Two Cowichan Valley cousins have helped spur Team BC to success at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
Desirae and Alex Ridenour have combined to collect five medals at the massive event in Winnipeg: four golds and one silver.
Desirae, a 17-year old Cowichan Secondary School grad from Cowichan Bay, earned B.C.’s first medal of the games, a gold in the women’s triathlon last Monday, then added two more first-place finishes later in the week: in the female relay on Thursday, and in the mixed relay on Friday.
Alex, a 19-year-old from Duncan who attended Brentwood College School and now competes for the University of Pennsylvania, rowed to gold in the men’s four last Friday, then helped B.C. to silver in the men’s eight later that day.
Desirae won her solo gold with a time of 1:04:39.40, edging out provincial teammate Hannah Henry for top spot. She then teamed up with Hannah and her older sister Holly Henry to take gold in the female relay, their time if 1:04:00.70 more than two minutes better than second-place Manitoba. Ridenour and Hannah Henry joined forces with Brock Hoel and Michael Milic to win the mixed relay with a time of 1:19:21.00, almost 50 seconds ahead of Ontario.
Alex’s fours team had the best time in the heats last Tuesday, then carried that over to Friday, beating Ontario 6:16.16 to 6:19.37. In the eights, B.C. finished second to Ontario in both the heats last Tuesday and the finals on Friday. Ontario’s time in the final was 5:53.24 to B.C.’s 6:00.99.
Also last week, Mill Bay’s Jessye Brockway competed in para female discus and shot put, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in those events.
The Canada Summer Games continue this week, with Cowichan Valley athletes in contention for more medals.
Tristan Mandur of Mill Bay is competing in golf, which got underway on Tuesday morning. Alex Amiri, also from Mill Bay, began road cycling competition on Tuesday with the individual time trial. Youbou’s Mikyla Carlow kicked off her Special Olympics swimming slate with heats in the 100m freestyle and 50m breaststroke on Tuesday.