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HIGH ACHIEVERS WEEKEND WRAP: Rideau Canoe Club’s drive for 5 straight national titles stymied

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By Martin Cleary

All good things must come to an end.

Members of the Rideau Canoe Club will vouch for that.

And sometimes, you’ll see a result that hasn’t happened for a long time.

The Canadian men’s basketball team, including Ottawa’s Phil Scrubb, is a prime example.

And then, there are times when something happens for the first time and is totally unexpected.

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The South Sudan men’s basketball team, featuring starter Marial Shayok of Ottawa, grabs the unreachable star in its first attempt.

While the Rideau Canoe Club fell 54 points shy of winning its fifth consecutive overall team burgee at the Canadian sprint canoe kayak championships in Dartmouth, N.S., Canada and South Sudan qualified for the Summer Olympic Games for the first time in 23 years and for the first time ever respectively.

After leading the team burgee point standings for each of the first four days, Rideau was overtaken by Maskwa Aquatic Club of Halifax on the fifth and final day of competition.

Maskwa gradually moved from third place to second place and seized the coveted flag on Day 5 with a massive 378-point showing. The Maskwa surge started on Day 4 as its boats earned 371 points.

In an historic national championships, Maskwa scored an unprecedented 1,202 points and runner-up Rideau set a team record 1,148 points as both clubs became the first two to crack the 1,000-point barrier in a single Canadian finals. Rideau held the former national championship point record at 1,016 in 2019.

Maskwa regained the national burgee it won for the first and second times in 2016 and 2017 before surrendering it to Rideau in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. After finishing second to Rideau in 2022, Maskwa was determined to return the burgee to its Kearney Lake clubhouse.

The CanMas title for masters-aged paddlers also went to Maskwa. The results were unavailable for the other clubs.

Wearing its traditional purple jerseys, Rideau collected a total of 76 medals from a dozen different race categories – men’s and women’s U16, U18, junior and senior, para, Paddle-All, war canoe and masters.

The Mooney’s Bay-based club captured 35 gold, 23 silver and 18 bronze medals.

Rideau also picked up eight top-three age-group burgee finishes, including first-place results in women’s U18 and women’s senior as well as second-place showings in women’s U16, men’s U18, women’s junior and Paddle-All, and thirds in men’s U16 and men’s senior.

Carleton Place Canoe Club won one gold and two silver medals and finished 20th overall with 59 points, while Ottawa River Canoe Club was 23rd at 33 points and Cascades Canoe Club took 32nd at 12 points.

Marie-Andree Jacques of Carleton Place won the women’s masters C1 500-metre final. Mustafa Hussein was a national champion for Ottawa River in the Paddle-All men’s touring K1 200 metres.

Here’s a list of the national champions from Rideau:

Men’s U16:
Henrik Neuspiel, K1 6,000 metres.

Women’s U16:
Julia Price, C1 200 metres; Madeleine Beauregard, C1 6,000 metres; Caroline Anderson, Beauregard, Naomi Langenbahn and Veronica Rumscheidt, C4 1,000 metres.

Men’s U18:
Ryan Naroditsky, K1 200 metres, K2 200 metres with Thomas Beauregard, K2 500 metres with Beauregard, K2 1,000 metres with Beauregard, K4 500 metres with Beauregard, Benjamin Elder and Neuspiel.

Women’s U18:
Abby Wojtyk, C1 1,000 metres, C2 200 metres with Zoe Wojtyk, C2 500 metres with Zoe Wojtyk, C2 1,000 metres with Zoe Wojtyk; Ruby Muhl, IC-4 500 metres with Anna Semeniuk, Abby Wojtyk and Zoe Wojtyk; Callie Loch, K1 200 metres; Zoe Wojtyk C1 500 metres.

Men’s junior:
Peter Bradley with Matthew O’Neill, C2 1,000 metres.

Women’s junior:
Maren Bradley, K1 500 metres, K1 1,000 metres; Mackenzie Haines, C2 1,000 metres with Mila Souilliere; Josephine Bulmer, Haines, Evie McDonald and Amelia Wojtyk, C4 500 metres.

Men’s senior:
Ydris Hunter, C1 200 metres, open men’s C4 500 metres with Peter Bradley, Kieran Graham and Matthew O’Neill.

Women’s senior:
Madeline Schmidt, K1 500 metres, K1 1,000 metres, K2 500 metres with Natalie Davison, K4 500 metres with Emily Best, Maren Bradley and Davison, open K4 200 metres with Bradley, Charlotte Brais and Davison; Natalie Davison K1 200 metres, K2 200 metres with Olivia Pucci; Evie McDonald C2 200 metres with Josephine Bulmer.

Gabriel Ferron-Bouius, K1 500 metres KL3 General.

Samuel Galazka, K1 200 metres, K2 200 metres with Fletcher Sloan.

War canoe:
Mixed open C15 500 metres, women’s U18 C15 500 metres, and women’s senior C15 500 metres.


Brianna Hennessy of the Ottawa River Canoe Club and Sophia Jensen of the Cascades Canoe Club bypassed the Canadian championships, which immediately followed the world sprint championships in Duisburg, Germany, in favour of the 2024 Olympic test event in Paris.

Not only did they have four days to become familiar with the new showcase Nautical Stadium canoe-kayak site in Seine-et-Marne, but also they won some medals.

Hennessy earned bronze medals in the women’s para VLA 200 metres and the KL1 200 metres. Jensen, who won the women’s C1 200-metre B final for ninth overall, teamed with long-time partner Julia Lilley Osende to earn the bronze medal in the C2 500 metres.


Canada is returning to the Summer Olympic Games in men’s basketball for the first time since 2000 in Sydney.

A strong fourth quarter allowed Canada to rally for an 88-85 victory over defending champion Spain at the 32-team FIBA World Cup men’s basketball championship. The victory allowed Canada to be one of two countries from the Americas Zone to advance to the Olympics.

Guard Phil Scrubb of Ottawa, who averaged 3.5 points, and 2.0 assists a game before the win-or-go-home match, didn’t receive any floor time against Spain.

Canada’s victory also moved it into the World Cup quarterfinals against Slovenia.

Marial Shayok of Ottawa was part of a different Olympic qualification celebration as South Sudan defeated Angola 101-78 to earn the African berth in men’s basketball at the Paris Olympics.

The win, which also earned South Sudan 17th-place overall in the World Cup standings, allowed the 12-year-old country to qualify for its first-ever Olympic men’s basketball tournament.

Playing his best game of the world championship, Shayok counted 18 points, which was second best for the Bright Stars. He connected on three of his five field-goal attempts from both inside and outside the three-point arc. He also contributed three rebounds, two assists and one steal.


Nepean-Kanata Barracudas swimmer Julie Brousseau made two trips to the medal podium on the first day at the world aquatics junior swimming championships in Netanya, Israel.

Brousseau placed third in the women’s 400-metre individual medley in a club record four minutes, 38.45 seconds. She finished only 1.61 seconds behind winner Leah Hayes of the United States, who swam a championship record 4:36.84.

In the women’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay, Brousseau swam the opening leg in 1:59.07 and helped Canada to a bronze-medal result in 7:53.09. The United States and Australia were one-two respectively in 7:52.48 and 7:52.68.


While the mercury rose over 30°C back home, Fortune Freestyle product Matthew Lepine was busy rocking the ski world on the other side of the planet with a silver medal performance Monday at the FIS Freestyle Junior World Ski Championships in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

One of the youngest on the hill at the under-19 event, the 15-year-old launched himself onto the podium in the men’s big air competition with a second-place performance.

Lepine also made the 12-athlete final in the slopestyle event earlier, qualifying in sixth and finishing in 12th.


The quest for international experience took Ottawa’s Trinity Lowthian to Busan, Korea, last week for the world U23 para wheelchair fencing championships.

Classified as a B-level fencer, Lowthian competed well in the combined class A and B world championship as she won a bronze medal in the women’s epee division.

She also gained valuable experience in her two other disciplines, placing seventh in foil and eighth in sabre.


The undefeated University of Ottawa Gee-Gees were ranked No. 8 on Tuesday by U Sports, after defeating the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 15-10 in their OUA league game on the road.

While the Gee-Gees compiled 307 yards of offence, they needed to rely on the kicking of Campbell Fair for all its points. Fair kicked five field goals for Ottawa from 40 yards (twice), 31 yards, 30 yards and 16 yards.

Running back Amlicar Polk ran for 191 yards on 23 carries for an 8.3-yard average, while quarterback Ryan Licandro completed 15 of his 25 passes for 109 yards.

The Carleton University Ravens opened their OUA season with a loss as the host Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks emerged 20-15 winners.

Brandon Forcier paced the Ravens with field goals from 14, 14 and 39 yards, while quarterback Tristan Lefebvre and wide receiver Ben Huckabone combined for a 25-yard touchdown with only 51 seconds remaining in the game.

Meanwhile in NCAA Division 1 football, quarterback Christian Veilleux of Ottawa made his debut with the University of Pittsburgh and helped the Panthers defeat Wofford College Terriers 45-7.

Veilleux tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jake McConnacie late in the fourth quarter. He completed five of nine pass attempts for 60 yards and rushed three times for nine yards.


A pair of lopsided victories has allowed Canada to qualify for the CONCACAF women’s U17 soccer championship.

After blanking Dominica 21-0, Canada shut out Bermuda 9-0 as Ottawa’s Annabelle Chukwu counted her team-leading sixth and seventh goals in the second game, while sister Isabelle Chukwu added one goal.

Canada qualified for the 2024 CONCACAF championship with El Salvador, Haiti, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Panama. The United States and Mexico made the grade earlier.

The top two countries from the CONCACAF championship will advance to the 2024 FIFA women’s U17 World Cup in the Dominican Republic.


Ottawa players Vicky Savard and Shainah Joseph earned bronze medals as Canada won three of its four matches and placed third at the NORCECA senior women’s volleyball Continental Cup at Université Laval.

After defeating Mexico and Puerto Rico by identical 3-0 scores in the preliminary round, Canada lost 27-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20 to Dominican Republic in the semifinals.

But in the bronze-medal match, Canada overpowered Cuba 25-21, 25-17, 17-25, 25-16.

Savard scored three points against Cuba and six versus Dominican Republic, while Joseph only saw spot duty.


· Derek Gee of Osgoode, ON., placed 40th at the Maryland Cycling Classic and was seven minutes and 47 seconds behind the winner, while his Israel-Premier Tech and Canadian teammate Hugo Houle placed third. Toronto Hustle riders Matteo Dal-Cin and Carson Miles, who are both from Ottawa, didn’t finish the race.

· Ottawa Rowing Club’s Josh King and Luke Gadsdon of the Leander Boat Club finished fourth in their opening men’s coxless pair heat at the world rowing championships in Belgrade, Serbia. Their next race will be in the quarterfinals. The top 11 nations in their race will qualify a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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

Martin can be reached by e-mail at and on Twitter @martincleary.

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