Sports

Celebrating 2012

Marc Howatson (#3) is swarmed by his teammates following the final point for the Trinity Western Spartans as they captured their second straight CIS national championship. - Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics
Marc Howatson (#3) is swarmed by his teammates following the final point for the Trinity Western Spartans as they captured their second straight CIS national championship.
— image credit: Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics

A look at some of the top sports stories from the pages of the Langley Times in 2012

January

The World Financial Group Continental Cup of Curling, featuring some of the world’s top curlers,  is contested at the Langley Events Centre.

Approximately 20,000 fans took in the four days of curling action, all of which was broadcast live by TSN. Team World won the Cup 235 to 165.

•••

Langley All-Stars baseball team visits Uganda through Right To Play organized trip. Joining the team of 11, 12 and 13-year-olds — who won the Canadian Little League national championship the previous summer — were Major League Baseball players Jimmy Rollins and Derrek Lee as well as former player and Sportsnet baseball analyst Gregg Zaun.

Dean Cantelon, the Langley team manager and father of one of the team’s players, described the trip as “something that will be with us forever.”

•••

The Langley AAA Eagles became the first B.C. minor hockey team to win the prestigious Regina Peewee Classic tournament.

February

At just 12 years of age, Jaewook Lee became the youngest person ever to win a Vancouver Golf Tour event when he took top spot on the VGT’s Winter Tour event at the Belmont Golf Club. The Tour is for local professional and amateur players. The previous youngest age had been 17.

•••

The Langley Curling Club’s Lepine rink captured second spot at the B.C. senior women’s curling championships. The team is made up of Karen Lepine, Susan Beuk, Betsy Terpsma and Leslie Conde-Mathot.

•••

Brad Thiessen made his NHL debut, stopping 22 shots in victory as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets.  He described the experience as "everything I expected and more." Thiessen appeared in five games with the Penguins, going 3-1.

•••

A pair of high school wrestlers found the podium at the provincial championships. D.W. Poppy’s Megan Ransford won silver in the 90-kg division while Langley Secondary’s Maddie Millsip nabbed bronze in the 60-kg division.

•••

Randee Hermus was inducted into the Simon Fraser University Athletics Hall of Fame. Hermus attended SFU on a soccer scholarship after graduating from Langley Secondary. And after her four years in Burnaby, she continued in the game, earning more than 100 caps playing for Canada, including representing her country at the 2008 Olympics.

March

The Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball team won their second straight CIS national championship banner with a 3-1 victory over the Laval Rouge et Or.

•••

The Walnut Grove Gators lost 75-74 to the Terry Fox Ravens in the finals of the senior boys’ AAA basketball championships. The second-place finish is the best-ever for a Langley school at the tournament.

•••

The Langley Thunder captured the provincial tier 1 U19 field lacrosse championship with a 13-12 double overtime victory. The title was Langley’s first ever tier 1 provincial field lacrosse championship. The Thunder’s U14 squad also medalled at provincials, winning silver.

•••

Georgia Ellenwood was named Sport BC’s top female high school athlete. The Langley Secondary student competes on the school’s track and field team. B.C. Lions kicker Paul McCallum was also honoured with the Sport BC Best of BC Award. And Randee Hermus, Katie Thorlakson, Chelsey Hannesson and Natalie Halcro were honoured as part of the Surrey United women’s Premier soccer team, which was named team of the year.

•••

The Walnut Grove Gators Grade 8 boys’ basketball team placed third at the provincial championships.

•••

Emma Nuttall won gold in the high jump for the Trinity Western Spartans at the CIS national championships, while Fiona Benson won bronze in the 1500m race. Another Spartan runner, Blair Johnston picked up the silver medal at the B.C. Athletics provincial 5-km road race.

•••

The Fraser Valley Phantom won the girls’ midget AAA hockey provincial title two games to one in the best-of-three series against the Thompson-Okanagan Rockets.

•••

A trio of Langley Minor Hockey teams all came up short in their quests for the gold medals in their respective age groups. The peewee tier 1 AAA Eagles, the peewee tier 4 Eagles, and the midget tier 2 Eagles all won silver medals at the provincial championships.

•••

The Langley FC Premier men’s soccer team defeated the Fraser Valley Red Devils 3-1 to capture the Pakenham Cup.

•••

Competing at the WTF taekwondo provincial championships, members of JC Taekwondo found the podium. Ashley Runa and Katie Winquist both earned gold medals in the green belt category while Joy Kwak won gold in the red belt category. Madison Runa won silver in the red belt category.

April

A pair of Langley ringette players, Jennifer Wakefield and Kacy Hannesson, helped the Lower Mainland Ringette League Thunder win the gold medal at the national ringette championships.

•••

Langley Curling Club’s Tyler Tardi, Jordan Tardi, Nicholas Meister and Zachary Umback — and coached by Paul Tardi — returned with the silver medal from the Optimist International U18 curling championships.

•••

Long-time Walnut Grove Gators high school basketball coach George Bergen was presented with a Coaching Award of Excellence from Basketball BC.

May

LeeAnn Harper took top spot in both the junior and the open division at the Western Canadian bodybuilding championships.

•••

Members of the Langley Gymnastics Foundation helped their respective provincial age-group teams medal at the Western Canadian gymnastics championships. Tyler Welch (national open men), Amanda Neidig (national novice women), Shayla Ogloff (provincial 5 novice women) and Victor Blaine (level 4 men) were part of their respective gold-medal squads for B.C. while Kylie Macklin (national open women) helped win silver.

•••

For the fourth straight year, Tracy James helped Team Canada win gold at the International Cheer Union (ICU) world cheerleading competition.

•••

The Fraser Valley CrossFit Centaurs placed second at the Canada West regional event, earning a spot at the world championships in July. The team consists of Nate Beveridge, Robert Perovich, Mark Cassibo, Josh Chavarria, Ruthie Unaegbu, Karolina Pawlak, Leah Goddard and Kelly Toth.

•••

A pair of Langley Rugby Club senior men’s tier 3 teams both came up short in their respective provincial finals. Both teams lost to their Surrey counterparts, 24-17 in the league 1 final and 12-10 in the league 2 final.

June

Walnut Grove’s Ashley Windsor won four medals (two gold, two silver) and was named the most outstanding female performer at the B.C. high school track and field championships. Windsor won gold in the 3000m and 800m events and was second in the 1500m and the 4x400 relay. The relay team consisted of Windsor, Andrea Robinson, Meg Harradine and Danica Matson, with Dallas Tilley as the alternate.

The Gators also won the senior girls’ title.

Other medals for Langley at the meet included Georgia Ellenwood (Langley Secondary), who captured her third straight heptathlon title; Shelby Smithson (Walnut Grove) won bronze in the high jump; and Eli Kastelein (Langley Christian) who won bronze in the 400m hurdles. And at the Grade 8/9 championships, Robyn Buckingham (Walnut Grove) tied for silver in the high jump; Alex Savage (Walnut Grove) won silver in the long jump; and Nick Colyn (Langley Christian) won silver in the 1500m.

The Walnut Grove relay team of Buckingham, Rebecca Lindsay, Lara Oppenlander and Emma Smithson also won silver in the 4x400 relay.

•••

A pair of Valley Ball Hockey Association squads — the peanut division Warriors and the junior division Valley squad — won silver medals at the provincial championships.

•••

Four local divers from the Fraser Valley Diving Club were on the mark at the B.C. summer provincial championships. Kailee Lingham won a pair of golds while Kurt Breure and Dayna Lysak both won silver. Julia Reinhard won both a gold and a silver.

•••

Langley’s Svein Tuft and Christian Meier delivered a one-two punch taking gold and silver, respectively, at the Canadian road time trial championships.

July

Dorothy Ludwig and Hawley Bennett-Awad represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Ludwig competed in air pistol shooting while Bennett-Awad was in eventing.

•••

The inaugural Prospera Valley GranFondo event was held, raising $20,000 for Special Olympics BC. Nearly 1,200 riders took part in the event, which will again be held in July 2013.

•••

The Langley Thunder captured the B.C. bantam A1 provincial lacrosse title.

August

Braedon Dolfo, Dustin Walsh and Dylan Williamson represent Canada in track at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. Williamson went as a guide runner for Walsh, who is completely blind.

Langley also sent a strong contingent of paraequestrian athletes to the Games, including Lauren Barwick, Ashley Gowanlock and Eleonore Elstone.

•••

It was a strong showing for seven local athletes who represented Team BC at the Canadian youth Legion track and field championships. Georgia Ellenwood led the way for the locals with a gold in the long jump, silver in the 200m and bronze in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Brittni Wolczyk won gold in the discus and javelin, while Max Hanna won gold in the javelin. Teagan Rasche won gold in the 1500m race walk and silver in the hammer throw. Nick Colyn also won two medals, gold in the 2000m and silver in the 1500m steeplechase while Jordan Ellingson won gold in the javelin. Robyn Buckingham took silver in the heptathlon.

•••

Haley Stradling brought home gold medals while representing Canada at the American Quarter Horse Association at the Youth World Cup in Germany.

•••

The Langley Senior Blaze took spot at the provincial men’s baseball championships.

•••

The Langley Premier Blaze, who won the B.C. Premier Baseball League regular season title for the fourth time in five seasons, were named the league’s team of the year.

•••

With half their roster made up of Langley players, Team BC overwhelmed the competition to take the gold at State Wars, an elite roller hockey tournament in St. Louis.

•••

The Township announced expansion plans for the Langley Events Centre. The plans called for a new double gymnasium and indoor turf/dry floor facility. It was also announced that the B.C. Lacrosse Association, Wrestling BC, Volleyball BC, Volleyball BC and Volleyball Canada would be partners in the project.

September

Langley Thunder won their second straight Western Lacrosse Association championship, but fell in six games in the Mann Cup championship to the host Peterborough Lakers.

•••

David Esworthy was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Esworthy was inducted into the builder category for his work in the sport of equestrian.

•••

Langley Events Centre hosted the U23 Pan American Volleyball Cup, which was won by Brazil. Canada was represented by the Trinity Western Spartans men’s volleyball team. Organizers also announce that the LEC will host 2013 NORCECA senior men’s Continental volleyball championships.

October

Kyle Belton was selected in the third round of the National Lacrosse League draft by the Toronto Rock.

•••

A highlight reel overtime goal from Langley Rivermen’s Austin Azurdia goes viral, drawing media attention from major sports networks such as TSN, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. The video clip on YouTube is nearing 100,00 views.

•••

The Langley Rams ended the VI (Vancouver Island) Raiders reign atop the B.C. Junior Football Conference. The Rams defeated the six-time league champions 20-13 in the Cullen Cup. The Langley defence throttled the high-octane Raiders offence, forcing seven turnovers.

November

TWU Spartans women’s soccer team captures the CIS championship with a 1-0 penalty kick victory over the Queen’s Golden Gaels.

•••

The Langley Rams hosted the Saskatoon Hilltops at McLeod Park in the 2012 Canadian Bowl final. And the Rams led the junior football championship for much of the game before the Hilltops rallied to score the game’s final 15 points and win 23-21. The victory was the third straight Canadian Bowl title for the Hilltops.

•••

Lisa Roman and Kim Bauder teamed up to win bronze at the Canadian national rowing championships.

•••

H.D. Stafford won the Grade 8 tier 2 provincial football championship with a 21-0 victory over the Eugene Reimer Ravens. Stafford’s Nathan King scored all three touchdowns.

•••

Sarah Potomak is named the top forward at the 2012 national women’s U18 hockey championships. Potomak led the tournament in scoring with six goals and one assist in five games as Team BC placed fourth.

December

Langley Christian wins the AA senior boys volleyball provincial title. It marks the program’s first title since they moved up from Single A in 2005.

•••

Credo Christian senior boys volleyball team is denied in their three-peat bid at the Single A championships. The Kodiaks fell in the gold medal match to the Kelowna Christian Knights.

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