Saturday April 19, 2014

Spence family skates to personal bests; Pendrel takes gold

The Spence sisters of Kamloops had quite the weekend at the first Canada Cup event of the season.

The River City Racers trio was in Sainte-Foy, Que., for the Canada Cup, a national series in which skaters can earn points toward national and development teams.

Tori Spence, at 21, the oldest of the skating Spences, hit a personal-best time and was second in the 5,000 metres, crossing the line in seven minutes 58.27 seconds, a PB by more than 11 seconds. Tori also was fifth in the 3,000m and 12th in the 1,500m.

Josie Spence, 19, picked up a pair of medals. She was just behind Tori in the 5,000m, taking third, and also was second in the 3,000m. She also was fourth in the 1,500m.

The youngest Spence sister, 17-year-old Sara, hit four personal-best times. She was 12th in the 3,000m, hitting a PB in 5:01.62, eight seconds better than her previous best. She also was 16th in the 1,500m (2:20.14) and the 1,000m (1:32.02) and 21st in the 500m (44.59).

The Racers will be taking a few racers to a Kelowna short track interclub meet on the weekend. Calvin and Alex Forbes, along with Eric Spence, will be attending the meet, which is a qualifier for the B.C. Winter Games.

* * *

Two more spots at the provincial women’s curling championship were determined on the weekend in Kelowna.

Marla Mallett of Cloverdale and Vancouver’s Amy Gibson secured berths at the provincial championships, scheduled for Jan. 6-12 in Prince George. Gibson earned the A berth on the weekend, while Mallett secured the B entry.

There is one qualifier remaining, Dec. 13-15 in Maple Ridge, with two provincials berths up for grabs. Ten teams will compete at the provincial playdown.

Allison MacInnes of Kamloops, who skips a rink of players from around the Lower Mainland, already has qualified for provincials based on her standing in the Canadian Team Ranking System. Prince George’s Patti Knezevic also got into provincials that way, while Kelly Scott gets in by virtue of being the defending champion (four years running now).

Last month in Lake Cowichan, three Victoria rinks — skipped by Shawna Jensen, Sarah Wark and Kesa Van Osch — qualified for provincials.

The winner of the provincial championship will represent B.C. at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts national championship in Montreal from Feb. 1-9.

* * *

Chris McNeil of the Interior Grasslands Cycling Club won his second national championship in the Cyclo-Cross National Championships on the weekend.

McNeil was racing in the 30-39 age group and was joined by Martin Bojeson (fourth), Aaron Weiss (sixth) and Keith Wilson (19th).

In the Elite Women’s division, Catherine Pendrel added to her medal haul, winning gold.

In the Elite Under 23 division, Devon Moonie finished eighth.

* * *

Victoria’s Tinkler rink, including Kamloops’s Ashley Nordin, qualified for a spot in the B.C. Junior Curling Championships on the weekend.

Nordin, Brandi Tinkler (skip), Zetteh Gunner (second) and Nicky Block (lead) were among 12 junior teams that grabbed a berth in the championships, via the Coastal Playdowns at the Coquitlam Curling Centre. Nordin and Co. qualified out of the C event and will travel to the Chilliwack Curling Club for the championship, which takes place Dec. 26-31.

Kamloops’s Corryn Brown and her rink, which includes Erin Pincott (third), Samantha Fisher (second) and Sydney Fraser (lead), already qualified for the tournament. The foursome is looking to defend its B.C. title and make another appearance at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships, where it also won gold.

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