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Kelowna-area athletes make major contribution to B.C Games medal count

Kelowna’s Emma Cannan celebrated her 15th birthday on Sunday with plenty of sparkles — not from the more traditional candles atop a cake— but rather with four B.C. Summer Games medals around her neck.

The Okanagan Athletics Club member set a torrid pace for the Zone 2 (Thompson-Okanagan) team at the 31st edition of the Games, winning three individual events and finishing third in the relay in Cowichan.

In all, the Zone 2 team claimed 19 gold medals, 29 silver and 32 bronze and finished fifth among the eight zones

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Emma Cannan on her way to a B.C. Games win in the 200 metres in Cowichan.Cannan, a Dr. Knox Middle School graduate attending Kelowna Secondary School this fall, sprinted to gold in the 100-metre (12.71 seconds), 200-metre (25.79) and 300-metre (41.02) events while anchoring the Zone 2 team to bronze in the 4x100 relay that also included Victoria Barry, Ely Jo Kokayko and Ellie Donahue.

While she came up short of recording her high-standard personal-best times (100 - 12.47, 200 - 24.44, 300-40.23), the speedster said she was “very happy” with her clockings.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Cannan climbed to the top podium three times during the 31st edition of the B.C. Summer Games.“Going into the games, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, considering that I had great competition,” said Cannan, coached by Pat Sima-Ledding at the Okanagan Athletics Club. “But I knew if I could just focus on myself, not worry about my competition, and have a positive outlook then I could get the gold.”

She said enjoyed her 100-metre final most.

“I decided to go into the final and compete against myself more than trying to beat the other runners. So when I raced I was focusing only on my form and arm drive.”

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Michael Schriemer overcame nerves to run to a gold and bronze.Obviously ready to compete with Team BC for the first time next month at the Royal Canadian Legion national youth track and field championships in Brandon, Canaan said the Games in Cowichan was her best experience thus far in sports.

“It was amazing to meet new people in the different sports and meet people from different zones. I made a lot of new friends and they helped me by cheering me on and supporting me during all my races.”

Joining Cannan in the track and field medal haul was OAC teammate Michael Schriemer of Kelowna, who ran to gold in the 2000 metres with a time of 5:58.41 and to bronze in the 1200 metres, posting a time of 3:21.51.

The Okanagan Mission Secondary School student, coached by Malindi Elmore at OAC, admitted he was “feeling a bit nervous because of some new and unknown competitors in the 2000-metre field” but once the race started he felt strong and relaxed.

“I ran the entire race based on feel and not by time,” said Schriemer, who led the entire race and finished 1.5 seconds ahead of the silver-medal winner.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Schriemer got boxed in early but recovered to take the bronze in the 1200-metre event.While his time was five seconds off his personal best at a meet the previous weekend, he said he was happy about the result, although he was surprised at how close the runner-up was.

In Schriemer’s 1200-metre race the previous day, he said he didn’t get the start he was hoping for and got boxed in early on.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Mekhila Brown of Kelowna shows good hurdles form on the way to pentathlon silver at the Games.“Because of that, I didn’t get a comfortable stride until about 100 metres in and it threw me off,” he said.

Still, Schriemer battled back and forth for silver/bronze in the final 200 metres and was running in second place down the stretch, only to be relegated to third (by 0.02 seconds) with 20 metres to go. His time of 3:21 was three seconds off his PB, and the same time as the B.C. Games champion on the day.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>The 15-year-old will join Cannan at the Royal Canadian Legion Nationals in Brandon, competing in the 2000-metre event.

Contributing a silver medal to the Zone 2 total of 80 medals was Ely Jo Kokayko, who finished second in the girls high jump with a leap of 1.6 metres.

Mekhila Brown also earned a silver medal in the girls’ pentathlon event.

Triathlon

Literally following in the footsteps of his older brother, Lincoln Hoel of West Kelowna swept all four events at the B.C. Summer Games at the Brentwood College campus in Mill Bay.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Lincoln Hoel swam, biked and ran to four gold medals at Mill Bay.Hoel, who turns 15 in October, duplicated the performance of brother Brock two years earlier in Abbotsford, claiming gold in the duathlon, supersprint triathlon, aquathlon and FI triathlon

A member of The Mission Group Balance Point Racing Team in Kelowna, opened with a victory in the duathlon (one- kilometre run, 5 km bike, 1 km run) and led the field in the SuperSprint (500-metre swim, 10 km bike, 3 km run) later in the day.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Lincoln Hoel's four-medal performances matched that of his older brother Brock.Next up was the aquathlon (300-metre swim and 1-km run), while he earned his fourth trip to the top of the Games podium with a victory in the draft legal mini fast-pace triathlon (200-metre swim, 3 km bike, 1 km run).

Hoel said winning the four gold and matching his brother’s showing had been a goal of his for the past two years.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Kelowna's James Needham earned a bronze medal in the boys duathlon event.“It was really rewarding being able to do it (win all four)after thinking about it for so long,” said Hoel, who went into the Games having won the first two B.C. Youth Super Spring Draft Legal Series events of the season. “And it was so cool being able to compete with my BPR teammates and having my coach (Luke Way) as one of the Zone 2 coaches.”

Up next for the 5’11”, 154-pound triathlete is the Kelowna Apple next month and the Vernon Triathlon in September. Looking ahead, he will join brother Brock in the Junior Elite category next year.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>“We have a dream of representing Canada in the Olympics, so it’s exciting to have the chance of taking that next step,” said the younger Hoel.

Meanwhile, James Needham of Kelowna raced to a bronze medal in the boys duathlon event. The Mission Group Balance Point Racing Team member posted a time of 18:03 in the run/bike competition.

Swimming

Central Okanagan swimmers made a major splash in the pool, winning 11 medals at the Summer Games.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Kelowna's Pierson Piche swam to five B.C. Games medals.Pierson Piche led the way with five medals — three silver (200 individual medley, 50 free, 1500 free) and two bronze (200 freestyle, 200 backstroke).

Kelowna-West Kelowna Integrated Club (KWIC) teammate, Megan Corrigan, swam to a pair of Summer Games gold medals, winning the 200-metre breaststroke in 2:44.01 and the 100 breast (1:14.63).

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Megan Corrigan of Kelowna and KWIC earned a pair of B.C. Games gold medals.Abigail Jerome contributed four medals to the Zone 2 collection. She won the 100-metre butterfly in 1:06.34 while swimming to silver in the 100 free (1:01.31) and the 50 free (28.38) while claiming bronze in the 200 free (2:15.53).

Danill Savelev added a silver medal for the Thompson-Okanagan in the boys 200-metre freestyle event with a clocking of 2:05.83 and chipped in with a bronze in the 100 free (56.86).

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Abigail Jerome of Kelowna returned from the Games with four medals.West Kelowna’s Flyn Huber swam to a silver medal in the 400-metre IM in a time of 5:06.37.

Basketball (boys)

Thompson-Okanagan teams came through with one of their best collective performances in Summer Games history by claiming gold in three events.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>The Zone 2 boys basketball team swept five straight games on the way to a B.C. Games gold medal. Members of the team are, from left: Darren Semeniuk (head coach), Cole Koop, Drew Williams, Finn Rodwell, Brady Semeniuk, Parker Fleming, Jai Saini, Nathan Loo, Aiden Currie, Athan Smith, Everett Schmuland, Sid Koop (assistant coach).The 5-on-5 boys basketball team, made up of players 13 and 14 years old, went undefeated in five games en route to a gold medal, defeating Vancouver Coastal (Zone 5) 70-44 in the championship game.

The Zone 2 team, also winners of a pre-Games tournament in Vancouver and considered a favourite to win gold in Cowichan, earned a berth in the title match by defeating Fraser Valley (Zone 4) 49-38 in their semifinal matchup.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Zone 2 boys basketball team and family of supporters.In pool play, the Thompson-Okanagan breezed to an 86-25 victory over North West, while defeating Vancouver Coastal 78-45 and Vancouver Island-Central Coast 74-33.

Members of the team — coached by Darren Semeniuk of Kelowna and Sid Koop of Vernon — from the Central Okanagan are Parker Fleming (Kelowna Christian School), Cole Koop (KCS), Nathan Loo (Okanagan Mission Secondary), Jainoor Saini (Dr. Knox), Everett Schmuland (OKM), Brady Semeniuk (KLO), Drew Williams (Const. Neil Bruce) and Aiden Currie (KLO). Rounding out the team are Finn Rodwell of Salmon Arm and Athan Smith of Summerland.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Thumbs-up performance by Zone 2 boys basketball team and Coach Koop.Coach Koop said the gold-medal performance was truly a team effort.

“Each of the boys gave significant contributions in unique ways throughout the weekend,” he said. “We were very fortunate to have Darren (Semeniuk) as the head coach as he implemented an unselfish style of play that was based on speed, ball movement, attacking offence and aggressive defence. The boys embraced it and excelled while making it very difficult for opposing teams to match up against us.”

Koop, who said the Games were a “fantastic experience and one they wouldn’t soon forget”, added that the boys carried themselves with good character, both on and off the court.

“They are all young men who the community should be truly proud of.”

As a bonus for the Zone 2 teams, all of the players’ parents were able to attend with siblings and other family members to watch the games, providing the strongest fan base in the Games tournament.

Basketball (girls)

Butterflies got the better of the Zone 2 girls basketball team early in the B.C. Games championship game, but the Thompson-Okanagan squad spread its wings like eagles down the stretch for the gold medal.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>The Thompson-Okanagan (Zone 2) team won four straight games en route to a a B.C. Games gold medal. Members of the team are, from left, front: Denae Skelton, Jorja Catt, Kennedy Day and Tatum Wade. Back: Jordyn Cullum (coach), Phoebe Molgat, Kaitlyn Budgen, Jada Deol, Kalie Saari, Stella LaGrange, Elana Corrado and Warren Cullum (coach). Trailing 21-17 at the half, the Zone team — including Central Okanagan players Elana Corrado, Kennedy Day, Stella LaGrange, Phoebe Molgat and Tatum Wade of Kelowna and Danae Skelton of West Kelowna — put its mainstay-defence on full display by holding Fraser Valley to just two points in the third quarter (17-2) on the way to a 41-30 gold-medal victory.

The Thompson-Okanagan reps earned a berth in the final by defeating Fraser Valley Delta 52-33 in a semifinal after opening with pool-play victories over Vancouver Island (51-25) and Fraser Valley (37-28).

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Smiles all around after gold-medal victory.Coach Warren Cullum said he couldn’t have asked for more from his young team.

“What a fantastic weekend. Every game felt like a final,” said Callum of Vernon. “The girls never quit despite a couple of slow starts and they used their superior intelligence to come out on top. I can only wish this strong group nothing but the best moving forward.”

Volleyball

Thompson-Okanagan boys volleyball team, including nine players from the Central Okanagan, returned from Vancouver Island with a bronze medal.

The boys came to play on Sunday in the bronze-medal match against a solid team from Zone 6 Vancouver Island-Central Coast, winning 2-0 (25-22, 25-16).

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Zone 2 bronze-medal winners in boys volleyball: From left, front: Alex Witt, Jake Bartels, Sebastien Manuel, Adam Einarson, Jado Krahn, Kiran Grewal. Back: Jeremy Finn (coach), Bennett Witt, Levi VanderDeen, Quinn Pitcher, Josh Hall, Jacob Defeo, Colby Yurkiw, Austin Duff and Mike Smith (coach).After going 3-0 in pool play, Zone 2 earned an automatic berth to the semifinals versus Vancouver-Coastal on Saturday morning. In a match that went right down to the wire, the Zone 2 boys came up just a bit short, losing in the third and deciding set 15-12.

But a day later, Zone 2 needed no extra motivation and played its best match of the weekend, dominating in the battle for bronze. Coaches Jeremy Finn (Kelowna) and Mike Smith (Kamloops) stuck to their original game plan and did a great job of getting contributions out of every player on the roster in the match.

Coach Smith was reflective at the end of the event:

“This performance today is a testament to the character of this group of young men. After losing a close-fought semifinal, they definitely came into today’s match with a mission to bring home some hardware. We couldn’t be more proud of how each and every one of them played throughout the competition”.

Sailing, Wakeboarding

Two more Zone 2 medal performances were turned in by Central Okanagan sailors Katherine Littleton (silver) and Mackenzie Littleton (bronze) in girls laser radial.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>A pair of wakeboarders from the Kelowna area earned medals for Zone 2. Max Gainey took the silver in the boys 10-13 wakeskate and Courtney MacDonald was a bronze-medal winner in the girls 14-17 wakeskate.

Lacrosse, Baseball, Softball

Four Central Okanagan box lacrosse players — Bradley Swecera, Dexx Belanger, Colin MacGregor and Blake Spragg, all of Kelowna — contributed to a Zone 2 silver medal at the Games.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>B.C. Games bronze for Zone 2 baseball team that included the Central Okanagan's Lane Hojnocki, Dominic Delisle, Luke Petrie, Dawson Head, Barrett Froehler and Aidan Malish.The Zone 2 team earned a bronze medal in field lacrosse with West Kelowna athletes, Aidan Hogarth and Chase Shiavon playing a part, along with Kegan Cochrane and Joshua Yachney of Lake Country.

And the bronze-medal Zone 2 baseball team included six members of the Okanagan Athletics — Barrett Froehler, Dawson Head, Lane Hojnocki, Aidan Malish, Dominic Delisle and Luke Petrie. Cade Webber and Jaydon Wielders play for the COMBA Sun Devils.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Summer Games </who>Josh McKenzie of West Kelowna helped the Thompson-Okanagan claim a silver medal in boys softball.

The Zone 2 girls softball team captured a silver medal, with seven players from Kelowna (Catrina Hedin, Daisy Welbourne, Mallory Sader, Myah Gallie, Ona Szadiak, Payton Joyce, Sheyanne Lawrence and Toria Kover), one from West Kelowna (Samantha Cruickshank) and other from Peachland (Tiana Elliott).

Soccer

The Thompson-Okanagan boys soccer team won its second straight B.C. Summer Games gold medal by winning three of four games and tying one.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>Eight members of the Kelowna United Heat were part of the Zone 2 B.C. Games gold-medal team. With coach Chris Newitt, centre, are, from left: Davis Bone, Grady Thompson, Max Therrien, Gene Purdie, Ethan De Kruif, Kaden Kiewitz, Kael Murphy and Ethan Ramchuk.A 2-1 victory in the title match over Fraser Valley capped the Games weekend. Hayden Kopps of Kamloops scored both goals.

The Zone 2 representatives earned a berth in the championship game by virtue of two round-robin wins — over North West (9-0) and Fraser Valley (3-1) — and a tie with Vancouver Island (2-2).

Eight members of the Kelowna United Junior Heat contributed to the gold-medal performance, including Max Therrien, Ethan Ramchuk, Gene Purdie, Kael Murphy, Kaden Kiewitz, Ethan De Kruif, Davis Bone and Grady Thompson. Brett Gautschi of West Kelowna is also a member of the team.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed </who>



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