Athletes and coaches from the Cowichan Valley helped the Vancouver Island-Central Coast team finish first in the medal standings at the BC Summer Games in Abbotsford last week.
Vancouver Island-Central Coast collected a total of 170 medals — 65 gold, 74 silver and 58 bronze — at the four-day event, beating out second-place Fraser Valley, which claimed 144 medals.
Of the 170 medals won by the Island team, Cowichan Valley athletes won or helped win 41 of them: 17 golds, 13 silvers and 11 bronzes.
The Valley’s biggest haul in a single sport came in towed water sports, where area athletes combined to bring home 10 medals.
Team members Todd Heard, Kyle Fredrickson, Tyler Lindsay and Deklon Shadlock, and coaches Jed Leech and Jim Lindsay led the charge as the Island squad claimed the team gold medal. Tyler Lindsay also collected three individual golds, in trick, wakeskate and wakeboarding, while Heard won gold in jump and silver in slalom and trick, Fredrickson took gold in slalom and silver in jump, and Shadlock claimed silver in wakeskate.
Another eight medals came in athletics, where Valley competitors claimed three golds, one silver, and four bronzes.
Two of those golds were brought home by Oliver Castle, who won the boys 2000m and 1500m steeplechase, as well as taking bronze in the 1200m. Madelynn Pollock also won gold in the girls 200m hurdles, and, with Danae Gendall, helped the Island team to bronze in the 4x100m relay. Also winning relay medals were Campbell Woike, with silver in the boys 4x400m; Tony Else, with bronze in the boys 4x100m; and Jessica Castle, with bronze in the girls 4x400m. All but Gendall are members of the CVAC Jaguars.
Duncan Stingrays competitor Malia Prystupa won two gold medals as Valley swimmers also brought home eight medals. Prystupa won individual gold in the girls 100m backstroke and relay gold in the 4x50m medley, as well as a silver in the 200m backstroke. Her Stingrays teammate Brielle Woodruff claimed silver in the girls 1500m freestyle, and para-swimmer Tiegan McDevitt took silver in the mixed 50m and 100m freestyle races, and bronze in the 50/100m and 150/200m butterfly events.
Also in the pool, Special Olympics swimmer Mikyla Carlow won silver in the female 50m freestyle and bronze in the 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle, and Dakota Carlow claimed silver in the male 50m backstroke.
Members of the Cowichan Valley Wrestling Club cleaned up on the mats, where the Island won gold in the team event. Andrea Morris and Stephanie Mould won individual gold medals in the girls 51kg and 54kg classes, respectively, and Khaya MacKillop and Talon Hird took bronze in the girls 64kg and boys 45kg classes, respectively.
Duncan coaches Stan McKinlay and Brian Bull led the Island girls softball team, which included players Colby Cochrane and Piper Doerksen, to gold.
The first-place field lacrosse team from the Island included players Karson Gregory and Denton MacDonald, and was coached by Ken Gregory and Dale Nordstrom.
Also winning gold was the Island synchronized swimming team, which included Duncan’s Jessica De Verteuil.
Six players from the bantam AAA Cowichan Valley Mustangs took the field for the Island baseball team that won silver: Morley Scott, Josh Hill, Gavin Pringle, Billy Ramwell, Hayden Plester and Marcus Steen, as well as coach Lorne Lafleur.
Maria Murray and Megan Lewis suited up for the Island girls rugby team, coached by Marlene Donaldson, that won silver.
Clayton Bergstrom brought home bronze in three-on-three basketball.