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City host for roller hockey

– Fort Wayne is on a roll when it comes to bringing in diverse sporting events.

It was announced last week that Fort Wayne was selected to host the 2014 State Wars United States Roller Hockey Championships from July 30 to Aug. 10 at Lutheran Health SportsCenter.

“We’re thrilled to host the State Wars Roller Hockey Tournament,” said Jeff Platzer of Lutheran Health SportsCenter. “The fact that we are centrally located, offer three NHL full-sized rinks with a first-class restaurant that overlooks the ice makes us one of the premier Midwestern sites for hosting ice and non-ice events of this size and stature.”

The 12-day championship is expected to bring in close to 300 teams from 28 states with more than 10,000 participants, generating an estimated 7,000 room nights and $1.6 million to $2 million in spending, according to Visit Fort Wayne. State Wars had previously been held in Cincinnati, St. Louis and Chicago.

Since 2009, Lutheran Health SportsCenter has booked national, regional and state hockey tournaments, plus in-line skating, roller derby and other non-hockey events because of the facility’s multipurpose abilities.

The non-hockey tournaments include the U.S. Figure Pairs Camp, U.S. Arena Curling National Championships, Fort Wayne Curling Club’s Bonspiel and Junior-Con Roller Derby Championships.

“Hosting sporting events in Fort Wayne is such a huge economic boost for our community,” City Councilman Tom Didier said. “I’m always appreciative of the hard work that Visit Fort Wayne does to help make this happen.”

State Wars is the third booking Visit Fort Wayne helped bring to Lutheran Health SportsCenter this year and eighth event in four years, bringing in about 30,000 visitors to the city.

Whitley captures swim invitational

The Kendallville Cole YMCA Bluefins swim team hosted more than 300 swimmers Oct. 26 in the Spooktacular Invitational. Whitley County won. The Angola Wavemakers were second.

The Bluefins were third, led by Corinne Wells’ victory in 7-8 girls. Lilly Joseph, Whitley County, and Gabe Gillespie, Dekalb County, won in 6 and under. Caroline Klimek, Whitley County, and Gabe Larson, Fort Wayne, were first in 9-10. Mykaela Crowell, Whitley County, and Bryce Handshoe, DeKalb, were first in 11-12. Matthew Webber, Whitley County, took first in 13-14. Sarah Davenport, Angola, and Connor Gastineau, Fort Wayne led the 15-and-over category.

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