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Lethbridge Pan Am tracker: Local athletes earn 9 medals at Games

Rachel Nicol of Canada poses with her bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015.
Rachel Nicol of Canada poses with her bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

LETHBRIDGE – The world’s third largest multi-sport games are coming to Canada, and southern Alberta fans will have plenty to cheer.

14 athletes, one Canadian sport federation head, one volunteer and one official with ties to the area are heading to the Pan American Games in Toronto from July 10-26, while swimmer Zack McAllister will take part in the Parapan Am Games beginning August 7.

“Unbelievable,” said Coaldale triple jumper Aaron Hernandez. “When you talk about the Steacy’s, myself, Liz, Kip, Coby, all those great athletes that are proud to call Lethbridge and Lethbridge-area their home, it’s awesome.”

The group includes seven athletes born and raised in the area, while eight have lived in the city to train. As well, Mike Tamura is the head of Judo Canada, Mitch Ball is at the Games as a baseball umpire and chiropractor Dr. Grayson Michel is volunteering.

Swimmer Rachel Nicol feels the city as a whole deserves credit for the crop. “Good job Lethbridge. You’re doing a good job of supporting your athletes and it really shows there’s a lot of opportunity here and I think that’s just marvelous.”

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To celebrate, Global Lethbridge has set up a one-stop shop for everything you need to know heading into the Pan Ams. We’ve caught up with a number of athletes for feature stories, while all athletes have biographies, schedules and results below. As well, we’ve reached into the archives to find stories from the past to show you the paths they have taken to reach their goal.

This page will be updated with stories and results throughout the games so check back frequently.

ATHLETICS

 

Canadian triple jump champion Aaron Hernandez trains for his first Pan Am Games.
Canadian triple jump champion Aaron Hernandez trains for his first Pan Am Games. Global News

AARON HERNANDEZ (Triple Jump)

Coaldale, AB – Kate Andrews High School

University of Lethbridge –  Canadian champion (’15); 2-time CIS champion (’14, ’15)

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WATCH: Aaron Hernandez Pan Am profile

Hernandez comes into the Pan Am games on a high, after winning his first senior Canadian triple jump championship earlier this month. Just 19-years-old he’s made a quick mark in the sport he only started seriously pursuing three years ago. The Pan Ams will be the first time he’s ever worn the maple leaf in competition. “Pretty much I’m using this as a learning curve, like my first national team,” said Hernandez. “I’m not really sure what to expect but I want to take in the atmosphere. When I compete in front of the home crowd I want to get them behind me and try to get a few good jumps out there.” Although the bulk of his career is likely still ahead of him, the impact of the moment isn’t lost, “it’s incredible to think that I get to be competing for my home country, in my home country, nothing can beat that feeling.”

SCHEDULE:
Friday, July 24
Triple Jump men’s final
In his first ever national team appearance, Hernandez couldn’t quite get on track, failing to record a qualified jump. The youngest jumper in the field, Hernandez was eliminated after three attempts.

 

Born in Kenya, Kip Kangogo now calls Lethbridge his home and will represent his adopted country for the first time.
Born in Kenya, Kip Kangogo now calls Lethbridge his home and will represent his adopted country for the first time. Global Sports

KIP KANGOGO (Marathon)

Kabarnet, Kenya – Now lives in Lethbridge

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Lethbridge College – 2001 CCAA cross-country champion; 2014 Calgary marathon champion

WATCH: Kip Kangogo Pan Am profile

Perhaps no one will be as proud to represent their country and city as Kip Kangogo. His birth certificate says Kenya, but he’s a new Canadian citizen, and is extremely proud to wear the red and white. He first came to Lethbridge to run at Lethbridge College, winning a Canadian championship before heading to the NCAA, first with Utah’s Brigham Young University, then with Texas Christian University, before returning to make Lethbridge his home. He won the 2014 Calgary Marathon in record fashion and returns to Toronto where he placed in the top 10 of the 2014 Waterfront Marathon.

From the archive:
June 6, 2014 – Kangogo uses special motivation for Calgary Marathon win

Lethbridge's Kip Kangogo represents Canada for the first time in the Pan Am Games marathon.
Lethbridge's Kip Kangogo represents Canada for the first time in the Pan Am Games marathon. Submitted by James Robson
Lethbridge's Kip Kangogo represents Canada for the first time in the Pan Am Games marathon.
Lethbridge's Kip Kangogo represents Canada for the first time in the Pan Am Games marathon. Submitted by James Robson

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, July 25
Marathon men’s final
Kangogo achieves his dream of running for Canada, finishing in a time of 2:24:02, finishing ninth in a field of 18 runners.

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A former Olympian, Heather Steacy will compete in the Pan Am Games for the first time.
A former Olympian, Heather Steacy will compete in the Pan Am Games for the first time. Global News

HEATHER STEACY (Hammer Throw)

Lethbridge, AB – Winston Churchill High School

University of Lethbridge – ’12 Olympian; 3-time Canadian champion (’10-’12)

After battling nagging injuries over the past few seasons following her 2012 Olympic debut, Heather Steacy is healthy and ready to compete in what she believes is a star-studded Pan Am women’s hammer throw competition. “With myself and Sultana (Frizell) from Canada and whatever two Americans they send will be very top ranked girls and there are quite a few South Americans who are throwing really well for women’s hammer this year as well, so it will be a very strong competition I think,” said Steacy, sizing up the field. The youngest sibling in Lethbridge’s first family of hammer throwing, Steacy will compete at the Pan Ams for the first time. She loves the atmosphere of multi-sport games, “it’s a lot of fun to poke around and try to guess what sport someone plays, or that kind of stuff.” And she’s especially looking forward to wearing the maple leaf in front of Canadian fans, “I’m really looking forward to having the home crowd and just feeling comfortable with the environment and everything because it’s just Canada, so it’s great!”

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From the archive:
February 24, 2011 – Steacy throws further than any woman in Canadian University history
March 8, 2007 – Steacy siblings throw their way to history

SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, July 21
Hammer throw women’s final
It was a tough meet for Steacy. She failed to register a legal toss in each of her first three attempts, so she was eliminated from the competition.

 

Jim Steacy received a golden welcome home after winning the Commonwealth Games in 2014. He hopes for the same at the 2015 Pan Ams.
Jim Steacy received a golden welcome home after winning the Commonwealth Games in 2014. He hopes for the same at the 2015 Pan Ams. Global News

JIM STEACY (Hammer Throw)

Lethbridge, AB – Winston Churchill High School

University of Lethbridge – 2-time Olympian (’08, ’12); Commonwealth Games gold medalist (’14); Pan Am Games gold medalist (’07); 11-time Canadian champion (’04-’09, ’11-’15); Canadian hammer throw record holder

WATCH: Jim Steacy Pan Am profile

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Jim Steacy is already one of the most decorated athletes to ever come out of Lethbridge, and he’s not done yet. A two-time Olympian, Steacy has his sights set on another Olympic berth next year in Brazil. But for now his focus is on the Pan Ams. He’s one of the few local athletes with Pan Am experience, bringing home a gold medal from the 2007 Games in Rio de Janiero. He is the Canadian hammer throw record holder and has won every national championship he’s competed in since 2004, bringing home 11 gold medals including the 2015 championship earlier this month.

From the archives:
August 1, 2014 – Gold medalist Steacy returns from Commonwealth Games to hero’s welcome
August 7, 2008 – Steacy achieves his Olympic goal
July 23, 2008 – Lethbridge shows it’s support for Steacy ahead of Olympic Games
August 7, 2007 – Steacy returns from Pan Am Games with a gold medal
March 8, 2007 – Steacy siblings throw their way to history

SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, July 22
Hammer throw men’s final
Steacy finished in 8th place with his longest toss, 69.75 metres, coming on his final throw. Steacy took time to salute the partisan Canadian crowd following his final throw. After regaining his form in 2014, injuries once again derailed Steacy’s training in 2015, where his season-best toss dropped in at just over 71 metres. Steacy intends to take the summer to heal and improve his fitness, before working on his strength again in the fall with the hope of taking a run at the 2016 Canadian Olympic team. 

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Canadian javelin record holder Liz Gleadle will put her Lethbridge training to the test at the Pan Am Games.
Canadian javelin record holder Liz Gleadle will put her Lethbridge training to the test at the Pan Am Games. Athletics Canada

LIZ GLEADLE (Javelin)

Vancouver, BC – Now lives in Lethbridge

’12 Olympian; 5-time Canadian champion (’08, ’09, ’12, ’14, ’15); Birmingham Diamond League event gold medalist (’14); Canadian javelin record holder

Liz Gleadle may be from B.C., but Lethbridge has become her home away from home. The undisputed top women’s javelin thrower in the country moved to the city five years ago to work with renowned throwing coach Larry Steinke. An Olympian in 2012, the Canadian record holder hopes for a strong Pan Ams showing to springboard her towards Rio de Janiero in 2015.

Elizabeth Gleadle of Canada celebrates with her gold medal in javelin during the athletics competition at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Tuesday July 21, 2015.
Elizabeth Gleadle of Canada celebrates with her gold medal in javelin during the athletics competition at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Tuesday July 21, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, July 21
Javelin women’s final
It’s a gold medal for Gleadle! She saved her best for last, unfurling a 62.83 metre throw to clinch the competition. The toss was over three metres further than her previous longest throw and more than a metre past the silver medalist, American Kara Winger. Read the full story here.

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MELISSA FRASER (Javelin)

Halton Hills, ON – Trained in Lethbridge

Canadian champion (’11)

Fraser was a standout at DePaul University, winning three NCAA Big East conference titles. During the off-season she spent time in Lethbridge working with throwing coach Larry Steinke. She won the Canadian javelin championship in 2011.

SCHEDULE:
Tuesday, July 21
Javelin women’s final
Fraser finished seventh in the ten thrower field. Her longest toss of 52.20 metres came on her second throw.

 

ALANNA KOVACS (Discus)

Barrie, ON – Trained in Lethbridge

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2-time Canadian silver medalist (’12, ’15)

Like her DePaul University teammate, Melissa Fraser, Kovacs spent time in Lethbridge working with throwing coach Larry Steinke. She finished second in the recent Canadian championships, just 40cm out of first place.

SCHEDULE:
Friday, July 24
Discus women’s final
Kovacs longest and only qualified throw comes on her first attempt, a 49.08 metre toss. She finishes 10th in the 11 thrower field, ahead of teammate Marie-Josee Le Jour.

 

RACQUETBALL

 

Canadian racquetball champion Coby Iwaasa trains ahead of the Pan Am Games.
Canadian racquetball champion Coby Iwaasa trains ahead of the Pan Am Games. Global News

COBY IWAASA

Lethbridge, AB – Winston Churchill High School

Canadian champion (’15); 2-time Canadian doubles champion (’13, ’15); World junior champion (’12); 4-time Canadian junior champion (’12-’15); 2-time Canadian junior doubles champion (’14, ’15); Chicago WRT champion (’14)

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WATCH: Coby Iwaasa Pan Am profile

Perhaps no athlete comes into the Pan Ams with more momentum than 19-year-old phenom Coby Iwaasa. Already this year he has become the first player to ever hold the Canadian senior and junior singles and doubles racquetball titles at the same time. He already has countless championships on his resume, including a world junior championship, but still ranks the Pan Ams as a one of a kind experience, “it’s going to be one of the highlights of my life I’d say.” Iwaasa is the only member of the four-man Canadian team without Pan Am experience, but given his accomplishments he is absolutely a threat to win it all. “I have played many of these players before so I feel like I’m capable of getting a medal,” assessed Iwaasa. “I feel happy to be there, I’m very confident in my game right now.”

From the archive:
July 28, 2014 – Iwaasa heads to Mexico for major competition
April 14, 2011 – Just 14-years-old Iwaasa is already the best in Alberta

SCHEDULE:
SINGLES
Sunday, July 19
Iwaasa (CAN) 2 – Wer (GUA) 0  (15-5, 15-3)
Iwaasa gets off to a quick start with a straight sets win over Christian Wer. The first set takes only nine minutes as Iwaasa scored the first seven points of the match. The second set runs 18 minutes but ends in a tidy 15-3 win for the Canadian champion who moves to 1-0 in group play.

Monday, July 20
Iwaasa (CAN) 0 – De La Rosa (MEX) 2  (15-6, 15-9)
Taking on the top ranked player in his round robin group, Iwaasa puts up a good fight, but falls in straight sets. Daniel De La Rosa is ranked fourth in the world, Iwaasa is ranked 18th. Iwaasa goes to 1-1 in the tournament.

Tuesday, July 21
Iwaasa (CAN) 0 vs Moscoso (BOL) 2  (15-11, 15-6)
It’s a second straight tough loss for Iwaasa who falls in straight sets to Conrrado Moscoso. Iwaasa finishes the group stage at 1-2 and now moves into the single elimination playdown round.

Wednesday, July 22 – Round of 32
Iwaasa (CAN) def. Rios (ECU)  (Walkover)
Iwaasa receives a break as his opponent, Fernando Rios, suffered an injury earlier in the tournament and wasn’t able to compete. Iwaasa moves directly into the quarterfinals.

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Wednesday, July 22  – Round of 16
Iwaasa (CAN) 2 – Bredenbeck (USA) 0  (15-4, 15-9)
After a couple of trying matches, Iwaasa regains his form, making quick work of American Jake Bredenbeck. The first set took just 15 minutes as Iwaasa rolled to a 15-4 win. Iwaasa moves into the quarterfinals, but earns a challenging draw against the third ranked player in the world, Alvaro Beltran.

Thursday, July 23, 8:05am – Quarterfinals
Iwaasa (CAN) 0 – Beltran (MEX) 2  (15-3, 15-7)
Iwaasa’s singles event runs out of steam in the quarterfinals against the veteran Alvaro Beltran, a player nearly twice his age. Beltran, ranked third in the world, won the first set easily, 15-3. 18th ranked Iwaasa rallied with a much stronger second set, but still fell 15-7. It brings to an end the tournament for the 19-year-old Iwaasa.

TEAM
Saturday, July 25 – Quarterfinals
Canada 2 – Dominican Republic 1
Iwaasa (CAN) 2 – Perez (DOM) 0  (15-11, 15-7)
The team event involves two singles matches and a doubles match. Iwaasa does his part in the quarterfinal matchup with the Dominican Republic, opening up the event with a straight sets win over Luis Perez. Canada loses the doubles match, but veteran Mike Green earns a win in singles play to send Canada to the semifinals with a 2-1 win, clinching at least a bronze medal.

Lethbridge’s Coby Iwaasa (second from right), shows off the bronze medal won in the Pan Am Games team racquetball competition. Also pictured, L-R: Vincent Gagnon, Mike Green, Coby Iwaasa, Tim Landeryou
Lethbridge’s Coby Iwaasa (second from right), shows off the bronze medal won in the Pan Am Games team racquetball competition. Also pictured, L-R: Vincent Gagnon, Mike Green, Coby Iwaasa, Tim Landeryou. Milton Iwaasa

Saturday, July 25 – Semifinals
Canada 1 – USA 2
Iwaasa (CAN) 0 – Carson (USA) 2  (15-6, 15-14)
Canada and Iwaasa earn bronze medals after a hard-fought match against the Americans. The Canadian doubles team opened with a loss, followed by a win in singles for Green. That left the game tied at one heading into the decisive match between Iwaasa and Rocky Carson. It was a tough draw for Iwaasa, as Carson won the singles gold medal in the Pan Ams and is the second ranked player in the world. Carson won the first set 15-6. But, in the second, Iwassa showed why he is one of the most highly touted young players in the world, pushing the veteran American to the limit, before Carson earned a 15-14 win. Still, Iwassa walks away with a medal and loads of experience from his first ever Pan Am Games.

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RUGBY 7S

Team Canada’s Ashley Steacy poses with her World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team jersey in the background.
Team Canada’s Ashley Steacy poses with her World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team jersey in the background. Global News

ASHLEY STEACY

Lethbridge, AB – Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

University of Lethbridge – World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series dream team (’15); 2-time CIS player of the year (’06, ’09); 3-time CIS champion (’07-’09); Amsterdam World Rugby Women’s Sevens series champion (’15)

WATCH: Ashley Steacy Pan Am Profile

Ashley Steacy is a Rugby 7s pioneer, coming into the sport just as it was gaining prominence and helping to push it to a new level. The sport will make its Olympic debut in 2015, with the Pan Am Games acting as a warm-up for a Canadian team already qualified for the Olympics. “To clinch that spot and to reach that goal is so fulfilling, but at the same time leaves me wanting more,” said the 28-year-old Steacy. “This whole next year is going to be such a push and such a drive and such a grind to get our team and myself to the best possible position where we can hopefully bring home a gold medal.” A homegrown talent with roots at LCI and the University of Lethbridge, the former Ashley Patzer is in the unique position of having family competing at the Pan Am Games after marrying former thrower Sean Steacy in 2011. Her brother-in-law Jim Steacy and sister-in-law Heather Steacy are both veteran hammer throwers. Heather is especially excited for Ashley to experience the Pan Am atmosphere, “it’s the first time rugby will be part of a major, multi-sport games so I’m really excited for Ashley to get to experience that, especially before going to the games in Rio,” said Heather Steacy. “It will be a really good base for them to see what kind of environment that is with so many different athletes from different sports and backgrounds.”

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From the archive:
August 4, 2010 – Patzer prepares to represent Canada at Rugby World Cup
November 11, 2009 – The greatest player in U of L rugby history wraps up her university career

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, July 11
Canada 55 – Colombia 0
Moleschi scored one of Canada’s nine trys as the hosts open action with a lop-sided win, moving to 1-0 in the tournament.

Canada 60 – Mexico 0
The Canadian domination continues. Steacy kicked 4 converts and Moleschi added her second try of the tournament as Canada improves to 2-0, outscoring their opponents 115-0.

Canada 36 – Brazil 0
A wildly successful opening day for Canada ends with a 36-0 win as the hosts outscore their opponents 151-0 while going 3-0. Steacy kicked two more converts in the victory. Canada and the USA finish day one tied for first place. Canada needs just one win in it’s final two round robin games to guarantee a spot in the gold medal game.

Sunday, July 12
Canada 45 – Argentina 0
Canada clinches a medal and a chance to play for gold as its domination continues. The team still has yet to be scored against, while piling up 196 points in just four games.

Canada 34 – USA 12
In a preview of the upcoming gold medal game being played later in the same day, Canada handles the Americans easily, building up a 34-0 lead before surrendering their first points of the tournament. 

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GOLD MEDAL GAME
Canada 55 – USA 7

Ashley Steacy jumps into the arms of teammate Brittany Benn after winning Pan Am Games gold.
Ashley Steacy jumps into the arms of teammate Brittany Benn after winning Pan Am Games gold. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The veteran Steacy leads her team to a gold medal, scoring two tries and kicking three converts for a team leading 16 points. The Americans opened the scoring but Steacy’s first try of the game just moments later tied it up and Canada never looked back, taking the win in dominating fashion. It’s the icing on the cake for the Canadians who wrap up a tremendous season which included a win in the final World Rugby 7s tournament of the year in Amsterdam. Read the full story here.

 

Former University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Kayla Moleschi is suiting up for Canada at the Pan Am Games.
Former University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Kayla Moleschi is suiting up for Canada at the Pan Am Games. Ian Muir / Rugby Canada

KAYLA MOLESCHI

Williams Lake, BC

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University of Lethbridge – Canada West rookie of the year (’11); CIS all-Canadian (’11); Canada West champion (’11)

Moleschi spent just a single season with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, but she made the most of it, being named Canada West conference rookie of the year and a CIS all-Canadian while helping the ‘Horns to a Canada West conference championship. She left to pursue her national team dreams and has been a fixture on team Canada ever since.

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, July 11
Canada 55 – Colombia 0
Moleschi scored one of Canada’s nine trys as the hosts open action with a lop-sided win, moving to 1-0 in the tournament.

Canada 60 – Mexico 0
The Canadian domination continues. Steacy kicked 4 converts and Moleschi added her second try of the tournament as Canada improves to 2-0, outscoring their opponents 115-0.

Canada 36 – Brazil 0
A wildly successful opening day for Canada ends with a 36-0 win as the hosts outscore their opponents 151-0 while going 3-0. Steacy kicked two more converts in the victory. Canada and the USA finish day one tied for first place. Canada needs just one win in its final two round robin games to guarantee a spot in the gold medal game.

Sunday, July 12
Canada 45 – Argentina 0
Canada clinches a medal and a chance to play for gold as its domination continues. The team still has yet to be scored against, while piling up 196 points in just four games.

Canada 34 – USA 12
In a preview of the upcoming gold medal game being played later in the same day, Canada handles the Americans easily, building up a 34-0 lead before surrendering their first points of the tournament. 

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GOLD MEDAL GAME
Canada 55 – USA 7

Canada’s womens rugby sevens team celebrate with their gold medals after beating USA 55-7 at the Pan Am Games in Toronto on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
Canada’s womens rugby sevens team celebrate with their gold medals after beating USA 55-7 at the Pan Am Games in Toronto on Sunday, July 12, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The veteran Steacy leads her team to a gold medal, scoring two tries and kicking three converts for a team leading 16 points. The Americans opened the scoring but Steacy’s first try of the game just moments later tied it up and Canada never looked back, taking the win in dominating fashion. It’s the icing on the cake for the Canadians who wrap up a tremendous season which included a win in the final World Rugby 7s tournament of the year in Amsterdam. Read the full story here.

 

SWIMMING

A star in the pool, Rachel Nicol is thrilled for the chance to represent Canada at the Pan Ams.
A star in the pool, Rachel Nicol is thrilled for the chance to represent Canada at the Pan Ams. Global News

RACHEL NICOL (100m Breaststoke)

Lethbridge, AB – Catholic Central High School

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Southern Methodist University – World Youth Olympic Games gold medalist (’10 – 50m breaststroke); Canadian champion (’14 – 50m breaststroke); Canadian trials champion (’15, 50m breaststroke); 2-time Mel Zacaj Jr international gold medalist (’15, 50m & 100M breaststroke); 3-time NCAA all-American (’15, 50m breaststroke; ’14, 400m medley relay; ’12, 200m medley relay)

WATCH: Rachel Nicol Pan Am profile

Rachel Nicol is at a crossroads. A star in the NCAA, being named an all-American three times at Southern Methodist University, she’s has just wrapped up her post-secondary career. Now she’s deciding how strongly to pursue the sport in the coming years, although making the Pan Ams provides a nice boost. “Making this team really gives me a lot of motivation going into the Olympic year,” said Nicol. “Going into the Pan Am trials I didn’t think I would place first.” But she did and the 22-year-old will now carry Canada’s hopes in the 100-metre breaststroke, while also being a candidate for the relay teams. Nicol’s not looking too far into the future, instead focusing on the opportunity of the Pan Ams. “Making the team is just a huge honour and getting to wear the maple leaf on your cap and representing Canada and getting all the gear and being able to say ‘I’m on team Canada’ is just incredible.”

From the archive:
August 7, 2009 – Lethbridge’s Nicol siblings making waves

SCHEDULE:
Friday, July 17
100m women’s breaststroke trials
In the third and final heat Nicol puts together a furious final 25 metres to touch the wall first and win her race, advancing to the ‘A’ final. Her come from behind win sees her overtake former Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Alia Atkinson. Her time of 1:07.10 smashes her personal best and is the second fastest time among the 18 swimmers in the competition.

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Rachel Nicol of Canada poses with her bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015.
Rachel Nicol of Canada poses with her bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Rachel Nicol of Canada breaks through the water on her way to a bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015.
Rachel Nicol of Canada breaks through the water on her way to a bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Rachel Nicol of Canada swims her way to a bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015.
Rachel Nicol of Canada swims her way to a bronze medal in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Gold medalist Katie Meili of the USA, centre, silver medalist Alia Atkinson of Jamaica, left, and bronze medalist Rachel Nicol of Canada pose with their medals in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015.
Gold medalist Katie Meili of the USA, centre, silver medalist Alia Atkinson of Jamaica, left, and bronze medalist Rachel Nicol of Canada pose with their medals in the women's 100m breaststroke final swimming event at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on Friday, July 17, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn


100m women’s breaststroke ‘A’ final
Nicol wins a bronze medal in a lightning quick time of 1:07.91, edging out Canadian teammate Tara van Beilen by 31-one-hundredths of a second. It’s a remarkable showing in her first ever appearance with the senior national team. Nicol started slow but rebounded to sit third at the turn and hung on to that spot until the finish. 

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Saturday, July 18
4x100m women’s medley relay
Swimming for a medal for the second straight day, Nicol cashed in once again. She swam the breaststroke in the third leg of the relay, and held Canada firmly in second spot behind only the USA who set a new Pan Am Games record. Nicol adds a silver medal to the bronze she won one day earlier, capping off a wildly successful first visit to the Pan Am Games.

ZACK MCALLISTER

Lethbridge, AB – Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

University of Lethbridge – ’12 Paralympian; 6th in 400m freestyle at ’12 Paralympics; Canadian S8 50m & 100m freestyle champion (’14)

WATCH: Zack McAllister Parapan Am Profile (Coming in August)

Zack McAllister had hoped the Paralympic Games might be in his future as far back as 2010, and by 2012 it was a reality, qualifying for the 2012 Games in London where he swam in four events. McAllister is a Parapan Am veteran, competing in 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. He swam in seven events, finishing fourth in four of them, so he has his eyes set firmly on a medal in Toronto.

Schedule:
Coming in August

 

BASEBALL

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SKLYER STROMSMOE

Etzikom, AB – Foremost High School

Born and raised in southern Alberta, the 31-year-old second baseman currently plays AAA baseball for the top affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

 

SHANE DAWSON

Drayton Valley, AB – Prairie Baseball Academy

An incredible season with the Prairie Baseball Academy led to Dawson being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012. A Canadian College Baseball Conference second-team all star during his time at the PBA, the left-handed pitching Dawson has great statistics with the A-level Lansing Lugnuts this season.

 

JARED MORTENSEN

Abbotsford, AB – Prairie Baseball Academy

Jared Mortensen pitched for both the Prairie Baseball Academy and the Lethbridge Bulls during his time in southern Alberta. He signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013 and is currently playing with their AA affiliate in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

SCHEDULE:
Saturday, July 11
Canada 4 – Dominican Republic 1
The Canadians open the tournament with a convincing win, scoring one in the first inning and three more on a homerun in the sixth inning. Stromsmoe establishes himself as the starting second baseman for team Canada.

Sunday, July 12
Canada 10 – Colombia 3
Mortensen was Canada’s starter and was outstanding as he earned the win, pitching seven strong innings, giving up just four hits and three runs while striking out 5. The hosts sit alone in first place in the tournament with a 2-0 record.

Monday, July 13
Canada 9 – Nicaragua 1
After failing to get a hit in the first two games, Stromsmoe breaks out in a big way, going 2-4, including a home run, while driving in three runs and scoring twice. Dawson also saw his first action of the tournament, pitching a scoreless sixth inning, striking out two. The Canadians are the class of the tournament so far, as the only undefeated team they sit alone in first place at 3-0.

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Tuesday, July 14
Canada 3 – Cuba 1
Everything continues to go right for Canada. A three-run homerun in the sixth inning is all the offence needed as the hosts remain undefeated in first place at 4-0. Stromsmoe continues his strong play going 1-3 and scoring a run. 

Thursday, July 16
Canada 11 – Puerto Rico 4
After clinching a semifinal berth during their off-day Wednesday, Canada wanted even more tonight, clinching first place in the round robin with a lop-sided victory. The Canadians who scored two in the first inning and never looked back, improving to a tournament best 5-0. Stromsmoe ran his hit streak to three games with a 1-3 effort, scoring a run. Puerto Rico had been second in the standings coming in. Canada wraps up the round robin against the USA tomorrow.

Friday, July 17
Canada 1 – USA 4
With their playoff spot secure, Canada ends the round robin with it’s first loss of the tournament. Mortensen got the start and pitched just 3 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits, striking out five. Dawson came on in relief and was stellar, giving up just two hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings. Stromsmoe extended his hitting streak to four games, going 1-3 while driving in Canada’s only run. The hosts finish the round robin with a first place 5-1 record, and move on to the semifinals.

Saturday, July 18 – Semifinal
Puerto Rico 1 – Canada 7
The Canadians guarantee themselves a medal with a dominating victory in the semifinals. One day after their first loss of the tournament, all of the Canadian runs come in the first four innings. Neither Mortensen or Dawson saw action, while Stromsmoe saw his hitting streak come to an end at four games. The Canadians move on to a rematch with the USA for gold.

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United States second baseman Jacob Wilson, center, is unable to catch an errant throw from catcher Thomas Murphy as Canada’s Peter Orr, right, steals second base during the fifth inning of the gold medal baseball game at the Pan Am Games, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Ajax, Ontario.
United States second baseman Jacob Wilson, center, is unable to catch an errant throw from catcher Thomas Murphy as Canada’s Peter Orr, right, steals second base during the fifth inning of the gold medal baseball game at the Pan Am Games, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Ajax, Ontario. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Sunday, July 19 – Gold medal game
USA 6 – Canada 7  (10 innings)
In an instant classic, Canada claims gold. Down 3-0 early in the game, the hosts rally with three runs of their own in the third inning to tie it, and then take a 4-3 lead with another run in the fourth. The Americans tied it in the seventh inning and it remained that way, sending the game to extra innings. International rules dictate that in extra innings teams begin with two runners on base and the at-bat team can start anywhere in it’s batting lineup. In the top of the tenth, the USA scored twice for a 6-4 lead. Stromsmoe made a nice catch to end the Americans at-bat. In the bottom half Canada looked to be in tough, but with one out Canada scored once, and then the drama hit a fever pitch. An attempted pick-off at first base was thrown away, allowing Stromsmoe to score from second base to tie it, before a hard charging Peter Orr also slid in for a 7-6 win. Canada wins back-to-back Pan Am gold medals. Playing large roles earlier in the Games, neither Mortensen or Dawson saw action in the gold medal game. Stromsmoe went 0-4 but scored the all-important tying run. Read the whole game story here.

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