25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports: 11.23.17

Local Sports History

November 19, 1992

Armed with donations from numerous East Hampton organizations and well-wishers, Tim Egan, a butcher at the Montauk I.G.A. supermarket, flew to Geneva, Switzerland, on Nov. 2 to compete in the World Armwrestling Federation championships. 

Vying with 23 others in the heavyweight class (220 to 240 pounds), Egan finished a very creditable fourth, behind an undefeated Italian, a Swede, and a wrestler from the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

“The competition was incredible,” Egan said on his return. “The world competition made our nationals look like a country fair.”

The championships drew several hundred representatives from 30 countries, including ones in Western and Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the United States, and South America.

After losing his first match to a Russian, Egan won five in a row, flattening the forearms of opponents from Brazil, Russia, Great Britain, Finland, and Germany. That streak put him into the final-four round of the double-elimination tourney, during which he suffered his second defeat, at the hands of the Georgian.

“Other countries, unlike the U.S., subsidize their armwrestling teams, and provide them with coaches,” Egan noted. While the U.S. team won the most gold medals — four — it was “nowhere near as organized.”

Egan said he liked the former Soviets, who — “after a couple of beers” — had given him some valuable training tips. “We just spoke in sign language, but I learned from the third-place guy that they increase their strength by climbing rope and inching their way along a beam with their fingers. He got in trouble with his coach for telling me this, but it makes sense. Armwrestling is all upper-body strength. You can be sure I’m going to incorporate these methods into my training.”

Paul Blodorn, a 16-year-old Sag Harborite in his senior year at Mercy High School in Riverhead, did Suffolk County proud Saturday as he placed second in the New York State Class C cross-country meet at Sunken Meadow State Park.

With 800 meters to go in the difficult 3.1-mile overland course, along the river road, Blodorn — who had moved from fifth to second place going up Cardiac Hill near the 2-mile mark — took the lead. But Dave Garner, the defending champion from around Oneonta, who was sitting in third, “went into overdrive,” in Blodorn’s words. Garner crossed the finish line in 16 minutes and 18 seconds, with Blodorn following in 16:33, his best time in seven races at Sunken Meadow this year. . . . He and Garner ran together for most of the race, though the sub-5-minute first mile was not to Blodorn’s liking.

. . . Blodorn was not the only local runner at Sunken Meadow on Saturday. Janelle Kraus, a Shelter Island ninth grader who had won the county Class C race, finished 33rd, in 20:56, bettering her county time by three seconds. Tyler Ratcliffe, a junior at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor who had placed sixth in the county meet, ran a creditable 18:42.