(This article was first sent to subscribers of the Ottawa at the Canada Summer Games Daily Newsletter. Sign up to receive it, for free, here.)
By Dan Plouffe, Charlie Pinkerton, Mark Colley & Adamo Marinelli
Week two of the Canada Summer Games started with a bang for Ottawa athletes, who brought home an astounding five medals in canoe-kayak alone.
Leading the charge was Rideau Canoe Club’s Maren Bradley, who won gold in the K1 500-metre race with a finishing time of 1:56.260. Amelia Wojtyk won silver in women’s C1 500-metre race, Ydris Hunter won silver in the men’s C1 500-metre race, and teammates Peter Bradley and Matt O’Neill missed out on gold by a hair (0.320 seconds, to be exact) in the C2 1000-metre race.
Rounding out the pack were sisters Amelia and Zoe Wojtyk, who took home silver in the C2 1000-metre race. Even sweeter, they did it on their grandmother’s birthday.
The five medals — in addition to Ontario wins in other sports on Tuesday — bode well for the rest of the week.
Goddard’s tough choice pays off
If it weren’t for a scheduling conflict, Audrey Goddard may have been competing in two sports at the Games.
Instead, the Ottawa Fusion Volleyball Club athlete had to shun the track in favour of the volleyball court, where she’s competing with Team Ontario, which won its first match 3-0 over Nova Scotia on Tuesday.
But Goddard is committing to track long-term by joining the Western University track team this upcoming fall. She said she might try out for the volleyball team once she’s there too.
“I might do both,” Goddard said. “I just love both and I’m trying to do both as much as I possibly can.”
For the time being, though, volleyball is her focus at the Games. Ontario’s first set was on Tuesday close, with the team trailing for a period of time, but they ran away with the lead in the second and third sets.
“It was so good,” Goddard said. “It took a little bit to get into it, but once we found our rhythm and followed the game plan, everything just fell into place. It was really smooth.”
Goddard is playing alongside Maverick Volleyball Club athletes Victoria Potvin and Kate Lamothe, both from Ottawa. Goddard said she already knew Potvin, 17, but didn’t know Lamothe before the team was put together for the Games.
“I know them well now!” she joked. “It’s nice to see them here — a little Ottawa gang.”
Goddard, Potvin and Lamothe will be back on the court today at 4 p.m., when they take on Quebec.
“I just hope that I can soak in every bit of joy and competition from this,” Goddard said. “It’s been so fun already, so I think it’ll be good.”
Home turf advantage for men’s box lacrosse
The box lacrosse arenas at the Canada Games Park in Thorold, Ont. are brand new, but to the Ontario men’s box lacrosse team, everything is familiar.
They know how the turf plays. They know the locker rooms. On Tuesday, it paid off.
After practising regularly as the host team at the facility since January, Ontario pulled off a resounding 8-3 win over British Columbia thanks to a goal and assist from Gloucester Griffins product Julien Belair.
Fellow Griffin Hunter Lubiniecki chipped in an assist of his own, giving Ontario an early lead in the Pool A standings over Alberta and B.C. The team is tied with Nova Scotia after its surprising 8-6 win over Alberta.
“I’m hyped, I’m ready to go. The boys are buzzing,” said Tristan Caldwell, also of the Griffins. Ottawa athletes make up one-sixth (3 players) of the 18-man Ontario roster.
Caldwell said the anticipation of playing at the facility in real competition — combined with the Games being delayed by a year due to COVID-19 — was “tough” to deal with but allowed the team to get better.
Caldwell had extra time in the gym and improved his stick-handling. He also had an extra year of experience playing junior lacrosse.
“It’s just so much easier for all of us,” he said.
Ontario beat B.C. by the same score they did in the 2019 box lacrosse National Championship. Ontario will play Alberta at 2 p.m. today, looking for another win in pool play to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
Despite Alberta’s loss to Nova Scotia, Caldwell said he’s expecting a big comeback from them.
“They’re supposed to be one of the big shot teams up here in our pool,” Caldwell said. “They play very well on both sides of the ball and it’s going to be a challenge to play against them.”
Hempstead takes gold while women’s soccer goes all-out
In road cycling, Lucy Hempstead finished on top of the podium in the individual time trial with a first-place time of 18:49.57.
Ottawa Sports Pages hasn’t done the research, but our guess is Hempstead is the only Games athlete who holds a Guinness World Record. The 21-year-old accomplished the feat in March 2021, when she cycled 812 kilometers on a stationary bike in 24 hours, the most by a woman in the Guinness record books. She blew past the previous record of 680 kilometers. What better way to train for the games then by setting a record in long-distance biking.
Now, she’s vying for another gold in the women’s road race tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Ontario women’s soccer team obliterated the Yukon Territories with an 18-0 win to open the Games. They dominated the midfield and used their transition attack to turn defensive stops into scoring chances. The team features Ottawa products Sofia Cortes-Browne, Maya Galko, Rosa Maalouf and Teegan Melenhorst.
Audrée Howes of the Ottawa National Diving Club finished 18th in the women’s artistic event, but her story of how she made it to the Games, combating high astigmatism to reach one of the highest levels of domestic competition in her sport, is worth a read.
What today has in store
In addition to box lacrosse and volleyball, Ottawa athletes will also be in action on the water today.
Aethan Cubitt will compete in single-handed laser sailing starting at 11 a.m., while Aidan Hembruff will compete in rowing over the course of the day at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in St. Catherines, Ont, starting at 9:20 a.m.
Leo Wallner (decathlon), David Adeleye (110-metre hurdles), and Luca Nicoletti, David Moulongouand and Doyin Ogunremi (4×400-metre relay) will all be in action at the track at the Canada Games Park starting at 9 a.m.
Lastly, Ottawa will have more opportunities for podiums in canoe-kayak when medal events start at 1:30 p.m.
You can follow all the action today via live stream at niagara2022games.ca/watch.
(This article was first sent to subscribers of the free Ottawa at the Canada Summer Games Daily Newsletter. Sign us to receive it below!)
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