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D.C. Strokes, sports, gay news, Washington Blade, Kyle Suib

Kyle Suib of the D.C. Strokes on his way to a gold medal at the World Outgames in Belgium last year. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Freedman).

Washington has long been a leader in the world of LGBT sports and 2013 was another banner year for the clubs and teams in the area.

Stonewall Darts, Arlington Outriders (bicycling), Washington Scandals Rugby Football Club and an LGBT branch of D.C. Triathlon Club emerged as new teams last year along with new leagues that were formed by Stonewall Darts and D.C. Sentinels Basketball.

Sports tournaments were hosted locally in 2013 by the Capital Area Rainbowlers Association, D.C. Sentinels Basketball, D.C. Frontrunners, D.C. Strokes Rowing Club, Federal Triangles Soccer Club, Chesapeake and Potomac Softball, Washington Wetskins Water Polo, Capital Tennis Association, Charm City Volleyball, Lambda Links Golf, Capital Splats Racquetball, Capital City Volleyball and the District of Columbia Aquatics Club.

The international LGBT sports movement saw continued support in 2013 from straight sports allies such as Brendon Ayanbadejo, Chris Kluwe, Hudson Taylor, Ben Cohen and Patrick Burke. In August, the Washington Blade published its first sports issue with Ayanbadejo as guest editor.

Also gaining momentum in 2013 was the CCE Sports Network, which has focused its attention on covering LGBT sports with a live streaming feed and live commentary. Its video archives of LGBT sports tournaments continues to grow along with its presence on the LGBT sports scene. Look for expanded offerings from the CCE Sports Network this year.

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League, with close to 300 players, just wrapped up season seven of League play with the Maroon Sox defeating the Harvest Mooners in the championship game. They sent two travel teams to Gay Bowl XIII in Phoenix in September where the Washington Generals finished as runner-up in the championship game.

The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club hosted the 20th annual Stonewall Regatta in June along with a multitude of rowing programs. In August, its members returned from the World Outgames in Antwerp, Belgium with multiple medals in the rowing events.

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club hosted the 22nd annual Maryland Swim for Life on the Chester River in July. In August, members won their 11th IGLA World Championships title in Seattle setting multiple IGLA world records in the process. Two months later they hosted the annual Columbus Day Classic which drew 150 swimmers from the Mid-Atlantic region.

The Federal Triangles Soccer Club hosted the fourth season of the Summer of Freedom Soccer League. Players also hosted two competitive tournaments: the Women’s Winter Wrap-Up Indoor Cup and the Rehoboth Beach Classic.

The Capital Tennis Association hosted the Capital Classic XXI in September, which was broadcast live on the CCE Sports Network. Its players also continue to host fall and winter tennis leagues for roughly 300 players.

The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League hosted the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series in August, which brought in about 3,000 athletes from across North America. Its Magic Tournament will resume this year. Its members also wrapped up their 31st year of league play with about 500 men and women playing in multiple divisions.

D.C. Sentinels Basketball kicked off the Washington, D.C. Gay Basketball League in January and has just filled all 80 player slots for its second season to begin this month. Its travel teams won two tournaments in 2013: Ballin on the Bayou in New Orleans and the Freedom Festival in D.C.

Charm City Volleyball hosted the Charm City Invitational 28 in April and Capital City Volleyball hosted the President’s Queer Cup Classic in November. In May, Capital City Volleyball and New York’s Gotham Volleyball will co-host the 2014 NAGVA Championships in Washington. The event is expected to draw approximately 1,000 players to the area.

Stonewall Kickball just wrapped up its seventh season in November with 620 players. This month, they will send be sending a travel team to Las Vegas for the Sin City Shootout.

The Washington Wetskins water polo team captured fifth place at the IGLA World Championships in August in Seattle. In October, they hosted the annual Columbus Day Classic and won the team title.

The D.C. Front Runners hosted Pride Run 2013, which was the inaugural running of a chip-timed 5K run and walk coinciding with the festivities of D.C.’s Capital Pride week. They also continue to host an extensive series of runs, walks and running programs.

The D.C. chapter of Ski Bums is hosting its first overnight trip to Snowshoe, W.Va., on Jan. 24-26, with ski-in/ski-out accommodations and a coordinated carpool from D.C. for all participants.

Stonewall Bocce recently completed its fall season with 200 players and Stonewall Darts is just beginning its third season with 108 players.

With all the LGBT sports opportunities in the District, there is truly something for everyone. Besides the teams mentioned above, there are the Adventuring Group, D.C. Velo Cycling, Lambda DanceSport, Lambda Links Golf, D.C. Icebreakers (skating), D.C. Triathlon Club, Capital Splats Racquetball, Rainbow Rock Climbing, Washington Renegades Rugby, Rainbow Spinnakers Sailing, Lambda Divers (scuba), D.C. Lambda Squares (square dancing), Ultimate Out Frisbee and Washington Scandals Rugby.

01
Jan
2014

Swimming toward gold

Dustin Sigward, sports, Gay Games, DCAC, gay news, Washington Blade

Dustin Sigward will compete at the Gay Games in August. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

This is the first in a series of spotlights on the LGBT athletes from the Washington area who will be competing in the 2014 Gay Games in Cleveland/Akron. Dustin Sigward will compete in swimming for the District of Columbia Aquatics Club (DCAC). He is also a member of the Stonewall Kickball League.

 

WASHINGTON BLADE: What is your swimming background?

DUSTIN SIGWARD: My swimming experience is almost strictly from high school in Florida. I joined the swim team my freshman year and was barely able to put my face in the water. I was raised in Virginia and my experience with pools was limited to the occasional birthday party or the random summer day. Through hard work and playing water polo, I went from dog paddling to competing in the state championships in three years. I would say that puberty had something to do with it, but I am still waiting for the time I can shave every day. I wanted to swim in college at the University of Florida whose roster at the time included Ryan Lochte. Since I put myself through school, it was not possible to work multiple jobs, attend classes and keep up with the two-a-day workouts and mandatory weight lifting that comes with Division 1 swimming. I have been swimming with DCAC for a little over a year and I am faster than I ever was in high school. At the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships (IGLA) in Seattle last year, I took home six gold medals.

 

BLADE: Did you play any other sports growing up?

SIGWARD: I played water polo for three years in high school. It’s a grueling sport and it really helped me step up my swimming game.

 

BLADE: What events will you compete in at the Gay Games?

SIGWARD: I have not registered for my events yet, but I probably will not be swimming anything over 100 meters unless it is in a relay. I will definitely be competing in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly.

 

BLADE: What will your training regimen consist of leading up to the Gay Games?

SIGWARD: I will be training in the pool three-to-four times a week and lifting weights five days a week. I would like to include some yoga, but do not see that happening with a full-time job, part-time bartending, kickball and the obligatory post-kickball flip cup.

 

BLADE: What is it about swimming that keeps you in the sport?

SIGWARD: Along with the health benefits, swimming is a great full body workout with low impact. If you look at some of the guys on our team, you would think we had found the fountain of youth. I also feel a great sense of achievement when I break a personal record or set a goal and can see measurable progress towards it. It is just a great sport for an introvert. I like to say that I am like a cat; I like to be people-adjacent. I like seeing them, but don’t necessarily want to interact with them for too long. Swimming is incredibly cathartic and it puts me in the zone and gives me a chance to get to know a bunch of new people without getting overwhelmed.  Most of the practice is spent counting laps and singing show tunes to myself.

 

BLADE: Any embarrassing swimming stories to share?

SIGWARD: In high school, I was very shy and the process of getting fitted for my first Speedo was a horrifying ordeal. The female coach inspected our suits for a proper fit and just as she was about to tug at my waistband, I heard a shriek from one of the female swimmers and saw an accusatory finger pointing to the fact that most of my scrotum was hanging out of my suit. I have since grown to love Speedos but I am quite diligent about how neatly put away everything is and a few people on DCAC have commented about my suits being a little too conservative.

 

BLADE: Have you been to the Gay Games? What are you most looking forward to?

SIGWARD: This will be my first Gay Games and I am looking forward to beating a few personal records and maybe getting a team record in the process. Mostly I am going to enjoy traveling with a bunch of really great people.

26
Feb
2014

Road to the Gay Games

Lindsey Warren-Shriner, DCAC, District of Columbia Aquatics Club, gay news, Washington Blade, gay games

Lindsey Warren-Shriner says the daily routine of swimming has been a good discipline for her. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

This week in the continuing series on the LGBT athletes of Washington who will be competing at the 2014 Cleveland/Akron Gay Games, we visit with swimmer Lindsey Warren-Shriner of the District of Columbia Aquatics Club.

Warren-Shriner was recently awarded the Rick Meier Windes Memorial Award in recognition of excellence in distance swimming for her performance at the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics Championships in Seattle in 2013.

 

WASHINGTON BLADE:  What is your swimming background?

LINDSEY WARREN-SHRINER:  I took an introduction to competitive swimming class during the fall of my (high school) freshman year to fulfill my P.E. requirement and tried out for the varsity swim team that winter and didn’t make it. I took the class again during the fall of my sophomore year and made the team that winter.

That first year, I was one of the slowest swimmers and didn’t even compete with the team at championships. By my senior year, I had started to focus on distance events and dropped more than 30 seconds from my 500-yard freestyle time in one season. That led to me talking to swim coaches as I visited colleges, which was not something I would have expected even a year earlier.

I went on to swim for Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania for two years and then transferred to Bowdoin College in Maine, in part because they had a phenomenal swim program.   I have been swimming with DCAC since I graduated and moved to D.C. almost four years ago, and I have also done several triathlons and open water races.

 

BLADE:  Did you play any other sports growing up?

WARREN-SHRINER:  I did a lot — soccer, basketball, softball and tennis — and was really bad at all of them. I definitely wasn’t great when I started swimming either, but I liked it from the beginning and was more motivated to get better than I had been with any other sport.

 

BLADE: What events will you compete in at the Gay Games?

WARREN-SHRINER:  I’ll be doing all of the distance events — the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyle events and the 400-meter individual medley.

 

BLADE:  What will your training regimen consist of leading up to the Gay Games?

WARREN-SHRINER:  I usually go to six or seven DCAC practices a week. I don’t really like going to the gym so I stick with swimming. We practice for an hour and a half and I usually end up swimming almost 4,000 yards a day. We also have one night a week where we have a distance-oriented workout which is good preparation for the events I swim.

 

BLADE:  What is it about swimming that keeps you in the sport?

WARREN-SHRINER: Since I started swimming competitively much later than most of my college teammates, I wasn’t ready to stop swimming when I graduated. I found a great team in DCAC that has motivated me to keep swimming in the almost four years that I have been living here. All of my closest friends in D.C. are swimmers and I love to still have the routine of going to practice every day. While I was fortunate to have had incredibly supportive teammates and coaches as an out athlete in college, being on an LGBT team and a part of that community here has definitely kept me in the sport of swimming as well.

 

BLADE: Any embarrassing swimming stories to share?

WARREN-SHRINER: At the conference championships in my junior year of college, each team had a few high-tech racing suits that got passed around for each of the swimmer’s best events. The suits were extremely tight and impossible to put on without help.

When it was time for me to put the suit on before I swam the 1,650-yard freestyle, my teammates put plastic bags around my feet to get the suit over my ankles, and four of my teammates literally pulled the suit up my legs half an inch at a time while I stood, not helping at all, in the locker room. It was completely ridiculous but I ended up having a great race!

 

BLADE: Have you been to the Gay Games? What are you most looking forward to at the Gay Games?

WARREN-SHRINER: I have never been to the Gay Games, but I have gone to two IGLA championships with DCAC. I love traveling and competing with the team and I am particularly excited for the Gay Games since it is so much bigger than IGLA. I am very excited to be competing at such a big event for LGBT athletes and representing one of the largest LGBT swim teams in the world.

26
Mar
2014

Swim for Life

The 22nd annual Maryland Swim for Life was held on the Chester River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland on Saturday. Over 220 swimmers competed in the event hosted by the District of Columbia Aquatics Club . Proceeds from the event were slated to benefit Heart to Hand, Metro TeenAIDS, Quality of Life Retreats and the Chester River Association. (Washington Blade photos by Kevin Majoros) Swim for Life 

13
Jul
2014

More straight athletes joining gay leagues

straight athletes

Robbie Ladd, on left, who’s straight and married, plays in the DC Gay Flag Football League. He said it’s the most organized intramural league he’s seen. (Washington Blade photo by Kevin Majoros)

More than 30 years ago, in cities with large gay populations, LGBT sports teams and clubs began popping up. By playing sports with members of their own community, LGBT athletes were able to compete in a safe space with no fear of bullying or homophobia.

Over time, straight athletes began participating in the LGBT sports community. At first, it was relatives of the LGBT athletes showing up to compete at events as a show of support; a mother, a brother, a sister. About 10 years ago, a few bold straight athletes began joining the LGBT sports teams with no fears about any suspicions or backlash from their friends and family. Those people, such as husband and wife John and Ellyn Vail of the District of Columbia Aquatics Club became the first of a wave of straight sports allies.

Just in the past few years alone, the number of straight people joining LGBT teams and leagues is clearly noticeable. Pick any one of the more than 30 LGBT sports offered in the D.C. area and you will find straight players. The reasons for joining are probably different for each of them but it is safe to say that it is a glimpse of things to come.

Robbie Ladd is active duty military and he and his wife Jeanie Baker Ladd work as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. He has always played organized sports in civilian leagues and in the military. Earlier this year, he was at a party and heard about the DC Gay Flag Football League.

“I went out for the spring season and was drafted into the league and found it to be the most organized intramural community league I have ever competed in,” says Ladd.  ”The players are down to earth and show up ready to play flag football.”

Ladd, along with his teammates, won the spring season championships. He was disappointed that he did not travel to Pride Bowl in Chicago where the D.C. players took the tournament title.

“I thought I wasn’t allowed to go because I am straight,” says Ladd. ”I found out that I was welcome too late to join the travel team in Chicago.”

He did travel to Beach Bowl in Rehoboth Beach this summer where he and his teammates finished in second place.

“I have been very impressed with the incredible fellowship among the flag football players,” says Ladd. “One of the players lost a lot of his belongings in a house fire this year and all the players showed up with items to help him get back on his feet.”

Ladd and his wife are relocating to Fort Lauderdale soon where he just might look up the local LGBT flag football team.

Katie Lancos began playing water polo in Montreal when she was 12 years old and continued to play on her college team at Notre Dame. Right after college, she moved to D.C. and discovered the Washington Wetskins.

“I did a Google search and found about four teams, but the Wetskins came up first in the search,” says Lancos. “One of the frequently asked questions was: I am straight. Can I still play?”

Lancos joined the team and went on to compete at the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatic Championships when they were held in D.C. and again last year when they were held in Seattle. Last week, she competed at her first Gay Games and was joined in the pool by her brother Matt who is also straight.

“My friends are pretty open and I have never been challenged by anyone as to why I compete on an LGBT-based team,” says Lancos.

According to Lancos, the Wetskins are a very team-oriented group and she thrives in that atmosphere.

“The Wetskins are a wildly different group of people who have formed a family through the commonality of sports,” says Lancos.  ”We all have a shared goal of wanting to win, train and be better.”

straight athletes

Kevin Donlon has a gay best friend and welcomes the opportunity to compete against him in a gay swimming league. (Washington Blade photo by Kevin Majoros)

Kevin Donlon grew up in California and played lacrosse at St. Mary’s College of California. After college, he switched over to U.S. Masters Swimming and began competing in triathlons. In 2012, he went with a friend to Darwin, Australia for the Asia Pacific Outgames and last week competed at his first Gay Games.

“My best friend is gay and I welcome any opportunity to spend time and compete with my friend,” says Donlon.

Donlon trains in California and was a popular addition to the District of Columbia Aquatics Club contingent at the Games. He says he found the LGBT swimmers to be kind, welcoming, happy and an easy group to integrate into.

“People struck up conversations with me more often than what I have experienced at straight meets,” says Donlon.  ”And for an unexpected added bonus, the friendliness of the swimmers offered me the opportunity to strike up conversations, which is not something I usually do.”

Donlon won a bronze medal in open water swimming and a gold medal in the 1500 freestyle at the pool.

An unexpected twist to the intermingling of straight and LGBT athletes is that the flip side of the trend is also happening. Gay athletes are switching to straight leagues.

Kyle Suib started his rowing career at the University of Delaware and still wanting to compete beyond college, he joined the DC Strokes Rowing Club. He loved his time on the team and made several new friends but realized his competitive spark wasn’t satisfied.

“We were one unit in college and I just couldn’t identify as a gay rower,” says Suib. “I live and die by the sport and I just happen to be gay.”

Suib decided to leave the Strokes and had one of his college coaches give him the needed recommendation to join Potomac Boat Club rowing. He says his new teammates don’t focus on gay or straight. It’s all about the team. There are now four gay men on the Potomac Boat Club team and the four have been joined at Nellie’s and Town by their straight teammates.

“We are a family and now we are a more diverse family,” says Suib.

21
Aug
2014

Let ‘Freedom’ ring

Stonewall Kickball, sports, JR's, Cobalt, gay news, Washington Blade, Stead Park

Kickball is one of the sports slated for inclusion in the new Freedom Sports Festival which kicks off here in July. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Summers in the Washington area are always filled with a great mix of LGBT sporting events. This summer will once again showcase events run by the D.C. Strokes Rowing Club, the District of Columbia Aquatics Club and the D.C. Front Runners just to name a few. In August, the Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League will welcome 4,000 athletes to D.C. for the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series.

The summer will also bring a new event — Team D.C. will host the first Freedom Sports Festival from July 18-21. Team D.C. is the information clearinghouse for the roughly 30-plus LGBT sports teams in the area.

The Festival is expected to be a regional sporting event run in the years opposite the Gay Games. After taking a year off for the Gay Games in 2014, the event will run for three years straight through 2017.

This year’s lineup of sports will consist of kickball, golf, racquetball, ballroom dancing, beach volleyball and basketball. Each of the tournaments will be hosted within the D.C. city limits and will be run by that sport’s respective local LGBT sports team.

“We have targeted sports with limited tournament opportunities,” says Brent Minor, founder and executive director of Team D.C. “This will give the smaller and lesser known sports a chance to grow.”

The Festival will kick off on July 18th with the Team D.C. Champions Awards and the Team D.C. College Scholarship Reception. Each year, Team D.C. honors members of the local LGBT sports community with the MVP Award, the Trailblazer Award and the Community Support Award.

On the same night, Team D.C. will award its annual college scholarships to openly gay student athletes from the D.C. area. The college scholarships are funded by various Team D.C. fundraisers along with major contributions from the Capital Tennis Association, the D.C. Gay Flag Football League and the D.C. Frontrunners.

Last year, Team D.C. awarded six scholarships ranging from $500-$2,000. This year is shaping up to be another banner year of recipients as several applications of merit have been received with the June deadline fast approaching.

After a weekend of tournament play, the Freedom Sports Festival will wrap up on July 21 with an evening of fun at the Six Flags America Water Park in Largo, Md., from 5 p.m. until close. Everyone is welcome to join the athletes for a relaxing water-filled evening.

‘We are hoping that a lot of spectators come out to see the Festival tournaments,” Minor says. “Seeing the events in person makes the sport more real and accessible. Growing the smaller sports helps to build new leadership in our sports community. We expect to add more sports in the future such as women’s rugby.”

Team D.C. will also host Night OUT at the Kastles on July 22 at Kastles Stadium as our World Team Tennis players take on the Philadelphia Freedoms.

Information and registration for the Freedom Sports Festival will be posted soon at teamdc.org. Nominations for the Champions Awards and applications for the College Scholarships can be found on the same website.

23
May
2013

Sportin’ all summer long

Night OUT, Nationals, Gay News, Washington Blade

Lawrence Magali, left, and DeJay Johnson at Night OUT at the Nationals last week. (Photo by Kevin Majoros)

Last week, Team D.C. hosted the ninth annual Night OUT at the Nationals as roughly 4,000 members of the LGBT community came out to watch the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-5.

Next up in the Night OUT series is Night OUT at the Kastles on July 22 as the Washington Kastles take on the Philadelphia Freedom at 7 p.m. The Kastles just drafted Martina Hingis, who will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 13. Tickets are $12 and can be found at teamdc.org.

The North American Gay Volleyball Association recently awarded the 2014 NAGVA Championships to Washington D.C. The event will run from May 23-25, 2014 and will be contested at the Washington Convention Center. The Championships will be co-hosted by Capital City Volleyball and New York-based Gotham Volleyball and is expected to draw about 135 teams with more than 1,000 players. NAGVA is online at nagva.org.

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club will be hosting the 22nd annual Maryland Swim for Life on July 13 on the Chester River.  The event features 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-mile races.  Also this year, the swimmers are partnering with the DC Triathlon Club to offer a 2.4 mile Triathlon Challenge.

Proceeds from Swim for Life support a number of small local organizations such as Heart to Hand, Quality of Life Retreats, Metro TeenAIDS and the Chester River Association.  More information on the event along with volunteer opportunities can be found at swimdcac.org.

The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League will be hosting the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series from Aug. 26-31 at three separate complexes in the area. The tournament, the largest annual LGBT sporting event in the world, will welcome 170-plus teams participating in more than 600 softball games.

In total, they are expecting more than 4,000 athletes and fans visiting Washington for the weeklong tournament. More information on the event is at dcseries2013.com. The League can be found at capssoftball.org.

The inaugural Freedom Sports Festival will kick off on July 18-21 with six sports being contested all within the D.C. city limits.  Local LGBT sports teams will come together to host tournaments in beach volleyball, golf, racquetball, kickball, ballroom dancing and basketball.  Registration for the tournaments will open soon and will be posted at teamdc.org.

The Festival will open at the Team D.C. Champions Awards and College Scholarship reception on July 18 at George Washington University.  Former NFL player Wade Davis will be the guest speaker. Tickets are available at teamdc.org.

The festival will conclude with Pride Splash & Ride at Six Flags America on July 21 from 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. The event will feature a private water park party from 7-10:30 p.m.  Tickets are available at capitalpride.org.

Members of the D.C. Gay Flag Football League just returned from a strong showing in Pride Bowl VI in Chicago which ran from June 27-30. The tournament featured 28 teams from across the United States with the Washington Generals finishing runner-up, the D.C. Commanders finishing third and the D.C. Admirals placing sixth. The players will travel to Phoenix for Gay Bowl XIII from Oct 10-14. The flag football league is at dcgffl.org.

The World Out Games will be contested from July 31 to Aug. 11 in Antwerp, Belgium in 33 different sports. A contingent from D.C. will be attending and a uniform has been organized for the opening ceremonies.  More information will be at teamdc.org.

05
Jul
2013

Staying in the game

DCGFFL, D.C. Gay Flag Football League, sports, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. Gay Flag Football. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The LGBT sports community of Washington continues to impress with a full lineup of offerings in the coming months.

The Capital Tennis Association will host the Capital Classic XXI from Sept. 13-15.  Registration is now open for the event, which will include matches in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

Open and B draws will be played on clay and A, C and D draws will be played on hard courts (indoor and/or outdoor). The tournament will be contested at the Rock Creek Tennis Center and the East Potomac Tennis Center at Hains Point. Registration can be found at capital-tennis.org.

The Federal Triangles Soccer Club will host the Rehoboth Beach Soccer Classic XV from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 in Rehoboth Beach. Registration for the event is individual and is now open at federaltriangles.org.

The Washington Scandals Rugby Football Club will travel to Beaver Bowl VI in Ottawa, Canada from Aug. 24-25. The event will be their first full contact tournament and will coincide with Ottawa Pride. The Club can be found at dcscandals.org.

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club will be traveling to Seattle for the International Gay and Lesbian World Championships from Aug. 13-18 where they will attempt to take back their world title.

The swimmers will host the Fall Ball swim meet at Woodrow Wilson High School from Oct. 12-13. The meet will be held in conjunction with the Washington Wetskins water polo tournament and registration will be available at swimdcac.org.

Stonewall Kickball will open registration for their fall league on Aug. 13. The League will begin Sept. 8 and run for 11 weeks on Sundays at Stead Park. This League fills up fast and free agents are welcome. Registration will be available at stonewallsports.org/kickball.

Stonewall Bocce will open registration for their fall league on Aug. 13. The League will begin Sept. 12 and run for eight weeks on Thursdays at the Logan Circle Bocce Field. This League also fills up fast and free agents are welcome. Registration will be available at stonewallsports.org/bocce.

The Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club will begin its fall season practices on Aug. 6 at Cardozo High School at 7 p.m. Information on the club is at dcrugby.com.

The Lambda Links Golf Club will host its Fun Tournament on Aug. 24. Information is forthcoming on the event and will be available at lambdalinks.org.

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League will open registration for its fall league on Aug. 6. New player tryouts and evaluations will begin Aug. 7 and the League will begin on Sept. 8.

The League will be sending at least two of its travel teams to Gay Bowl XIII in Phoenix from Oct. 10-14. Information on the League is at dcgffl.org.

The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League will be hosting the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series from Aug. 26-31 at three separate complexes in the area. The tournament, the largest annual LGBT sporting event in the world, will welcome 170 teams participating in more than 600 softball games.

Organizers are expecting more than 4,000 athletes and fans visiting Washington for the weeklong tournament. More information on the event is at dcseries2013.com. The League can be found at capssoftball.org.

Team D.C. and the Federal Triangles Soccer Club and D.C United will co-host United Night Out on Sept. 15 as the D.C. United take on the L.A. Galaxy at RFK Stadium.

The event is part of the Team D.C. Night Out Series and is a great opportunity for the LGBT community to experience a professional soccer match in a safe and welcoming environment. Tickets will be available at unitednightout.com.

01
Aug
2013

DC Aquatics win world title

DC Aquatics Club, gay news, sports, swimming, Washington Blade

Members of the DC Aquatics Club recently returned home from a competition in Seattle. (Blade photo by Kevin Majoros)

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club (DCAC) recently returned home to DC after competing in the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships (IGLA) in Seattle.  Since winning their first IGLA world title in 1995, DCAC has been hard to beat, racking up a total of 10 IGLA titles. The championships are held each year with every fourth year off during the year of the Gay Games. The only teams that have managed to defeat DCAC since 1995 are New York Aquatics, Paris Aquatique and Team Florida.

“We were happy to see New York Aquatics step up and take the title in 2012,” said swimmer Neill Williams after DCAC came in second in Iceland. “But we will do what we can to win it back in 2013.”

The DCAC team showed up in Seattle with 69 swimmers in tow on Aug. 12 for five days of racing in 51 events. There were 38 teams from around the world competing at this year’s championships.

FIND MORE OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE SPORTS ISSUE HERE.

Over the past two decades, DC Aquatics has had a large core of strong swimmers who have continued to swim fast into their 40s, 50s and 60s. This year’s meet in Seattle saw the emergence of a new crew of 20 and 30-year-olds, to compliment the older swimmers, including some strong female swimmers. Points are scored by age groups in five-year increments. Each age group competes in all 51 events and each person is limited to five individual events and four relays.

After two days of racing, DCAC held a small lead over New York Aquatics. On day three, the records started to fall and the strength of DCAC’s relays proved too much for the New York team. The DC swimmers pulled away in commanding fashion to win their 11th IGLA championship in the large team category.  The Long Beach Grunions won the medium team category and the Philadelphia Fins won the small team category.

Also on hand from DC for the championships were 12 players from the Washington Wetskins water polo team. After several matches during the week, the Wetskins captured 5th place in the water polo competition. The championship match was won by San Francisco Tsumadre.

Other sports contested during the week were synchronized swimming, open water swimming and diving. The diving events included a judging appearance by Olympic diver, Kent Ferguson.

After all the pool events are concluded, IGLA always wraps up with the ever popular Pink Flamingo Follies.  The event is a judged pool deck and water performance set to music and is generally filled with camp and drama. The DC Aquatics performance was set in the Emerald City Starbucks and told the story of Dorothy and Glinda falling in love despite the attempt by the evil dominatrix Wicked Witch of the West to take Dorothy for herself. After getting married, the happy couple rode off into the sunset on blow up Orcas accompanied by their Speedo-clad entourage. DCAC was awarded second place for the performance.

Next year there will be no IGLA, but DCAC will be in Cleveland for the Gay Games.

My DCAC teammates showed determination, endurance and camaraderie during the week of IGLA. Each race was a fight for the wall especially seen during the relays when most everyone posts times faster than their individual swims. Also, a big thank you goes out to the Washington Wetskins for joining us in the swimming events to make our presence even more formidable.

I would also like to share a couple things about my teammates who are among the people that are breaking down stereotypes about the LGBT community.  I am referring to the stereotypes that still exist about our athletic abilities and the things that define us as human beings.  Jeff Dutton and his partner, Kei Koizumi came to compete in Seattle directly from competing at the Out Games in Antwerp, Belgium in swimming and track & field.  Brady Phillips and his partner Matthew Hoffman came to compete in Seattle after five days of hiking in the Cascades Mountains. And Dana Connors wrapped up his week of swimming by heading off to compete in a full Ironman Triathlon.

And finally, Michael Parisi, who brought hundreds of people to their feet during his swim in the grueling 200-meter butterfly. There is a special bond that happens between people when the human spirit triumphs over the limits of the human body.  The moment Parisi hit the touch pads at the end of his swim; he was a hero to everyone in the natatorium.

Congratulations DC Aquatics.  See you in Cleveland.

Results of IGLA are at www.igla2013.org.  Videos can be found under the CCE Sports Network tab.

DCAC can be found at www.swimdcac.org.

The full list of medal winners can be found at the online version of this story.

DCAC Medal Winners:

Missi Duprey  1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze

Victoria Garborcauskas  5 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze

Noura Hemady  6 Gold, 3 Silver

Sara Hewitt  4 Gold, 3 Silver

Alison LaBonte  2 Gold, 2 Silver

Katie Lancos  1 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze

Elizabeth Lester  3 Gold, 3 Silver

Molly Lincoln  9 Gold

Erin Maehr  7 Gold, 2 Silver

Janna McDougall  3 Gold, 3 Silver

Sarah Quincy  6 Gold, 2 Silver

Charlotte Schou  3 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze

Meridith Stakem  7 Gold, 2 Silver

Ellyn Vail  3 Gold, 3 Silver

Lindsey Warren-Shriner  9 Gold

Lucas Amodio  9 Gold

Peter Beard  1 Silver

Ted Bockius  3 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze

Jason Bricker  2 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze

Justin Burkhardt  6 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze

Dana Connors  1 Gold, 1 Bronze

David Crane  4 Silver, 1 Bronze

John Crowe  1 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze

Jose Cunningham  6 Gold, 3 Silver

Nicholas Davidson  3 Gold, 1 Bronze

Fred Dever  2 Gold, 6 Silver, 1 Bronze

Steven Dickens  1 Silver

Andrew Frampton  3 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze

Craig Franz  2 Gold, 5 Silver, 1 Bronze

Brendan Garvin  3 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze

Greg Gentry  1 Silver, 1 Bronze

Eric Grasha  4 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze

Todd Harvey  4 Gold, 1 Silver, 4 Bronze

Geoff Heuchling  7 Gold, 2 Bronze

Jonathon Horsford  2 Gold, 1 Bronze

Robert Jeter  2 Gold, 2 Bronze

Matthew Kinney  2 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze

Erich Klothen  1 Gold, 2 Silver

Kei Koizumi  1 Bronze

Joseph LaBriola  6 Gold, 3 Silver

Ross Linderman  1 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze

Kevin Majoros  1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze

Jeff Mead  5 Gold, 4 Silver

WonKee Moon  6 Gold, 1 Silver

Dawson Nash  1 Gold, 4 Silver, 1 Bronze

Sedric Nesbitt  4 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze

Michael Parisi  3 Bronze

Kris Pritchard  2 Gold

Paul Quincy  5 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze

Matthew Quinn  1 Gold, 3 Bronze

Brendan Roddy  1 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze

Michael Saxvik  1 Gold, 2 Bronze

Evan Schlank  2 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze

Dustin Sigward  6 Gold

Sam Smedinghoff  1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze

Fraser Smith  1 Silver

John Tustin  1 Gold, 2 Bronze

John Vail  1 Gold, 6 Silver 2 Bronze

Peter Volosin  7 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze

Neill Williams  9 Gold

Stanford Young  4 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze

29
Aug
2013

Rowing into the record book

D.C. Strokes Rowing Club, sports, gay news, Washington Blade

Fall sports: The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club in action. (Photos by Rachel Freedman; used with permission)

With the fall season upon us, all the LGBT sports leagues in Washington are already in action. Several of the local teams have recently wrapped up successful tournament action and several more have tournaments approaching.

The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club (dcstrokes.org) sent 15 rowers to the Out Games in Antwerp, Belgium in August to compete against athletes from all over the world. They returned home with a Gold, four Silver Medals and a Bronze.

The Strokes will pack up their boats for the winter in November and continue their ergometer and cross-training indoors until spring.

The Capital Tennis Association (capital-tennis.org) hosts the Capital Classic XXI this weekend. The event will include matches in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

Open and B draws will be played on clay and A, C and D draws will be played on hard courts (indoor and/or outdoor). The tournament will be contested at the Rock Creek Tennis Center and the East Potomac Tennis Center at Hains Point.

The CCE Sports Network, the nation’s only live web streaming online gay and lesbian sports network, will stream live coverage.  It has showcased more than 200 tournaments, matches and games on its site.

The Network recently covered the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatic Championships where the District of Columbia Aquatics Club captured the world title. Check out live tournaments and archived videos at ccesportsnetwork.com.

The District of Columbia Aquatics Club brought home an amazing 384 medals from the IGLA championships in Seattle in August along with setting several IGLA world records on their way to winning the world title. The records, in short course meters, are as follows:

Lindsey Warren- Shriner (25-29): 1500 free — 19:33.06

Lucas Amodio (18-24): 50 back — 27.65; 50 fly — 26.35

Meredith Stakem (30-34): 50 free — 28.31

Neill Williams (45-49): 50 back — 29.32; 50 fly — 26.78

Jose Cunningham (55-59): 100 IM — 1:10.20

Jeff Mead (55-59): 50 back — 34.37

Men’s relays:

72-99: 4 x 200 free relay — Lucas Amodio, Dustin Sigward, Evan Schlank, Joe Labriola — 8:43.82

72-99: 4 x 100 free relay — Lucas Amodio, Joe LaBriola, Peter Volosin, Paul Quincy — 3:40.15

72-99: 4 x 50 free relay — Joe LaBriola, Paul Quincy, Peter Volosin, Dustin Sigward — 1:42.31

200-239: 4 x 50 medley relay — Neill Williams, Jose Cunningham, Geoff Heuchling, Stan Young — 1:58.71

200-239: 4 x 50 free relay — Neill Williams, Jose Cunningham, Geoff Heuchling, Stan Young — 1:45.15

DCAC will host the annual Columbus Day Classic swim competition on Oct. 12 at the Woodrow Wilson Aquatic Center in D.C.  Information on the event is at swimdcac.org.

The Columbus Day Classic will also feature a water polo tournament hosted by the Washington Wetskins water polo team. The event will be contested at the Tacoma Aquatics Center on Oct. 12-13. More information is at wetskins.org.

Local bloggers Puck Buddys (puckbuddys.com) are gearing up for the start of the 2013-2014 National Hockey League (NHL) season. This season they will have 15 contributors covering their respective NHL teams and they have begun to zero in on coverage of the Sochi Olympics and the Russian anti-LGBT laws.

They recently posted a Q&A with a Russian hockey journalist about the cultural and historic roots of homophobia in Russia. Coming up for the bloggers is an interview with a gay journalist who is traveling to Sochi to cover the Games in February.

The D.C. Ice Breakers (dcicebreakers.com) will host their next social skate on Wednesday from 8:10-9:20 p.m. at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington. The fee for skating is $8 and skate rental is $3.  After the skate, they will host a social hour at Bailey’s Pub.

Ski Bums (ski-bums.org) have posted their 2014 group trips for skiing and snowboarding. The list includes Steamboat, Colo.; Snowshoe, W.Va.; Jay Peak, Utah; Lake Tahoe, Calif.; Chugach Mountain, Alaska; and Granite Peak, Wis.

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League (dcgffl.org) will be sending at least two of its travel teams to Gay Bowl XIII in Phoenix from Oct. 10-14.

The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League (capssoftball.org) hosted the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series from Aug. 26-31 at three separate complexes in the area. The tournament, the largest annual LGBT sporting event in the world, welcomed 170-plus teams that participated in more than 600 softball games.  Results are at dcseries2013.com.

The D.C. Sentinels basketball team will open registration in October for the winter edition of the Washington D.C. Gay Basketball League (wdcgbl.leagueapps.com).  The League will be a 10 week season including playoffs along with team practice days. Registration is on its site.

Team D.C. and the Federal Triangles Soccer Club and D.C. United co-host United Night OUT (unitednightout.com) Sunday at 4 p.m. as D.C. United take on L.A. Galaxy at RFK Stadium.

The event is part of the Team D.C. Night OUT Series and is a great opportunity for the LGBT community to experience a professional soccer match in a safe and welcoming environment. Tickets available at the Night OUT website.

12
Sep
2013