The Vancouver Island North zone team won double gold in men’s soccer. B.C. 55-Plus Games photo

The Vancouver Island North zone team won double gold in men’s soccer. B.C. 55-Plus Games photo

Athletes excel, earn gold at B.C. 55-Plus Games

57 athletes from the Nanaimo region medalled at the games, held in the Kootenays last week

Nanaimo athletes returned home from the B.C. 55-Plus Games with their suitcases weighed down with gold, silver and bronze.

More than 50 athletes from Nanaimo, Lantzville, Nanoose Bay, Gabriola Island and Cassidy medalled at the multi-sport games, held Sept. 11-15 in Cranbrook and Kimberley.

Some of the highlights for Nanaimo-area athletes came on the soccer pitch, mountain bike trails and at the track. Men’s 55-plus and 65-plus soccer teams both won gold, a mountain bike contingent raced to more than two dozen medals, including 14 golds, and two track and field athletes from Nanoose Bay, Joe Giegerich and Patti Rogers, totalled 15 golds, winning every event they entered.

As a team, Vancouver Island North zone was runner-up in the medal count with 135 gold, 57 silver, 42 bronze for 234 medals. Fraser Valley topped the medal standings with 152 gold and 304 medals.

Despite some inclement weather, the overarching consensus from participants, organizers and volunteers alike was solidly positive, said Sandy Zeznik, co-president of the Kimberley-Cranbrook games.

“It wasn’t the best September weather that we’ve had for sure,” she said. “First we were worried about smoke, then we’re worried about if it was ever going to quit raining, and it was cold. But there’s nothing you can do about that.”

The games present opportunities to make new friends or connect with old ones, she said.

“What brings people to those games is socialization as well as competition,” Zeznik said. “Yes, they’re competitive when they’re here and they want to do well in their sport, but they also want to see Betty or Harry or Mary from the games last year, or meet new friends, or talk to each other and see the connections.”

Results include:

Archery – Ida McClellan, silver, target, recurve without sight, silver, 3D, recurve without sight.

Badminton – Royce Nasvadi, gold, recreational doubles.

Curling – Penny Shantz, gold.

Golf – Tina Robertson, silver, low gross.

Mountain biking – David Saunders, bronze, long course, silver, team relay; Bruce Mitchell, gold, long course, gold, team relay; Dalton Corbett, silver, long course, silver, mixed team relay; Judy Villeneuve, gold, long course, gold, mixed team relay; Janet Oxler, gold, long course, silver, mixed team relay; Mary Mark, gold, long course, gold, team relay; Andy Pomeroy, gold, short course, gold, mixed team relay; Margaret Graham, gold, short course, gold, team relay; Laura Beck, gold, short course; Jack Mowatt, silver, team relay; Janie Mowatt, silver, team relay, silver, short course; Ruth Johnson, silver, team relay, gold, short course; Tim Johnson, silver, team relay, bronze, short course.

Pickleball – Pete Korvin, bronze, singles, gold, mixed doubles; Anna Edgar, gold, mixed doubles, silver, doubles; Carolyn Pate, silver, doubles; Michael Murphy, bronze, mixed doubles.

Slo-pitch – Judy Mitchell, silver; Jim Reynolds, silver; Gloria Young, silver; Marie Morton, silver; Rick Deleau, silver.

Soccer – Jeff Till, gold, Alfredo Moon, gold, Mark Wareham, gold, Ron Reynolds, gold, Anup Kang, gold, Kim Nagra, gold, John Eby, gold, Rick Henderson, gold, Gary Kaczynski, gold, Robert Henry, gold, Dave Johnson, gold, Jon Dominy, gold, Les McGrath, gold, Scott McLean, gold, Barry Murphy, gold, Wayne McConnie, gold, Joe Hopwood, gold, Glen Murphy, gold, Bob Unwin, gold, Gian Nagra, gold.

Swimming – Helen Sharpe, bronze, 50m backstroke, gold, 50m breaststroke, gold, 100m breast, silver, 100m free, silver, 25m breast, bronze, 25m free, gold, 4x25m freestyle relay; Nancy Ryan, silver, 50m back, bronze, 200m free, bronze, 100m free, silver, 50m free, silver, 100m back, silver, 100m individual medley, gold, 4x25m freestyle relay; gold, 4x25m medley relay, gold, 4x50m free relay; Ian Burvill, gold, 4x50m free relay, gold, 4x25m free relay, gold, 4x25m medley relay, silver, 100m breast, gold, 25m fly, silver, 50m breast, gold, 50m fly, gold, 50m free, gold, 200m free.

Tennis – Isabelle Armstrong, silver, mixed doubles, gold, doubles; Shirley Craddock gold, doubles, bronze, mixed doubles.

Track and field – Bob Gehm, bronze, 400m, bronze, 800m, silver, 5,000m power walk, gold, long jump; Denise Bonin, silver, 100m dash, silver, 200m, bronze, 50m, bronze, 4x100m mixed relay; Patti Rogers, gold, 4x100m relay, gold, long jump, gold, triple jump, gold, 400m, gold, 100m, gold, 200m, gold, 50m; Debra Alamolhoda, silver, 5,000m power walk, gold, 4x400m powerwalk relay; Marion Drage, gold, 100m, silver, 400m, gold, 50m; Joe Giegerich, gold, high jump, gold, pentathlon, gold, 50m, gold, long jump, gold, triple jump, gold, javelin, gold, 200m, gold, 50m.

-with files from Black Press