HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
The surname Nedow is well recognized in the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club family.
And rightfully so as Tim has covered many of the bases in athletics as a world-class professional shot putter, a two-time Summer Olympian, a coach and now the Lions’ manager of youth programs.
But there’s another Nedow in town, and he’s throwing his ‘weights’ around and achieving meaningful measures. Thomas is keeping the family name alive in today’s athletics competitions in discus, the hammer throw and shot put.
On the heels of completing his senior year at Southeastern Louisiana University as the shot-put bronze medallist during the Southland Conference championships, the six-foot, five-inch Thomas Nedow was a standout in the men’s open field events at the Ontario open, U20 and para track and field championships this weekend in Toronto.
Thomas Nedow, who is coached by his brother Tim, was one of several notable performers for the Lions as they won the provincial open and U20 team point competitions. He captured the men’s open discus at 49.30 metres and the hammer throw with a best toss of 52.87 metres, while finishing third in shot put at 15.49 metres.
While all his efforts were significantly lower than his best efforts earlier this spring at Southeastern Louisiana, he’s a top-10 performer on the Athletics Canada ranking charts – No. 2 in discus at 52.64 metres, No. 6 in shot put at 16.39 metres and No. 9 in hammer throw at 54.51 metres.
The world championships are on the horizon in Eugene, Oregon, from July 15-25, but he’ll likely have to wait a few more years to earn a berth on that national team. The Athletics Canada world team qualifying standards are strict – 66.00 metres for the men’s discus, 21.10 metres for shot put and 77.50 metres for hammer throw.
Meanwhile, after placing fourth in the women’s open 400 metres in 55.06 seconds, Sydney Smith of the Lions surged over the final 100 metres to win the 800 metres with a massive personal-best time of 2:05.35.
Ottawa-based C.A.N.I. Athletics produced two provincial open champions in the field events.
Hans Lafleur was the men’s high jump champion at 2.05 metres, and Bryson Patterson took the long jump gold medal with a sixth- and final-round leap of 7.50 metres.
Unattached athlete Barbara Bitchoka of Ottawa won the women’s open high jump at an impressive 1.83 metres. She tried 1.86 metres, but had three misses.
Ottawa’s Jacqueline Madogo, who competes for the Royal City Athletics Club in Guelph, won the women’s open 200 metres in 23.66 into a slight wind.
Alexandra Telford was a women’s open double bronze medallist for the Lions with third-place showings over 400 metres in 54.61 and the 400-metre hurdles in 1:00.39. Her hurdles time was four-one hundredths of a second off her PB.
Collecting open-division silver medals were Elizabeth Vroom, women’s 3,000-metre steeplechase, 10:58.32; Maria Okwechime, women’s long jump, 5.62 metres; and Saj Alhaddad, men’s 400-metre hurdles, 51.92.
The Lions’ other bronze-medal winners were Stephen Evans, men’s open 800 metres, 1:49.17; Emma Dobson Takoff, women’s open triple jump, 11.19 metres; and David Adeleye, men’s open 110-metre hurdles, 14.54.
Joshua Foster placed third in the men’s open long jump at 7.22 metres for C.A.N.I. Athletics.
Carleton Place’s Spencer Lewis, who was competing as an unattached athlete after representing Beckwith Athletics last year, followed Thomas Nedow’s path by winning a pair of field-event gold medals, but in the men’s U20 class.
Lewis defended his title in the shot put with a best throw of 17.58 metres and also was first in the discus at 49.48 metres.
Thomas Becker of C.A.N.I. Athletics won the men’s U20 high jump at 2.05 metres, while teammate Eliezer Adjibi was the fastest in the men’s U20 100 metres in 10.39.
The Lions’ U20 gold medallists were Audrey Goddard, 100-metre hurdles, 14.34; Gillian Porter, 2,000-metre steeplechase, 7:18.84; Zachary Sikka, 3,000-metre steeplechase, 9:54.73; and Kathryn Manor, 200 metres, 24.75 (PB).
Manor was a double medallist at the provincial championships, having opened with silver over 100 metres in 11.96. She won her heat in 11.94.
Luca Nicoletti ran a best-ever 21.90 to place second in the 200 metres, while clubmate Olivia Baggley also was a silver medallist over 3,000 metres in 10:25.63, which was a personal-best time.
The Lions’ medal tally also included five U20 bronze efforts: Jack Link, 3,000-metre steeplechase, 10:32.42; Mattson Strickler, 400 metres, 58.34; Emily Brennan, 400-metre hurdles, 1:05.68; David Moulongou, 400-metre hurdles, 56.81; and Elizabeth Moreland, triple jump, 10.72 metres.
In the various men’s and women’s open and U20 relays, the Lions picked up three gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Brett Babcock of the National Capital Track and Field Club was Ottawa’s only para representative. He was one of two competitors in the wheelchair track events, placing second in the 100 metres (26.86), 200 metres (47.72) and 400 metres (1:38.09).
SWIMMER CAMILLE BÉRUBÉ STRIKES FIRST MEDAL AT PARA WORLDS
Gatineau Natation para swimmer Camille Bérubé has started her farewell tour on an unprecedented note.
The three-time Paralympian won her first-ever medal at the world para swimming championships Sunday in Madeira, Portugal. She was a three-time finalist at the 2019 world championships in London as well as the Tokyo Summer Paralympics.
On the opening day of the worlds, Bérubé placed third in the women’s SM7 class 200-metre individual medley in three minutes, 5.40 seconds. American Julia Gaffney defended her title from the 2019 worlds with a time of 2:55.28.
“Honestly, I couldn’t have hoped for anything better,” said Bérubé, who recently announced she would retire from competitive swimming, after the Commonwealth Games July 28 to Aug. 8 in Birmingham, England.
“I knew that was a possibility tonight (Sunday). It was anyone’s race. I left my heart in the pool and really had fun.
“I’m still processing what’s going on. After the race, there was someone blocking the scoreboard. It’s when I finally saw the results that I realized what had just happened.”
There will be six women’s and six men’s para races at the Commonwealth Games and they will be interspersed throughout the regular swimming program.
Bérubé did not race on Monday.
GOALIE ROWAN HARRIS HEADING TO FIELD HOCKEY WORLD CUP
For the first time in 28 years, Canada will send a team to the Women’s World Cup for field hockey and Ottawa will have a player on the roster.
Rowan Harris of Ottawa will serve as one of two goalkeepers for Canada along with Marcia LaPlante.
Canada qualified for the 2022 Women’s World Cup by placing third at the Pan American Cup. Harris was in goal, when Canada shut out the United States 1-0 in the bronze-medal game.
Competition begins July 1 at the Women’s World Cup and Canada will play the one and only game on that date against host Spain at the Olympic Stadium in Terrassa. Canada will complete its preliminary game schedule against Korea on July 3 and Pan American Cup champion Argentina on July 7.
Harris joined the Field Hockey Canada national team program as a junior in 2015 and as a senior in 2016. She helped the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds win the Canadian university title in 2014 and 2015.
ADRIAN YAMAZAKI NAMED TOP PLAYER FOR EAST ALL-STAR TEAM
The Premier Baseball League of Ontario staged its East versus West junior (15U and 16U) and senior (18U) all-star games Saturday in Oshawa.
Ottawa-Nepean Canadians were well represented by outfielder Adrian Yamazaki, Peter Dineen and Will Boucher (all 18U players) in the senior game, and pitcher Ryan Allard, Sawyer Brandino, Malone Culhane, Coleson Kaluza and Evan Ogston (all 16U) in the junior game.
Yamazaki was named the East team player of the game, while Dineen was the starting shortstop and had a ninth-inning pitching assignment. Boucher also pitched for the East.
In the junior game, Allard had an impressive outing, striking out the side in one inning.
KATE MILLER JUST MISSES FINAL IN DIVING GRAND PRIX DEBUT
Ottawa’s Kate Miller narrowly missed out on making the final round of the women’s 10-metre platform event as she made her true FINA Diving Grand Prix series debut this past weekend in Calgary. The Nepean-Ottawa Diving Club member had competed in a virtual Grand Prix competition for Canada last year, but this was her first live series event.
Miller, who turned 17 on May 27, made it through the preliminary round with the 11th best total score on five dives to earn one of 12 semi-final positions. Performing the same five dives, Miller improved her score drastically from 237.80 to 282.75 points to post the sixth-best score overall out of the 12 semi-finalists, though she was fourth in her semi-final to miss the top-three required to advance to the final.
Brazil’s Ingrid Oliveira won the event with a score of 361.90, followed by Canada’s Celina Toth at 332.30 and Great Britain’s Lois Toulson at 293.40.
Miller will be a favourite to represent Canada at the Nov. 25-Dec. 4 World Junior Diving Championships in Montreal.
LOIS BETTERIDGE EARNS CANADA’S TOP RESULT AT CANOE SLALOM WORLD CUP
Without multi-Olympians Mike Tayler and Cam Smedley of Ottawa leading the charge, Canadians failed to advance out of the heats at the season-opening ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup June 10-12 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Ottawa’s Lois Betteridge, 24, was the top Canadian in each of the women’s events, placing 21st of 53 competitors in extreme kayak, 34th of 45 in canoe, and 40th of 54 in kayak. Betteridge’s 21st-place performance was Canada’s best result at the World Cup.
Fellow Ottawa River Runners product Maël Rivard, 21, was 57th of 67 entrants in men’s kayak.
OLYMPIAN & GEE-GEES REPRESENT CANADA IN PACIFIC RUGBY 15s TOURNEY
A trio of local players were part of the Canadian women’s rugby team that was shutout 28-0 by host New Zealand in a World Rugby Pacific Four Series match on Sunday in Auckland.
Canada, ranked fourth in the world, trailed just 6-0 at the half against the No. 2 Kiwis, who were impenetrable defensively and scored two tries in the late stages to increase the final margin.
It was Team Canada’s second of three matches at the four-team tournament, being held four months before New Zealand plays host to the World Cup.
A week earlier, Ottawa Irish product Pam Buisa scored a pair of tries as Canada topped No. 5-ranked USA 36-5 in the series opener. Buisa, who represented Canada in rugby sevens at the Tokyo Olympics, is also a key leader for the Canadian women’s 15s side.
Maya Montiel (who made her international debut for Canada) and Maddy Grant – members of the national bronze medal-winning University of Ottawa Gee-Gees this past fall – both appeared as second-half substitutes in each match.
Canada takes on Australia in its final series match Friday.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 49 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
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