A man whose passion for, and success with, track & field dating back nearly 50 years will be inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
Michael Sayers, an 18-time Senior Games All-American and the No. 1-ranked javelin thrower in the world for his age group, will join 10 other inductees at the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame’s 36th annual banquet, which will be held Monday, Feb. 20 at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. Joining him in the Class of 2017 are Paul Cooley, Jake Ensign, Charlie LaDuca, Sammy LaMancuso, Deb Palmer, Bob Patterson, Dave Polechetti, Sam Restivo, Maceo Wofford and the late Francis “Doc” Malinoski.
Born in 1954 and a 62-year resident of Chautauqua County, Sayers is a graduate of Fredonia Central School where he was a member of the football and track and field teams. While a student at SUNY Brockport, he competed in gymnastics and track and field, earning Division III All-American in the javelin in 1974.
As it turned out, Sayers was just getting started.
A multiple medalist at Senior Games in the javelin, discus and shot, Sayers turned in his most impressive performance of his career last June at the Empire State Games at SUNY Cortland. It was there that he threw the javelin 49.97 meters (164 feet), which was the best in the United States for the 60-64 age group and the best in the world rankings for the same event and age group.
A 35-year Special Olympics volunteer, Sayers lives in Lakewood.