August 20, 2021
Cornhusker State Games Athletes of the Year Named
LINCOLN, Neb. (Aug 20, 2021) – The Nebraska Sports Council has announced its 2021 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) Athletes of the Year, including Track and Field athlete Faith Samek, 11, of David City; Table Tennis player Janek De Guzman, 12, of Lincoln; Taekwondo athlete Shawn Labadie, 49, of Lincoln; Powerlifter Marsha Busse, 56, of Lincoln; Track and Field athlete Carol Frost, 76, of Ashland and Pistol marksman Fred Chrastil, 80, of Lincoln.
The six were chosen in their respective categories from over 10,000 total participants and will be honored in a Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) awards ceremony later this year.
“We are proud to honor these athletes as the best of the best,” NSC Executive Director Dave Mlnarik said. “Their athletic achievements speak for themselves, and their nomination forms reflect positive State Games values like great sportsmanship and the enjoyment of using sports to meet people and make friends.”
Frost made media headlines with her performance at the track and field meet on Saturday, July 16, at Beechner Field in Lincoln where she set national records in the shot put and discus for the Masters 75-79-year-old age division. Frost's discus throw of 82 feet, 1 inch shattered the former 75-79 age group discus record by more than eight feet. Her shot put record throw of 33 feet 7 inches was equally impressive, easily smashing the old mark of 29 feet 2 inches.
With her efforts, Frost, a 1968 U.S. Olympian and member of the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame, now holds national records in discus and shot-put for the 65, 70, and 75-year-old age groups.
De Guzman, already considered one of the state’s top table tennis players at age 12, elected to play in open categories at the State Games. His open doubles team earned the gold medal over some of Nebraska’s highest-ranked adult players. De Guzman is currently ranked 58th in the U.S. for ages 13 and under.
Labadie is one of the most-decorated Taekwondo athletes in Cornhusker State Games history. This year marked his 19th consecutive year competing. He has won 10 bronze medals, four silver medals, and nine gold medals in the Games despite taking up Taekwondo at age 30. Since earning his black belt, Labadie also has embraced the spirit of volunteerism, serving as a ring official and becoming one of the most trusted, well-respected Taekwondo officials in Nebraska.
Samek has competed in the CSG track and field meet since 2016. In those five years, she has won eight gold medals, six silvers, and one bronze. In 2019, she competed in the State Games of America (SGA) in Lynchburg, Virginia, as a nine-year-old. This year Samek placed first in the 100 and second in the 400 and long jump. Samek is a true multi-sport athlete, competing also in basketball, softball, track, and golf. She also participated in the 2021 CSG Torch Run. Samek plans to represent Nebraska in the 100m, 400m, and Long Jump at the 2022 SGA in Des Moines.
Chrastil has competed in every Cornhusker State Games since 1986, when Pistol Shooting became an official CSG sport. Chrastil has had incredible success in his 36 years. This year, he won gold medals in .22 Standard Pistol, Centerfire Pistol, and Rapid-fire Pistol. Chrastil also shot a near-perfect score in the .22 Semi-auto Pistol match with a 296 out of 300 points. Despite being 80 years old, Chrastil shot the highest score of any shooter.
Busse had a breakthrough performance setting four new Nebraska state records for master's 50-59 division in the squat, bench press, deadlift, and total in Powerlifting. Busse has competed in CSG Powerlifting for 17 consecutive years. In past Games, Busse has also competed in Arm Wrestling and 5k Road Race. Throughout the years, she has won over 100 CSG medals. In one day alone, she won 11 medals while competing in three different sports.
The CSG Athlete of the Year program, which is sponsored by Lincoln Federal Savings Bank, is part of the National Congress of State Games Athlete of the Year program. Nebraska winners have been nominated for national awards, which will be announced in late September.
The Nebraska Sports Council, which conducts the Cornhusker State Games, Corporate Games, the WellPower Movement, 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 Pepsi-Cola of Lincoln. Learn more at NebraskaSportsCouncil.com.
Media notes: Search CSG medal results by county, city or sport here
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