Thermal Runs Away to Win 30th Annual World Gym Title0

Posted on January 14th, 2018 in News, Uncategorized


Reg Whyte and David Carlson’s Thermal polo team (Whyte, Carlson, Ernesto Ezcurra 2, Felipe Sordelli 2) ‘ran the table’ and went through the 2018 World Gym 4 goal tournament – the 30th annual – without a loss.
While Thermal came to the final undefeated, their opposition, Shannon Smull-Mendez and Lamar Rutherford’s Manolo Polo (Smull-Mendez -1, Rutherford -1, Luis Saracco 3 – sub for Santiago Mendez 2, Rodrigo Salinas 3) arrived via a shootout victory.
The final was a rematch of the previous Sunday’s meeting of the two foursomes which saw Thermal win with little trouble by a score of 6 – 1.5. This weeks offering would not be the same – at least not in the first half.
With Saracco substituting for the injured Santiago Mendez, Manolo Polo started quickly as Salinas scored off the initial throw-in. Thermal jumped back immediately as Ezcurra converted a penalty number 3 award. Salinas regained the lead with his second (a penalty 2 from the spot) but Sordelli scored for Thermal to tie the count going to the second (2 – 2)
The second chukker was open and provided a lot of good team polo as both were able to run with the ball. Surprisingly, only two goals were scored – Salinas for Manolo to briefly lead and Ezcurra for Thermal to get even. The half ended with the count at three each.
The third period was nothing like the first two as Ezcurra scored twice (one a penalty 3) and Whyte – with a great read – struck once for Thermal with absolutely no reply from Manolo Polo and it was 6 – 3 to favor the Whyte and Carlson pairing.
With the Manolo offense all but gone, Thermal was able to keep it going in the fourth with a continuing complete team effort as Carlson – under full sail – grabbed his first and Whyte scored his second. Saracco replied for Manolo but that would be it and Thermal – the 2017 World Gym winners – had successfully defended their title by a final tally of 8 – 4.
On hand to present the distinctive World Gym trophy – as they were 30 years ago – were Mike and Claudia Uretz.
Because of his aggressive play on the front end – whether he had the ball or was making openings for others – Carlson was selected as the Most Valuable player to his team.
Ezcurra’s oft played U2 was awarded the Best Playing Pony blanket.

Tony Gregg