday, June 23 with eight sports including: canoe/kayak, Judo, karate, racquetball, table tennis, Taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling. The multi-sport festival kicked off with racquetball on Friday, June 21 at the Lakeland Family YMCA, while The Lakeland Center hosted five of the sports on the weekend of June 22-23. More than 1,500 youth and adult athletes from across the State of Florida competed in this year’s Sunshine State Games: Polk County Festival.

Polk County All Sports Awards

The Polk County All Sports Awards, a thirteen-year tradition of recognizing Polk County athletes, coaches and administrators in an evening dedicated to showcasing the year’s top sports performers and teams, was held at The Lakeland Center on Tuesday, June 25. Over 50 Polk County collegiate and high school athletes were honored by The Ledger and All Sports Awards Committee, and more than 450 attendees were present at the June 25th ceremony. The event was highlighted by the induction of five new members into the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame and the recognition of Polk County high school state champions, collegiate national champions and the Florida State League Champion Lakeland Flying Tigers.

See photos from the event on Pinterest or check out the “All Sports Awards Event” album on Facebook.

Xtreme Obstacle 5K

The Xtreme Obstacle 5K Challenge was an event that featured a colossal show of obstacles spread across a three-mile course at SUN ‘n FUN on Sunday, June 29. A minimum of 25 obstacles were staged along the run course with additional start and finish challenges.  Competitors competed for cash and prizes in one of seven separate gender divisions that began at age 14 and continued through age 70 and older. Over 400 participants from around the state of Florida traveled to the Lakeland location to tackle all 25+ extreme obstacles. The Xtreme Obstacle group is planning another similar event to be held later this year.

NSA Fastpitch World Series

Continuing a strong relationship and partnership with the National Softball Association that has spanned over three decades, Polk County once again served as host to one of NSA’s premier events, the 2013 NSA Girls Fastpitch Class B Southern World Series. Taking place on Monday, July 15 through Saturday, July 20, the tournament offered 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U & 18U age divisions five days of competitive play at the Auburndale Softball Complex and Diamondplex in Winter Haven. Forty total teams participated, including teams from Indiana and the Bahamas. The event was highlighted by the Coaches Meeting at the Florida Sports Hall of Fame on Monday as well as the opening ceremony at The Lakeland Center on Tuesday, which included a parade of teams, announcement of the Miss NSA scholarship winner, team pin trading, music and a Magic Show by Marc Tolland’s World Class Entertainment.

See photos from the event on Pinterest.

FYSA Collegiate Soccer Showcase

The Florida Youth Soccer Association hosted the 2013 FYSA Collegiate Soccer Showcase at Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale on Saturday, July 26 through Sunday, July 27, marking the event’s third year. FYSA invited elite soccer athletes from around the state of Florida to attend, and these athletes made up competitive teams for the weekend.  Collegiate coaches were also in attendance to scout for potential future players for their programs. One hundred youth participants along with 150 spectators and 30 college coaches attended this year’s event.


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