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Griffiths a rare double B.C. Games athlete
Sion Griffiths is the Cowichan Valley’s answer to Clara Hughes.
Hughes is a rarity as both a Summer and Winter Olympian and so is Griffiths as a B.C. Summer and Winter Games participant both in the same year.
After competing in archery during the Winter Games in Mission, Griffiths will be back at it in Nanaimo later this week in Summer Games track and field events.
“I guess it is pretty rare that someone gets to go to both the Winter and the Summer Games in the same year,’’ Griffiths conceded. “I’m really looking forward to competing in the Summer Games.
“I’ve been doing lots of training in both Nanaimo and Victoria,’’ Griffiths pointed out. “In Victoria, I’ve been training with throw coach Sheldan Gmitroski and I’ve been training with Bernie Katzberg at the Nanaimo Track and Field Club. I also went to the Zone 6 track and field camp and met other athletes.
“I’m competing in javelin, hammer and shot put and, with all this training, I think I’m getting better at all my throws.’’
Griffiths isn’t feeling any pressure because he knows what to expect from already being at the Games and thinks his chances of a medal are good in the hammer throw.
“The competition is going to be tougher for me because I’m in the younger age group in Midgets (1999/2000),’’ he pointed out. “Most of the boys will be 15.’’
There are 57 valley athletes competing for Zone 6 in 20 different sports in Nanaimo.
Many are considered strong medal contenders, including Jeremy Kissack and Desirae Ridenour in triathlon.
“We have a very strong team with a lot of podium potential,’’ said Lynda Magor, head coach of the Zone 6 Summer Games triathlon team.
“Certainly Desirae and Jeremy are podium threats for sure.’’
“Zone 6, the Island, is always best at triathlon,’’ said Kissack. “In past years, it’s been pretty much a podium sweep.’’
Kissack feels he’s well-prepared for the competition, training in Victoria three times a week with Kelly’s Kids.
“We had one team practice at the location of the Games,’’ he added. “That was a couple of weeks ago.’’
Kissack has also been doing very well in competitions this year, including a first in the North Shore triathlon in his age group and third during the Victoria youth triathlon that was the B.C. Games qualifier. He also raced at Shawnigan Lake.
The Games triathlon will be based at Westwood Lake. “The ride is super hilly,’’ said Kissack. “The run is a little shorter than usual (2K) and the run’s fairly flat. It’s along the water.’’
The most valley athletes in a single sport at the Games are in lacrosse: Lucas Nagel, Marc Gagnon, Isaiah McKinley, Mathieu Jung, James Taylor, Brian Robb, Jack Chicquen and Colton Lidstone.
Joining Griffiths in track and field are: Luke Armstrong, Miles Boulton, Emma Dewit, Brendan Kerwin, Denise Roy and Emerald White. Water skiing also has seven valley athletes with Kyle Fredrickson, Todd Heard. Jake Metcalfe, Mason Shadlock, Deklon Shadlock, Tyler Lindsay and Desman Perry.
Competing in baseball are: Robinder Dhut, Zach Waddington, Gus Wilson, Nicholas Yu, Cole Anderson and Kale Eddy. Canoeing/kayaking includes the Youbou contingent of Andrew Chester, McKayla Joseph, Kate-Lynn Lambert, Chantelle Tate and Thomas Zarelli Jr.
Others entered and their sports are: volleyball — Danielle Groenendijk; girls’ rugby — Avi Sharabi, Mariah Fontana and Hannah Morten; girls’ soccer — Sophie Miranda, Chloe Storie-Sloth and Reece Fougner-Rukus; three-on-three girls’ basketball — Jasmine Charles, Milena Jojic and Zjaya Doman; equestrian events — Alice Young and Daelen Cleugh; field lacrosse — Parker Teufel; girls’ softball — Tayler Green and Demi Rose; swimming events — Tiegan McDevitt, Clara Kodweiss and Oliver Castle; wrestling — Andrea Morris; boys’ basketball — Brendan Sullivan; and boys’ rugby — Kyle Murdy and Reece Tudor-Jones.