Sport Shorts: Four Medals in Lucerne

Rowing Action Heats Up: Canadian scullers were out in force at a prestigious World Cup in Lucerne, SUI over the weekend. The team, gaining experience and pushing hard toward the 2012 Olympic Games, won four medals at this hotly-contested regatta. The women’s eight captured silver in a race they finished just 0.20 seconds out of gold. The rowers: Cristin McCarty (Saskatoon), Darcy Marquardt (Richmond, B.C.), Ashley Brzozowicz, Krista Guloien, Andreanne Morin (all of Montreal), Janine Hanson (Winnipeg), Sandra Kisil (Ancaster, Ont.), Emma Darling (Burnaby, B.C.) and cox Leslie Thompson-Willie (London, Ont.).

Brzozowicz and Guloien won a second medal in Lucerne, a bronze in the pair race. “It was great to medal twice in one day, but I’m sure it will hurt later,” said Brzozowicz. In the lightweight men’s double, Doug Vandor (Dewittville, Que.) and Cam Sylvester (Caledon, Ont.) also rowed to a bronze medal. Canada won a second lightweight medal, a silver in the men’s pair, thanks to Matt Jensen (Innerkip, Ont.) and Rares Crisan (Mississauga). Of note, single sculler Malcolm Howard was fourth, just off the podium, as his transformation from a men’s eight rower continues.

Nearby, in Lausanne: Star hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (Whitby, Ont.) won a gold medal at the Athletissima athletics event last Thursday in Lausanne, SUI. The 2008 bronze medallist’s mark of 12.56 seconds was the fastest this year in women’s 100-metre hurdles. Teammate Perdita Felicien (Pickering, Ont.) was fourth.

Lamaze Continues to Shine: Olympic champion Eric Lamaze rode his 2008 gold medal mount Hickstead to a win on Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup equestrian event. The Schomberg, Ont. native – who was Canada’s sole Olympic double medallist in Beijing – won this event for the third time. Afterward he laid much credit on Hickstead, saying that the horse is a career-changer.

Sixteen Canadian track and field athletes captured 16 medals over the weekend at the NACAC (North American, Central American, and Caribbean Athletic Association) Under-23 Championships. They were led by gold medallists Heather Steacy (Lethbridge, Alta.) in hammer throw, Gabriella Duclos-Lasnier (Ste-Foy, Que.) in pole vault, Olivier Collin (Saint-Lazare, Que.) in 1,500 metres, Jessica Smith (Vancouver) in 800 metres, Elizabeth Gleadle (Vancouver) in javelin, Jessica O’Connell (Calgary) in 5,000 metres and Sam Effah (Calgary) in the 100 metres. Effah’s time of 10.06 seconds was the fourth-fastest in Canadian history.

Historic Win: At the Under-17 Basketball World Championships, Canada’s cadet men’s team captured a bronze medal in a thrilling 83-81 win over Lithuania. It is a big, confidence-building victory for Canada. Six Canadians scored in double digits, led by 15 from Olivier Hanlan (Gatineau, Que.).

Cochrane Leads Way in L.A.: Victoria’s Ryan Cochrane captured two gold medals to lead Canada at the L.A. Grand Prix swimming event over the weekend. The 2008 Olympic bronze medallist won both the 400- and 1,500-metre freestyle races. A third gold medal was added by the women’s 4×100-metre medley relay team. The University of Calgary swimmers are Katie Murdoch, Erica Morningstar, Jessica Johnson and Seanna Mitchell. The men’s medley relay team – Kelly Aspinall, Scott Dickens, Brian Johns and Rory Biskupski of UBC Dolphins – took home silver. Victoria’s Jeremy Bagshaw, one of many swimmers to compete at the Youth Olympic Games next month, won silver in the 800-metre freestyle. Vancouver’s Brian Johns won silver in 200-metre freestyle, Victoria’s Alexa Komarnycky nabbed bronze in 400-metre freestyle, and the men’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay team added bronze (UBC Dolphins Rory Biskupski, Brent Hayden, Brian Johns and Tommy Gossland).