Symphony of carnage at Crash to Pass (July 5, 2011)
Thunder Mountain Speedway kicked off its portion of Stampede weekend in early July with the fan-favourite Crash to Pass extravaganza.
The event was attended by some 2,000 spectators who watched an amazing spectacle of thrills and spills.
The race itself featured tons of wrecks — much to the crowd’s delight — as drivers and their pit crews worked changing tires, sawing off parts and replacing parts to keep their cars on the track for the duration.
By the end of the race, a field of beaten-down wrecks remained, circling around the track for a shot at the $1,000 prize.
This year’s Crash to Pass winner was Agassiz’s Bill Koenders, taking home $1,000 for his efforts. In second was Williams Lake’s Dennis Redlick, followed by Quesnel’s Cole Byrd in third.
Hustlers repeat as Stampede champs (July 7, 2011)
For the second year in a row, following what was a 27-year drought, the Williams Lake Hustlers ladies rugby club are the 32nd Annual Stampede Rugby Tournament champions.
The Hustlers dominated in the final game of the tournament Saturday at the Ottoman Drive Rugby Fields, knocking off Burnaby Lake 27-5 to take the championship, avenging a loss to the same club the previous day.
Scoring two tries in the final was first-year player Jasmyn Niquidet, adding to her total of seven tries throughout the tournament. Also adding tries were team captain Claire Lawrence and Krystle Carpenter.
Niquidet, a Grade 11 student at Columneetza secondary, used her speed and aggressive running style to cut through and around the opponents’ defense throughout the tournament.
She was also named the tournament’s most valuable player in the women’s final.
Prior to the final the Hustlers easily knocked off Prince George and Simon Fraser University in their first two games, before losing by three points to Burnaby Lake in their final game Friday.
Archers host successful provincials (July 12, 2011)
Williams Lake’s Bond Lake Road Rod and Gun Club played host to around 125 archers from around the province in early July as the Cariboo Archers welcomed the 2011 B.C. Outdoor 3D Provincial Archery Championships for the second straight year.
The event featured four rounds of shooting totalling 80 shots over the two-day event.
Archers competed in categories from peewee (nine years and under) to master’s 60 plus on two courses. Both courses featured 20 unique foam animal targets, requiring archers to tackle and gauge various ranges and unmarked distances at every turn.
Bighorns net fourth at provincials (Aug. 2, 2011)
The Williams Lake Bighorns midget lacrosse team finished just shy of the medals at the ‘C’ division B.C. Midget Lacrosse Championships in Coquitlam, July 22-24.
At the tournament the Bighorns defeated Port Coquitlam, 7-4, beat Comox Valley, 5-4, and downed Port Moody, 5-0 and beat Mission, 5-3, to land a spot in the bronze-medal game.
There, they were beaten by Kelowna, 9-6, and finished fourth.
Cody Colby was the team’s winner of the Fairplay Award and Riley Lawryk was named to the division all-star team.
The Bighorns also said goodbye to four players who played their final year of midget lacrosse eligibility — Torry Hoffos, Colby, Matthew Brenner and Drew Davies.
Campsall snipes sixth national title (Aug. 11, 2011)
For the sixth time, Williams Lake’s Al Campsall is a Canadian national archery champion.
Campsall beat out 17 other competitors in the master’s 50 class from July 30 to Aug. 1 in Regina, Sask. at the 2011 Canadian 3D Archery Championships.
Canadian champion in eight seconds (Aug. 18, 2011)
Williams Lake has a Canadian High School Rodeo Finals bull riding champion.
Eighteen-year-old Ryan Jasper of Riske Creek took home the coveted CHSRF saddle after successfully riding each of the three bulls put in front of him from Aug. 4-6 in Virden, Manitoba at the Virden Outdoor Arena.
It was Jasper’s first CHSRF championship after attending the finals on two separate occasions in previous years.
Tour de Cariboo raises $31,811 (Sept. 15, 2011)
Though temperatures reached near 30 C Saturday, riders at this year’s 19th Annual Tour de Cariboo bike ride weren’t complaining.
“It was a feeling of exhilaration when riders reached the finish line,” said Lorraine Levitt, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Williams Lake, who host the 75-kilometre ride from Williams Lake to Gavin Lake as its largest fundraiser.
This year’s ride, Levitt said, raised a total of $31,811.50.
Locals strike silver (Sept. 20, 2011)
Twenty-five hearts, one beat.
That was the message delivered to Team B.C. by coaches Brad Baker and Rick Pimlott at this past August’s under-18 National Rugby Championships.
And it was a message heard loud and clear by five Williams Lake athletes who were selected to the team.
Williams Lake secondary’s Alexis Myhre, Erica Pfleiderer and Melanie Dallow and Columneetza secondary’s Jaime Carrier and Jasmyn Niquidet were part of the team which travelled to Calgary from Aug. 17-21 for the tournament.
The journey led Team B.C. to a gold-medal final — one where they fell just shy of winning the tournament.
The team lost 34-18 to Ontario, bringing home a silver medal.
Moleschi loving life as a Pronghorn (Oct. 25, 2011)
It’s been a whirlwind season for Williams Lake rugby player Kayla Moleschi, but a season that continues to get brighter.
Moleschi, 21, playing in her first year of an athletic scholarship as a member of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, helped back her team to a Canada West Championship in October.
The Pronghorns defeated the University of Alberta Pandas decisively, 41-0, to win the title.
Smylie wins PacWest title (Nov. 3, 2011)
It is the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team’s first Pacific Western Athletic Association banner since 2003/04.
It is also an accomplishment local soccer player Laura Smylie will relish in for some time to come.
Smylie, a second-year player, and the Wolfpack beat the Univeristy of British Columbia Okanagan Heat (UBCO) 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 30 to capture the gold.
Gillis on to final stage at q-school (Nov. 22, 2011)
Williams Lake golfer Mitch Gillis advanced to the final stage of this year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School.
Gillis strung together rounds of 64, 69, 69 and 70 to tie for second overall at Florida’s Plantation Preserve from Nov. 16-19.
Gillis, the 2007 B.C. Amateur champion, hit the links again for the PGA Tour Qualifying School finals from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 at PGA West Nicklaus and Stadium Courses in La Quinta, Calif.
The tournament featured six rounds and saw the top 25 players plus ties earn exempt status on the 2012 PGA Tour. Gillis, however, did not finish in the top 25 at the tournament.
Baja team receives fanfare (Nov. 24, 2011)
It started with a wrong turn that took Kane Fraser 100 miles and about five hours off course during the Baja 1000 — one of the most gruelling off-road races in the world.
It ended with tens of thousands of people worldwide cheering on Fraser as he drove his way, after 30-plus hours, across the finish line at 2:37 a.m. Nov. 20 in Ensenada, Mexico.
Fraser, 37, who became paralyzed from the waist down 13 years ago, chose this year’s Baja 1000 to be his very first competitive race. He also decided to raise $25,000 for the Rick Hansen Foundation in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour.
Derby girls back for third season (Dec. 8, 2011)
There’s never been a better time to lace up some skates and get involved in the sport of roller derby.
That’s the message from the Lake City Derby Girls, who started their third season in Williams Lake this fall.
Fans in Williams Lake got a taste of the sport first-hand in August 2010 when the Lake City Derby Girls played their very first match in front of 600 fans at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
Now, just one year later, the team said plans are in place to host its second game on April 28, 2012 against the Missfits of Mayhem from Alberta.
Local golf pro wins award (Dec. 15, 2011)
Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club head professional Peter Stellato was honoured by receiving the PGA of B.C.’s Junior Golf Leader of the Year award.
“This award would not be possible without the support from our board of directors at the club, our members, my golf club staff and the parents that enrolled their children in our junior program,” Stellato said.
He was against finalists Dale Schienbein of North Vancouver (Seymour Golf and Country Club), Jim Goddard of Victoria (Cordova Bay Golf Club) and Shannon Glenesk of Vernon (Vernon Golf and Country Club).