Vernon and area synchronized swimmers sizzled at the B.C. Summer Games in Surrey.
Coached by Katie Dick of Vernon, the local girls pocketed seven medals at the Surrey Sports and Leisure Complex.
Shelby Kerr of Vernon struck gold in Level 2/3 solo, while earning silver medals in Level 2/3 figures. Kerr, along with Julia Palfreyman and Charlotte Barker, of Vernon, Taylor Sexsmith of Lumby and Kelowna’s Hanna Ruste and Zoe oberts, also struck silver in the team event.
Palfreyman combined with Barker for gold in the Level 2/3 duet, while placing 12th out of 30 competitors in Level 2/3 figures. Barker finished 13th in figures and Sexsmith was 16th.
“The Zone 2 synchronized Swimmers from Vernon, Lumby and Kelowna truly represented their communities and their sport,” said Dick. “Shelby Kerr, Julia Palfreyman and Charlotte Barker of Vernon were joined by Taylor Sexsmith of Lumby and Hannah Ruste and Zoe Roberts of Kelowna in only the past six weeks to choreograph, learn and perfect a brand new routine that usually takes a full year to create.
“These girls performed at their absolute best and can truly say they enjoyed every moment of their B.C. Summer Games experience. The girls were focused and motivated to do well, and as a team, they reached their goal of being on the podium. The team of six received the highest marks, placing their routine scores in first place, but in championship scores they fell to silver place. There wasn’t a person at the competition who didn’t complement them on their outstanding performance.”
Dick thanked members of the community for supporting their bottle drives and swim-a-thons.
Mason Christenson of Vernon helped Zone 2 defeat Fraser River-Delta 1-0 (4-3) in penalty kicks for the bronze medal in girls soccer.
In boys soccer, Owen Miller of Vernon and Ben Purvis of Armstrong played for the Thompson-Okanagan, 1-0 losers to the Fraser Valley in the bronze-medal match.
Purvis, a winger, scored once in both his Zone’s wins, 5-0 over the North West and 5-0 over the Kootenays.
Miller said the Thompson-Okanagan boys gave Fraser Valley a serious battle for bronze.
“We hit the post a couple of times and they scored off a bad bounce on a corner,” said Miller, a central fullback. “It was disappointing, but it (Games) was a lot of fun; it was worth it.”
Zone 2 finished fourth in both box lacrosse and boys volleyball.
Liam Drabiuk, Jonathan Grant, Tyler Landry and Jake Thompson, all of Vernon, and Justin Backus of Enderby played box lacrosse, while Nick Prystupa of Vernon was on the volleyball team.
In baseball, Vernon was well represented by Dylan Emmons and Parker Friesen as Zone 2 finished fifth at 2-1-1.
Emmons closed Game 1 on the mound, allowing no runs in the last inning of a 7-3 loss to Fraser Valley. He then pitched a one-hitter over three innings as the Thompson-Okanagan tied Vancouver Island-Central Coast 4-4. Friesen played second base in Game 2 while going 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Emmons played third base with no errors and going 3-for-3 at the plate as Zone 2 beat Victoria 7-4. Friesen patrolled centre field and tracked down three pop flies in the middle innings.
Emmons was the designated hitter and touched the bases three times as Zone 2 ambushed the Kootenays 11-1. Friesen went 2-for-2 with two ribbies.
In golf, Mackenzie Barrie finished seventh in the girls division with a two-round total 160. Matt McEachran-Law was 21st in boys golf at 163, while Russell Day was 29th at 172.
In track and field, Jared Sexsmith of Lumby was fifth in the high jump (1.65 metres), seventh in the long jump (5.1m) and 11th in javelin (32.61m).
“These Games saw a number of records fall as B.C.’s best (2,300 athletes) came together,” said Games President and CEO Kelly Mann. “That shows that B.C.’s investment in sport is paying off. We are seeing an escalation in skills in several sports, and many of the young people who competed here are well on their way to becoming provincial-level athletes.
“I firmly believe that many of the stars produced by these Summer Games in Surrey will one day compete for our country.”
With an average athlete age of 14 years, the B.C. Games are an important step and a training ground for the province’s best young athletes as they work toward provincial and national team programs.
The B.C. Games cauldron will be lit again in 2014 in Mission for the Winter Games, and in Nanaimo for the Summer Games.