Kajaks recognize excellence in athletes

By Don Fennell

Published 4:13 PST, Fri December 1, 2017

The Richmond Kajaks honoured their own last weekend.

Long one of Canada’s most successful track and field clubs, consistently developing elite athletes in each generation, the Kajaks’ 2017 awards celebrated the many individuals whose accomplishments were noteworthy this past season.

Emerging as one of the country’s most promising throwers, Camryn Rogers was named winner of the Cyrus McLean Award which annually recognizes the most outstanding performance by a club member. A June, 2017 graduate of R.A. McMath Secondary School, and currently in the first year of an athletic scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley, Rogers won the women’s hammer event at the Pan-American Track and Field Championships in Trujillo, Peru in July. At 18, one of the youngest athletes at the competition, she threw a meet-best 63.42 metres in the event to help Canada win 22 medals; the most since 1984 when that team earned 30.

Earlier in the year, Rogers, who was also given the Kajaks’ D.B. Clement Award (named after the club’s co-founder, and recognizing outstanding performance by a female athlete) and the Junior (U20) Female Athlete of the Year Award, eclipsed her own meet record of last year to win the hammer throw at the 50th B.C. high school championships in Langley. She also won the shot put with a throw of 13.65 metres, narrowly missing Joan Pavelich’s long-standing record of 13.92 set in 1971.

Another multiple award winner, Victoria Wideski, 13, is also a multi-talented athlete who excelled in many different events this past season. At the B.C. Junior Development championships in Surrey in July, she earned firsts in the girls’ discus, hammer and shot put while also impressing in the triple jump, long jump and javelin events. Those efforts helped earn her the Jack Harrison Award (outstanding junior development female athlete), Junior Development Throws Award and Junior Baton Award. The latter award recognizes outstanding relay cross-team performance by junior development athletes.

Also earning Junior Baton Awards were Rylee Crego, Kaleigh Abeysekera, Kezia Kawamura, Logan Duley, Holt McFie and Jackson Bradley.

Wideski and Crego finished one-two in the 13-year-old girls’ hammer throw final at the provincial junior development championships last July in Surrey. Crego was also awarded a Junior Development Throws Award for her strong season, while Kawamura, 13, who was also awarded a Junior Development Cross-Country Award, competed in the 800 metre girls’ final at the provincials earning a time of 2:48.41.

Duley earned a Jack Harrison Outstanding Junior Development Award and also added a Junior Development Jumps Award to his trophy collection, after an impressive 4.46 metre jump in the 12-year-olds boys’ final at the provincial junior development championships. He was also part of a memorable 100-metre final race in which Kajaks took three of the top four placings. Bradley won the race, Duley was third and McFie fourth.

Bradley enjoyed an outstanding season all around. Also earning the prestigious Jack Harrison Award as outstanding junior development male athlete, he also won the Kajaks’ Junior Development Sprints Award (also earned by Renzey Rozman and Ana Natalija Erdevicki).

Among several highlights, which included numerous first-place finishes, Bradley topped the field in the 300 metre final at the B.C. championships and, showing his versatility, placed second in the long jump.

Bradley’s older brother, Carson, was no slouch either. His consistently strong performances earned him the under-18 male youth athlete of the year; shared with Eric Che. Carson’s season highlights included a first-place finish in the junior boys’ 200-metre final at the B.C. high school championships. He won in a personal-best and meet record 22.78 seconds. He also won the 400 metres with a personal-best time of 50.57 seconds.

Che earned a silver medal with a personal-best 7.06 metres in the long jump at the Canadian Legion youth championships.

Charlotte Bosma earned a trio of club awards—Midget U-16 Female Athlete of the Year, Junior Development Pentathlon Athlete of the Year, and a Junior Development Hurdles Award (also awarded to Kaiya Hamada). She earned a pair of silver medals in relay competition among Grade 8s at the B.C. high school championships, while also placing third in the girls’ 400 metres and fifth in the 800 metres.

Claire Bosma, who shared the Midget (U16) Female Athlete of the Year Award with Selin Tasdemir (first in the 1,000 metres at the 2017 Harry Jerome Indoor Games last February), placed second in a pair of relays in the provincial Grade 8 championships and was also third in the 400 metres and fifth in the 800 metres.

First in his age group at the shot put at the B.C. Junior Development meet, and second in the nine-year-old boys’ 60-metre race at the B.C. Elementary Track and Field Championships, Ryan Nickerson was presented a Junior Development Jumps Award and Junior Development Cross-Country Award at the Kajaks’ year-end banquet.

The Kajaks also presented Orion Chang with a Junior Devlopment Cross-Country Award.

A winner of the Kajaks’ Junior Development Cross-Country Female Award, Alix Boogemans won the nine-year-old girls’ 1.5 kilometre race at the recent B.C. Cross-Country Championships in Abbotsford. She also topped the field at the Harry Jerome indoor meet at 600 metres in a time of 1:59.53.

The Junior Development Endurance Award was presented to Jenna Howarth and Lutan Redekopp. Redekopp, 13, finished second in his age group in the boys’ 800 metres at the B.C. Junior Development Championships, while Howarth, 12, was third in the girls’ 800 metres.

Samantha Kennedy was presented the Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award following a ninth-place overall finish in the hammer throw at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in July. The longtime Kajaks thrower won the Kajaks Coaches Award in 2016.

Tyrell Mara earned the prestigious D.E. Matheson Award and Senior Male Athlete of the Year Award following a strong season highlighted by his victory in the discus April 8 at the Emilie Mondor meet, and a third-place finish July 7 at the Canadian championships.

Lead coach of the Kajaks’ Track Rascals, Avril Douglas is also a standout athlete who won this year’s Outstanding Female Masters Award. Mark Pinckard won the Outstanding Male Masters Award.

Recognizing outstanding performance in a road race or cross-country event, the Botcher Trophy was awarded to Jake Loewen who also coaches in the Intro to Track and Field program. He also received the D.E. Matheson Award.

The Sylvia Makinson Memorial Plaque for dedicated service by a volunteer was presented to three deserving individuals—Dereck Hamada, Lanie Man and Rosa Wideski in recognition of their tireless efforts.

Longtime coach Moseley Jack was also recognized with the prestigious Carmyn James Award as outstanding coach of the year, while Jake Madderom, Sharon Haan and Danielle Cosco shared the Kajaks Official Award.

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