Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Mount Professor takes home gold
 at Senior Games

Stephanie Long
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(9/4) Growing up, Virginia McGovern always played sports with the kids in her neighborhood.

“I was always doing something,” McGovern said. “I always had an interest in having fun.”

To this day McGovern, who is a professor of criminal justice at Mount St. Mary’s University, is still an avid sports enthusiast and continues to enjoy participating in sports. Thus, when she found out about the Pennsylvania Senior Games she decided to give it a try, even if she didn’t know exactly what she was doing.

The Pennsylvania Senior Games are open to Pennsylvania residents age 50 or older who compete in indoor and outdoor events over several days each summer. Every other year, competitors can qualify to compete in the national Senior Olympics. This year’s senior games were held in York, Pa. on July 22-27.

McGovern competed in several different events at the games for senior citizens, including shot-put and discuss, which is a bit surprising, considering McGovern had never trained in either sport. But McGovern’s former student, Ryan Martin, who helped McGovern train for the games, said the fact that McGovern decided to attempt the shot-put and discuss doesn’t surprise him.

“… Dr. McGovern is a very determined person,” Martin said. “When she puts her mind to something she will do her very best to reach her goals. She is truly a hard worker.”

After deciding to enter the games McGovern asked Martin to help her train. Martin himself has participated in track-and-field events since the fifth grade and was the 2008 NEC conference champion in discus, making him the perfect candidate to be McGoverns trainer.

“He was a very good teacher,” McGovern said. “I learned a lot from him.”

Every week for about 10 months the two trained together, reversing roles, Martin becoming the teacher and McGovern the student. The training paid off, as McGovern walked away from the games with several medals, which didn’t surprise Martin.

“I was extremely happy to hear how well she did. Dr. McGovern put in many hours of practice prior to the games,” Martin said. “It is a great accomplishment for someone who has never competed in the throwing events before to learn them so quickly. Dr. McGovern, not only learned the events in six months but also took home the gold, which is a great accomplishment. I was just pleased to hear that all of her hard work paid off.”

In addition to her medals, McGovern walked away with something more, a desire to re-enter the games the next time around. But she doesn’t plan on re-entering without adding a few events to her arsenal or stop competing anytime soon.

“I would like to try archery next,” McGovern said. “There are 90-year olds competing in horseshoes, so if you can throw a horseshoe you can go to the games.”

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government