Gold standard: Local athletes win big at Maccabi Games

Let’s amend a cliché: You can now count on three things — death, taxes and Waylon Rice winning a gold medal at the JCC Maccabi Games.

In his farewell competition, the Marin teenager did what he has done for the last three years — take home top billing in the bowling competition. At this year’s games in Orange County, he averaged a 191 on his way to an easy gold, with Marin teammate Ben Harris taking the silver.

Hundreds of Bay Area athletes competed at the games this month in three different locations: the aforementioned O.C., Baltimore and Houston.

Other Osher Marin JCC athletes to stand atop the medal stand were gold medal-winning tennis player Andy Steier and backstroke specialist Becca Roth, whose gold medal was autographed by Olympic champion Lenny Krayzelburg.

“We took a gold medal in every sport we participated in, so that’s pretty cool for the kids in our delegation,” said Marin group leader Jason Wasserman.

The JCC of San Francisco fielded the Bay Area’s largest contingent, at 56 strong. And, competing in the Lone Star State, there was plenty of gold to go around.

The boys’ under-14 basketball team took top honors (so much for the “rebuilding year” coach Craig Salgado was talking about) as did the girls under-16 hoops squad. The under-16 girls volleyball team took a silver.

But the real cavalcade of precious metals came on the dance floor (or, more accurately, the stage). Elyse Greenblat took gold in the ballet solo, bronze in the modern solo and teamed with Molly Gordon to take a silver in the jazz duet. Gordon and Doria Charlson earned silver in the lyrical duet and Charlson and Leah Rosenblum took a bronze in the open duet.

The Palo Alto JCC took 34 athletes to Orange County and racked up an astounding medal count. Swimmers Jacqueline Levere, Jackson Rafter, Alex Rafter, Jonathan Reingold and Eva Greenberg notched 35 medals between them.

Out of the pool, shot-putter Sarah Milstein took a bronze.

The Peninsula JCC team also competed in Houston and also excelled on the dance floor. Hoofers Lauren Meir and Tracie Erlich took a dozen medals between them. Erika Segal won seven swimming medals and Simone Vanfroff notched another on the tennis court.

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi is the managing editor at Mission Local. He is a former editor-at-large at San Francisco magazine, former columnist at SF Weekly and a former J. staff writer.