Six outstanding Nebraska athletes, including two from Lincoln, have been named 2019 Cornhusker State Games (CSG) Athletes of the Year in their respective categories.
The honored athletes, sponsored by Lincoln Federal Savings Bank, include wrestler Braedyn Rakes, 13, and cyclist Josh Shear, 46, both of Lincoln.
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Rakes has competed at a high level ever since he started wrestling. He has competed in the CSG for six years, and this year he won his sixth Iron Man award, the top award given in the tournament. During that span, he has captured 25 gold, six silver and three bronze medals.
Shear has competed in the CSG for several years, including the Cycling-Gravel Grinder, a long-distance gravel road event. In 2017, a close friend and gravel grinder mentor to Josh, Randy Gibson, who was also a past gravel grinder gold medal winner, passed away in a bike accident. In 2018, Gibson’s number was retired, and only his wife would be able to wear the number during the CSG. This year, after receiving the gold medal in the grueling 100-mile race with a winning time of 5 hours and 48 minutes, Shear gave it to Randy’s wife in his honor.
The other CSG Athletes of the Year are hockey player Calie Peterson, 13, of Omaha; martial artist Sadie Coffey, 32, of Shickley; badminton player Dianna Carda, 63, of Omaha; and track and field athlete Trip Reynolds, 65, of Crete.
The six athletes were chosen from among 10,035 total participants and were honored at the Nebraska Sports Council (NSC) awards banquet Nov. 7 at the Graduate Lincoln Hotel.