Spirit shines over winning during Senior Games

Penticton’s Mike Townley represented Penticton and the Okanagan-Similkameen zone during the B.C. Senior Games while winning two gold medals and a bronze.

This South Okanagan runner gets into some trouble against the Fraser Valley during women’s slo pitch action at the B.C. Senior Games.

This South Okanagan runner gets into some trouble against the Fraser Valley during women’s slo pitch action at the B.C. Senior Games.

Penticton’s Mike Townley represented Penticton and the Okanagan-Similkameen zone during the B.C. Senior Games while winning two gold medals and a bronze.

Townley was among 62 athletes from Penticton who competed in the Senior Games, which were held in Trail, Castlegar and Nelson from Aug. 16 to 20. Despite participating with an upper hamstring injury, Townley said he couldn’t complain with his results.

“Triple jump I won quite easily,” he said. “The high jump (1.36 metres) I won quite easily and created a new B.C. record for my age group.

Townley credited his experience in track and field as the competitive edge over his opponents. Townley, who also coaches master’s athletes in Penticton, trained for four months, cycles a lot and enjoys hiking.

Townley enjoyed the atmosphere of the Games in the Kootenays and said everybody claps for athletes whether they are the “best or worst.”

“Focus is on participation and healthy living,” he said.

Also performing well in track and field for Penticton were Merle Irvine and John Nicolson. Irvine won gold in the discus (12.53 metres), shot put (5.83 m) and javelin (9.95 m) and collected silver in the long jump (1.36 m). Nicolson won three silver medals in the javelin (19.83 m), weight throw (9.01) and the weight pentathlon. Nicolson also earned bronze in the shot put (7.38) and discus (19.67).

In archery, Ed Ford won silver in the men’s 55 to 59 3-D target shoot scoring a 369, then earned bronze in the target shoot scoring 1250. On the greens, Gail Johnson earned a silver medal in the women’s 70 to 74 age group scoring 189 for gross score category.

Nick Culic won gold in the 55-plus class C for horseshoes, while Ted Turner took gold in the class B for 65-plus and Bill Brussee won gold in the 65-plus in class E. Laura Williams won silver in the 65-plus age group for class E.

Mary Rudd made a splash in the pool taking silver in the 400-metre freestyle and the 800-m freestyle and won bronze in the freestyle.

Rudd said she was pleased with her performance, as she’s not a sprinter for the shorter events.

“They were really good,” said Rudd of the Senior Games. “The weather was fabulous. Facilities were nice. Just the spirit of the Games was good. Everybody put the emphasis on participation rather than winning.”

Rudd added she was amazed at the age of some participants and how well they did.

“One was 91 and just giving it,” she said.

In total, the Okanagan-Similkameen zone finished fifth in the medal count with 163, 71 being gold. Placing in the top three for medals were the Fraser Valley with 265 medals, then the West Kootenay Boundary with 240 and the Lower Mainland with 238.

Penticton has put in a bid to host the 2014 Games, not in 2012 as originally reported.

Other results from the south Okanagan are as follows:

Osoyoos’ Jennifer Hoen earned a silver medal in the cycling time trial at the novice level.

Representing Oliver, Bob McKay (60 to 64) won gold in the high jump, the weight pentathlon and hammer throw in track and field, while collecting silver in the shot put and javelin.

McKay also won bronze in the weight throw. Larry Chalmers won gold medals in the long jump and triple jump, then added silver in the 100-metre run, hammer throw and weight pentathlon. In archery, Ron Ostermeier (60 to 64) won gold medals in the 3-D target shoot and target shoot compound with sight and release. Mary Ostermeier (60 to 64) won gold in the target shoot and silver in the 3-D target shoot.

From Okanagan Falls Betty Pilon won a silver medal in darts.

Also, Naramata’s Kicki Allander earned two bronze medals in the pentathlon and long jump event.