September 18, 2018

Cornhusker State Games

Athletes of the Year Named

Omaha Youth Wrestler Peacher

Also Snags National Honor

Lincoln, Neb. (Sep. 18, 2018) – Maycee Peacher, a 10 year-old female wrestler from Omaha who racked up nine gold medals and one silver medal, has been named the 2018 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) and National Congress of State Games (NCSG) Youth Female Athlete of the Year.
Other 2018 Cornhusker State Games Athletes of the Year include: golfer Miles Elgert, 10, of Lincoln; softball player Andrea Thorne, 31, of Lincoln; sprinter Jeff Hageman, 54, of Omaha; badminton player Nita Lechner, 68, from Grand Island and swimmer Robert Becker, 68, of Sterling.
The six were chosen from among 10,756 total participants and will be honored at the Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) awards banquet on Nov. 1 at the Graduate Lincoln Hotel.
“Our 2018 Athletes of the Year represent the best of Nebraska in every way,” NSC Executive Director Dave Mlnarik said.  “It’s a diverse group of people and sports, which reflects the variety of the Cornhusker State Games.  It’s also a nice feather in our cap for Maycee to win the national award.”
Peacher wrestled in 10 divisions, including five boys divisions, in the Cornhusker State Games and amassed a 24-1 record for the tournament.  Her wins included seven falls and 13 technical falls.  She will receive the National State Games Youth Female Athlete of the Year Award Oct. 2 at the joint NCSG/TEAMS Conference in Louisville, KY.
Elgert shot even par to win the CSG youth golf stroke-play gold medal by 10 strokes and was a member of the bronze medal CSG youth two-person scramble team.  Over the past two summers, he has won four Nebraska Junior Golf Tour event championships and this year was the top nine year-old on the tour. He recently competed in Aurora, CO as a regional qualifier in the national Drive, Chip and Putt competition.  Elgert is the 2018 Hillcrest Junior Club Champion and also plays football and basketball.
Thorne’s women’s slow-pitch softball team, called the Aksarben Skers, refused to let a lack of any other women’s team entries deter it from competing in the Games.  They simply added a couple guy players and jumped in the men’s silver division, earning a bronze medal.  Thorne’s IHT Coed team also earned a gold medal in the CSG Coed Gold division.  Thorne is well-known in the slow-pitch softball community as a great player and an even better person, always competing hard but with a smile on her face.
Hageman, a Cambridge native who now resides in Omaha, has competed in the 100M, 200M and 400M in the CSG track meet every year since 1994 with the exception of 1999, when he was injured.  Over those 25 years, he has earned 58 CSG gold medals, 10 silver and one bronze.  He has also won seven gold and two bronze medals in the same events in the State Games of America.  Hageman has not lost a Cornhusker State Games race since 2002.
Becker won a pair of medals in the CSG swim meet, but just being around to compete was a major achievement considering he was given six months to live when diagnosed with cancer two years ago.  A year ago June, Becker acquired an autoimmune disease that left him unable to walk. He began working out in the pool and resolved to participate in this year’s Games as a way to motivate himself to beat the cancer and keep working out.  Becker and his family participated together in the volkswalk in the first Cornhusker State Games in 1985. 
Lechner wins the newly-established Dorothy Ekblad Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award for a Cornhusker State Games body-of-work that includes over 30 years of participation in 11 different sports including badminton, basketball, horseshoe pitching, pickleball, racquetball, softball, swimming, table tennis, track & field, volkswalk and volleyball. Over the last four years, she has focused on badminton, winning four gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals.
NSC Officials reported that 80 counties were represented in 2017, with Lancaster—4,822, Douglas—2,002, Sarpy—788, Hall—243 and Saunders—202 making up the top five counties.  The youngest participant was York trackster Merrick Jackman, 2; the oldest was horseshoe pitcher Bernie Moran, 90, of Hastings.  Top five sports in participation were basketball—899, volleyball—795, softball—737, ice hockey—629 and shooting sports—604.
The 35th annual Cornhusker State Games will be held July 19-28, 2019.
The Nebraska Sports Council, which conducts the Cornhusker State Games, the Mud Run and the Pumpkin Run, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with platinum partners including Farmers Mutual of Nebraska, Nebraska Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine and LinPepCo. Learn more at
Media notes: Search CSG medal results by county, city or sport here


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