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Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019
Sudbury athletes at 2018 Ontario Winter Games
by Randy Pascal

By the very nature in which results from either the Ontario Winter Games, or the Ontario Summer Games, for that matter, are posted on-line, it’s a near impossibility to try and assure that no local athletes are missed when looking to provide a local recap.

With that in mind, I apologize in advance, but also invite anyone who might have been overlooked to simply contact me in the next few days (, allowing oversights to be acknowledged in the very next column.

In the meantime, let’s take our best shot at catching up with a solid handful of young Sudburians who have been busy, these past few days, in the Orillia area.

No surprise that when one is looking to initially target the podium, the local curling is seldom a bad place to start. On Sunday afternoon, a quartet of athletes, all with Sudbury and area ties, were taking to the ice to decide gold and silver medal winners in the Mixed Doubles competition.

The pairing of Jacob Horgan and Kira Brunton overcame an early 3-0 deficit, bouncing back to take down the Laurentian University tandem of Maxime Blais and Alyssa Denyer 10-4. Over in the women’s competitions, the Idylwylde foursome of Bella Croisier, Jamie Smith, Piper Croisier and Lauren Rajala secured a bronze medal finish, stopping Team Guilbeault 9-2, after posting a round robin record of 3-2.

Meanwhile, the local men’s team of Samuel Branconnier, Nathan Leonard, Patrik Labrosse and James McVittie, quite likely the youngest in the field, used the Winter Games experience as a learning one, going winless in five attempts.

These days, synchronized swimming is also the source of great pride for Sudbury folks, and no change at these Winter Games, with Amy Lacelle (5th), Stacie Kohan (8th) and Emily Binks (10th) all cracking the top ten in the 13-15 figures event, with Georgia Speck (14th) and Bronwyn Ashley (20th) both within shouting distance.

Madison Hood (26th), Sarah Ieropoli (35th), Gillian Franklin (55th) and Maeve Caddel (58th) rounded out the local contingent in that age grouping, while Lana Squires, Emilie Ladouceur, Maxine Lafleur and Lily Burns all donned the Sudbury Synchro colours in the 11-12 division. Ladouceur also took part in the age 11-12 solo finals, placing 10th, while Lacelle earned bronze in the same event for the older group.

The Sudbury team showed the way in the 13-15 “land drill” event, scoring 65.9333, just ahead of Durham (65.400), also adding a bronze medal in the team event to the mix.

In the alpine ski competition hosted at Craigleith Ski Club, local product Sophie Beauchamp, who competes with the Searchmont team out of Sault Ste Marie, placed 8th in a field of 22 athletes on day one, posting a combined time of 34.48 seconds. Beauchamp improved a couple of slots in the slalom event, placing sixth (1:41.00).

Macdonald-Cartier student Joshua Nielsen, who also competes for Searchmont, enjoyed similar success, ranking 10th of 35 with a time of 33.13 seconds. Like his local teammate, he would take to the slalom that much better, securing an eighth place finish with a combined run time of 1:37.11.

While the Northern Ontario Badminton Association (NOBA), as a team, went 0-6 in the overall aggregate head to head matchups with the remaining districts in the province, the two local representatives (Kalie Rheault and Cierra St Germain) both managed to win four games each along the way.

Over to the boxing ring, where a Top Glove Boxing Club trio all reached the podium. Kurtis Werbosky would surely have preferred to win his gold medal in a manner other than his "walkover" victory, with clubmate Patrick Martin joining him as a first place finisher, recording a second round TKO win over Manglan Vum of Beaver Boxing Club in Ottawa.

Aden Souleiman Djama captured his first bout over Brandon Esquega (Toronto), before losing in round two to Jose Ortiz from Oshawa and settling for silver.

Though OWG nordic ski results noted only the medal winners in each category – Patrick Wiss of Walden returned home with a silver medal in the Boys 2004 category, the Cross Country Ski Ontario website was much more elaborate, at least providing access to the athletes who were scheduled to compete.

In that sense, Laurentian Nordic team members featured Brittney Baker, Audreanne Soenens, Julie Mayer, Jordan Foran, Logan Lariviere, David Barber, James Butcher and Dorothy Moorcroft, largely their para-nordic contingent, while Walden Nordic representation came courtesy of Wiss, Brandon Radey, Kalila Bachiu, Chandyn Bachiu, Rochelle Lariviere, Maggie Parks and Danica Levesque.

The Nickel City Major Peewee “AAA” Sons failed to advance to the semi-finals after dropping round robin encounters to the Ottawa 67’s (7-1), Sun County Panthers (8-3) and Thunder Bay Kings (5-1).

The Northeast ringette team found themselves equally as challenged, as Team United (4-2), Team Central (5-2), Team Western (8-2), Team Eastern (7-2) and Team Southern (6-2) all got the better of the regional collection of talent that included Jessica Willis, Avery Blanchard and Erika Poirier.

Squash play included both Charles and Robert de la Riva, part of the Northern Ontario team that lost three straight games in pool play – to GTA West (7-1), Western Ontario (7-1) and Niagara (5-3) – but did manage to play to a 4-4 draw with Ottawa and District on Sunday. Individually, Charles Jr upended Caleb Crawford of the Niagara region 11-4, 11-1, 11-2 in their head to head matchup, also going five full sets with Will Kuhn from GTA West.

On the wrestling mats, Marilyne Sinclair heads north with a silver medal in the 43 kg weight class, with fellow Macdonald-Cartier schoolmate Hunter Larabie earning fourth place accolades in the boys 72 kg classification.

Finally, Sudbury weightlifter Joel Asselin found himself matched up against some heavier opponents as the Games looked to incorporate the sport for the first time. That didn’t stop the local lad from enjoying some top-end personal results, successfully securing 92 kg in the snatch competition, and 120 kg in the clean and jerk, good enough for a first place finish in the 77 kilo weight class.

Both the 120 kg (264 lbs) and the combined total (212 kg) were new records for Asselin, who entered the event at just 63.8 kilos.

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