USA Boccia Nationals were held at Michigan State University May 15-19. This year’s competition had higher stakes as the selection for TEAM USA would be made based on the results.
Elizabeth Flora-Swick, Gardner, was seeded 4th coming into tournament based on national ranking points. There were 10 athletes in two pools of competition with top finishers in each going to semi-finals.
Flora-Swick faced a last year’s national champion and top seed, Cornelius Otis of Columbus, Ohio, to start the tournament. Flora-Swick beat him 4-2. She defeated Jennifer Jay from Tampa , 9-0, Dan Sauer from Grand Rapids 16-0 and Danny Dalton form New York, 9-1.
In the semi-final match she Otis in the finals. Flora-Swick had a 4-0 lead going into the final end. Otis made a great effort to send the game into overtime, but Boccia is a game of millimeters and Flora-Swick was 2 mm closer for the win 4-3.
Elizabeth earned a spot on TEAM USA and will compete at the 2013 Boccia Americas Cup, Aug. 2-9 in Gardner. Eight teams from the Americas will be bringing their best Boccia athletes to this tournament. It is the first of three qualification tournaments on the road to Rio 2016.
Elizabeth is a sophomore from Gardner.
Boccia is a Paralympic Sport. as Boccia (a sport similar to bocce or lawn bowling) is the sole sport available to athletes with severe physical disabilities in the Paralympic cycle.
More information on Americas Cup can be found at LINK