Queen of the Valley Medical Center emergency room physician Dr. Paul Kivela will play in the Speedgolf World Championships Saturday and Sunday at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore. The 30 elite speed golfers — who include Olympic medalists, world champions, and world record holders — will test themselves against both the course and the clock. Coverage is on
BandonDunesGolf.com beginning at 8 a.m. There are players entered from six different countries.
The field includes Chris Walker (Woodlands, Texas), defending Speedgolf World Champion; Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.), 2007 world champion in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters; Nick Willis (New Zealand), silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics; and Christopher Smith (Portland, Ore.), Speedgolf world record holder.
Kivela has been an emergency room physician with Napa Valley Emergency Medical Group since 1999. His home golf course is Green Valley Country Club in Solano County.
He attended the University of Illinois where he ran four years of cross country, had a top-10 finish in the Big Ten Cross Country Championships, and competed at the NCAA national championship meet twice.
Kivela took up speed golf, a hybrid sport that combines running and golfing, in 2004. The game is usually played first thing in the morning, before the other golfers tee off, or sometimes late in the afternoon, when many of the golfers have finished. A typical course is between 41⁄2 and 5 miles in length and takes about an hour to complete the round.
Competitors play 9 or 18 holes and run between shots. Scores are calculated by adding the time taken to complete the round and the total strokes taken. Players generally carry 5-6 clubs in a small bag and wear athletic golf attire and running shoes.
Kivela usually tees off at sunrise. In the summertime, he is often done playing by 7 a.m., when some of the first golfers tee off. He is a four-time champion of the Tahoe Speedgolf Championships.
Kivela owns Fairfield-based Elan Medical Corporation with his wife, Dr. Madeline Andrew.
Sarah Pyle, a 2013 Napa High School graduate, is a freshman on the Foothill College (Los Altos) women’s water polo team, which is 14-5, in first place in the Coast Conference, and ranked No. 8 in the jcwaterpolo.com state Coach’s Poll. Pyle scored two goals for Foothill in the Lady Owls’ win last week over Laney College (Oakland).
Foothill won its eighth Coast Conference championship in the last 12 years with a 19-6 win over conference rival College of San Mateo last year. The Lady Owls went on to win their first Northern California championship in convincing fashion with a 14-6 win over Diablo Valley College (Pleasant Hill).
In her final game for Napa High, Pyle scored a goal and blocked two shots in a 7-5 overtime loss to Bella Vista-Fair Oaks in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.
Tony Costello, a former Justin-Siena head boys basketball coach who went on to coach at Chabot College (Hayward) and Las Positas College (Livermore), passed away on Aug. 25 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Costello was 57.
He was the coach at Dublin High for six years, starting in 1981, and had a brief stint at Justin-Siena, leading the program when the Braves played in the old Superior California Athletic League.
He was an assistant to Rich Botelho for three years at Chabot, then took over as head coach, leading the Gladiators to a 250-179 record in 14 seasons, highlighted by 12 regional playoff appearances, two conference titles, and reaching the Sweet 16 of the state tournament three times.
Costello was president of the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association from 2003 to 2005. He was going into his eighth year as the head coach at Las Positas. But he was forced to take a leave of absence from the program in August.
Costello was a 1974 graduate of Amador Valley High-Pleasanton and played for legendary Dons coach Skip Mohatt. He was also an assistant at Amador Valley.
As Los Positas, Costello’s teams got to the playoffs three times and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2012.
Email Napa Valley Register Executive Sports Editor Marty James at email@example.com or call 256-2223.