Williams Lake athletes made their presences felt at last week’s 2013 B.C. Seniors Games in Kamloops.
The Games, which wrapped up at Kamloops’ Tournament Capital Centre on Saturday, Aug. 24, featured more than 4,000 athletes competing in 25 events.
Williams Lake and area athletes competing at the Games combined for 21 medals — 12 gold, seven silver and two bronze — while representing the North Central Zone. Of the 13 zones competing at the Games, the North Central Zone finished seventh with 124 medals (52 gold, 43 silver, 29 bronze).
First place went to the Fraser Valley — one of the largest zones population-wise — with 403 medals (168 gold, 139 silver and 96 bronze).
For Williams Lake athletes, a pair of Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club members, Alex Wasylenko and Arnie Zimmerman, medalled at the Games.
Wasylenko brought home a gold medal in the ages 70-74 category winning the Low Gross.
“I was happy with how I played in both rounds,” Wasylenko said. “The event was very well organized and there was good competitions — it was a pleasure to participate.”
Wasylenko and Zimmerman played their first rounds at Sun Rivers Golf Resort and their second rounds at the Rivershore Golf Links. Zimmerman, meanwhile, won a silver medal in the ages 75-79 category coming runner up in the Low Gross.
“The first day golfing at Sun Rivers the heat was incredible — it must’ve been about 40 degrees outside,” Zimmerman said. “It was a great event and very well run.”
Both golfers have previously participated in the B.C. Seniors Games but this is the first year either of them have won a medal.
In soccer, Williams Lake’s Norm Prevost and Ian Hughes joined a combined team of Prince George and Kamloops players to win a bronze medal in the men’s 65-plus division.
Williams Lake’s Leo Rankin, Bryan Chubb, Jim Johnston and Marlene Johnston blazed up the track at the TCC combining for 14 medals.
Rankin, in the men’s 60-64 division, won gold medals in the 1,500-metre (5:38.03) and 800-metre (2:49.37) races and the 5,000-metre power walk (37:24.30). He also won a silver medal in the men’s 10-kilometre road race (46:30.00).
Rankin later combined with Keith Taylor (Prince George), Jim Dyer (Quesnel) and Chubb to win gold in the men’s 55-59 four by 400-metre power walk. Chubb also won gold medals in the men’s 65-69 1,500-metre, 800-metre and 5,000-metre races, and a silver medal in the 10-kilometre road race.
Jim, in the men’s 70-74 division, picked up two silver medals — one in triple jump (7.25 metres) and another in pole vault (1.6 metres). He also won bronze in pentathlon. Marlene, in the women’s 60-64 division, raced to a gold medal in the 5,000-metre race in 30:49. She also won silver in the 800-metre race (4:23.88).
Five-pin bowler Roy Svisdahl was a double gold medal winner, winning both the men’s ‘A’ division 55-plus high single scratch and the men’s ‘A’ division high singles POA. Likewise, McLeese Lake bowler Duncan Roberts picked up a silver medal in the men’s ‘A’ division 55-plus high singles POA.
And cyclist Tory Kier finished fifth in the men’s 75-79 road race in a time of 14:45.21.
Next year’s Seniors Games will be hosted from Sept. 9-13 in Langley.
– With files from Sean Glanville