By Martin Cleary
Kate Miller’s time has finally come to challenge the best young divers in the world.
And she’ll get to perform in her home training city, when the Montreal Olympic Park Sports Centre will play host to the FINA world junior diving championships Nov. 27 to Dec. 4.
The national senior team member from the Nepean-Ottawa Diving Club won the women’s 10-metre platform event during the national junior diving trials Sunday in Montreal and is expected to be named shortly to Canada’s world junior championship roster.
“I’m thrilled I was able to perform up to my expectations,” Miller, 17, said in a Diving Canada news release. “I missed my chance to compete in the world championships last time (2021) and I’m looking forward to getting back on track. I’m looking forward to being alongside athletes from around the world.”
Miller, who missed the 2021 worlds because of the COVID-19 pandemic, scored 419.50 points to win the tower event ahead of Renee Batella of Boardworks, 415 points, and Michelle McLeod of Alberta SW, 383.5 points.
“I want to do my best and I’ve been waiting for this moment for what feels like an eternity. After qualifying, I had a very specific game plan for the final, but I didn’t want to get bogged down in negativity, if ever I had bad dives. Everything worked out. I’m super happy.”
About two years ago, Miller moved to Montreal to train and her commitment and dedication along with national-level coaching has made her a rising international diver.
“My coaches were critical in terms of my preparation for this competition,” she added. “They’ve all supported me over the past year to enable me to be at the top of my game today. They deserve a lot of credit.”
KIANA GIBSON, JOANNA BROWN GO 1-2 IN CANADA WEST CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNING
A pair of Ottawa runners representing different University of British Columbia campuses finished one-two respectively in the women’s eight-kilometre race during the Canada West cross-country running championships in Abbotsford, B.C.
Kiana Gibson, who won the 2021 OUA women’s championship and helped the University of Guelph to the team title, scored an impressive victory in her Canada West debut. The UBC Thunderbirds athlete is a fifth-year masters student in nutrition and dietetics.
Gibson, who graduated from Merivale High School, finished in first place in 27 minutes, 8.6 seconds, while UBC Okanagan Heat runner Joanna Brown of Carp placed second in 27:32.4. Brown, a graduate of All Saints Catholic High School and an Olympian (triathlon) from the Tokyo Summer Olympics, was the Canada West women’s champion in 2021.
The Thunderbirds captured the women’s team title with 32 points, as their runners placed first, third, seventh, eighth and 13th in the scoring standings. It was the fourth consecutive time the Thunderbirds had won the women’s team title and 11th overall. Ottawa’s Katie Newlove was the final scoring runner for the Thunderbirds with 13th-place points and 14th overall in 28:51.8.
The Heat was second among the university teams at 72 points from placings second, ninth, 17th, 20th and 24th.
The U Sports national university championships will be held Nov. 12 in Halifax.
At the Atlantic University Sport cross-country running championships at Stratford, P.E.I., Ottawa’s Will Cox placed sixth in the men’s individual 8,000-metre race and helped Dalhousie University Tigers claim the men’s team title. The Tigers missed the medal podium, but their scoring runners finished in fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and 11th for 33 points.
Noémie Beauregard was 14th in the women’s eight-kilometre race in 30:40 at the OUA cross-country running championships in London and sparked the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees to an eighth-place team finish at 237 placement points. Nina Gunther was 27th in 32:01.
Queen’s University Gaels were fourth overall behind the strong running of first-year Ottawa student-athletes Elizabeth Vroom, 25th in 31:55, and Gillian Porter, 36th in 32:53. Vroom also was second among freshman runners.
The Gee-Gees men’s squad was seventh in the team standings at 183 points and were led by Andre Alie-Lamarche in 20th place at 26:01 and Adrian Fournier in 28th at 26:33.
At the RSEQ cross-country running championships in Rawdon, Que., Carleton University Ravens’ Pippa Norman and Aria MacDonald were 43rd and 44th respectively in the women’s 8,000-metre race in 33:36.0 and 33.43.7. David Birinberg was the top Raven in the men’s eight-kilometre test in 88th at 29:12.4.
CANADA REACHES WORLD WOMEN’S RUGBY 15s SEMIFINALS
Team Canada has put itself in position to win a medal at the world women’s rugby 15s championship in Auckland, New Zealand.
After winning three games and going undefeated in its round-robin pool, Canada recorded its second straight win over the United States by a convincing 32-11 margin in the quarterfinals.
Canada will face England in the semifinals on Saturday. New Zealand and France will meet in the other semifinal.
Three Ottawa players shared in the quarter-final win. Maddy Grant played the entire 80-minute game, moved the ball a combined 50 metres and was charged with two ball-handling errors.
Alexandria Ellis and Pamphinette Buisa came on as substitutes and played 22 and 11 minutes respectively.
BAILEY ANDISON CAPTURES BRONZE AT WORLD CUP SWIM MEET
Olympian Bailey Andison of the Perth Stingrays Aquatic Club won a bronze medal at the FINA World Cup short-course swimming meet in Toronto and almost scored a second medal.
Andison posted the third-best time of four minutes, 29.36 seconds in the women’s 400-metre freestyle, while swimming in the fastest heat, and took fourth place in the 200-metre individual medley at 2:07.92. She also was ninth in the 200-metre breaststroke in 2:25.52.
Olivier Risk of ROCS swam a club record 8:10.78 in the men’s 800-metre freestyle and finished eighth overall, after the two-heat, timed final.
Greater Ottawa Kingfish’s Ashley McMillan also raced the 200-metre individual medley final and was sixth in 2:09.60. Nepean-Kanata Barracudas’ Julie Brousseau, who won 11 medals at the Canada Summer Games, almost qualified for one of the eight berths in the 200-metre individual medley final, but was 11th in qualifying at 2:13.35.
McMillan also was 10th in the 100-metre individual medley at 1:00.67, and 11th in the 100-metre backstroke at 58.87.
Barracudas’ Lydia James-Brennan registered a personal-best 17:25.82 to finish third in the opening slower heat of the women’s 1,500-metre freestyle, which left her 11th overall.
GEE-GEES ADVANCE TO OUA FOOTBALL & SOCCER SEMIS
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees have reached the OUA football semifinals and will travel to Kingston on Saturday to face the Queen’s University Gaels.
The Gee-Gees overcame a four-point deficit after three quarters to edge the University of Windsor Lancers 43-40 in their quarterfinal. Ottawa outscored Windsor 20-13 in the fourth quarter.
Running back JP Cimankinda accounted for two Gee-Gees touchdowns on runs of four and 16 yards, while single touchdowns came from Nicholas Gendron, a 12-yard pass from quarterback Ben Maracle, and Emmanuel Aboagye-Gyan, a 60-yard fumble recovery.
Aboagye-Gyan was a standout on defence, adding five solo tackles, two assisted tackles, one tackle for a loss of five yards, one forced fumble and one break-up.
Campbell Fair kicked field goals from 41, 38 and eight yards as well as two converts. Willy-Pierre Dimbongi scored a two-point convert. The Gee-Gees also earned three team safeties.
The Carleton University Ravens’ season came to an end with a 41-13 loss to the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks.
Trailing 34-0, Carleton scored its points in the fourth quarter as quarterback Tanner DeJong tossed touchdown strikes to Tristan Ready (five yards) and Kaseem Ferdinard (11 yards). Brandon Forcier kicked one convert.
DeJong completed 20 of 34 pass attempts for 262 yards and two touchdowns.
Cassandra Provost scored two goals and Soumaya Bouak had three assists as the uOttawa Gee-Gees downed the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 4-0 in their OUA women’s soccer quarterfinals on Saturday at Matt Anthony Field.
Angelina Gendreau and Kayla Kyle also scored in the contest to advance to a Wednesday semifinal in London against the Western Mustangs. Queen’s hosts York in the other semi.
CARLETON RAVENS EARN RSEQ WOMEN’S RUGBY 15s BRONZE
Vanessa Chiappetta contributed 19 points as the Carleton University Ravens defeated the Concordia University Stingers 34-24 to earn the bronze medal in the RSEQ women’s rugby 15s playoffs.
Chiappetta had one try, four converts and two penalties, while Jayden Spence added two tries and Charlotte Elliott ran for one try. The Ravens finished third in the league at 4-2, but lost their semifinal to the University of Ottawa 37-10.
Five players scored one try each and Zak Campbell kicked six points as the University of Ottawa defeated École de Technologie Supérieure of Montreal 31-24 in the RSEQ men’s rugby 15s semifinals.
The Gee-Gees will play McGill in the final on Saturday. Ottawa and McGill posted the best regular-season records at 6-1.
Jamie Armstrong, the RSEQ player of the year in 2021, Theo Espangnol, Wade Marshall, Graeme Neill-Klein and Glenn Roy shared the tries for the Gee-Gees, while Campbell booted three converts.
OTTAWA ROWERS HELP WESTERN TO WOMEN’S OUA TEAM TITLE
Ottawa runners more than pulled their weight as the University of Western Mustangs won the women’s team title at the OUA rowing championships on the Royal Henley rowing course in St. Catharines.
Hayley Conrad was part of the winning women’s lightweight 4+ and was third in the lightweight 2-, while Mackenzie Mihorean and Rachel Weber were in the first-place women’s 8 boat.
On the men’s side for Western, Adam Griesbach of Ottawa was part of the first-place crew in the men’s heavyweight 4+ and Ottawa’s Aidan Hembruff took second in the 2- race.
University of Ottawa’s Kennedy Burrows won the women’s lightweight single, and Vienna Scholten, Rhiannon Crichton, Leona Smith, Nicole Wernham and coxswain Oliver Davies were second in the women’s heavyweight 4+.
The bronze medal in the men’s heavyweight 4+ went to the Gee-Gees’ Alexandre Disselkamp, Aiden Mallany-Stanley, Vincent Menard, Joshua Mahoney and coxswain Pascal Morimanno.
Brendan Edge was a double medallist for the Carleton University Ravens, claiming bronze in the men’s lightweight single and joined Alexander Ladage, Mackenzie Vaughan-Graham, Loucas Diamant-Boustead and coxswain Caitlin McMann for a second bronze.
ALGONQUIN CLAIMS BRONZE IN OCAA WOMEN’S RUGBY 7s
Algonquin College Wolves turned back Seneca College 19-10 to win the bronze medal at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women’s rugby 7s championship.
The Wolves, playing their first season in two years, defeated Loyalist 17-0 in the quarterfinals, but lost 15-7 to Fleming in the semifinals.
Algonquin’s Kari Reid was named to the OCAA championship tournament all-star team. The OCAA Women’s Rugby 7s League all-star roster included Algonquin’s Madeline Clothier, Courtney Comeau and Sydney Seymour.
LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST
· Emma Kelly of Ottawa scored one goal as Canada lost 6-2 to Finland in an exhibition game between the country’s two junior national teams in preparation for this week’s world junior and senior ringette championships in Espoo, Finland.
· Algonquin College Wolves were eliminated in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association women’s soccer quarterfinals, after a 5-0 loss to Niagara College. The Wolves placed second in the East Division at 7-2-1.
· Isabelle Ladouceur of Waterloo, ON., scored early and late (two points in the first, sixth and seventh ends) to defeat Danielle Inglis of Whitby, ON., 7-2 in the final of the North Grenville Women’s Fall Curling Classic.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 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 High Achievers “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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