Smart, Zuccolin complete second 24-hour golfathon 

Sports briefs: Nicklaus North pros finish nearly 300 holes in support of ALS research

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF CYNTHIA BARKER / NICKLAUS NORTH - driving in the dark Nicklaus North pros Andrew Smart and Mike Zuccolin, teeing off at right, play through the night by floodlight to complete their 24-hour Golfathon for ALS.
  • Photo courtesy of Cynthia Barker / Nicklaus North
  • driving in the dark Nicklaus North pros Andrew Smart and Mike Zuccolin, teeing off at right, play through the night by floodlight to complete their 24-hour Golfathon for ALS.

Nicklaus North Golf Course pros Andrew Smart and Mike Zuccolin managed to squeeze in a few extra holes this year when completing their 24-hour Golfathon for ALS this week.

Smart and Zuccolin, who were participating in the full day of golf for the second year in a row, made it through 294 holes between Sunday and Monday, June 8 and 9, which Smart said was four more than they finished in 2013.

"It was great — a long, cold, 24 hours," said Smart, Nicklaus North's director of golf. "We just hammered along."

The duo got their day started at 6 p.m. Sunday and played through the night, outfitting carts with floodlights and hitting glow-in-the-dark balls to help guide them along the course.

"It was a really successful event," said Smart. "We had great support from our members and public."

Asked for the best strategy to make it through the full 24-hour period, Smart said: "Advil and coffee."

Smart added that he and Zuccolin have nearly matched the $28,000 they raised last year to support individuals afflicted by ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Their fundraising effort is still ongoing — visit www.golfathonforals.ca if you'd like to donate.

BESTOW BEST AT 5 PEAKS RACE

Whistler's Laura Bestow was the fastest female on the 11-kilometre Enduro-distance course on Saturday, June 7, when the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series stopped at Alice Lake Provincial Park.

Bestow finished in 59:33 as the first woman to the finish line, posting the 18th-best time overall.

The top local in the men's race was Zac Gartside, as the Garibaldi Highlands resident clocked in at 58:07, in 11th place. Vancouver's Jordan Maynard (50:25) beat Maple Ridge's Mike Murphy by two seconds for top spot overall.

Several other Sea to Sky runners earned solid finishes on the Enduro-distance course Saturday. Kasper Woolley finished 35th overall, and was second in his men's 15-19 age group at 1:04:44. Claire Johnstone placed 50th overall at 1:08:20, finishing fifth in her 20-29 category, while Louise Oliver and Jeff Norman both reached the overall top 60.

Locals had strong results on the shorter Sport course, measuring slightly less than seven km. Squamish runners Ben Kwiatkowski (41:30) and Zoe Dawson (44:39) were the top two finishers overall to lead the men's and women's fields, respectively. Whistler's David Mehta was ninth among men's finishers at 51:52.

Visit www.racedaytiming.ca for full results.

The 5 Peaks series will make its annual stop in Whistler on Aug. 23.

SEA WOLVES SWIM TO TOP TIMES

Athletes with the Whistler Sea Wolves are looking to build off some strong results from earlier this month as they work towards their final meets of the season.

The local swim squad sent several athletes to the 22nd annual Kamloops June Classic, and many came home with notable placings and new personal bests.

Stephane Barnett earned fourth-place finish in both his 50-metre freestyle and backstroke races, as well as cutting 17 seconds from his previous best in the 400 free.

Jacob Spiering also shaved time off his old PBs in his 50- and 100-metre freestyle races, on top of winning the B final in his 50-metre butterfly event. Alexander Valentin had great performances in many events, highlighted by making the finals for the 100-metre breaststroke.

Ian Milley seemed to get stronger throughout the meet, making the finals of all his events and beating his heat times on each occasion. He also improved his 200-metre freestyle best time by three seconds. Eric Milley, meanwhile, came home with a bronze medal from his 50-metre backstroke race. He also eclipsed his previous best time in the 200-m backstroke race by 13 seconds.

The Milleys, Spiering and Barnett all teamed up for a third-place finish in the 13-14 boys' 4 x 50 m freestyle relay.

Kat Kranjc posted AAA-standard times in both the 50- and 100-metre fly, in addition to an eighth-place finish in her 50-metre freestyle race.

Georgia Strim was outstanding in Kamloops as well, earning a AA-standard time to go along with three third-place finishes.

Mackenzie Williamson was another Whistler swimmer to record many new best times — six of them in all — while placing top-eight in the 100-metre breaststroke. Macy Kercher also improved several times, eclipsing her old best in the 100 free event by nearly 23 seconds.

Rounding out the Whistler performances, Robyn Minton more than held her own in heats against older competitors, Oliver Strim notched five new best times, and Kieran Higgins improved his mark in both the 50 and 100 free while swimming a long course meet for the first time.

The remaining meets on the Sea Wolves' schedule are provincial championship events. Strim and Valentin have qualified for the AA provincials, running June 20 to 22 in Victoria. Ian and Eric Milley, Kranjc and Barnett are all headed to the AAA provincials, also in Victoria, July 3 to 6. Barnett has also qualified to swim during the B.C. Summer Games, hosted by Nanaimo this year, July 17 to 20.

ROBINSON RIDES TO second

Whistler's Michael Robinson showed good form at another long-distance cross-country mountain bike race last weekend, finishing as the runner-up at the Organ Grinder, an Alberta Enduro Series event in Canmore.

Held at the Canmore Nordic Centre, the five-hour, timed-lap race saw Robinson finish the loop seven times to place behind winner Shawn Bunnin. They were the only riders to complete seven laps.

WORCA CELEBRATION THIS WEEKEND

The Whistler Off Road Cycling Association will celebrate its 25 years of existence with a special race and party taking place Sunday, June 15.

It all starts with a Loonie Race, with registration starting at noon at Dusty's, and the race beginning at 12:30.

Afterwards, the party gets going back at Dusty's at 3 p.m., including a barbecue between 5 and 7 p.m. Minors are welcome until 8 p.m.

DJ Mixmaster Fab will provide tunes in the afternoon and evening, while The Blinking Fish hit the stage at 8 p.m. See www.worca.com for more details.

SUP RACE SERIES LAUNCHING

The brand new Escape Route Stand-up Paddleboard Race Series is launching later this month with the first of four races on Alta Lake.

The kick-off race is scheduled for June 24, with more races to follow on July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9.

Races cost $2 to enter. Registration starts at 6 p.m. at Lakeside Park, and racing gets underway at 6:30, with après provided by Dups. Call Gabriel at 604-905-9005 for more info.

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