City’s sports heroes, heroines get gold

The News Bulletin looks back at the past year in Nanaimo sports headlines.

Michelle Stilwell celebrates her gold medal performance in the 200-metre final at London’s Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Stilwell is the News Bulletin’s Athlete of the Year for 2012.

Michelle Stilwell celebrates her gold medal performance in the 200-metre final at London’s Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Stilwell is the News Bulletin’s Athlete of the Year for 2012.


The Nanaimo Clippers play their first game of 2012, losing 3-2 in overtime to the Surrey Eagles on the Lower Mainland. Dan Correale scores the team’s first goal of the new year.

The Wellington Wildcats senior boys’ and senior girls’ basketball teams both place first at the Superball tournament in their home gym. The boys’ final is particularly exciting, with the ’Cats defeating D.W. Poppy 87-85 in triple overtime. Elijah Thornton makes a game-saving steal.

The Clippers make a handful of trade-deadline moves, acquiring forwards Brenden Forbes and Clayton Chessa and defenceman Taylor Carmola while trading away forward Colton Cyr.

Wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell breaks the world record in her division for the 400-metre distance at a series race in Canberra, Australia.

The Legendary Hockey Heroes team extends its win streak at the Old-timers’ Hockey Challenge at Frank Crane Arena, defeating the Nanaimo Law Enforcement team 15-8.


Nanaimo curling skip Kesa Van Osch and her teammates Kalia Van Osch, Marika Van Osch and Brooklyn Leitch represent B.C. at the Canadian Curling Association junior nationals. The team goes 8-4 in the round robin before losing in the semifinals.

Baseball player Adam Paulencu, volleyball player Lindsay McLoughlin, swimmer Adam Rahier and bowler Jennifer Park are the Athlete of the Year winners at the Nanaimo Sport Achievement Awards. Runners Thomas Oxland and Marita DeSchiffart win Junior Athlete of the Year.

The Nanaimo Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse team chooses Cody Bremner in the first round, seventh overall at the Western Lacrosse Association draft in Burnaby.

Dover Bay Secondary School hosts Island championships for wrestling. Dover’s Nathan Valsangkar, Avery Gibson, Kimberly van Hest and Cameron Liptrot and NDSS’s Kyle Clare win Island titles.

Nanaimo United’s Div. 1 men’s soccer team defeats Juan de Fuca 15-1 in the final regular-season game of the Vancouver Island Soccer League schedule at Merle Logan Field.

Twenty-one youths from Nanaimo and Nanoose Bay compete at the B.C. Winter Games in Vernon. Karate athlete Sage Thomas wins gold in sparring.

Curling skip Penny Shantz and her teammates Debbie Jones-Walker, Debbie Pulak and Shirley Wong win Curl B.C.’s senior women’s championship in Kelowna.


The Nanaimo Clippers are officially eliminated from post-season contention due to a Coquitlam Express victory on the out-of-town scoreboard.

Vancouver Island University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams earn silver at the PacWest championships in North Vancouver. The men lose 69-61 to the University of Northern B.C . and VIU’s women lose 62-53, also to UNBC.

The North Island Silvertips are eliminated from playoff contention on the last weekend of the B.C. Major Midget League hockey season.

The VIU Mariners women’s volleyball team wins the Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association championship on its home court, defeating the Mount Royal Cougars in the gold-medal match, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19, 26-24.

The Nanaimo United Div. 1 men’s soccer team is eliminated from the Jackson Cup playdowns in a 2-1 road loss to Bays United.

A Montreal Canadiens alumni team skates at Frank Crane Arena, picking up a 10-6 win over the Nurses 4 Kids Nanaimo team in the Hockey for Life charity game. Guy Lafleur coaches the Habs.

The Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners start their Canadian College Baseball Conference season with a 3-2 win at Serauxmen Stadium versus the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs. Cody Chartrand is the winning pitcher.

Mike Maughan is named the senior B lacrosse team’s new coach.


Nanaimo’s Tommy Gossland qualifies for the 2012 Olympics in London on the strength of his fourth-place finish in the 100-metre freestyle at the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials in Montreal.

The Nanaimo Hub City Paving Pirates lose their first game of the season, 3-2 in 12 innings to the Victoria Mariners at Serauxmen Stadium.

VIU’s athletics department hires Matt Kuzminski as the new coach of the Mariners men’s basketball team.

The Nanaimo Coastal Windows Timbermen senior A lacrosse team trade Lewis Ratcliff, a former team MVP, to the Langley Thunder in exchange for a first-round and second-round draft pick.

Three Nanaimo Volleyball Club teams – the Mariners U18 girls, the Express U16 girls and the Express Blue U14 girls – win Island championships.

Nanaimo’s Nick Hinchliffe defeats Bastien Huveneers by unanimous decision in the main event of Battlefield Fight League’s mixed martial arts card at the Port Theatre.

The Timbermen junior A lacrosse team loses its B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League season opener, 11-4 to the Coquitlam Adanacs at Frank Crane Arena.


The Nanaimo Timbermen junior B lacrosse team loses its first game of the season 9-5 to the Peninsula Warriors at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The DBL Timbermen senior B lacrosse team loses its opener 18-8 to the Port Moody Thunder at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers junior B hockey club gains final approval to join the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League for the 2012-13 season.

The Vancouver Island Raiders junior football team holds its spring camp at Nanaimo District Secondary School field, attracting 79 participants.

The Vancouver Island Baseball Institute Mariners finish second at the Canadian College Baseball Conference championships in Kamloops, losing the final 5-1 to the Prairie Baseball Academy Dawgs.

The Nanaimo Clippers hold spring camp at the Nanaimo Ice Centre, taking a look at 115 players play three games each over two days.

The Nanaimo Curling Centre is honoured as Curl B.C.’s Curling Centre of the Year. Kalia Van Osch is named the association’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year and Jim Newlands is chosen Coach of the Year.

The Nanaimo Timbermen senior A lacrosse team trades for all-star Cory Conway, sending first- and second-round draft picks to the Coquitlam Adanacs.

The senior A T-men win their home opener 17-7 against the Langley Thunder at Frank Crane Arena, establishing a new franchise record for goals in a home game.


Wastelands Motocross Park hosts the Canadian Motorsport Racing Corporation’s Motocross Nationals. Matt Goerke wins both his MX-1 main events on a muddy track, while Teddy Maier captured the MX-2 title.

Christina Proteau wins the Mid-Island Amateur women’s golf tournament by seven strokes at the Nanaimo Golf Club.

Nanaimo Boxing Club athletes Justis MacKay-Topley, Alex Wisniewski and Thomas Eytcheson win their bouts at the B.C. Silver Gloves in Mission.

The Nanaimo Coal Miners senior men’s baseball team loses its home opener 6-0 to the Seattle Studs at Serauxmen Stadium.

The Nanaimo Timbermen junior A lacrosse team trades six players, including its top four goal scorers and its No. 1 goalie. The transactions are made without consulting the coaching staff.

Nanoose Bay’s Michelle Stilwell and Mike Mason and Nanaimo’s Tommy Gossland and Tony Theriault are cheered as the Liftoff to London rally at Diana Krall Plaza recognizes Olympic and Paralympic qualifiers.


The Nanaimo White Rapids summer swim club hosts its annual invitational meet at Bowen Park’s Kin Pool.

Nanaimo youths call an end to their attempt at the world’s longest street hockey game. They play outside the Nanaimo Curling Centre for 50 hours, almost halfway to the record.

The Nanaimo BMX Association hosts the American Bicycle Association’s Harbour City Nationals at Marie Davidson BMX Park.

The Nanaimo Impact U17 rep girls’ soccer team repeats as provincial champions, beating the Port Coquitlam Fury 2-1 in Kelowna. Emily Shires scores both her team’s goals.

The Abbotsford Yard Dogs win Softball B.C.’s senior men’s fastball championship, defeating the Sooke Smoke 4-0 at Cedar’s Wheatsheaf Sports Complex.

Nanaimo’s Sandy Harper wins the B.C. Golf senior men’s championship by 11 strokes at the Nanaimo Golf Club.

The Nanaimo Coastal Windows Timbermen miss the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs after an 11-10 loss to the Burnaby Lakers at Frank Crane Arena.

The Nanaimo District Lacrosse Association hosts the B.C. Lacrosse girls’ provincial championships at the Nanaimo Ice Centre and Frank Crane Arena. Nanaimo’s junior women place fourth, with Toni Angell getting tournament MVP honours.

Local youths fare well at the B.C. Summer Games in Surrey. Paddler Jade Minor wins nine medals, including three gold, and rower Aaron Christie wins six medals including five gold. Jenaya Pynn and Alyssa Mousseau win gold and silver, respectively, in the 800-metre race.

The Vancouver Island Raiders junior football team holds main camp at Port Alberni, holding twice-a-day practices for five days.


The Nanaimo DBL Timbermen senior B lacrosse team is eliminated from the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association playoffs, losing two games to none in the semifinals to the Tri-City Bandits.

The Wheatsheaf fastball club wins the Nanaimo Senior Men’s Fastball League title, defeating Palladian Developments 8-7 in the rubber match at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park. Lee Lucas is the winning pitcher.

The Vancouver Island Raiders win their season opener, defeating the Westshore Rebels 44-14 in Victoria. Quarterback Jordan Yantz throws for four touchdowns and 331 yards and also runs in a TD.

The Nanaimo Hub City Paving Pirates are upset at the B.C. Premier Baseball League championships at Serauxmen Stadium, going winless over three games. The four teams combine for 13 home runs at the tournament and the Okanagan Athletics win the final 9-7 over the North Shore Twins.

The VIU Mariners lose 89-71 to the Northwestern State University Demons from Louisiana in men’s exhibition basketball at the Vancouver Island University gym.

The White Rapids host the B.C. Summer Swimming Association championships at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, including racing, synchronized swimming, water polo and diving.

VIU’s men’s basketball team is defeated 85-45 by the Cal State Northridge Matadors in an exhibition game at the VIU gym.

Athletes from Nanaimo, Nanoose Bay, Lantzville, Cedar and Gabriola participate in the B.C. Seniors Games in Burnaby. Track and field competitors Barry Sparkes, Sven Donaldson and Joe Giegerich and swimmer Heidi Bromley win five medals apiece.

Nanaimoites Shawn Boyd, Katy Condon, Helmut Mark and Lorri Jongeneel complete the Subaru Ironman Canada triathlon in Penticton.


Wheelchair racer Michelle Stilwell wins a gold medal in the 200 metres and a silver in the 100m at the Paralympic Games in London.

The Nanaimo Buccaneers junior B hockey team plays its first-ever game in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, a 5-4 overtime win over the Comox Valley Glacier Kings at the Nanaimo Ice Centre. Quentin McShane scores the historic game-winner.

The Nanaimo Clippers win their home opener, defeating the Powell River Kings 3-1 at Frank Crane Arena. Colton Dahlen scores the game-winning goal.

The Run for the Mountain six-kilometre run/walk is held at Westwood Lake Park. Jeremiah Johnston of Mission sets a new record of 19 minutes, 39 seconds and Nanaimo’s Erin Burrett lowers the women’s record to 23:30.

VIU’s soccer teams start the Pacific Western Athletic Association season with losses against the Kwantlen Eagles at Mariner Field.

Both Nanaimo’s AA varsity football teams are winners to start the season. The Barsby Bulldogs crush the Carson Graham Eagles 64-14 in North Vancouver while the Nanaimo District Islanders shut out the Argyle Pipers 33-0 at NDSS.

The Nanaimo Museum’s Sports Hall of Fame inducts builder Jim Gold, alpine skier Allison Forsyth, sprinter Mary Thomasson and lacrosse player Don Ashbee.

The North Island Silvertips lose their season opener in the B.C. Major Midget League 6-3 to the Okanagan Rockets at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.


The Vancouver Island University Mariners volleyball teams serve up a new PacWest season with matches in Victoria agains the Camosun Chargers. The women win in straight sets; the men lose in straight sets.

The Nanaimo BMX Association can boast two national champions as Mackay Leslie wins the 16-year-old cruiser division, while Matthew Greskovits wins the 15-year-old intermediate division at grand nationals in Chilliwack.

The V.I. Raiders are defeated 20-13 by the Langley Rams in the B.C. Football Conference championship game at Caledonia Park. It ends the Raiders’ string of six straight provincial championships.

The Nanaimo Redmen finally win their first game of the season, hammering the North Langley Bears 48-0 at May Richards Bennett Pioneer Park to end an eight-game losing streak.

The Nanaimo Track and Field Club’s Madison Heisterman wins gold in the 3,000-metre race at the B.C. Cross-Country Championships in Abbotsford.


The VIU Mariners basketball teams both win their home openers against the Camosun Chargers. The women win 58-45 and then the men follow up with an 83-78 victory. Heather McCarthy and Brandon Jones are the scoring leaders.

The Nanaimo Timbermen junior A lacrosse club announces the firing of coach Dale Nicks, and three days later, announces the hiring of Brad Dougan.

Nanaimo District Islanders runner Miryam Bassett places second at the B.C. School Sports cross-country provincial championships in Prince George. Marita DeSchiffart of Nanaimo Christian School places third.

The VIU Mariners men’s soccer team loses a heartbreaker in the gold-medal match at the Canadian Colleges’ Athletic Association championships in Coquitlam. After the M’s and Humber Hawks remain tied 2-2 through regulation and overtime, the Hawks eventually win a shootout, 7-6.

The Nanaimo District Islanders senior AAA girls’ volleyball team wins the Island championship, beating Ballenas in the final in Victoria. Victoria Behie is chosen MVP.

Nanaimo cyclocross racer Janna Gillick wins the masters women national championship in Surrey. The following weekend the Cross on the Rock series holds its championship race at Beban Park.

The Barsby Bulldogs AA varsity football team is defeated 27-12 by the South Delta Sun Devils in the provincial semifinals at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium.

Art Webster steps down as coach of the Nanaimo Timbermen senior A lacrosse team. He will be an assistant coach with the Victoria Shamrocks in 2013.

The Nanaimo Clippers announce that Hadi Abassi is joining the ownership group of the junior A hockey club.


All six of Nanaimo’s high schools enter senior boys’ and senior girls’ basketball teams for 2012-13.

The Canadian Lacrosse Association announces its decision to crack down on fighting at all levels of the game, mandating automatic ejections for fighting at the intermediate, junior and senior levels.