The Heartbeat of the Ottawa Sports Community WHITEWATER WORLDS READY
Vol. 2, #10
Inspiring a new wave
Despite the closure of the national team’s home Pumphouse facility in Ottawa, 7 River Runners are primed for the worlds.
COPYING CONFEDERATIONS CUP
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson will race in the 200 and 400 m IM at the July 19-Aug. 4 FINA world aquatics championships.
photo: swimming canada / scott grant
18-year-old former world jr. bronze medalist and Rio 2016 hopeful will make senior world championships debut this summer, leaving a legacy for the next local swim generation before heading to UBC P. 4
FC Capital United’s Mini World Cup was one of many recent local tournaments as the youth soccer season heats up.
DUNKERLEY WORLDS COMEBACK
By Brendan McConnell While most new high school graduates spend their first summer of freedom relaxing and celebrating their achievement, Ottawa swimmer Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson is using the time to prepare for her trip to Barcelona for the senior FINA world swimming championships starting on July 28. Her Grade 12 year was eventful to say the least, one that saw her win five individual medals at the New South Wales swimming championships in Australia and receive an invitation to the prestigious University of British Columbia swim team, all,
Just a few short months after donating a kidney to his wife, Jason Dunkerley is ready for the IPC world championships.
OVFL CHAMPIONSHIP CRAVINGS
The Myers Riders and Cumberland Panthers football clubs are both hungry for provincial varsity titles this season.
of course, while juggling her academics and prom. “It’s been a little hectic,” says Seltenreich-Hodgson, who will compete in her first major senior international meet at FINA’s pinnacle event. “I haven’t gotten much sleep recently, so I’m glad that school is over so I can finally get naps.” Seltenreich-Hodsgon will be competing in the 200- and 400-metre individual medley in Barcelona and is hoping to at least make a second round appearance. At just 18 years old, both her and Greater Ottawa Kingfish coach Claude-Yves Bertrand view this meet as more of a learning experience than a medal quest. “This is my first senior international championship, so I’m hoping to just wet my feet, so to speak,” says the 2011 world junior 200 m IM bronze medalist. “I’d really like to make a ‘B’ final in 200 IM and then maybe an ‘A’ final.” Seltenreich-Hodgson is a rare breed. Ottawa hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of national- or international-level talent in swimming, but the long-time Nepean-Kanata Barracudas club member rose through the sport’s local programs into a blossoming Olympic hopeful. Seltenreich-Hodgson wasn’t far off claiming a spot for the London 2012 Games as a 16-year-old. She knocked an astonishing eight seconds off her personal-best time in the 400 m IM at the Canadian Olympic team trials, and placed fourth in the 200 m
IM as well, just 1.61 seconds away from first place in two minutes, 14.39 seconds. Seltenreich-Hodgson won the 200 m IM at this year’s Canadian world championships trials to secure her place on the Barcelona team, but despite all these laurels, her coach is quick to temper expectations as she takes on the world’s best at the biggest event of the year. “For her, it’s a first experience,” emphasizes Bertrand, also the uOttawa Gee-Gees coach. “So she needs to learn to deal with probably 25,000 people watching, traveling with the national team and all the things surrounding a bigger event.” Once Seltenreich-Hodgson gets used to the larger international stage, Bertrand adds, that’s when she’s really going to be able to show what she’s made of. “Everything is open for her if she progresses like she should – if she gets a bit stronger, a bit faster, a bit older and a bit wiser,” Bertrand predicts. “I think she can get to Rio, and on top of that make a final.”
UNIVERSITY, OLYMPICS ON MIND That’s exactly what Seltenreich-Hodgson says she intends to focus on over the next three years leading up to Rio 2016 with her new team at UBC. “I’m excited,” says the John McCrae Secondary School grad. “I’m really looking forward to getting to try out the really intensive training
program they have there and see how it benefits me. I’m definitely hoping to get stronger and more endurance. That will help me in longer races and with finishing.” When deciding where to go for university, Seltenreich-Hodgson was torn between a number of schools in the U.S. and UBC’s national team training centre, but decided to stay on home soil because of the rapport she developed with the team and coaching staff. “Overall it was because I felt really comfortable with the team and the coaches and I felt like I made a really good connection with them,” explains the Vancouver-bound athlete. “I also really like the weather there and it just has a really good reputation for swimmers.”
LASTING LOCAL IMPRESSION Back home in Ottawa, however, Bertrand predicts her legacy will leave an indelible mark on local swimmers – one that will motivate them to strive for their own spot on the international swimming stage. “It really puts a spotlight on the sport and on her,” Bertrand highlights. “For this city, it’s pretty good to have someone go to the world championships, and it can make younger swimmers dream. “It only takes one swimmer to make the others believe.” Former Ottawa resident Ashton Baumann will also make his senior worlds debut in Barcelona.
Forced from training base, paddlers still set for worlds By Brendan McConnell Sending an Ottawa athlete to a world championship is pretty impressive for any local program. But sending seven of them to compete on this year’s biggest international stage? Almost unfathomable. Unless you’re the Ottawa River Runners, where that’s become the norm. July and August will be busy months for the seven elite whitewater canoe/kayak athletes who call Ottawa and the Pumphouse home. With the under-23 world championships coming up July 17-21 in Slovenia and several World Cups before Sept. 11-15’s senior world championships in Czech Republic, Canoe-Kayak Canada is hoping to bring home some hardware – a goal that high-performance manager and three-time Olympian James Cartwright says is well within reach. “It’s certainly exciting,” enthuses the Ottawa native. “Ottawa’s been a real strong bed for the national whitewater kayak and canoe team for about the last decade or so.” Among local entries this year are Michael Tayler (Canada’s lone canoe slalom 2012 Olympian), John Hastings (a 10-year River Runner kayak veteran), Cameron Smedley (who’s approaching double-digits in national titles at
FAMILIAR OLYMPIC FACE
age 22), Alexandra McGee (who’s eying Rio 2016 when her C1 women’s event makes its Olympic debut), and K1 sr. worlds competitor Thea Froehlich. Up-and-comers Liam Smedley and Spencer Pomeroy are both C1 entrants at the U23 worlds. While all the elite athletes made the move to Europe in June to prepare for their respective competitions, training in Ottawa in the spring was made harder due to the closure of the Pumphouse – the outdoor whitewater course that houses the River Runners and the national team –
Dunkerley headed to worlds for 800 m By Dan Plouffe
Jason Dunkerley is about as modest an athlete as they come, but it sounds downright strange to him that he enters the July 20-29 International Paralympic Committee track-and-field world championships as the defending gold medalist in the T11 800 metres for athletes with no vision. “It feels like a lifetime ago,” explains Dunkerley, who placed first in two minutes, 5.89 seconds in January 2011 in New Zealand. “It was only two-and-ahalf years ago, but so much has happened since then.” Start with a change in guide runner and coach – Josh Karanja and Ian Clark – and a new focus on longer distances. Then vastly improved international competition – the 35-year-old produced two lifetime bests to win 1,500 m bronze and 5,000 m silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. And finally, a major personal
CASSIDY TRUDGES TO TRIUMPH
Travel nightmares, a lost-then-found racing chair, 3 hours of sleep and a rain-soaked course proved to be a winning formula for Ottawa Lions wheelchair racer Josh Cassidy in Atlanta, Visit SportsOttawa.com for the full story.
as the River Runners, who have had to shuttle their boats to choppier water.
Sailor to launch int’l career at youth worlds By Brendan McConnell
photo: dan plouffe
event this past spring when he gave one of his kidneys to his wife who had kidney disease. “You get all nervous and hyped up before races. Having been through the surgery, it puts it into perspective,” Dunkerley signals. “It’s important, but it’s also just a race. I’m trying to be more relaxed about racing and what happens. It’s just one part of the bigger picture.” Cue his approach to this year’s worlds in Lyon, France. Instead of pushing hard after the transplant surgery to meet a tough international 5,000 m standard, Dunkerley decided it would be better to say hello to his old friend, the 800 m. DUNKERLEY continues on p.7
due to construction at nearby Lebreton Flats. This meant that the Ottawa athletes had to either focus on flatwater training, find what they could on the Ottawa River, or travel further to places like Valleyfield, Que. for real whitewater. “Whitewater is sort of a sport where you have to be ready to adapt to different circumstances,” notes Cartwright, adding that many athletes of all levels often have to deal with unexpected conditions and interruptions. Despite the closure, however, Cartwright says the elite athletes were not affected as much
This year’s U23 worlds will be the first major international event for Tayler since his top-20 K1 finish at the London 2012 Olympics – an experience he promises he’s going to take forward into this year’s meet. “It’s definitely going to be a huge help because after you’ve raced in front of 12,000 people, it’s kind of tough to get nervous again,” explains Tayler from his temporary training centre in Slovakia. “But at the same time, you still have to take every race seriously if you want a good result.” Tayler expects the competition in Slovenia to be tight, especially given the presence of athletes who have won World Cup medals and are amongst the world’s best despite their U23 status. The 21-year-old wants to reach the final to guarantee a top-10 result, and then take a run at the podium in that single race. In flatwater canoe-kayak, four Rideau Canoe Club athletes will compete at world championships – Steven Jorens (sr. worlds), Maddie Schmidt (jr. worlds), and Jean Dagher and Troy Chown (paracanoe).
With the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championships in Cyprus just around the corner, Ottawa native Cameron Sawyer has been hard at work on his two-man skiff, perfecting his form and strength before shipping off for his first international competition. The 17-year-old Nepean High School graduate will leave for the Mediterranean on July 10. That will give him just three days to adjust to the new environment and steamy Cyprus climate prior to the first race on July 13. With at least 10 races to cram into the five-day competition, Sawyer says he’s not expecting to have too much down time. “It’s a pretty intense schedule,” he notes. “We land and have one practice day and then we race for five days straight. Then there’s the closing ceremony.” To prepare, Sawyer and his teammate, Frederique Tougas of Quebec, have been training at least 3-4 times per week at the Nepean Sailing Club. They’ll spend their final days before departure at the Kingston Yacht Club, increasing their workload in advance of worlds. Sawyer and Tougas sail what is known in the sailing world as a 29-er. Sawyer describes it as a smaller skiff – a bit of a lead-up boat to the larger 49-ers seen at the Olympic level. “It’s pretty fast,” he explains.
Ottawa’s Cameron Sawyer (right) and Frederique Tougas.
“It’s pretty hard to handle but it’s really, really fun.” After being drawn to sailing 10 years ago by his father, a former competitive sailor, Sawyer has now been racing for six years. That’s led him to train in Nepean, Kingston and Montreal with a wide range of teammates. Next year, he plans to attend Dalhousie University, a school he was drawn to for its strong sailing program. In addition to winning a national championship last year, Sawyer also placed fifth at the North American championships, where he’s appeared numerous times. But despite his success in the popular international sport, many still don’t quite understand what it is he does during his long hours at the sailing club. “A lot of people don’t really have any idea what to think. They’re like ‘Oh, sailing. So you go out on
photo: brendan mcconnell
your boat and drink beers?’” laughs Sawyer, who knows well the physical demands required to perform at a high level in sailing. “When it’s windy, you come off the water and feel really sore. “The races are about half an hour to an hour, depending on how long the race course is. For that hour, your heart rate is really high.” This year’s youth worlds marks the first time Sawyer will attend an global competition. He’s looking to use Cypurs as a learning experience, and to launch a tradition of competing on the world stage. “Definitely to go to the Olympics would be my top aspiration,” signals Sawyer, who’s got the 2020 Games on his mind. “I’d have to be off school and training full-time in Florida or somewhere warm because you obviously can’t train through the winter here since it’s freezing.”
COMMUNITY CLUBS Field hockey rises in summer sport landscape By Brendan McConnell
While ice hockey has a monopoly over winter sports in Ottawa, field hockey is starting to make its mark on the summer regiment. It was a record-setting year for the Nepean Nighthawks Field Hockey Club in terms of total number of players, which mirrors the sport’s surge in prominence locally. The Chelsea Field Hockey Club – founded last year by two-time Olympian Ian Bird – now has over 50 members, and there are plans to start more clubs on both sides of the Ottawa River. The third edition of the Nepean Junior Field Hockey Festival was the biggest yet, taking over Minto Field at the Nepean Sportsplex on June 22 and 23 for U10 and U12 competition (with the host Nighthawks 2001 squad winning the U12 crown).
MAJOR GROWTH SPURT After having just 10 players at its inception four years ago, the Nepean club has now ballooned to over 200. “I’m not really too sure why
we’ve seen such a growth to tell you the truth,” laughs club co-founder Sandeep Chopra, noting, however, that there are certain advantages a smaller club like the Nighthawks have over larger soccer or hockey organizations. “We’re getting such loyalty because we’re quite a bit smaller a group than other sports so it gives us a chance to focus on the kids so they don’t feel like a number in a corporation. “And in Canada if you can’t sell a game that has
photo: brendan mcconnell
hockey right in the name of it then what are you doing?” Chopra, also a coach for two Nepean teams, attributes a big part of the growing attraction to the vast opportunities that a smaller sport like field hockey offers. “In field hockey, we have the chance to have Olympians coaching,” he highlights. “We have the chance to have coaching from the very top level all the way down to this level.” The Nighthawks’ model of allowing boys and girls to play
on the same team also seems to be a major drawing point for parents. “One of the reasons we really like field hockey is because it’s sort of different,” says Shawn Davidson, whose son and daughter have both played in Nepean for three years. “So the kids seem proud to be playing something that’s sort of their own.” Heather Summerville, whose son plays U12 field hockey and daughter is currently eyeing a spot on the provincial team, adds that as the sport grows, more people will start to understand that it’s a game for everyone. “People mostly think it’s a girls’ sport with kilts or whatever,” she observes. “So it would be nice for realization to come that it’s as popular with boys as it is with girls.”
CANADA PLAYER AT HOME Former Nighthawk Jocelyn Mitchell, who earned eight caps with the senior women’s national team last year, did not join the Canadian squad for a June exhibition tour in Ireland. The tour was the first under new coach Ian Rutledge.
Hot starts for Fury’s elite teams
By Brendan McConnell
With over half the regular season behind them, both the Ottawa Fury PDL and W-League teams are sitting on a comfortable perch in their respective division standings thanks to strong offensive play throughout the campaign. And with less than one month to go, they each see themselves being in perfect position for photo: brendan mcconnell a strong post-season push towards a championship – a goal both teams laid out at the start of training camp and one that would complete the club’s quest to claim a trophy for all levels of teams. “I think our chances are just as good as they were,” men’s Premiere Development League head coach Stephen O’Kane said following a 5-0 home field thumping of the Vermont Voltage on June 26. “I’m not going to run away from that goal or expectation that we have.” The PDL squad owns a big lead in the Northeast Division thanks to nine wins, a loss and two ties in 12 games. The Fury women lost to Central Conferencen-leading Laval as well as lowly Quebec City, but still sport a solid 6-2-2 record. “I think we’re right where we should be and where we expected to be,” signalled W-League head coach Dom Oliveri. “We’ve recruited the players to try to win another championship.” With many new players on both the PDL and W-League teams and a short season, a major concern for the coaches is always how quickly their squads can adapt to a new style of play and bond, which both groups have done very well so far. FURY continues on p.6
OSU U16s yet to lose at OYSL midpoint By Brendan McConnell
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They’ve already made a bit of history and they’re poised for some more. The Ottawa South United U16 boys’ team remains undefeated through nine games of Ontario Youth Soccer League play, and have their dreams of a first league title firmly intact at the midway point of the season. OSU started off this year’s campaign with a win and a draw before steamrolling the Nepean Hotspurs in their third contest. This sparked an impressive run that edged out last year’s record of seven undefeated games, and has landed them six points up on second-place Toronto FC. “I guess we’ve set ourselves up for where we want to be,” says coach Russell Shaw, who coached OYSL runner-up teams in back-toback seasons. “We’ve had mostly road games, so we’ve loaded the start of the season with away games knowing that at the end of the season we’d be able to get some at home.” Apart from the impressive nine-game run, OSU also had a memorable showing from their former star Kris Twardek. Twardek tallied seven goals in
his five appearances to start the season before shipping off to Millwall FC’s youth academy in London, England. “In his final weekend, he scored five goals,” Shaw recounts. “It was a nice sending off for him.” Both Shaw and OSU player Vana Markarian credit the team’s scoring ways, closeknit relationship and speedy ground game for their success this year, saying that if they keep it up, they have a good shot at the league crown. “We haven’t had a problem at all with scoring this year,” Markarian notes. “We know even if we go behind in games, we trust each other to know that we’re going to be able to come back.”
photo: brendan mcconnell
But, he adds, a nine-game unbeaten streak isn’t enough to keep the team happy. “It speaks for itself to go nine games undefeated in OYSL – it’s a big accomplishment,” Markarian acknowledges. “But it means nothing until we can finish it off. We’ve got to come first and that’s all the really matters.” The Capital United U17 girls also carry an undefeated record in OYSL play, although failing to cash in enough threepoint wins has them stuck in third place at 2-0-3. The OSU U15 girls also have a bit of catching up to do to finish first. A 1-0 home defeat to last year’s league champions, Burlington, has them sitting third at 3-2-2.
Japan upsets Brazil!
Local soccer teams traded their regular colours for some flashy international jerseys at FC Capital United’s June 15-16 Mini World Cup. Mimicking the Confederations Cup in Brazil, clubs transformed into the tournament’s participating countries, and the Leitrim Park fields took names like Belo Horizonte and Brasilia. In tournament play, Japan (Nepean Hotspurs) beat Brazil (FC Capital United) 3-2 in the U11 boys’ top division final, while Uruguay (Cumberland United) won bronze in penalty kicks over Tahiti (Gloucester Hornets). Spain (Ottawa Royals Futuro) completed a dominant run in the U10 boys’ event by beating Nigeria (Cumberland Cobras) 3-0. Spain won
photo: dan plouffe
each of its five games by at least three goals. On the following weekend, the host Cumberland Cobras celebrated the 10th anniversary of their Snakebite Tournament by winning nearly half the division titles at their June 21-23 event. The Cobras won seven of 15 gold medals – in girls’ U9, U10 and U11 competitive, U11 girls’ festival, U14 girls’ Tier 1, and U10 and U13 boys’ T1. Other local teams to capture division crowns were the Ottawa Internationals (U13 girls’ T1, U11 boys’ festival) and Ottawa South United (U9 boys’ T1 and U12 boys’ T2). Check SportsOttawa.com for results from the 87-team boys’ Gloucester International Soccer Tournament on July 6-7.
Riders & Panthers great foes on field, great friends off By Dan Plouffe
The Cumberland Panthers and Myers Riders are each other’s biggest rivals, and best friends. Impossible? Take this moment as proof. Cumberland is ahead 2220 with 1:35 left in the fourth quarter. It’s been a well-fought, back-and-forth match between the two undefeated Junior Varsity squads vying for the top spot in their Ontario Varsity Football League division. The Panthers are trying to run out the clock, and their player is tackled in-bounds. Wanting to save 20 seconds for his team’s own use on offence – like any football coach would in that scenario – Riders coach Matt Kassner calls timeout. “Aww, c’mon Kassner, let it go. Let it run,” Cumberland coach Ntare Bainomugisha pleads on the sidelines. Kassner just smiles and shakes his head. That a pair of opposing coaches would pause and share a laugh at such a critical juncture illustrates the brotherhood that exists in Ottawa football. “I have a lot of friends, and former players, over there,” signals Bainomugisha, who previously coached for Myers. “It’s hard for me to call it a rivalry because they’re good guys over there, and I know them and I like them. Their team is always well-prepared. They’re good coaches. So I can chirp them like that.” It may not be high in bad
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OSU alumni star for Canadian Universiade team
blood, but the seeds for a strong rivalry between the summertime clubs representing the capital’s east and west ends have long been sprouting. Ottawa’s two OVFL franchises are perennially division champions and league finalists at the Varsity, JV and Bantam levels – a sustained record of success against the province’s best teams that seldom any other local youth sport can claim. The region boasts an astonishing array of coaches with university and CFL football backgrounds, which bears fruit during the summertime OVFL season. “A lot of former university players are passing on the topnotch technique to them, so that’s why both teams are so competitive,” says Bainomugisha, a former Russ Jackson Award finalist recognizing
Cumberland receiver Kurleigh Gittens broke through for what proved to be the winning touchdown in his JV Panthers’ 22-20 victory over Myers Riders in OVFL play on June 15 at Millennium Field.
academics, football and community involvement during his playing days at York University. “We’ve got great coaches. A lot of guys come out and give back to the community when they’re done playing,” concurs Kassner, who played for Acadia and uOttawa in the CIS. “And one of the biggest things is we have NCAFA, the fall league, which primes us up for the summer. It makes us a lot stronger.” The final hurdle in winning the league-wide championship has proved troublesome in recent years, but five of the six local teams are on track to take a run at changing that this year, starting with the 6-0 JV Panthers, who held on to win in their June 15 contest against 5-1 Myers. “It’s a big possibility,” underlines Cumberland defensive lineman Neville Gallimore, a
photo: dan plouffe
6’ 2”, 245 lb. Grade 10 student at St. Patrick High School. “If we just keep playing our game and not playing down to anyone’s level, we can definitely win a championship this year.”
MYERS VARSITY RIDIN’ HIGH The Riders and Panthers have experienced reverse fortunes in Varsity-level play. Winless Cumberland gave Myers their second closest match of the campaign – a 31-point defeat – as the Riders have demolished opponents by a combined 300-76 total in five wins. The Bantam Riders can thank the Panthers for their lone defeat in a 5-1 campaign, while Cumberland has also only lost once, at 5-1. The Riders were OVFL runners-up in both Varsity and Bantam last year. Regular season play wraps up July 20.
They grew up as teammates and friends with Ottawa South United Soccer Club and now they’re once again on the same side as members of Team Canada. OSU alumni Robbie Murphy and Jonathan Viscosi are currently in Kazan, Russia for the 2013 Summer Universiade from July 6-17, a multi-sport event featuring student-athletes from across the globe. “We go way back,” notes Murphy, who graduated from All Saints Catholic High School in Kanata along with Viscosi. “Back in high school, he lived not too far down the road from me so we’d walk home together almost every day. We’d train together either with the high school or our club team at night, and we worked together one summer at camps as well. We’ve been good friends for awhile.” Their careers diverged in university, with Murphy heading to the University of Guelph and Viscosi heading further south to the University of Rio Grande in Ohio, and later the State University of New York at Buffalo. “It’s neat that our paths ended up crossing again and that we get to share this experience together,” adds Murphy, the Guelph Gryphons captain who took home CIS player-of-theyear honours in 2011. Murphy also attended the previous Summer Universiade that same year in Shenzhen, China. “I don’t know how many people are aware of this, but it’s actually the second biggest multi-sport event worldwide next to the Olympics,” signals Murphy, who’s fielded some curious questions from first-timer Viscosi about what the event’s like. “To get 20,000 athletes in
the Athlete Village together, and being able to go watch the other sporting competitions, it’s phenomenal. “The experience as a whole – obviously, getting to represent your country, and the level of competition, and getting to see another part of the world – was just incredible. I’m very excited to be going again and being part of the team.”
PRO DREAMS IN SIGHT Viscosi is equally primed for the Universiade, but is also excited about what lie in store after the tournament is complete. “Once I’m in Europe, I actually plan on staying in Europe,” explains Viscosi, a goalkeeper who led the OYSL with a 0.45 goals against average in 2008. “I hope to take advantage of the exposure that will come from it. There will be a lot of people watching and it goes well with my plans to stay in Europe and play professionally. “I’m going to a few tryouts and hopefully I find a team there for the 2013 season.” Murphy, who scored the lone goal in Canada’s exhibition victory over Mexico prior to the tournament, is also eyeing a pro career once he finishes his last semester at Guelph this fall. The pair face off against France, Peru and Brazil in preliminary round action as Canada seeks to improve on its ninthplace showing at the last Universiade, the country’s second-best all-time result behind the 2007 fourth-place finish. “These guys are prime examples of what OSU is all about,” highlights OSU President Bill Michalopulos. “It’s been a priority of ours since the club’s inception 10 years ago to help our players move on to higher levels in soccer. “We’re all so pleased to see Robbie and Jon representing their city, their club, their university and their country so well, and we wish them all the best in Russia.”
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FURY: Bonding well continued from p.3 “It’s been really great,” said Oliveri, who has just one returning starter from last year’s championship team, goalkeeper Jasmine Phillips of Ottawa. “Six weeks ago none of these players actually knew each other. It’s been a learning experience for everybody but off and on the field things have gone really well and we’re really pleased with where we are right now.” The PDL team has a number of familiar faces this year to go alongside a group of new players. Among the relative Fury veterans is goalkeeper Chad Bush, an Ottawa native who plays for Duke University and who’s hit his stride in his second year with the team. With just one goal allowed in five starts, Bush says he’s seen his abilities grow extensively. “I think this league has done really well for me,” explained the Louis-Riel high school grad. “Just the training with all these topclass players has helped me to go a long way.”
FURY SUPER IN SUPER-Y PLAY Taking after their older counterparts, the Fury youth teams are off to remarkable starts across the board, without a single defeat to report for any squad. The U13 boys have three wins in three matches, the U16 boys have two victories in two tries, the U14 and U15 boys both won their first matches, the U16 girls have a pair of ties, the U20 men have a win and a pair of draws, and the U20 women own a record of three wins and a tie. USL Super-Y League regular season play continues into early August.
Athletes of the Month: Nikki Kourakis/Caroline Sollars Sport: Beach Volleyball Club: SportsCan & Mavericks
photo: yan huckendubler
About: Nikki Kourakis and Caroline Sollars were the 15U girls’ division champions at the Ontario Volleyball Association Beach Tour’s lone Ottawa stop of the season on June 15. The pair, who are preparing for the July 27-28 provincial championships in Toronto, play indoor volleyball with the Mavericks, and train with SportsCan Academy during summer.
Team of the Month: Nepean Nighthawks U12 Field Hockey Team
To nominate Stars of the Month, go to SportsOttawa.com and follow the link on Team members: (Top, from left) Shaylen Naidoo, Akash Tanotra, Rajan Singh, Evan the right-hand bar under the Stars of the Davidson Adam Sourges. (Bottom) Nityanand Rewanker, Luc Viau, Jake Oakes, Month feature. Courtesy of the Ottawa Cameron Sommerville, Jeremy Fredette, Jacob Montgomery. Sportspage and the YMCA-YWCA of the NaAbout: The Nepean Nighthawks were U12 division champions at their home June tional Capital Region, the selected Athlete of 22-23 field hockey tournament at the Nepean Sportsplex. Nepean bested teams the Month will receive a one-week Family Pass to the Y, while each member from Chelsea, Toronto and Mississauga en route to the tourney title. of the Team of the Month will receive one-visit passes.
Ottawa players occupy 10 Team Canada worlds spots By Brendan McConnell
As the fast-paced sport of ultimate Frisbee continues its rise to prominence across Canada, Ottawa players will make up a sizeable chunk of Team Canada squads at the Under-23 world championships in Toronto and the 2013 World Games in Colombia this July. Canada will enter three teams at the July 22-28 U23 worlds, with eight Ottawa athletes in their ranks – Mathew Goodkey and Sara Lawlor (mixed), Carson Turner, Ben Mussell and Nick Boucher (open), and Dominique Rioux, Kaylee Sparks and Vivianne Fortin (women’s). Danielle Fortin and Anne Mercier will represent Canada at the World Games for senior-level athletes. But despite being in two different tournaments and a continent apart, the goal for all Canadian teams remains the same – to take home the gold. Canada won gold at the last U23 worlds, Turner notes, so the expectations are high for the defending champs playing on home soil. “We’re hoping for gold,” he signals. “It’s going to be a complete team effort and, win
or lose, if I’m able to say after the tournament that every guy gave it their all, I think it’s going to be successful.” Having played ultimate since he was in Grade 10, Turner has risen through the competitive ranks of the sport, playing at the high school and junior levels in Ottawa and Waterloo before claiming his spot on the national team last December. Turner says he’s very excited to be playing in his first international event and is looking forward to playing in front of a hometown crowd in Toronto. “It’s going to be pretty awesome,” he underlines. “It’ll be different too because we’re the hosting country. So we’ll be trying to connect with all the teams that are there so we’ll probably have a bit more bonding and communication with more teams. “We want to make sure they feel welcome here.” Not too welcome though. Canada has a reputation around the ultimate world community of being a “little bit rougher” than their European counterparts, Turner notes. The Canadian teams take their preparations seriously, working on pre-
cision throwing, situational plays, building up overall stamina – an ultimate player can run up to 10 km during a game – and they’ve also attended a number of tournaments in the U.S. and Canada.
WILD FOR WORLD GAMES Fortin, who’s preparing for the July 28-30 World Games in Cali, Columbia, has a similar reaction to playing for Canada internationally. “It’s a pretty amazing thing,” says the 26-year-old. “It’s kind of the premiere team in Canada and really the highest level of play you can make at this point.”
Canada is one of six teams in the ultimate competition at the World Games, a 4,000-athlete multi-sport event with the slogan “Fair Play to the Planet!” Canada was shut out of the medals at the last World Games in Taiwan, which has given them motivation this year to go all the way to the top, Fortin signals. “We’re going down there with the single goal of bringing back the gold medal,” says the ultimate player of 10 years. “I think it’s well within our limits.” Fortin is impressed to see 10 Ottawa players make the
photo: craig stephen photography
national team grade. She attributes that success in large part to the quality of the Ottawa Carleton Ultimate Association, which runs popular recreational and competitive leagues locally. The OCUA serves as a valuable developmental setting for aspiring players to get exposure to a higher level of competition, Fortin adds. “I think getting experience on those teams is what makes it possible to be recognized across the country as a good player, but also to get those opportunities to play against the top players,” she highlights.
SIMAC & CANADIAN VOLLEYBALL TEAM REACH WORLD LEAGUE FINALS
Argentina is up next for global volleyball traveller Adam Simac as he and the Canadian men’s volleyball team earned a trip to the final round of World League play by winning Pool C. Down two sets to one in Japan, Canada earned decisive 25-18 and 15-7 victories in a do-or-die scenario to move past the Netherlands for first place. Simac was ranked the fourth best blocker in the six-week, 10-match pool stage, as 8-2 Canada also topped Finland, Portugal and Korea. They’ll now compete against this year’s six best volleyball nations July 17-21 in Mar del Plata.
PALAMAR SETS NATIONAL JR. RECORD, MANY FROM OTTAWA HEAD TO WORLDS
Shortly after winning a bronze medal at the June 20-23 Canadian senior track-and-field championships, 18-year-old Adam Palamar made an even bigger name for himself by breaking the national junior 1,500 m record of Canadian middle distance running legend Kevin Sullivan at the Harry Jerome Classic, establishing a new mark of 3:38.92. At nationals in Moncton, London 2012 Olympians Sultana Frizell and Melissa Bishop won their events and punched their tickets to the Aug. 10-18 IAAF world championships in Russia, in the hammer throw and 800 m respectively. Segun Makinde, who won nationals 200 m bronze, and Seyi Smith, who did not compete at nationals, did not immediately qualify for the worlds. Both competed on the Canadian 4x100 m relay team that reached last summer’s Olympic final. Other national medalists from Ottawa – who have until July 29 to hit international standard times to qualify for the worlds – include Alicia Brown (400 m gold), Sekou Kaba (110 m hurdles silver), Patrick Arbour (decathlon silver) and Michael Robertson (400 m bronze). Lion pole vaulter Zack Kerr and sprinter Shermar Paul of C.A.N.I. Athletics will compete for Canada at the July 10-14 world youth championships in Ukraine.
OLD FRIEND HAUNTS AXEMEN IN SR. LACROSSE PLAY
The Capital Region Axemen dropped below .500 in their inaugural Quebec Senior Lacrosse League season, losing each end of a homeand-home series against the Kahnawake Mohawks July 6 and 7. Ottawa native Callum Crawford scored five goals and five assists for the visiting side at Merivale Arena in his Mohawks’ 18-12 win. The Axemen play at Bell Arena on July 20 and 21 prior to the start of the league playoffs.
FIBA AMERICAS BRONZE FOR 3 LOCALS
photo: dean joncas
Coached by Ottawa’s Dave DeAveiro, the Canadian U16 men’s team lost only once at the FIBA Americas championships June 11-15 in Uruguay. After wins over Puerto Rico, Chile and Uruguay, Canada fell in overtime to Argentina in the semi-finals but brought home bronze with another win over Puerto Rico. Ottawa Guardsmen teammates Malik Turenne and Eddie Ekiyor, who was the top Canadian rebounder at the tournament, helped Canada earn a place in next year’s U17 world championships.
5 OTTAWA ORIENTEERS COMPETE AT WORLDS
Five Ottawa natives went to Europe to represent Canada at the junior and senior world orienteering championships. Alex Bergstrom and Robbie Graham competed at the June 30-July 6 junior worlds in Czech Republic, while Eric Kemp, Robbie Anderson and Emily Kemp were in Finland for the July 6-14 worlds.
BELL & NEPEAN SHINE AT NCAFA TOUCH FINALS
Bell and Nepean were the most successful clubs at the National Capital Amateur Football Association girls’ touch football city championships June 21-22 at the RA Centre. Bell beat Nepean White to win the Peewee division, Nepean White beat Nepean Black for the Midget title, and West Carleton Blue and Bell Yellow were the Bantam finalists.
TRIATHLETES EXCEL NATIONALLY, INTERNATIONALLY
A bike crash kept her off the podium herself, but Ottawa native Joanna Brown was nonetheless thrilled to see Canada’s 1-2-3-4 finish at the World Cup triathlon event on June 23 in Edmonton. Brown placed fourth of 31 athletes in 1:03:49. In the Junior Pan American Cup, Bytown Storm triathletes Samantha Klus (fifth place), Alex Maxwell (sixth) and Patrick Smith (14th) all represented Canada the same day in Edmonton. Smith earned the top result at a July 6 national junior series event in St. Andrews, N.B. in 15th, while Maxwell was 18th at the event organized by Barrhaven residents Scott and Tressa Bevington.
WOODS CRACKS TOUR DE BEAUCE OVERALL TOP-10
Riding for the Garneau-Quebecor team, Ottawa’s Mike Woods placed ninth in the general classification at the six-stage Tour de Beauce June 11-16 in Quebec from June 11-16. Woods followed that up with an 11th-place result at the Canadian road cycling championships despite a flat tire, while teammate Alex Cataford of Ottawa placed 19th, sixth out of U23 riders.
LITTLEMORE & EL-ASMAR JOIN GEE-GEES SOCCER
Ottawa natives Anika Littlemore and Vanessa El-Asmar will be staying in town to help the uOttawa Gee-Gees women’s soccer team chase a national title. The OSU defender and Capital United midfielder were recently unveiled as new recruits to join coach Steve Johnson’s defending Ontario University Athletics-champion squad.
TAKAHASHI DOJO BROTHERS WIN MEDALS IN JUDO, SAMBO
Torin Macfadyen won a silver medal in the U18 men’s 50 kg class at the July 4-7 Canadian judo championships in Richmond, B.C. His brother, Adam, competing in the senior nationals, won one match before falling to Canada’s 60 kg world championships representative, Sergio Pessoa. Earlier in June, Adam captured 62 kg gold at the Pan American sambo championship in Panama.
LOCAL PARA-SPEED SKATER HONOURED ON PARLIAMENT HILL
Orleans deaf-blind speed skater Kevin Frost was honoured at the House of Commons on June 20 for his athletic achievements, his pioneering role in promoting para-speed skating, and the numerous charitable causes he’s helped support. At an event observed by International Paralympic Committee officials in Scotland in late spring, the 46-year-old won three short-track gold medals at Impaired Skating’s Dumfries 2013 event.
DUNKLERLEY: Jason to face brother Jon at worlds continued from p.2
“It’s good to be out here running. A couple months ago, I had no idea how things were going to go. We just decided we’d try for it and see how it went,” notes Dunkerley, who posted times of 2:10.20 and 2:07.35 to secure a worlds place through the June 20-23 national championships. “Now our goal is to go into worlds with an open mind, but definitely try to make the final and see if we can make the podium. “I mean, there’s only four teams in the final, so three of four will make the podium, and I want to be there.” Jason’s brother, Jon Dunkerley, has also made a number of similar changes
as his older sibling. He’s got a new guide (Brian Cummings of the uOttawa GeeGees), a renewed focus on longer events (he’ll also race in the 800 m in France after directing his energy towards the 4x100 m relay in London), and as of very recently, a new coach (also Clark). “Needless to say, I’ve had some hard training the last week and a half,” smiles Jon, who’d like a season-best or maybe personal-best time in France. “We’re working on my weakness, which is (aerobic) threshold. That’s hard work and I’m not used to doing it, but it’ll pay off.” Ottawa Lions wheelchair track athletes and 2012 Paralympians Josh Cassidy, Curtis Thom and Rachael Burrows will also represent Canada in Lyon.
ELITE Ottawa pair win rhythmic provincials By Dan Plouffe
Kristin Polegato and Cleo Page of the Ottawa Rhythmic Gymnastics Clubs were crowned provincial champions and numerous local athletes reached the podium at the Ontario rhythmic gymnastics championships in Etobicoke in early June. For Polegato, it was a first individual all-around title as she won the Level 6A (age 16+) competition. “It’s been a goal of mine since I started gymnastics when I was 7,” notes the hoop and ball gold medalist. “I think it was just from all my hard work over the years that finally paid off for me. It feels really good.” Page earned the second provincial title of her career, although her victory this year was more fulfilling since it came in a higher category, L5B (13-15). “It was my best performance I’ve ever done at that competition,” says the 2012 L5A silver medalist. “There were many more girls in my level, and it was so rewarding to win among a group of such skilled athletes.” Page won both the ball and ribbon events, and was bested only in the choice competition. Sarah
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Sarah Manyoki of the Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club won rope gold en route to all-around silver at the Ontario championships.
Manyoki’s strong rope routine was the key in propeling herself to a second-place all-around finish. “I was really surprised” to win silver, recounts Manyoki, a Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club athlete since age 4. “I thought my ribbon would bring me down, but it didn’t. I was really surprised and happy.”
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Six local youth and their support team are in Nicaragua from July 4-13, 2013 to build a school, a project that started last year with SchoolBOX, a Canadian charity carrying the mission of making education possible for those who can’t afford it. The team heading to Nicaragua is part of the West Ottawa Soccer Club, the largest club in Ottawa and second largest in the country. WOSC, a True Sport club, encourages its athletes to find interesting ways to give back to the community. Last year, the team of young athletes decided to run a 5 km race to support the building of the school and raised over $1,700 from pledges. Following the run, the team won third prize in the national True Sport Give Back competition, which helped to raise an additional $2,000 for the cause. In all, over $4,000 was raised last year to support the charity, and a player-organized community 5 km run in Bridlewood this June pushed that total further. In addition, the youth received a $7,000 scholarship from the Amazing People Gala, a local event that highlights extraordinary accomplishments from ordinary people. The Gala raised over $50,000 for SchoolBOX last year and determined that the six athletes were fitting ambassadors for their inaugural youth scholarships.
“We believe that these athletes demonstrate the kind of leadership and caring that we want to foster among local youth,” stated Gala co-chair Eric Collard. “We hope that this will inspire other youth to want to give back to their community the way these young athletes have.”
ATHLETES BECOMING LEADERS U14 girls team coach Dina Bell-Laroche, a community leader who’s been involved in 5 Olympic Games, has incorporated a Give Back element into all the teams that she has coached. It’s this type of experience that makes good athletes into great leaders, she believes. “Sport is more than just a game. Sport can teach life lessons off the playing field that can build self esteem, empowering people to set a goal and achieve it, and believe in something that is larger than them,” BellLaroche says. “I’m so proud of the accomplishments of these young athletes and the leadership they are demonstrating to support a community thousands of miles away.” Kathleen Carson, Priya Nagpal, Tiffany Ingram, Gabrièle Donnelly, Jessica Aiello and Talia Laroche, along with Collard, are now completing the journey by making the trek down to Managua, Nicaragua’s capital. The team of youth and their chaperones – including Peter Donnelly, Lynn Aiello, Karri Dawson, John Carson and Bell-Laroche – are spending 10 days helping to build the school 40 km outside Managua, to engage with the community, to play soccer with local youth, and to experience the warm Nicaraguan hospitality.
FALL SESSION STARTS SEPT. 9 – REGISTER NOW! SUMMER CAMP ONGOING
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U14 Girls Heading to Nicaragua to Build a School for SchoolBOX
winter, the Kanata gymnast had a persistent back injury that kept her from practicing some components of her routines. But she got healthy enough to push through and win gold in clubs and ball bronze to place second overall in L6B (16+). Now the plan is to focus on coaching next season and keep this year’s provincials as a great final SWEET SILVER CLOSING CHAPTER competition memory. An all-around silver was far “My back still hasn’t gotten all from Danica Goodchild’s mind better, so I need to actually let it earlier this season. heal,” Goodchild explains. “I was For four months during the really hoping to make it count because it was my last one ever.” O t t a w a ’s Jaimee Loh (silver, L6A 16+) and Kanata’s Megan Kawai (bronze, L6C 16+) also landed on the all-around podium. Earning event medals were Register Kanata’s Marie Arsenault, with clubs Online Now (L5C 13-15), for September bronze and Kanata’s Julia Classes! Yang, with free silver (L5A 13-15) and Kanata’s Brianna Lu, with free bronze (L4A, 10-12).
Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club
West Ottawa Soccer Scoop
Locations throughout Kanata & Stittsville See www.krsg.org for full list.