Athlete has a whale of a weekend

Games Notes

Angus Taylor had himself a whale of a weekend at the Western Canada Summer Games, and then he rushed back home to Richmond in time for work this morning.

Taylor, 21, won three medals in athletics at the Games, which continue today and run through Sunday at venues around Kamloops. The track and field competition is based at Hillside Stadium.

Included in Taylor's medal haul were two Saturday golds - in discus and hammer throw - and a Sunday bronze in the shot put. Soon after throwing 12.98 metres in the shot, he rushed back to Richmond so he could get up early to do some construction work with his dad.

He had a great weekend, and was glad to take home a medal in the shot put, which is far from his No. 1 event.

"It was nice, I was close to (personal-bests) in all of my events," said the U of Washington student-athlete. "Shot put, I haven't thrown it competitively for five years, and I haven't trained for it in a long time. This was just for fun."

Taylor hit 59.71m in the hammer throw, nearly six metres longer than that of silver medalist Ryan Tarnava of Alberta, who hit 53.81m on his final throw.

His toss in the discus, 46.12m, was a Games record. Again, it's not his No. 1 event.

"Hammer's my main event, I mostly train for that," he said. "Discus is a close second. I used to take discus more seriously, then I went to college and switched up - I'm not 6-foot-5, so it's harder to keep up with those big guys."

Taylor, who has one year of eligibility remaining at Washington, has been contending in the NCAA's Pac 10 conference.

"The NCAA's a little harder - most guys are older," Taylor said. "This year in the Pac 10, I came fifth, and the Pac 10 is generally a stacked conference."

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B.C.'s first medal was won by Victoria's Hilary Wille in the women's sprint triathlon at Lac le Jeune on Saturday morning.

Wille, 18, dominated the race, featuring a 750m swim, a 20km bike and a 5km run, finishing in one hour seven minutes 31 seconds. She wound up nearly three minutes ahead of Saskatoon's Gabrielle Edwards, who picked up silver in a time of 1:10:14.

Wille had the fastest swim (9:31) and bike (36:19) and was third in the run (20:42).

The medal was the first in the history of WCSG triathlon, which is a new event.

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Wille's victory kicked off an impressive day for Victoria triathletes.

Megan Kinghorn, a 15-year-old Victorian, won bronze in Saturday's sprint, finishing in 1:11:13.

In the boys' sprint, the top two spots went to Victoria triathletes.

Lehm Maguire, 16, won the boys gold in 1:01:56, with Connor Foreman, 17, second in 1:02:31.

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Amber Holland is in town as part of Team Saskatchewan's mission staff.

Holland, who won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts national women's curling championship in Charlottetown earlier this year, is listed on Team Saskatchewan's website as a staffer for canoe/kayak and women's soccer.

Holland, Kim Schneider, Tammy Schneider and Heather Kalenchuk beat Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones in the final at the Scotties in February. The Holland rink picked up silver at the world championship in Esbjerg, Denmark, in March, after losing to Sweden's Anette Norberg in the final.

Team Sask has 18 people on its mission staff.

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Another familiar face you might see at the Games this week is that of Tracey Bilsky.

Bilsky, who is on Team Yukon's mission staff, was the athletic director for the UCC Sun Demons - now the TRU WolfPack - from 1995 until 2003.

She is helping with Yukon's athletics team, which started competition Saturday.

* * *

The Therrien family of Victoria had a solid day at Hillside Stadium on Saturday.

Brittany Therrien, 21, finished third in the women's 1,500m at Hillside Stadium, crossing the line in 4:30.04.

Her brother, Cody, 19, was second in the men's 1,500m thanks to a time of 4:02.43.

On Team B.C.'s website, Cody Therrien lists Gary Reed of Kamloops as a "role model/the person who had the greatest impact on you." Reed, who now lives in Victoria, is a former Canadian 800m champion who finished second at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan, and fourth at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

* * *

Not long after Cody Therrien crossed the finish line, a pair of Albertans tied for third in the 1,500m.

Jackson Bocksnick of Lethbridge and Cole Peterson of Edmonton each received a bronze medal after tying at 4:04.32.

For the record, Sam Vincent of Winnipeg picked up Manitoba's lone Saturday gold in that race, winning in 4:01.30.

* * *

On the subject of families, it was a great big family affair at Shumway Lake on Sunday.

Matthew and Mykel Kowaluk won medals about 15 minutes apart. Matthew, 15, helped the C4 men (four-man canoe) to a silver medal in the 1,000m final, and Mykel, 17, paddled to gold in the men's K4 1,000m.

Mykel was joined in the kayak by Cooper Reis, Liam McKinnon and Simon Fense, while Matthew teamed up with Curtis Laplante, Tyler Lefley and Christian de Jager.

Laplante, 18, got to climb the podium ahead of his sister, Alexis, 15, who helped the Saskatchewan C4 women to gold in the 1,000m final. Both Laplantes are from Regina.

Joining Alexis in the winning boat were sisters Gina and Amy Soparlo and Jenna Berenbaum.

A brother-sister team from Winnipeg helped Manitoba win a pair of Sunday medals at Shumway.

Nadya Crossman-Serb teamed up with Kara Hummelt, Stephanie Lowrie and Ashley Grose to win silver in the women's C4 1,000m.

Her brother, Mohamed, was on the Manitoba team that was third in the men's C4 1,000m, along with Tom Sherwin, Brandon Stamm and Jordan Smallwood.

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca

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