Taylor celebrates discus gold

Armstrong’s Jacob Taylor (right), with Team B.C. coach Dylan Armstrong, won gold in the men’s 16U discus Wednesday at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto. (Team B.C. NAIG photo)

Jacob Taylor was as hot as the Ontario heat.

Taylor, a Pleasant Valley Secondary School student in Armstrong, won gold in the men’s 16U discus at the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, Hamilton and other communities in southern Ontario.

Taylor – coached at the Games by Kamloops Olympian Dylan Armstrong – won gold with a winning toss of 42.31 metres. Taylor’s medal was one of nine won by B.C. track and field athletes Wednesday before events were postponed due to extreme heat conditions. Competition was expected to resume Thursday. Taylor was also slated to compete in two relay events and the javelin.

On the lacrosse floor, Kiana Point of Vernon is making history. Point, a former member of the Armstrong Junior Shamrocks and Kelowna Raiders of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League, is an alternate captain with Team B.C., one of five teams competing in the 19U division. It’s the first time women’s lacrosse has been held at the Games, and it’s being played at what many people call the birthplace of lacrosse. Two of the Games’ three lacrosse venues are in the Six Nations of the Grand River, Canada’s largest Indigenous reserve – and a mecca of lacrosse in southwestern Ontario.

“The experience of the NAIG has been amazing so far,” said Point, who has been featured in a Globe and Mail article on women’s lacrosse at the Games, and interviewed on CBC. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet quite a few NLL (National Lacrosse League) players from Six Nations, as well as throw the ball around with them.

“Playing here in the heart of lacrosse has been such an honour.”

Point’s two brothers have both played lacrosse at the NAIG, and her dad, Jim, the current coach of the Junior Shamrocks, has twice coached at the Games.

Point and Team B.C. are playing for a bronze medal Friday, having dropped their semifinal game Thursday, 10-4, to Team Eastern Door and the North.

Vernon’s Stephane Richard and the B.C. U19 Male lacrosse team were hoping for a semifinal berth. They were 2-1 entering play Thursday.

Jacob Brewer of Vernon and Team B.C. beat Manitoba 14-4 to finish fifth in 16U Male. B.C. went 2-1 in the preliminary round.