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Around Pinellas

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001


Melissa Mathews of Northside Christian has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Taylor University in Upland, Ind.

Mathews, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, was named to all-state teams for three seasons. "Melissa will be a great addition," Taylor coach Angie Fincannon said. "Her strong play at the net will help overcome some losses due to graduation."


Bernie Ryan, 82, of Seminole recently finished first in his age group at the World Indoor Rowing Championships held at the Reggie Lewis Gym in Boston.

Ryan, a retired New York City sales manager, took first in the 80-84 age division in the 2000-meter event on a rowing machine by clocking the distance in 8 minutes, 40 seconds. He earned the all-expense paid trip by winning a regional qualifier in Washington, D.C., in 8:49. The qualifying time to compete at the finals was 9:07.

"This was my sixth or seventh attempt and my first win," said Ryan, a former distance runner who competed many times in the Times Turkey Trot and Gasparilla Distance Classic.

He once placed fourth, ages 65-69, at Gasparilla in 1:07. Of equal significance to Ryan is that his 51-year-old daughter also competed in the championships and came away with a second place in her 50-54 age division, only behind a competitor from Denmark.

Eileen Ryan is a resident of Alexandria, Va.

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