Rhys MacDonald (at left) closes in on an opposing player during action at the B.C. Summer Games, held in Cowichan July 19-22. Photo courtesy of the B.C. Games

Rhys MacDonald (at left) closes in on an opposing player during action at the B.C. Summer Games, held in Cowichan July 19-22. Photo courtesy of the B.C. Games

South Okanagan athletes shine at B.C. Summer Games

Penticton and area athletes bring home medals from B.C. Summer Games

South Okanagan-Similkameen athletes came home with of heavy load of medals from the 2018 Cowichan B.C. Summer Games, which took place July 19-22.

Marc Peron (Keremeos), Connor Moore (Penticton) and Brett Gautschi (West Kelowna/plays for Penticton Pinnacles) were on the gold medal winning boys soccer team defeating, Fraser River (Zone 4) in the final match.

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Zone 2 kicked off the Games with a tie (2-2) against the Vancouver Island-Central Coast team. Later that day, they defeated Fraser Valley 3-1. Thompson-Okanagan then shutout North West 5-0 and added another win to their 3-0-1 record to round out the preliminary round.

Halle McKinnon and Brooke Hall-Eckes (both from Penticton) were part of the Zone 2 girls softball team that came home with a silver medal.

Hall-Eckes pushed her team to the gold medal game with a walk off in the eighth inning to win the semifinal.

Related: Local athletes prepare for B.C. Summer Games

“I started calling her ‘the mechanic’ because she was just so clutch with her hitting. In the semifinal it was just a great hit, straight up the middle allowing us to score the game winning run,” said Zone 2 coach Michelle Webster.

A pitching duel in the final was finally broken between Vancouver-Coastal (Zone 5) and Zone 2 in the sixth inning.

“Oh man, it was a dogfight right to the end,” said Webster. “We had a couple of games where our defence was on point and the girls showed up to play for sure that day. With all the excitement in the semifinal the day before, and having to get up at 5 a.m., I wasn’t sure if we would run out of gas, but oh man did they show up. They did a really great job.”

Zone 2 held a 1-0 lead for a majority of the game, but left players stranded on the loaded bases twice, opened a window for Zone 5. In the fourth inning, with another bases loaded situation, Zone 5 managed to bring in a run to knot the game 1-1.

It wasn’t until the sixth inning, with the bases loaded once again for Zone 5, that they drove in the winning runs to take the gold medal 7-1.

The Thompson-Okanagan (Zone 2) baseball team, which includes Ryan Paulhus (Naramata), Adrian Orioli (Okanagan Falls), Dominic Delisle-Lavoie (Penticton), won a bronze medal.

The Zone 2 squad defeated Vancouver Island (3-2), Cariboo North East (14-0), Kootenays (9-2) in the preliminary round. In a tight playoff round game Zone 2 were ousted by Vancouver Coastal 2-1 putting them in the bronze medal game where they shutout Fraser River 4-0.

Keegan Allen (Penticton), Finn Halladay (Naramata), Ethan Konno (Penticton), Rhys MacDonald (Penticton) and Spencer Watkinson (Penticton) all brought home a silver medal with the boys Zone 2 box lacrosse team. They were coached by Dell Halladay (Naramata).

In the medal match, Vancouver Island-Central Coast (Zone 6) started with an explosive first period of offence that gave them a 7-1 lead over the Zone 2 squad. However, they weren’t ready to rollover and ended up cutting the lead 8-4 midway through the second, thanks to an effective powerplay.

In a physical third period, Zone 2 tried to mount a comeback but it wasn’t enough to overcome their early deficit. Zone 6 netted the gold medal with a 10-5 win.

Zone 2 was flawless through the preliminary round with a 3-0 record with wins over the Kootenays, Team Indigenous and the Fraser Valley.

Related: Video – a look back at the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

The Zone 2 field lacrosse team, which included Devin Cole and Chay Gettens (both from Penticton) won a bronze medal at the Games.

They bounced back from a 11-1 loss to Fraser Valley in their opening match of the Games to meet them in the bronze final. This time around Zone 2 was on the winning side, defeating Fraser Valley 10-8 earning them the bronze medal.

Swimmer Alice Wang (Penticton) was part of the Zone 2 bronze winning girls 4×50 metre free relay. Also in the pool, Liam Wallich (Kaleden) faired well bringing home three medals. He took a bronze in the boys 4×50 metre medley relay, gold in the boys 100 m breaststroke and gold in the boys 200 m breaststroke.

Matt Pinsonnealt (Penticton) finished with a bronze medal in towed water sports (boys 10-13 year slalom).

Summerland’s Athan Smith won gold with the Zone 2 boys basketball team defeating Vancouver-Coastal (Zone 5) 41-30. Smith helped his team to a perfect 4-0 record at the Games.

Tayla Ingram (Summerland) came home with four silver medals. She finished with a time of 47:32.9 in the girls super sprint triathlon, 19:57.8 in the girls duathlon and 9:47.7 in the girls aquathlon. In the girls F1 triathlon, she finished with a time of 15:16.

— With files and results from the B.C. Games


Kristi Patton | Editor

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