Special Olympians shine

Sixteen Penticton athletes won 33 medals at the Special Olympics BC Summer Games held in Langley July 11 to 14.

PENTICTON’S SPECIAL OLYMPICS athletes returned from the Summer Games in Langley with 33 medals. Back row

PENTICTON’S SPECIAL OLYMPICS athletes returned from the Summer Games in Langley with 33 medals. Back row

Sixteen Penticton athletes won 33 medals at the Special Olympics BC Summer Games held in Langley July 11 to 14.

The athletes competed in 5-pin 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.”

That next step is the national games in Vancouver next summer. The athletes will have to wait until September to know if they qualified.

Below is a list of the categories each athlete won in:

Five-pin bowling: Mackenzie Walker  won gold for team high and highest pins over average; Alfred Wiltse  earned a silver for team high.

10-pin bowling: Jake Huff, Tyler Zanatta, David McPherson and Jesse Frigon won gold for overall team competition.   Huff and Zanatta also won gold in the doubles category, division two and 4 singles. McPherson earned bronze in the division five singles category.

Bocce: Kevin Ellis and Ariel Eastland won gold in the A event, while Chad Conlon, Lynden Hicks and Margaret Burnell won gold in the B event.

Aquatics: Angela Klein, won gold in the 25-metre freestyle and earned two silver and a bronze in the 50-m backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, respectively. Avery Newton won gold in the 100-m butterfly and earned silver in the 200-m freestyle as well as gold and bronze in the 50-m butterfly and freestyle, respectively. Newton will also compete with Team B.C. in the Canada Summer Games hosted by Sherbrooke, Que. Aug. 2 to 17. Amanda Schleppe won gold, silver and bronze in the 100-m backstroke, breaststroke and individual medley, respectively. Larry Cavenaile claimed gold in the 25-m backstroke, freestyle and 50-m backstroke and bronze in the 50-m freestyle. Cam Stoddart earned silver and two bronze in the 25-m butterfly, freestyle and backstroke and added silver in the 50-m backstroke.

Hazel said what the athletes accomplished is wonderful. Should some advance to nationals and have success, the next step is the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles.

“That would be really sweet if they could go,” said Hazel, who was joined by fellow coaches Dona Cade, Ray Huson, Marlene Keen and Fae Hodgins. “We’re proud of every one of them. It’s very exciting for us.”