Storm athletes shine on huge stages 

Sports briefs: Sea Wolves strong at home meet; Local soccer side wins tournament

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Historic shot The participants in the Whistler Sea Wolves Swim Club's first-ever sanctioned meet posed for a photo at Meadow Park Sports Centre.
  • Photo submitted
  • Historic shot The participants in the Whistler Sea Wolves Swim Club's first-ever sanctioned meet posed for a photo at Meadow Park Sports Centre.

The Whistler Secondary School (WSS) Storm has recently shone on a number of fronts.

Firstly, two WSS students found themselves atop the podium at the BC High School Mountain Biking Championships in Powell River on May 22. Mila Wittenberg won the midget girls' enduro race with a time of seven minutes and three seconds (7:03) to best Ella Garrett-Jones and Xiola Aldrich, both of Pemberton, by over a minute. She then defeated both in the same order in the cross-country race with a difference of well over five minutes.

Meanwhile, Julia Long repeated the feat in the junior girls' cross-country race, with her time of 43:39 placing her nearly five minutes ahead of Salmon Arm's Rachel May, the runner-up. She then beat May by a much slimmer margin in the enduro, winning by seven seconds.

Nick Knapton also made a podium appearance, finishing third in the midget boys' enduro and was fifth in the midget boys' cross-country race.

Reilly Fogolin was sixth in the enduro and eighth in the midget boys' cross-country race for a pair of top-10 finishes.

Pemberton athletes also put up some strong results, as Cassie Jean placed fourth in the bantam girls' enduro, Troy Rozsypalek was sixth in the bantam boys' enduro and the bantam boys' cross-country race and Thomas Rozsypalek placed seventh in the senior boys' enduro. Thomas Rozsypalek was then 10th in the senior boys' cross-country race, second on the team behind Mathieu Ryckbosch's sixth. Joe Davies hit the top 10 in the midget boys' enduro, placing ninth and getting past teammate Avery Hargitt by just a second.

Full results are available at www.raceday.ca.

As well, seven WSS athletes will be off to the BC High School Track & Field Championships in Langley from June 4 to 6 after strong performances at last week's zones in Burnaby.

Junior athlete J.J. Deane was the only Storm athlete to top a category, which she did winning gold in the 100m dash. She also took silver in the high jump.

Kelsey Thompson, the lone senior athlete to make it through, used a personal best of 10.08m to take second place in the triple jump while also taking second in high jump.

Caleigh Lamont made it through on the strength of a personal best 26.64m javelin throw, which placed her third in the junior girls' event. Fellow junior girl Arnica Wright also posted a personal best in the long jump with a 4.73m leap, which placed her third. She also placed third in the 200m dash. Jacqueline Perolli, meanwhile, was third in the 100m dash.

The junior girls' 4x100m team of Deane, Lamont, Wright and Perolli will also compete at provincials after placing second with a personal best time.

A pair of junior boys also made it through, as Jack Forsyth was third in triple jump with a personal best of 11.34m and Luke Unruh was also third in javelin.

No Pemberton Secondary School athletes attended zones.

Picton stays hot, Leishman returns from injury at The Gryphon

Leonie Picton's comeback season stayed right on track on May 23.

The enduro rider picked up her fourth victory of the season to headline a Whistler and Pemberton sweep of the pro women's podium at The Gryphon in Squamish.

Picton, who won four of the five stages, finished 24.26 seconds ahead of Emily Slaco and nearly a minute ahead of Sarah Leishman.

Leishman, part of the Juliana-SRAM women's mountain bike team, is still recovering from a separated left shoulder and torn UCL in her right hand she suffered at the Crankworx race in Rotorua in March, but opted to use the race as a test run, as she'd only been back on her bike for a week before the event. She got off to a great start, winning the first stage, but acknowledged her injuries started to get the best of her as the race progressed.

"The first stage, I think, went well because it was short," she said. "(Going) for more than two minutes, I have a hard time and that's part of why I was there. I'm trying to re-train my injuries.

"The longer the stages got, the more my injuries started to become more of a factor."

Leishman has received good news and bad news lately as her injuries were worse than originally thought, but with that established, her recovery has gone better than expected.

In the pro men's category, Shane Gayton captured a silver medal after finishing 27.36 seconds behind winner Rhys Verner.

"It was a super fun race, a bit shorter than some of the others with a nice relaxed feel," Gayton said in an email. "I really enjoyed the final stage as it was super fast. I had ridden the trail a lot more than the other stages, so felt I could push a little harder on it."

Whistler women took the top two spots in the open women's category with Christina Chappetta taking gold by two minutes and seven seconds over Annie Gaudette.

Full results are available at www.squamishenduro.com.

Sea Wolves strong at home meet

The Whistler Sea Wolves swim team chomped away at old times at its first-ever sanctioned meet on May 23 and 24.

With the Sechelt Chinooks Swim Team, the Hollyburn Hurricanes Swim Team and the Squamish Swim Faster Swim Team all making the journey, the Sea Wolves made their presence known as several swimmers set new bests.

In all, there were 45 swims that bettered best times from previous competitions, while there were 83 new personal records for competitive rookies topping their bests in training.

Among the highlights, Robyn Minton was in the top two for each of her events in the 10-and-under division, Georgia Strim achieved AAA times in four events, and Oliver Strim, Gregor Tait, Jamie Tait and Felix Stronger performed well in every event in their respective age categories.

Head coach Brandi Higgins said being able to hold a sanctioned meet is a milestone for the club, especially as it will help a strong group of swimmers work to improve.

"These kids, at this level, are the future tri athletes and masters swimmers of their communities. Swimming is a sport that is a life skill, once you're proficient, the skills never leave you," Higgins said in a release.

Sea to Sky Selects win Umbro Challenge Cup

A soccer squad made up of players from Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish found success in South Surrey.

The Sea to Sky Selects allowed just a single goal in four games en route to winning the U16 Umbro Challenge Cup tournament, held from May 16 to 18.

The Selects made quick work of the Quesnel Strikers and Vancouver United by 6-0 and 2-0 scores, respectively, before edging Chilliwack FC 2-1. Sea to Sky then blanked African United 1-0 in extra time in the championship game. Marco Pascuzzi headed home a free kick from Fraser Doak for the winning goal.

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