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Alberta Sport Connection
ALBERTA REMAINS STRONG ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF COMPETITION AT CANADA GAMES
Canoe-Kayak adds two medals; Swimming earns eight medals; team sports continue to excel
(Winnipeg, MB) Alberta added a gold and a bronze medal in Canoe-Kayak, as well as eight medals in swimming on the eighth day of competition at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, MB.
The swimming action continued at the Pan Am Pool, and Alberta had a great night with two gold, five silver, and one bronze medal.
In team sports, women’s volleyball remains undefeated after three matches, while the men’s lost a tightly contested match against Ontario. Softball split a double header in today’s action to bring their record to 3-1 after two days of competition. Soccer secured a spot in the quarter-final with a 1-0 win against Prince Edward Island.
Alberta’s medal tally is now at 48 (10-20-18) sitting in fourth place in the standings. Ontario remains on top of the standings with 122 medals. Quebec (82) had a strong day to move into second place, surpassing British Columbia (77) in the standings.
GOLD AND BRONZE MEDALS FOR ALBERTA IN CANOE-KAYAK
In ideal paddling conditions on the Red River, Brady Garcia of Calgary, AB won his third medal of these games, this time a gold medal in the Men’s C2 500m with partner Gavin Jaeger-Freeborn also of Calgary.
In the final race, Garcia and Jaeger-Freeborn edged their rivals from Quebec at the finish line, stopping the clock at 1:44.767, just a second ahead of the silver medallists.
“It feels great to win the gold medal. It’s nice to see and hear my parents, teammates, and friends cheer for us. We’ve been working hard, and it’s paying off,” said Jaeger-Freeborn.
Added Garcia: “We were really confident. We knew that it wouldn’t be easy as the other crews are super strong. We have had success in this race before. We trusted each other to go all out, and it worked out.”
Garcia and Jaeger-Freeborn have two different skillsets, with Garcia having more power on the shorter distance and Jaeger-Freeborn performing better in the longer endurance race.
“We have been together for a long time. We have learned to build on each other’s advantages and strengths. We work together as a team instead of making up for our weaknesses. We try to focus on our strengths and work together. The 500m is a perfect distance for us,” explained Jaeger-Freeborn.
On Monday, the pair won the silver medal in the Men’s C1000m, while Garcia earned the bronze in the individual Men’s C1 500m.
In the women’s K1 1000m, Jane Girgulis took home the bronze medal by posting a time of 4:12.40, less than two seconds off the silver medal time, to earn her second medal of these Games.
“I’m really excited. It’s been a really long journey. It’s my fifth year in the sport, and my second experience at the Canada Games,” shared Girgulis after her race. “I have a lot more experience this time around and felt more prepared. I carried over a lot of confidence coming into these games. In Sherbrooke, I was really nervous competing at my first national competition. Here in Winnipeg, I am more confident in my abilities and more relaxed which is really helpful.”
ALBERTA SWIMMERS ADD EIGHT MEDALS TO TALLY
The swimmer had a stellar night in the waters of the refurbished Pan-Am Pool, winning two gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze medal for a total of eight.
In the women’s 50m Breaststroke event, Alberta had two swimmers on the podium with Avery Wiseman of Drayton Valley taking the gold medal and Pilar McCann of Edmonton earning the bronze medal.
Wiseman, 15, currently holds the Alberta records for 50m, 100m, 200m short course Breaststroke for 14-year-old swimmers, and the Alberta records for 50m and 100m long course Breaststroke for 15-year-olds.
Cole Pratt of Calgary won the gold medal in the 200m butterfly race by stopping the clock at 2:03.42. In doing so, Pratt set the new Canadian National Age Group (13-14 boys) record in the event. Later in the evening, Pratt secured his second medal of the night, silver in the 100m freestyle event with a time of 52.66s.
The 14-year-old athlete training at the Cascade Swim Club is racing against competitors that are in the 15-16 years old category.
Pratt’s father is the public announcer at the Pan Am Pool for the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
Wesley Wilks of Didsbury swam to a silver medal in the 50m Breastroke Special Olympics, and another silver medal in the 100m Freestyle Special Olympics.
Emma O’Croinin of Edmonton won her second medal of these Games, this time coming in the 400m Individual Medley race. She posted a time of 4:59.20 for the silver medal. Yesterday, she captured a gold medal.
Finlay Knox of Okotoks also won the silver medal for Alberta in the men’s 400m individual medley event, stopping the clock at 4:32.86, lowering his personal best time in the event by more than three seconds.
Knox, who trains with the Foothills Stingrays Swim Club, was born in the United Kingdom, lived in New Zealand for five years and lived in Canada for nine years. The 16-year-old holds passports for all three countries.
Swimming resumes tomorrow.
WOMEN SOFTBALL SPLITS DOUBLE HEADER, MAINTAINS 3-1 RECORD
The women of softball began to split their double header on the second day of competition at the John Blumberg Softball Complex.
Facing the powerful team from Ontario in the morning draw, the ladies dropped their match 4-1 in a tightly contested battle. It took three innings to see the first run of the game when Ontario scored three runs in the third.
Later in the day, facing Saskatchewan, Alberta posted a strong fifth inning scoring five runs to come away with the win. Saskatchewan was first to get on the scoreboard with three runs in the opening inning, adding a single run in the second. Trailing 4-0 after two innings, Alberta’s offense kicked into gear, scoring three runs in the third inning, and an impressive five runs in the sixth inning to take the lead.
With a three-run lead, the defense acted to protect the lead and take the 8-4 victory after seven innings of intense softball. Morgan Rackel was the winning pitcher, while Becki Monaghan, Jade Lee and Keelee Huff each had two RBIs in the Alberta win.
After four games played, five Alberta players have a batting average over .400 with Briar Balas leading the charge with four hits in nine appearances at the plate and two RBIs.
The softball ladies will face the very powerful team from Ontario tomorrow in pool action. Ontario sits first with a record of 4-0 alongside British Columbia, having allowed only three runs with two shutouts on opening day.
WINS FOR BOTH INDOOR VOLLEYBALL TEAMS
The volleyball competition continued for a second straight day, and Alberta remains undefeated in the women’s pool, leading the charge with a 3-0 record.
Facing the team from Quebec at the Investors Group Athletic Center located at the University of Manitoba, it took the maximum five sets to decide the outcome of the game. Alberta started in force winning the opening two sets (25-21, 25-18). However, Quebec bounced back with two sets of their own (25-23, 25-22), forcing the fifth and ultimate set.
In an intense matchup, the troops of Christine Smyth rallied together and won the 15-11 to take the victory.
Alberta will face two strong teams in New Brunswick (2-1) on Wednesday and Ontario (3-0) on Thursday to close out the tournament prior to the next round.
The men’s team played twice on this second day of the volleyball competition. Alberta easily won their match against the Northwest Territories in three straight sets (25-8, 25-10, 25-13) before facing off against the strong Ontario Team.
Both Alberta and Ontario arrived with a similar record of 2-0, to decide the top position of the group.
Alberta started strong with a tightly contested first set win (30-28) in extra points. Ontario responded and won the next three sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-23) to take the victory and take sole possession of the top seed in the pool.
Sitting at the second place of their pool after three matches, Alberta, with a record of 2-1, will face New Brunswick (1-2) and the host province of Manitoba (2-1) on Wednesday.
UNDER THE TELEVISION LIGHTS, ALBERTA SOCCER WINS AGAINST PEI
In a game that was televised by TSN as part of the Canada Games broadcast, Team Alberta soccer faced off against PEI. Alberta controlled the ball throughout the game, spending the vast majority of the match in the attacking zone.
It took 36 minutes for Alberta to break the ice and score their first goal of the tournament, which came courtesy of striker Sam Gagne of Airdrie who plays for Calgary Foothills.
The second half remained scoreless despite multiple goal scoring opportunities for Alberta, facing a strong goaltender and a determined defensive unit from their opponents.
With PEI eliminated from the tournament showing two losses in the three-game round robin, Alberta will advance at the minimum to the quarterfinals.
Tomorrow evening, Alberta will face Ontario in what is expected to be a tightly contested matchup.
GOLFERS BEGIN THEIR COMPETITION
In the men’s golf tournament at the Southwood Community Golf Course, Kai Iguchi of Banff currently sits in fifth place of the leaderboard with a round of 71 strokes, trailing the leader Christopher Charles Vendette of Quebec sitting at 67 after the first of four rounds. Ethan Choi of Pincher Creek currently sits in 14th place with 75 strokes while Calgary’s Max Murchison scored 78 in the first round of the tournament.
Alberta is in fourth place of the Men’s Team event with a score of 146, which is led by Quebec sitting at 138 strokes.
Taylor Stone shot a round of 80, closely followed by her teammate Annabelle Ackroyd with a round of 81 while Sharmaine Rapisura took 86 strokes to kick off the women’s golf tournament on Tuesday. Alberta is sitting in eighth place in the Women’s Team event.
TENNIS OFF TO A STRONG START; BIG DAY EXPECTED TOMORROW
Alberta faced off against New Brunswick in the Team Mix event on Monday and easily took on their opponent with a 6-0 victory in quarterfinals to advance to the semifinal, slated for Wednesday.
In Singles action, sixth-seeded Cleeve Harper of Calgary will face off against Nicaise Muamba of Quebec, ranked second, in men’s quarterfinal action tomorrow. In the women’s Singles competition, Ashleigh Jacobs of Calgary seeded sixth, will face off against Sophia Ho, seeded fourth, of British Columbia.
The ladies Doubles team of Karin Hamilton and Emma Rutherford, both of Calgary, will face off against Nova Scotia in tomorrow’s quarterfinal. Tyler Sinclair and Shourya Verma, also both of Calgary, will face Saskatchewan in the men’s Doubles quarterfinal, also scheduled for tomorrow.
TIME TRIALS KICK OFF CYCLING COMPETITION
At Birds Hill Provincial Park, the cyclists raced their first event of the Games with the grueling individual time trial. Anna Talman was Alberta’s top placing with a ninth place of the women’s race. Gabby Traxler, Eva Poidevin, and Abbey McGill finished 11, 18th and 21st respectively.
In the men’s time trial, Ethan Palamarek also finished ninth as Alberta’s top placing. Hayden Mayeur finished in 18th position, while Connor Toppings placed 20th followed by Jake Gaucher in 24th place. Marc Dupuis was 28th.
The women’s road race is scheduled Wednesday while the men’s will tackle their road race on Thursday.
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