Prairie Village resident Rich Talavera, 67, takes ‘Top Overall Performer’ title at Sunflower State Games

Rich Talavera with his "Top Overall Performer" trophy — and a bunch of gold medals.
Rich Talavera with his “Top Overall Performer” trophy — and a bunch of gold medals.
When 30-year Prairie Village resident Rich Talavera signed up for this year’s Sunflower State Games track-and-field competition, he saw notice of a prize he hadn’t noticed before: Top Overall Performer, given to the competitor who won the most trophies.

Sixty-seven year old Talavera, who has been competing in the Senior Olympics for more than 10 years, was intrigued – but figured the prize was likely to be taken by a competitor in one of the younger age brackets.

“I thought, hey, that would be pretty cool, but I don’t think there’s any way I could win it,” he said.

Then Talavera went off and won gold medals in nine of the ten events in which he competed last month: long jump, high jump, triple jump, pole vault, javelin, discus, shot put, 100-m dash and 200-m dash. As for the tenth event, the 400-m dash? He had to settle for a bronze.

“I was pretty happy with how things turned out,” he said.

Understandably so. Because with that haul of gold, Talavera not only filled out his trophy case, he also beat out the more than 500 Sunflower State Games competitors ages 6 to 70 for “Top Overall Performer.”

Not bad, fella.