It was a wild weekend for Comox Valley athletes competing at national and international events.
Four local basketball players were at the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy where on Aug. 11 they helped Canada West defeat Estonia 73-41 to win gold in the men’s 55+ competitive division.
The Masters Games hoops featured eight teams in two pools of round robin play over nine days.
Canada West went 7-0, winning their first game against Australia by only four points, then winning their last six games by 26 (another Australian team), 16 (Lithuainia) then the same three teams by 30, 40, and 48 points before defeating Estonia in the final by 32.
The Western Canadians got stronger as a team and was just too tall, too “young”, and shot the ball extremely well for the opposition.
Great scoring and defensive balance from starters Larry Street (Comox Valley), Steve Pettifer (Vancouver), Mark Jorgensen, Paul Babcock, and big Jim Anderson all from Calgary. Also from the Comox Valley were key members Hugh MacKinnon, Tony Edwards, and Grant Ashlee. The team was completed by Milijan Djurkovic (Vancouver) and former SFU varsity grad John Dronsella who now resides in Germany as a top doctor.
“And boy, are the lads happy he was with the team,” said Street, adding “the boys” are now vacationing in other parts of Europe.
Elsewhere, on the second day (Aug. 11) of competition at the 2013 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship in Athletics in Moscow, Russia, Cam Levins of Black Creek placed 14th in the men’s 10000m final in 27:47.89.
“I’m not really in the shape I needed to be, wasn’t as ready to go as I need to be. I’m going to have to go back, have a good fall and see what happens next year.” Levins adds, “I moved this year, had an illness issue for awhile, got married. A lot of distractions took me away from training, I need to be better next year.” He will race again on Tuesday in the 5000m.
Meanwhile, Courtenay’s Geoff Kabush (SCOTT-3 Rox Racing) finished 15th in the elite men cross-country race at the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que. on Saturday.
Max Plaxton of Victoria was the top Canadian rider, finishing ninth.
Several more locals are currently in Quebec for the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke. On Aug. 8, Chelsea Tancon of Comox helped Team BC secure the silver medal in women’s volleyball. B.C. lost a tough five-set championship final to Alberta; they won the first two sets (25-21, 25-13) only to drop the next three (25-13, 25-13, 15-9).
Week two of the Aug. 2-17 Games started Sunday, and will see more Valley athletes in action.
Aug. 12 was the first day of road cycling, with the individual time trials held. In the 15.6km women’s race, Gillian Ellsay played eighth and Kia Van der Vliet was 22nd. Jordan Duncan was 27th in the 204.km men’s race. The road race goes Wednesday.
Other locals at the Games are Mark Valliere in golf along with Tyler Kostiuk and Jake Hooper in athletics.
Of 360 B.C. athletes competing in Sherbrooke, 84 are from Vancouver Island. There are 16 in track and field; 14 in rowing; eight in cycling; six in each of basketball, swimming and triathlon; five each in diving, canoeing and sailing, four in baseball; three in wrestling; and two in each of volleyball, softball and golf.