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The Big Sky State Games 2019 Athletes of the Year are Lisa Reimer of Laurel and Gregory Dorow of Billings. Youth Athlete of the Year is Peter Thompson of Billings. The Big Sky State Games Team of the Year is The Wildwood Cloggers from Billings. These awards are designed to recognize individuals who best personify the ideals of the State Games movement: participation, sportsmanship, effort, and positive attitude.
Female Athlete of the Year Lisa Reimer began participating in the Big Sky State Games Track and Field Discus and Shot Put events over 25 years ago. Since then, she has won over 30 medals. Reimer has only missed a handful of State Games, and for good reason; due to pregnancy and in 2006 due to kidney failure.
She holds seven State Games records in two events: three in shot put and four in discus. This year, Lisa broke her own record in shot put for her age group. In the last five years, she has won Gold in both shot put and discus.
Lisa has given back to her sport, coaching track and field for many years, beginning in 1984, and off and on until she retired in 2010. She also retired from teaching in 2017 after a successful 33 year career. In 2018, she missed the kids so much that she became a volunteer track coach for Laurel High School.
In addition to her recent accomplishments, Reimer is a Class C State Champion in the Shot Put and Discus in 1978-1979. She took her talents to Missoula to compete for the University of Montana Grizzlies from 1980-1983 and was recognized as the Field Athlete of the Year for her team in 1980-1981.
Lisa states, "The best part of the Games is the camaraderie that the women throwers have! We only get to see each other once a year, so it's like a reunion for us. It's also been fun to see my former athletes that I coached in the past compete, especially my daughter!"
Male Athlete of the Year Dr. Gregory Dorow has also been competing in the Big Sky State Games for 34 years, since 1986, the inception of the Games. His passion, aside from practicing dentistry, has always been cycling. Since 2002, Dorow has accumulated 33 Gold and 4 Bronze medals. His daughter Natalie stated, "He has been cycling as long as I can remember."
Dr. Dorow and his wife integrated cycling in their lives as a way to stay healthy, relevant with athletics, and for their mental health. Dorow is a competitor but also exhibits sportsmanship and likes to see others excel in cycling. His great attitude and effort is evident in his participation in the 2019 Big Sky State Games. Not only did he celebrate his 70th birthday in May, but he also had two corrective wrist surgeries from injuries sustained during an April bike accident. He was able to get back on his bike in mid-June and when asked if he was going to compete in the 2019 Big Sky State Games, he stated "I can't miss this one, because I've never missed one." Greg entered both the Cycling Time Trial and the 25-mile Cycling Road Race capturing Gold in both events in his age division.
In addition to competing in BSSG Time Trial and Road Race events, Dr. Dorow often competed in BSSG Mountain Bike events and was an avid participant in the Peaks to Prairie Adventure Race. In 2018, the last year Peaks was held, Greg and his son-in-law, Jared Dickerson, placed 2nd Overall. Dr. Dorow enjoys cycling and cherishes his cycling medals. He has all of his medals hanging in his workout room, each one etched with his finishing times.
Dr. Dorow is a testament to living a healthy lifestyle and encourages his patients to take up cycling for exercise.
Peter Thompson is the Big Sky State Games Youth Athlete of the Year. Thompson began swimming at a young age with the Billings Aquatic Club Stingrays which helped him gain the momentum needed to achieve all his accomplishments. Peter's first involvement in the Big Sky State Games wasn't Swimming, but the 5k Road Race where he was always an age group medalist. He later branched out to the team Triathlon event with his mother and then his signature sport of Swimming. He has been involved in the Big Sky State Games for over 8 years but in the last 5 years, Peter has earned 14 State Games medals and in 2019 was the overall winner of the Open Water Swim mile.
Peter recently qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials in the 1500 Free at the Long Course Junior National Championships in Palo Alto, CA. He dropped 24 seconds from his best time, to a (15:35). The swim time breaks the Montana Open State Record in the mile; he is the fastest male swimmer EVER in Montana in the mile. It also ranks 46th All Time in the USA Swimming 15-16 Age Group.
As a sophomore in high school, he competed at the USA Swimming Open Water National Championships and raced himself into earning a spot on the USA Swimming National Junior Team for Team USA. This year he also competed at USA Swimming Junior National Championships, placing 6th in the nation in the 1650 Yard Freestyle.
Peter holds seven Montana State Records as the fastest swimmer ever in the 15-16 Age Group for multiple events. He is one of the top 20 Swimming recruits in the nation for his sophomore class this year. Peter currently holds 13 Billings Aquatic Club Team Records in multiple age groups 13-14 & 15-16 (his current age group).
The Wildwood Cloggers are the 2019 Big Sky State Games Team of the Year. The Wildwood Cloggers team wasn't always a competitive dance team. In the beginning years, the team was mostly a performance team showcasing their talents locally. The Wildwood Cloggers entered the inaugural Big Sky State Games Dance Competition in 2003. Coach LaShawn Bernhardt recalls those earlier years dancing in the hot July months in facilities without air conditioning. But even without the AC, the Wildwood Cloggers kept returning year after year! The Wildwood Cloggers foundation of participation is work hard, be respectful, and always give your 110% (even if that looks different than the dancer next to you), and work to better yourself and your team. The goal of WWC isn't to create professional cloggers, but to create productive, responsible and respectful members of society. In addition to their numerous BSSG medals, the Senior Team was awarded A Capella Team MVP at the 2019 America On Stage competition held in Utah. The Senior Team earned the Overall Grand Champion Amateur Team at the 2018 USA National Clogging Championships held at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee, and received three (3) first place, four (4) second place, and one (1) third place finish. The Junior Team earned one (1) second place and two (2) third place finishes.
Following the BSSG Dance Competition in the spring, the Wildwood Cloggers perform annually at the Big Sky State Games by entertaining crowds during Opening Ceremonies. They are always a crowd favorite.
|*Indicates National Athlete of the Year|
|2018||Female: Sharon Harris||Road Race, Cycling, and Swimming|
|Male: Sean Phelps||Road Race, Cycling, Triathlon, and Swimming|
|Youth: Mallory Simons||Shooting|
|Team: Hack Panthers||Curling|
|2017||Female: Kamber Kelly-Brodock||Volleyball|
|Male: Dave Winslow||Bowling|
|Youth: Hailey Poole||Track & Field, Volleyball, and Swimming|
|Team: Team Rio Grand Casino/Bud/Pepsi/Midland Implement/Dale Construction||Mens Softball|
|2016||Female: Mary Owen||Road Race|
|Male: Jim Wright||Armwrestling|
|Youth: Colter Barnett||Ice Hockey, Triathlon, Cycling|
|Team: Team Chase||Co-Ed Volleyball|
|2015||Female: Bobbi Knudsen||Basketball|
|Male: Al Vietz||Road Race|
|Youth: Torie Jamieson||Karate|
|Team: NAPA||Flag Football|
|2014||Female: Robin Hanel||Road Race, Track & Field, Cycling, Triathlon/Duathlon|
|Male: Brendan Murray||5k Road Race, 10k Road Race|
|Youth: Shea Esp||Swimming, Dance, Volleyball, Track & Field|
|Team: Rocky Mountain College Battlin' Bears||Adult Volleyball|
|2013||Female: Jen Reiter||5K Road Race, Biathlon, Triathlon, Volleyball 6-on-6, Volleyball Grass Doubles|
|Male: Bryan Brosious||Triathlon, Road Race, Swimming, Cycling|
|Youth: Ethan Harder||Swimming, Team Triathlon|
|Team: Dinosaurs of Doom||Adult Co-Ed Soccer|
|2012||Female: Anita Rawlinson||Road Race, Track and Field, Arm Wrestling and Swimming|
|Male: Ken Cottrell||Swimming, Cycling 25 mile, Triathlon, Track & Field|
|Youth: Megan Sweeney||Shooting Rifle Pistol|
|Youth: Hayley Moen||Track & Field|
|Team: Northeast Montana||Boys 11th/12th Grade Basketball|
|2011||Female: Lisa Minnehan||Road Race|
|Male: Cecil Pegram||Cycling, Road Race, Triathlon, Ballroom Dancing|
|Youth: Keegan Kampschroer||Swimming|
|2010||Female: Iona Stooky||Volleyball|
|Male: Steve Mysee||Cycling (Mt. Bike & Road Race), Triathlon, 5K Road Race|
|Youth: Zach Holmes||Archery|
|Team: Sure Shank Reception||Volleyball|
|2009||Female: Kristen Holland||Fencing & Road Race|
|Male: Lorn Welch||Dance Sport Ballroom|
|Team: GDR||Flag Football|
|2008||Female: Marlene Tetrault||Road Race, Tennis, Swimming, Cycling, Triathlon|
|Male: Garth Kallevig||Handball|
|Team: Montana Hoops||Girls 9th & 10th Grade Basketball|
|2007||Female: Denby Gardiner||Swimming|
|Male: Alan King||Road Race, Track & Field|
|Team: Karma||Flag Football|
|2006||Female: Sarah Graves||Road Race, Cycling, Triathlon, Biathlon, Track & Field|
|Male: Bryon Johnson||Armwrestling|
|Team: Res Gestae "Things Done"||Softball|
|2005||Female: Pat Jaffary||Road Race|
|Male: Lewis Elliot||Road Race, Cycling, Triathlon|
|2004||Female: Jen Allen||Track & Field|
|Male: Duane Cole||Road Race|
|2003||Female: Jennifer Drinkwalter||Triathlon, Cycling, Road Race|
|Male: Dan Berry||Cycling|
|2002||Female: Renee' Coppock||Cycling, Road Race|
|Male: Charles Jannings||Track & Field|
|2001||Female: Laura Esp||Swimming, Cycling, Road Race, Triathlon|
|Male: Tony Banovich||Road Race|
|2000||Female: Kathy Aragon||Cycling, Road Race, Track & Field|
|Male: Alfred Funk||Track & Field|
|1998||Female: Sue O'Connell||Karate|
|Male: Trent Hartl||Swimming|
|1997||Female: Cass Bauer||Basketball|
|Male: Dave Coppock||Road Race|
|1996||Female: Debbie Magilke||Road Race|
|Male: John Collins||Archery|
|1995||Female: Marjorie McLean||Swimming|
|Male: Lonn Saunders||Shooting|
|1994||Female: Exel "Ekkie" Wedul||Road Race|
|Male: Glen Kapitzke||Shooting|