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Athletes compete in Special Olympics snowshoe meet

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

 

Exceptionally gifted athletes gathered Saturday at the Fellowes Alumni Field to compete in the Pembroke Snowshoeing Meet for Special Olympics.

The day-long event saw 27 participants from Pembroke, Thunder Bay, Ottawa and Belleville Quinte West strap on a pair of snowshoes and race against each other around the oval sports track. This regional meet was to determine qualifiers for the Special Olympics Ontario Provincial Winter Games to be held next year in Sault Ste Marie.

Last year, Pembroke was to have hosted a tournament here but unseasonably warm weather melted away the snow base forcing a postponement of the event. Pembroke Special Olympics co-ordinator Kim Stacey said it was an honour to have hosted the regional qualifier and

“It’s exciting for us to host something here. We are usually travelling to somewhere,” said Stacey.

The snowshoe meet was part of the weekend’s Pembroke Snospree. While Canadians will soon be turning their attention to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Stacey said she hopes folks here will invest more time and interest in their local Special Olympics athletes.

“I don’t think people realize how well our athletes compete,” said Stacey.

The Special Olympics Canada Games began in 1974 and are convened every four years. The next national winter games are in Thunder Bay in 2020. There are currently more than 45,000 athletes and 21,479 volunteers registered in Special Olympics Canada programs. The Special Olympics Ontario provincials, which will take place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, 2019, will feature competitions in six winter sports: Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, figure skating, speed skating, curling and snowshoeing.

Pembroke Special Olympian Riley Stacey-Sullivan qualified in his division in the 100-metre finishing first place with a time of 29.22 seconds and first in the 200-metre with a time of one minute, eight seconds. Provincial champion Anne Marie Moore qualified with a first place finish in her division in the 100-metre with a time of 31.25 seconds and first place in the 200-metre with a time of 1:20. Multiple national and provincial champion Brian Dinwoodie captured first place in his division in the 100-metre with a time of 25.59 seconds and first place in the 200-metre with a time of 1:05.

Calum MacKenzie, of Ottawa, took first in the 1,600-metre race, followed by Jacob Mathews, of Ottawa, in second place. In the 800-metre M1 Division, Shawn Whitehurst, of Thunder Bay, grabbed first place, followed by Calum MacKenzie, in second. In the 800-metre M2 Division, Corey Munshaw, of Thunder Bay, finished first, followed by second place Kevin Dooks, of Ottawa.

Here are the results in the 400-metre divisions: F1: Roberta Hannusch (first), Gabrielle Hannusch (second), both of Thunder Bay; F2: Joanna Luczak (first) Thunder Bay; M1: Jacob Mathews (first); M2: Gaerrisen Freeland (first), of Belleville Quinte West, Calum MacKenzie (second), Gregory Murdoch (third), of Ottawa, and Robert Whitehurst (fourth), of Thunder Bay; M3: Kevin Dooks (first), Dennis Radmore (second) of Ottawa.

Here are the results in the 200-metre divisions: : F1: Roberta Hannusch (first), Gabrielle Hannusch (second), Blair Bastien (third), of Belleville Quinte West; F2: Anne Marie Moore (first), Nicole Flynn (second), of Belleville Quinte West; F3: Julia Luck (first), of Thunder Bay; F4: Nicole Ferguson (first), Lee Ann Hardy (second), of Belleville Quinte West; M1: Tyler Rissanen (first), of Thunder Bay; M2: Riley Stacey-Sullivan (first); M3: Gaerrisen Freeland (first); M4: Shawn Whitehurst (first), Jacob Mathews (second), Robert Whitehurst (third), Thomas Boyes (fourth), of Thunder Bay; M5: Jon Legall (first), of Thunder Bay, Gregory Murdoch (second), Calum MacKenzie (third), Kai Freeland (fourth), of Belleville Quinte West; M6: Brian Dinwoodie (first); M7: Mark Claypole (first), of Thunder Bay, Kevin Dooks (second), Dennis Radmore (third); M8: David Giba (first), of Thunder Bay.

Here are the results in the 100-metre divisions: : F1: Roberta Hannusch (first), Gabrielle Hannusch (second), Blair Bastien (third); F2: Nicole Ferguson (first), Belleville Quinte West, Joanna Luczak (second), Lee Ann Hardy (third); F3: Anne Marie Moore (first), Nicole Flynn (second); F4: Julia Luck (first); M1: Gaerrisen Freeland (first); M2: Shawn Whitehurst (first), Robert Whitehurst (second), Gregory Murdoch (third), Kai Freeland (fourth); M3: Brian Dinwoodie (first), Corey Munshaw (second); M4: Jacob Mathews (first), Thomas Boyes (second), Jon Legall (third); M5: Riley Stacey-Sullivan (first) M6: Tyler Rissanen (first); M7: Mark Claypole (first), Dennis Radmore (second); M8: David Giba (first).

SChase@postmedia.com

 



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