Western News Staff
While a new year of sports is set to begin, lets take a look at some of the great achievements by some athletes and teams in Penticton and the surrounding area with the honour roll.
Penticton’s Andi Naude won the most coveted prize for mogul rookies, the FIS Rookie of the Year award in March. Naude’s Canadian national team coach Marc Andre Moreau said looking at the past, all the big athletes who have had success won that trophy. “It’s kind of a big thing for them,” said Moreau. The former Apex Freestyle Club member said she was amazed by the recognition and honoured to get it. “It’s just an amazing feeling,” said Naude.
Penticton Vees forward Wade Murphy torched the Coquitlam Express on Feb. 6 for two goals and seven points. Prior to that game, the Victoria native’s career high was five points with his hometown Victoria Grizzlies. “Everything was going my way. That was one of the best games I’ve played in a Vees uniform that’s for sure,” said Murphy, who helped the Vees win the game 11-0. Also in February, Louie Nanne torched a goalie for four goals, something he had not done since his minor hockey days. “Things just started to click on Saturday and I started taking more shots, which the coaches have pressured me to do,” said Nanne of his feat. “I was two-way minded but my offensive mindset was just really going I guess. The coaches are always telling me I have a decent shot so why not take it.”
From eighth to second, that’s how the South Okanagan Minor Baseball Association Tigers finished their under-18 midget AAA season. The Tigers lost 11-2 to the Cloverdale Spurs in the provincial championship game in August. Tigers coach Junior Deleon said despite the score, it was one of their best games at the plate as they collected 13 hits.
Kiana Casavant helped Team B.C. win its first junior female national lacrosse championship. Casavant, who played for the Penticton Heat midget lacrosse team last season, said strong team chemistry and great coaching were factors in their championship win in Halifax, NS. during the Female National Box Lacrosse Championship held July 23 to 28. B.C. defeated Ontario 12-4 to claim national glory. “It was an awesome celebration,” said Casavant, 16, the youngest member of the team. B.C. finished the national tournament with a perfect 5-0 record. Casavant finished with one goal and three assists in five games.
Sixteen Special Olympics athletes won 33 medals at the Special Olympics B.C. Summer Games held in Langley July 11 to 14. The athletes competed in 5- and 10-pin bowling, bocce and aquatics. Mona Hazel, who coached 10-pin bowling for Region 2, said their performances were great. “Every athlete came back with a medal,” said Hazel. “With some, it was four medals. They were all going in with the hope of getting medals to get to the next step.” Athletes coming home with medals were MacKenzie Walker, Jake Huff, Tyler Zanatta, David McPherson, Alfred Wiltse, Jesse Frigon, Kevin Ellis, Ariel Eastland, Chad Conlon, Lynden Hicks, Margaret Burnell, Angela Klein, Avery Newton, Amanda Schleppe, Larry Cavenaile and Cam Stoddart.
Penticton’s Avery Newton set a Canadian record, while Andrew Cooke enjoyed a strong performance during the CanAm Championship Para swimming in early April. Newton set a Canadian record in the 100-metre fly, which she completed in 1:52.01. “It was so awesome. Jane Bentley was really proud of me,” said Newton. “It was a really good experience. Jane is working me really hard.”
Cooke’s best performance came in the 200 individual medley in which he placed second and swam a world qualifying time. Bentley said he was disqualified because he performed his butterfly illegally. Cooke was pleased with his performance. “I think there was something like 20 Canadian records set,” said KISU super juniors/ intermediate coach Jane Bentley. “Tells you how much Canadian para swimming is improving.” The ultimate goal now is to get to Brazil for the Paralympics in three years.
Initially, Derrick Surowski thought his induction to the B.C. Baseball Roll of Honour was a prank. Then the call came from B.C. Baseball executive director David Laing. “I was in awe,” said Surowski. “It’s an absolute honour to put it mildly. I was just flabbergasted when they phoned saying I was being inducted. I’m so humbled by it all.” His journey began as a coach with Penticton Minor Baseball. During his time with PMB, Surowski served in nearly every role from coach to president. He also served as the coaches co-ordinator as well as an umpire and eventually umpire in chief.
Lucas and Kyle Hooper of the Penticton Lakers track team earned gold medals during the Nike High School Grand Prix invitational meet in Toronto from May 9 to 12. Lucas took top spot in the boys 200-metre finals and boys 400-m finals. “This was my first time winning gold and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt,” said Lucas. Kyle won gold in the high jump (1.80-m). More than 280 athletes representing 12 provinces and territories competed in the Grand Prix, now in its second year.
Megan Cumming, 15, delivered strong results for the Apex Ski Club. She earned a gold medal in the grand slalom at Rossland’s Red Mountain and bronze in the slalom event. “I thought she skied really well,” said Apex Ski Club coach Jorgen Anderson. Cumming said it was a good way to end her Kinder 2 (age 13 to 14) year. “The conditions were really nice,” she said. “The course was quite flat, which wasn’t that great. I normally tend to do better on steep runs.” Cumming won all her zone races, which helped her qualify for the B.C. Alpine High Performance Program and the B.C. team selection.
Summerland’s Greg Nield earned bronze during the 2013 World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships held at the University of Long Beach Pyramid in California May 30 through June 2. Nield won his first three matches before being stopped by Teemu Koivisto of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu Finland in the semifinal round. Nield was happy with his world championship debut performance. “I didn’t really have too much expectation. In the back of my mind, I had the goal of trying to get a medal,” said Nield. “It was just a good way of me getting more matches and more experience.” Nield won a provincial championship in 2012 and a Western Canadian Championship in 2013.
Podium finishes by Chloe Kober and Shaina Finlayson during the Canadian Junior National Freestyle Ski championship in March made Apex Freestyle Club coach Kenni Kuroda very happy. “I wasn’t expecting that at all,” said Kuroda. Kober and Finlayson placed second and third respectively in the big air event March 16. Kober scored 56, while Finlayson landed a score of 47.6. “They really put on a good show. They competed hard and got the results,” said Kuroda. “I just can’t say enough about how well they competed. It was over and above anything that I could have imagined.”
Kevin Ellis and Teneesha Coulson came back from the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea Jan. 30 to Feb. 5. with medals. Ellis took gold in cross country skiing 500-metre distance, while Coulson struck gold in alpine skiing. “I can’t believe that I beat other countries,” he said smiling. “I broke down in tears.” Coulson faced the same challenge as Ellis, in being bumped from the intermediate level to advanced in Super G alpine skiing.
Jackson Tribe of Penticton won gold for the Taneda Karate Dojo during the Canada national championship in Toronto March 15 to 17. Mike Ditson, coach for Team B.C., said Tribe, who recovered from surgery, picked the “perfect place and time for a best performance.” Tribe, a brown belt, said it felt good to perform as he against Ontario’s Max Verzunov. “I had already fought the guy before and I’d won,” said Tribe, who breezed through his first three bouts before Verzunov. “I knew it was going to be a lot harder of a fight.”