Falcons Stop Six-Game WCL Skid

Falcons Stop Six-Game WCL Skid

The Kelowna Falcons halted a six-game losing streak and managed a split of their West Coast (Baseball) League doubleheader with a 6-2 win over the Walla Walla Sweets on Wednesday.

The Falcons lost the first game of the twinbill 6-4 and sit at 4-7 going into Thursday’s third game of the series in Walla Walla.

A combined one-hit performance by three pitchers got the Falcons back in the win column in the second game.

As in the first game, the Sweets got on the board first, courtesy of a rash of bases-on-balls. Falcons’ starter, Matthew Moriarty lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He didn’t allow a hit, but did give up two runs on five walks.

Brett Solano came out of the pen and was brilliant, throwing 4 2/3 shutout innings. He gave up but one Sweets hit, while striking out six on the way to the win. Matt Rigby cleaned up in the seventh, striking out one on route to a save.

Offensively the Falcons tied the game in the top of third with a pair of runs. Scotland Church smacked a one out single to score both Kevin Biro and Josh Croft.

In the top of the sixth the Falcons scored three runs, all in very different ways. Thomas Lanecollected his first run-batted-in of the summer with a single to score Church. The next batter, Colton Waltner, hit a sacrifice fly to score Nick Minteer. Then Brandon Grimsley scored on a wild pitch.

The Falcons scored an insurance run in the seventh when Grimsley knocked in Jeff Nelsonwith an RBI single.

In all, the Kelowna offence outhit the Sweets 11-1, led by Jared Smith and his three-hit night. Grimsley, Minteer and Church each had a pair of hits.

In game one, the Sweets took advantage of a wild Kevin Flemer, who was making his Falcons debut. The Oregon State starter lasted just one inning, walking four and allowing five runs. Joel Lamont pitched the second inning and allowed a run on two hits.

Finally, Aaron Mason took control throwing the final four innings, giving up just three hits, but the damage had already been done.

With the Falcons trailing 6-0 in the fourth inning, the offence finally showed some life, getting a RBI sac fly from Smith to score Church. The Falcons had three hits in the inning.

Then in the sixth, the Falcons scored a pair of runs as Minteer crossed on a Waltner fielder’s choice before Grimsley scored on an error.

In the seventh Grimsley brought in Nelson on an RBI single, but that’s as close as the Falcons would come.

Flemer was tagged with the loss despite the Falcons outhitting the Sweets 10-6. Church, Nelson, Minteer and Grimsley each had a two-hit game.

OGC Athletes Contribute To B.C. Silver

OGC Athletes Contribute To B.C. Silver

op performances by Okanagan Gymnastics Centre helped Team BC claim second place overall at the Western Canada Cup tumbling and trampoline championships in Calgary.

Jaylin Otteson and Abby McDonald teamed up to take the bronze medal in the Provincial 3 synchronized trampoline event, while Otteson won the Provincial 3 individual tramp title.

McDonald earned top spot in the Provincial 4 championship on the double mini trampoline; finished third on the individual tramp; and added a third place in the Provincial 2 tumbling event for third place all around.

As part of Team BC, Otteson and Mcdonald contributed to B.C.’s third place in trampoline, double mini and tumbling. The grand total is calculated by taking the top three scores of the four team members in each event finals. B.C. took second place all around.

Two other OGC athletes, also coached by Jamie Gardner, chose to travel to the competition as independent competitors.

Jordan Macdonald finished sixth in the Provincial 3 individual trampoline and fourth in the Provincial 2 double mini competition.

Andrew Oliver of the OGC also competed, placing fourth in the Provincial 4 trampoline and ninth in the Provincial 4 double mini.

Minor Football To Ride Flag Wave

Minor Football To Ride Flag Wave

While the host teams weren’t among the medalists at the seventh annual B.C. flag football championships, the Kelowna Minor Football Association is expected to be the big winner later this fall.

A record 116 teams and about 1,200 players competed in 505 games during a 29-hour period at the Mission Sport Fields recently. And Jeff Koltun, president of the KMFA, sees those numbers making an impact on the upcoming tackle football season.

“We plan to use the momentum and fun factor of the provincials to boost our fall tackle program,” said Koltun, who was quick to point out that registration is now open at kmfa.ca. “The provincial flag tournament was a great showcase for the game of football and showed how the flag can be a stepping stone to tackle.”

The KMFA flag season this spring included 300 players, with 27 of the 32 Kelowna teams taking part at the provincials where each team played a minimum of 10 games.

“We played 25-minute games in pool play and that allowed teams to play more games and gain more experience,” said Koltun.

Koltun said the growth in the sport is due in part to being inclusive, affordable and accessible.

“The teams are small, all kids get playing time and there’s very little cost involved. We supply all the equipment,” said Koltun. “With only five players on the field at one time, it’s easy to rotate kids in and out, so they all get a chance to play and develop their skills. It’s a very simple sport for parents to get their kids involved in.”

The under-10 provincial championship was won by the North Surrey Thunderbirds, while the North Delta Longhorns (Black) won the U-12 title. The Royal City Hyacks (Orange) finished first in the U-14 division and the North Delta Broncos took the U-16 championship. The first-ever provincial U-19 title went to the North Surrey Ravens.

The top finish among KMFA teams was turned in by the U-10 Kelowna Vipers, who placed eighth among 20 teams.

“Our teams are up against some pretty stiff competition,” noted Kolton. “While our teams are set up to spread out the talent evenly, many of the visiting teams are tiered. But our kids still enjoyed the challenge and just did the best they could.”

For more information on the Kelowna Minor Football Association go to http://www.kmfa.ca

Ogopogos Overall Winners In Merritt Meet

Ogopogos Overall Winners In Merritt Meet

A contingent of 53 Kelowna Ogopogo Swim Club athletes combined for a 250-point margin of victory in the team competiton at a summer meet in Merritt on the weekend.

While the Ogopogos reigned as the winning team, numerous individual swimmers stood out, among them Sydney Reynolds, Erik Haaheim and Myles Woodward, all of whom swam 100 per cent best times.

Flyn Huber of the Ogopogos took the aggregate silver in the Div. 2 boys’ competition, while Logan Lalonde broke the 30-second mark in the 50-metre freestyle event on the way to securing the aggregate silver medal in Division 5.The Division 4 girls led the way to the podium, with Makenna Haight and Rachel Schueler tying for the aggregate gold.

Yet another silver aggregate went to Emalie Schueler in the Div. 6 girls competition.

Bronze aggregate winners among the Ogopogos were Kylie Haight – Division 2 girls; Randi Thompson – Division 6 girls; Patrick Epman – Division 7 boys and Andrew Skilbeck – Division 6 boys, who is in his first season with the team.

The Ogopogos continue their summer schedule this weekend with a meet in Lumby.

For more information on the club go to www.ogopogoswimclub.com

High School Rugby Talent Showcased

High School Rugby Talent Showcased

The bad weather held off and the stars came out on Thursday at Parkinson Sports Fields.

About 70 players showcased their talents in the annual Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiasts high school all-star games.

PRC selectors, UBC Okanagan coaches and Kelowna Crows coaches were on-hand to watch the top U-18 and U-16 players compete.

A evenly matched game saw the Blues win with a late try.The afternoon began with the U-18 match under threatening storm clouds, featuring the top players from Kelowna Secondary School, Mt .Boucherie Secondary and Rutland Secondary playing against former teammates and with former opponents.

The U-16 match featured the top players from Const. Neil Bruce Middle School, Glenrosa Middle, Kelowna Secondary, Mt. Boucherie Secondary, Rutland Middle, Rutland Secondary, and Springvalley Middle schools.

The Blue jerseys appeared to have all the luck on the day, winning the U-16 match as well.

U-18 All-Stars

Mt. Boucherie Bears — Travis Bello, Cole Bertram, Jakob Brown, James Gabriel, Quinn Dartnell, Eli Hogarth, Keegan Hughes, Ben Krell, Connor MacLeod, Tyler MacLeod, Rylon Meyers, Tyler Ostrom, Brock Zeleniski and Aidan Zimmer.

Kelowna Owls — Tofer Dang, Dom Haynes, Andrew Henseleit, Robin Huculuk, Owen Marshall, Ross Mosychuk, Zach Neufeld, Brendan Struthers, Thomas Yang and Kurt Yesilcimen.

Rutland Voodoos — Tristan Allen, Riley Dickson, Osiris Dion, Lucas Gering, Kyle Hillier, Stuart Marais Tuttle, Trenton Nesdoly, Johnny Roy, Matt Walz and Mitchel Walz.

U-16 All-Stars

Rutland Voodoos — Connor Allardyce, Quinn Allardyce, Nick Ciupka, Jacob Dawson, Elias Gering, Kurtis Kilmartin, Mitchell Kilmartin and Seth Nemeth.

Kelowna Owls — Keenan Berg, Seth Campbell, Nico Dirksen, Kyle Durec, Rory Haynes, Jack Lawson, Jake Lutz, Erik Mitchell, Cole Stregger, Noah Trites and John Yu.

Constable Neil Bruce Cubs — Quinn Caldwell, Wyatt Fagan and Chris Smith.

Rutland Middle Voodoos — Jordan Crawford and Tanner Friesen.

Springvalley Stingers — Eric Ferguson and Josh Saunders.

Glenrosa Jaguars — Storm Fisher, Max Krell and Eddy San Agustin.

Immaculata Mustangs — Logan Kilpatrick, Peter King, Giovanni Sambrielaz and Brady Shaw.

Mt. Boucherie Bears — Aiden McLeod, Valentine Paul, Mackenzie Symmon and Ty Truong.

Central OK Hall Welcomes Five

Central OK Hall Welcomes Five

Two inductees who reached the pinnacle of their sport and three who helped others attain theirs, will be welcomed officially into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame Museum in November.

Announced on Tuesday as the newest inductees into the hall were the 2004 Memorial Cup champion Kelowna Rockets (team); Glen Mervyn (athlete), a silver medalist in rowing at the 1960 summer Olympics in Rome; Gillian Thomson (builder), who has earned provincial, national and international recognition for her volunteer work in sailing; and Brenda and Mike Van Tighem (builders), tireless and highly respected track and field coaches and volunteers for more than 20 years in Kelowna.

Up against the Guelph Storm, Gatineau Olympiques and Medicine Hat Tigers, the Western Hockey League champion Rockets went undefeated in round-robin play, allowing just two goals in three games behind the goaltending of Kelly Guard, who would go on to win the most valuable player award.Captained by Kelowna’s own Josh Gorges and playing on home ice, the 2004 Rockets completed the magical story by winning the Memorial Cup, emblematic of junior hockey supremacy,

Facing Gatineau in the final, Guard and his teammates again shut the door and defeated the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions 2-1 in the final on goals by Randall Gelech and Justin Keller just 3:06 apart in the third period.

“The best memories you have of winning are of the battles you go through with the guys,” said Gorges in a recent interview with Justin Fragapane of canadiens.com. “You come out of a game and look around the room and all you see are guys who are banged up – they’ve got ice-packs on their shoulders on their knees, cuts and stitches – and you know how tired they are because you know how tired you are.

“When you win together you become friends forever. Most of those guys who I won with on that team are all still my good friends today.”

In a recent 10th anniversary tribute by Kelowna Rockets play-by-play announcer, Regan Bartel, Gelech was quoted at the time of the Rockets’ win as saying after the final buzzer:

“I think I have broken down in tears about three times”, he said after the final buzzer sounded. “I never dreamed in a million years that this would ever feel this good. Now that we’ve done it, it feels like I need to wake up. It feels like a dream,” added Gelech, who was selected the Memorial Cup all-star team that year and went on to play seven years of minor pro hockey.

Many of the Rockets on the Memorial Cup team went on to play in the National Hockey League including Gorges (San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens), Shea Weber (Nashville Predators), Blake Comeau (New York Islanders, Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets), Kyle Cumiskey (Colorado Avalanche), Troy Bodie (Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs), D.J. King (St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals), Cam Paddock (St. Louis Blues) and Mike Card (Buffalo Sabres).

Other members of the team, many of whom went on to play professional hockey in North America and Europe, were Nolan Waker, Chris Ray, Simon Ferguson, Brent Howarth, Justin Keller, Patrik Valcak, Bichal Blanar, Kevin Reinholt, Stewart Thiessen, Darren Deschamps, Brett Palin and Derek Yeomans.

Marc Habscheid was the head coach, assisted by Jeff Truit, Larry Keating, Ryan Huska and Kim Dillabaugh.

It was announced in January that the 2004 Rockets will also be inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton on July 25.

Glen Mervyn

The stroker for the 8s rowing team that won the only Canadian medal (silver) at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Glen Mervyn will join teammate Don Arnold of Winfield in the Central Okanagan Sports Hall Of Fame Museum.

Mervyn, who died of cancer at age 63 in 2000, was also a member of the University of B.C. 8s team that won a gold medal at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Wales in 1958. He also stroked for the 8s team that rowed to silver at the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago.

Mervyn enrolled at UBC in 1957.Born at Pender Harbour, B.C. in 1937, Mervyn moved to Kelowna with his family in 1945. He began rowing with the urging on Kelowna’s Ray Bostockin 1955 and with only four months of training with Bostock, Russ Ensignand Budge Winters, won a B.C. championship title.

His wife, Christina Mervyn, was in attendance at the Kelowna Museum on Tuesday and said her husband would have been “quietly thrilled” at being inducted to the hall of fame.

“He was humble guy about it (Olympic silver) because he always thought it should have been gold,” said Christina with a smile. “But as he got older, the medal did get shinier, especially when he realized it was the only medal Canada won that year.

Christina Mervyn said she will always remember Glen as the most positive and encouraging person who “never said never”.

“He always said that if you wanted something badly enough, you could do it.”

Mervyn, inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, was true to his word when in 1987, at the age of 50, he connected with the Kelowna-area cycling community and expressed interest in participating in road racing and time trialing.

Combining local support and guidance with his own dedication and scientific approach to training, he went on to win the silver medal in the road race at the Canadian masters cycling championships in 1989.

Continuing his pursuit of excellence, he returned to the national championships in 1990, 1991 and 1992, where he won gold each year in either the road race or the time trial.

Mervyn’s accomplishments at the Canadian national level took him to the World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, where he won the gold medal in the time trial event three consecutive years and the road race gold in 1991.

Following his three-year battle with colon and liver cancer, Mervyn made a triumphant return to the World Senior Games in 1997 where he won the gold medal in the road race and a silver in the time trial.

It was at that event he was presented with a special Courage To Come Back Award by the organizing committee.

Gerry Morrison, who nominated Mervyn as an inductee, competed with his friend at national and international cycling and cross country events.

He said he was inspired by Mervyn when he was alive and still is.

“I’ll always remember him saying: ‘Gerry, if you have anything left after a competition, you didn’t go hard enough.’

“And when he was in the hospital with cancer, he told me: ‘Look at me and remember, if you want to do something, do it before your time is up.”

 Mike and Brenda Van Tighem

Fixtures in Kelowna for almost 20 years, the Van Tighems, both school teachers, were the heart and soul of track and field in the Central Okanagan before leaving for Calgary in 2001.

Mike Van Tighem was among several Kelowna citizens who revived the Kelowna Track and Field Club in 1983 and helped organize the construction of the track at the Apple Bowl.

Among other national medalists under his tutelage were Aundrea Bertoia, Carmen Ballard, Gillian Moody, Teena Kripps, Jennifer Newton, Johanna Symes and Molly Bannerman.He was a founding member of the first Jack Brow Memorial Track and Field Meet in 1985 and went on to coach national middle-distance runners —Brenda Shackleton, Tania Jones and Malindi Elmore, the latter going on to represent Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Mike Van Tighem also coached Canadian track and field and cross country teams at various international events and was a sought-after on-sight track and field announcer for national and international meets.

Brenda Van Tighem, a Level 4 NCCP coach, was also a long-standing committee member for the Jack Brow Memorial and was the first Hershey track and field co-ordinator for the B.C. Interior.

She too coached Canadian national teams and coached some of Kelowna’s top athletes — Laura Walberg, Karen Gubbles, Tracey Melesko, Olivia Smoody, Ardin Harrison, Kyle Guthrie, Lauren Siebel, Natasha Brisotto and Amanda Stearns.

“Both Mike and Brenda are kind and generous people with a passion for track and field,” said Don Bertoia, who spoke on the couple’s behalf at the hall of fame announcement. “They don’t have children of their own, so they adopted each of the athletes and dedicated themselves to caring for and developing their talents.

“While they played a significant role in helping athletes reach the podium at many different levels, they believed the measure of success was in the athletes being satisfied with their performance.”

Bertoia, who ran (800 metres) for Canada at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, added that the Van Tighems were and still are ‘very well respected’ throughout Canada and put Kelowna on the map when it came to track and field.

Malindi Elmore said the Van Tighems created an environment of excellence and inclusion for all their athletes.

“They were outstanding role models, always acting with integrity, encouraging others to be the best they could be through hard work, dedication and sportsmanship.

“Not only was athletics alive and thriving in Kelowna during their years here, but hundreds of lives were touched and profoundly impacted by Mike and Brenda’s involvement.”

Bertoia passed on a message from the Van Tighems, who are still in Calgary, but are expected to attend the hall of fame induction ceremony in November.

“This is a tremendous honour — an honour that has been made possible only because of a small group of people who had the foresight and initiative to form the Kelowna Track and Field Club in 1983,” they said. “The founding group was made up of people of the highest integrity who formed the club for the best possible reason — the kids. If it wasn’t for those to formed and developed the club, we would not be receiving this recognition today. Thank you.”

Gillian Thomson

Described as an organizational powerhouse at the local, provincial, national and international level of sailing, Gillian Thomson will be inducted into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall Of Fame Museum as a builder.

Still active as a member of the Canadian Yachting Association board of directors and the International Federation for Disabled Sailing, Thompson was president of the Central Okanagan Sailing Association from 2004 to 2007 and director for Learn to Sail programs at COSA and B.C. from 1994 to 2011.

Perhaps her most significant legacy as a volunteer will be the impact Thomson has had on females in the sport.The Kelowna native played a major role in COSA being recognized as having the best sailing school in Canada in 1991 and 2000 by the Canadian Yachting Association. She was also named B.C. Sailing’s volunteer of the year in 2007.

“There is no one in Canada who has turned more females on to sailing than Gillian,” said Ron Rubadeau, a former superintendent of the School District 23 and a sailing enthusiast. “It’s not her job, it’s her passion. Gillian has worked the phones, rallied the neighbourood and tamed the waters to become both an exceptional sailor and sailswoman.”

Dan MacAfee, a past president of COSA, said the role modelling Thomson provides to girls for the sailing community is evident as the number of female sailing instructors is either equal to or exceeding those of males.

“Gillian exemplifies what Aristotle was talking about when he wrote about excellence. ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.’

“Gillian’s habit is to show us an inspired future by leading through example.”

While Thompson will be inducted to the hall as a volunteer, she has been competitive at the national and international level as well.

She won a gold medal at the 1992 women’s Hobie 18 world championships, a silver medal at the 1993 worlds, and claimed a silver medal in the Hobie 16 Trapseat Sailing event at the 1998 Pan American Games.

“The establishment of the Central Okanagan sports hall of fame was exciting when it was formed a few years ago, but I didn’t expect to be standing up here with the inductees,” said Thompson on Tuesday. “It’s a really big honour and I am truely humbled.

“Sport in Kelowna has always been a big part of my life and my family’s life. It’s a big part of the culture in Kelowna. Just to be a part of that connection is thrilling.”

The new members of the Central Okanagan Sports Hall Of Fame Museum will be inducted officially on Nov. 20 at the Coast Capri Hotel.

Tickets for the breakfast gala will be on sale at the Kelowna Museums.

Founded in 2008, the first inductees to the Central Okanagan Sports Hall Of Fame Museum were the 1958 Kelowna Packers hockey team.
Past Inductees

2009 – Joanne Ritchie, Rick Folkcurling team, Jack Brow and the Athans family.

2010 – Jay Christensen, Don ArnoldTeddy Bears basketball team, Mervyn Andrews and Henry Tostenson.

2011 – Lawrence Nagy, Eric Tasker, Joan Campbell, Dan Bertoia and Aundrea Bertoia.

2012 – Ermina Russo, Alex Recsky, Barry Urness, 1998 Okanagan Sunand Glenn Ennis.

2013 – Brock Aynsley, Blair Chapman, Wayne North and the 1988 Sutton junior women’s curling team.

Nominations are forwarded from the general public and scrutinized by a nomination committee, a selection committee and the sports legacy committee.

For more information on the Central Okanagan Sports Hall Of Fame Museum here.

A’s Bats Silenced In Victoria

A’s Bats Silenced In Victoria

Held to just nine hits overall, the Okanagan Athletics dropped four straight games to the host Victoria Mariners in B.C. Premier (Midget) Baseball League play on the weekend.

Chris Fougner’s no-hitter in a 2-1 extra-inning victory on Sunday, highlighted the Mariner pitchers’ dominance over the A’s (21-15), who had gone into the weekend having won 14 of their past 16 encounters.

Fougner’s no-no spoiled a solid outing by A’s starter, Trevor Lofstrom, who scattered six Victoria hits over seven innings, while striking out five and walking four.

Meanwhile, Fougner lowered his earned-run average to 1.33, while mowing down 10 Athletics on strikeouts.The Kelowna-based A’s scored their only run in the third inning when Matt Brodt crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice. He led off with a walk, advanced to second on a catcher’s obstruction during a McCoy Pearceat-bat A’s and stole third base.

Victoria scored the winning run without the benefit of a hit. A walk, a balk and an Athletics error produced the difference in the ballgame.

The Mariners, in third place in the 13-team BCPBL with a 20-6 record, completed their weekend sweep Sunday afternoon, by defeating the A’s 2-0 behind the two-hit pitching of Colton Wood. The righthander (4-1) struck out seven and gave up only singles to Thomas Sloan and Pearce.

Again, the A’s received a stellar effort from their pitchers — Matt Brodt and Brian Hryniuk. Brodt allowed just five hits in his five innings of work, while Hryniuk pitched two perfect innings in relief while fanning two Victoria batters.

The A’s opened the weekend by dropping a 7-1 decision to the Mariners at Lambrick Park, as three Victoria pitchers gave up a total of four singles — two by Markus Glowacki and one each by Lofstrom and Chase Decosse.

A two-run third inning, after the A’s had opened the scoring in the top of the frame, was all the Mariners needed for the win. They broke things open with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Two of the youngest Athletics, starter Easton Forrest (eight hits over 4 1/3 innings) and David Tongue (four hits over 1 2/3) were the victims of a 12-hit Mariners attack.

The second game of the series saw the A’s Jared Young pitch a complete game six-hitter, but he and his teammates managed but three singles, one of them by Young, in a 4-0 loss.

The A’s now have a 10-day break before travelling to Coquitlam for a doubleheader against the Reds on June 25. They play two games against the Abbotsford Cardinals in Abby July 2 before meeting the Parksville Royals for a four-game series at Elks Stadium July 5 and 6.