Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Triathlon by the Sea

PEI Triathlon by the Sea
Stanhope Beach, PEI July 29th, 2007  9:00 A.M.
Weather: Sunny 25C
Race Director: Tyler Read
Timing & Results by Atlantic Chip Event Timing

Start Finish/ Transition held at the Stanhope Beach Complex. It is located on the Gulfshore Rd aproximately 1 Km from the Dalvay hotel.

The swim was in the ocean in a triangle of 750 m. The Bike was an out and back heading East on the Gulf Shore Road leaving the park in Dalvay, with a turn around 10 Km down that Road. The run was on the same road only heading west towards the Covehead bay with a turn around place 2.5 Km down the road.

Olympic Distance did these courses twice.


Olympic Triathlon

1st -- 2:13:22-- Jamie Nickerson -- from Charlottetown
2nd -- 2:21:13 -- Michael Eagles -- from Fredericton
3rd -- 2:23:42 -- Scott Dickieson -- from Hunter River

Sprint Triathlon

1st -- 1:10:22 -- Doug Cochrane -- from Dieppe
2nd -- 1:13:06 -- Matthew Gallant -- from Charlottetown
3rd -- 1:14:35 -- Sean Fleming -- from Charlottetown

Olympic Team

1st -- 2:46:27 -- Team 1 - Mandy McKenna -- Swimmer: Mandy McKeena (27:58) -- Biker: Andre Mousha (11:14:00) -- Runner: Paul McKenna (1:04:31)
Sprint Team
1st -- 1:18:54 -- -- Jennifer Power Team -- Swimmer: Jennifer Power(11:53) -- Biker: Peter Koch(39:44) -- Runner: Jason Karle(27:19)
2nd -- 1:25:32 -- Samara Profit Team -- Swimmer: Samara Profit(13:31) -- Biker: Kayla Devine(43:06) -- Runner: Nora Fleming(28:57)
3rd -- 1:32:36 -- Andrew MacLaine Team -- Swimmer: Andrew MacLaine(17:03) -- Biker: Katherine Dean(43:09) -- Runner: Katherine Dean(32:25)


1st -- 2:02:29 -- Shane Gill -- from Stratford
2nd -- 2:04:51 -- Scott MacKay -- from Mount Hebert

3rd -- 2:05:06 -- Darcy McCardle -- from Charlottetown

Congratulations Everyone!
Smooth Cycle - http://www.smoothcycle.com/

Saturday, July 28, 2007

PEI Potato Blossom Festival Fun Run

It was sunny and very hot 23 degrees.

Out and back course on Rte 136 in Mill River. The potato blossoms were most both side of the road. (See photo left & below)

Finish in 44:19, 28 seconds faster than last week and 3rd fastest time ever in the 10km. Came in 8th out of 46 runners.

Scott Clark was the top male and top female finishes behind me.

Went to swimming pool afterwards and on the way home we went to Abram-Village to see SOPEI Track Meet.

Official Result: 8th out of 45
10K in 44 minutes, 20 seconds
Potato Blossom Run 2006
Potato Blossom Run 2005
Potato Blossom Run 2004

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

Heat can't hold back runners
Potato Blossom Festival run
The Journal Pioneer
Mill River – Participants in the 20th annual PEI Potato Blossom Run, persevered sizzling heat Saturday, but no one was complaining.

Scott Clark from Linkletter was first to cross the finish line in the 10-kilometre event with a time of 36.33. He felt good about the run and the early morning start helped beat the heat somewhat.

“My time was good for this time of the year,” he said. “It’s probably the best time I’ve had at this race. In mid July you’re not expecting to run as fast.”

Clark remains in good form with three marathons under his belt so far this year, as well as three half marathons. Add to that about a half dozen 10 K races on- and off-Island and you have a busy schedule.

Nineteen-year-old Peter Gaudet from Montrose placed second with a time of 40.07 and Brody Ellis from Mount Royal was third finishing the run in 40.31. He was pleased since this is his first time in the top three.

In the women’s competition, Darlene Chapman from Halifax was first over the line in 46.11. This was not a personal best but she said it was close.

“The heat held all runners back some,” she said. The 43-year-old started running 10 years ago and has been smitten with the sport ever since.

“I only wish I would have started earlier,” she said.

This is her third time in the PEI Potato Blossom run and first time in top position.

“It’s a nice race. A nice community event that’s very well run,” she observed.

Placing second in women’s 10K was Anne MacLaurin, with a time of 47.20. Sonya Wadden, from Brooklyn placed third crossing the finish line in 49.46.

In the men’s five-kilometre run Andre Howard placed first with a time of 19.54. Paul Dalton from St. Edward placed second with a time of 19.57 and Leonard McNeill of Rosebank placed third in 20:12.

Shelley Simmons won the women’s 5K event crossing the line in 21 minutes. Victoria Walker placed second in 22.11 and Leah Clark placed third with a time of 25.54.

Rodd Resort and Pepsi sponsored the run, with approximately 90 participants registered.

Top 10 Runners

Following is a list of the top 10 runners in each category:

Men’s 5-K

1. Andre Howard 19.54.
2. Paul Dalton 19.57
3. Leonard McNeill 20.12
4. Garth Simmons 20.13
5. Paul Heinzman 21.02
6. Trevor Cameron 21.15
7. Randy Allain 22.00
8. Stephen LaParre 22.18
9. Mark Roberts 26.53
10.Todd Clark 27.08.

Women’s 5-K

1. Shelley Simmons 21.00
2. Victoria Walker 22.11
3. Leah Clark 25:54
4. Leta Chisholm 25.58
5. Audra MacBeth 26.10
6. Carla Hood 27.53
7. Claudette Getson 29.42
8. Tori Dexter 30.06
9. Lynn Ann Hogan 30.09
10.Kelly Williams 31.05

Men’s 10-K

1. Scott Clark 36.33
2. Peter Gaudet 40.07
3. Brody Ellis 40.31
4. Cory Ellis 42.20
5. Edwin Gillis 42.20
6. James Mutch 43.00
7. Derek Underhill 44.12
8. Alex Baine 44.20
9. David Gamble 49.20
10.Andy Walker 49.18

Women’s 10-K

1. Darlene Chapman 46.11
2. Anne MacLaurin 47.20
3. Sonya Wadden 49.46
4. Karen Sullivan 50.00
5. Mary Hart 50.18
6. Judy Coughlin 51:55
7. Patty Dexter 54.50
8. Carol Morgan 55.46
9. Margo Thompson 56.20
10. Susan Shea 57.00

O'Leary, PEI
July 25-29, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Safety on the Run

Further to my last post on Alex's ID bracelet, we go even further on race days when he has, on occasion, pushed himself to the point of dehydration and required intervention by emergency personnel.

Larry, in his comment, gave a link to an autism card he carries. This card is very similar to ones Dennis Debbaudt has. Part of the funds raised by Alex's Tip-to-Tip Run last summer went to buy 2,000 of these cards from Dennis. They have been distributed, free of charge, to every Police & RCMP Officer, every Firefighter, every Ambulance driver and every school age
autistic on PEI. PEI's Search & Rescue will be getting some as will anyone else who needs and/or wants one. Alex carries one in his wallet and has a couple taped on the back of his race bib (so you can read both sides), along with his name & my cell number.

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ID Bracelets - Alex's bracelet update/upgrade

This is Alex's Grade 1 school photo. If his wrists weren't cut off in the picture, you would see a Medic Alert bracelet on one of them. Alex's Medic Alert bracelet is, for all intents and purposes, an ID bracelet. Along with his name, it identified him as a "non-verbal" autistic and had our phone number on it. Until he was in high school he wore it 100% of the time.

When he was little, the very real possibility existed that he would disappear - either running off or wandering off, and if found, he had no speech with which to identify himself and/or his home. As he got older he began to speak (at age 6) but words came slowly, were not always spoken clearly enough to be understood by others, and he was not what I'd call "conversational".

The possibility that he would run off lessened but as he gained more independence and went more places the possibility of him wandering off remained. Alex seems to have been born with a built in GPS unit so it wasn't
him getting lost that was the issue, he can find his way home or back to

where he wandered off from easily enough, but if something did go wrong or he found himself in a situation where his actions and/or communication could be misunderstood, it was my hope that this could help.

Once Alex reached high school and had the verbal skills to identify himself and clearly state his address and phone number he mostly only wore the bracelet when he was running or biking or on his own in a novel place or a crowded one.

He wears it on his right wrist, his left is occupied by his watch and a growing collection of rubber bracelets that started with a Livestrong one and now number a half dozen or so (autism is not represented amongst them). It's worth mentioning that wearing any sort of bracelet was a major sensory issue for Alex when he first began wearing a Medic Alert bracelet. This is yet another example of how what once was a major issue is now a non-issue. Alex's autism at 4 looked very different from his autism at 12 and different again from his autism now at 19.

Now that Alex races pretty much every weekend and runs one to three times a week with Stanley's RunUPEI group, I figured it was time to replace the old outdated bracelet with a new one. Alex is no longer "non-verbal" and the phone number given (blacked out in the photo) will only get you to an answering machine - our phone line is always tied up with our computer(s) on the Internet via dial-up (because of that, I now have a cell phone so my kids can reach me). I've had my eye on these Road ID bracelets ever since I first saw them a couple of years ago (on the back of Alex's Road ID race bib at a run). We had 6 lines with 23 characters/spaces per line to work with and here's the result. (Thanx to Michelle and Alex's sister for helping with wording, the final wording was chosen by Alex) The yellow band he chose matches his infamous yellow shirt and yellow shoes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cox & Palmer 10K

Saturday, July 21, 2007
"Run/walk along Charlottetown waterfront and through historic downtown"
It was cloudy and 20 degrees.

It was brand new race, out and back for 5km and 10km on boardwalk and historic Charlottetown.

Finish in 44:47, my best 10km this year, 3 seconds faster than Raiders Run. Came 11th out of 45 runners.

Blair Salter from Nova Scotia and Rebecca Walker from Summerside for top Male and Female in the 10km.

Official Result: 11th out of 45
10K in 44 minutes, 47 seconds
(click to enlarge)

For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

Monday, July 16, 2007

Islander runs way to bronze at nationals

Islander runs way to bronze at nationals
Jared Connaughton finishes third in the 200 metres at the track and field championship
The Guardian

New Haven’s Jared Connaughton finished third in the 200-metre sprint at the 2007 Canadian track and field championships Sunday in Windsor, Ont.

In Sunday’s men’s final, Connaughton crossed the line at 20.90 seconds, 38/100ths of a second behind winner Brian Barnett from Alberta (20.52) and 15/100ths of a second behind runner-up Gavin Smellie from Ontario (20.75).

Connaughton qualified for the final by running a 20.92 in the preliminary heat on Saturday.

His best time this season was a 20.71 at the NCAA Division 1 men’s outdoor track and field championships in June.

Last year at the nationals, Connaughton finished second behind Barnett in 21.16.

Connaughton competes next for Team Canada, July 25-28, at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the men’s 200-metre sprint and 4x100-metre relay.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dunk River Run - A Blue Ribbon Day

Sunday, July 15, 2007
30th Annual Callbecks Home Hardware Dunk River Run
"Scenic loop course around the Dunk River"

The hot day, sunny, little wind and 20 degrees.

A 7.2 mile loop course around the Dunk River.

Came in 52:59. That is 2 minutes and 8 seconds better than my best time at the race in 2004.

I got 2nd Place in 19 and Under Male and came 18 out of 79 runners.

Summerside's Scott Clark and Shelley Simmons-MacLeod were top male and female.

The day of last year ending of tip to tip run across PEI.

Official Result: 18th out of 79
11.6K (7.22 Miles) in 52 minutes, 59 seconds
Dunk River Run 2006
Dunk River Run 2005
Dunk River Run 2004

Running For Autism
Not Against It
acceptance not cure

(click to enlarge)

Two first-time winners of Dunk River Run
Record field takes part in 30th anniversary event
The Journal

CENTRAL BEDEQUE -- It was a perfect anniversary celebration Sunday morning!

Sunny weather, warm temperatures, a little breeze, two first-time winners of the event and a record number of participants all contributed to a successful 30th annual Dunk River Run, sponsored by Callbeck's Home Hardware.

"The weather was perfect for it," said Scott Clark, who was the overall winner in 43 minutes 18 seconds (43:18). "The wind was on our back for the start, which made for a couple of fast early miles, and coming on the backstretch the wind was right in our face for a few kilometres.

"That helped to keep you cool for those four, five kilometres on the backstretch when you hit a couple of hills."

Shelley Simmons-MacLeod of Summerside was the first female to hit the finish line in 52:42. She was 16th overall.

"It was hot for part of the way and then when you got the breeze you had to face the wind," said Simmons-MacLeod. "Everybody was running against the same elements and you just go with it."

79 Runners

A total of 79 runners ran the 7.22-mile looped course, surpassing last year's 68 total.

"Everything was great," said longtime race organizer Paul Wright, who offered his sincere appreciation to the runners for their support during the awards ceremony.

Clark said his goal going into the race was to break 43 minutes.

"I wasn't able to do that, but I'm still pretty pleased with the time," said the Summerside native. "I always find this course tough and I'm happy to win it."

Clark didn't waste anytime jumping out to a quick lead.

"John Bil ran with me for the first couple of miles," said Clark, 43.

"We were pushing the pace pretty good and we ran the first mile in 5:30, and then we slowed to a 5:40 for the second one.

"Then John fell off my shoulder probably about 2 1/2 miles in, and I never looked back to see if anyone was on me. I just kept chugging along until we got over the crest of the hill and could see the finish line."

Simmons-MacLeod, 35, also led the female runners from start to finish.

"It's a tough spot to be in because you're running as hard as you can and you never know if there's somebody coming up behind you," said Simmons-MacLeod. "When you're running as hard as you can to start, if someone comes after you you often have nothing left.

"It's not always the best feeling to be the first out.

"It's kind of nice to know where you're sitting and have that little extra to push, but I pushed the entire way and if someone was on my heels it would have been tough to push any harder. I ran hard the entire race."

One Year Ago Today

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Run, Run, Run - I joined Stan's Run UPEI Summer Clinic

I joined Stan's Run UPEI Summer Clinic the half marathon/marathon one. We run every Tuesday and every second Thursday and we ran this morning.

The pictures are from Thursday night running out and back on the trail.

The Summer Clinic run up until PEI Marathon in October.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Pan Am Games - PEI News, Schedule & Results

This post will be updated over time with additional news stories added


Schedule for P.E.I. athletes at the Games (all times AT)

* Jarrod Ballem (open water swimming) -
July 14: 10-kilometre final.

Results - Jarrod Ballem - Men's Marathon 10K Swim
8th out of 14, 2:07:05.8
(click to enlarge)
* Katie Baker (field hockey) -
July 15: 3 p.m. - Canada vs. Cuba - (Cuba 3 - Canada 1)
July 17: 11 a.m., Canada vs. Netherlands Antilles - (Netherlands Antilles 1 - Canada 0)
July 19: 11 a.m., Canada vs. United States - (United States 6 - Canada 0)
playoffs are July 21-24.
July 21, Uruguay vs. Canada - (Canada 3 - Uruguay 0)
July 24, Canada vs. Cuba - (Canada 3 - Cuba 2)
(click to enlarge)
* Kara Grant (modern pentathlon) -
July 23: women’s final.
Results - Kara Grant - Modern Pentathlon
4th out of 14, 5168 Points
(click to enlarge)

* Jared Connaughton (track and field) -
July 25: 4 p.m., men’s 200-metre first round - 20.90 (3rd - qualified for semi finals)
5:55 p.m. men’s 200-metre semifinal - 20.85 (5th - does not advance)
July 27: 4 p.m., men’s 4x100-metre relay semifinal - 38.81 (1st - qualified for finals)
7:40 p.m., men’s 200-metre final (did not qualify)
July 28: 6:35 p.m., men’s 4x100-metre final - 38.87 - SILVER Medal
(click to enlarge)


Four Island athletes
part of large Pan Am G
ames contingent
Canada will send 470 athletes to the Games, starting July 13 in Rio de Janeiro
The Guardian

TORONTO (CP) — Led by hurdler Perdita Felicien, diver Alexandre Despatie and women’s soccer star Christine Sinclair, Canada will field its second-largest team ever at the upcoming Pan American Games.

Canada will send a team of 470 athletes, including four from P.E.I., for the July 13-29 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced Thursday. The team is second only in size to the 618 athletes that took part in the 1999 Pan Ams in Winnipeg.

The four P.E.I. athletes on the team are Katie Baker of Argyle Shore in field hockey, Kara Grant of Stratford in modern pentathlon, Jared Connaughton of New Haven in track and field and Jarrod Ballem of Marshfield in swimming.

“For many of Canada’s athletes, the 2007 Pan American Games will provide an opportunity for them to compete at their first multi-sport competition,” Canada’s chef de mission Tricia Smith said in a statement.

Gymnast Charlotte Mackie of Coquitlam, B.C., at 13 years old, is the team’s youngest athlete, while 60-year-old equestrian legend Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., who will be making his eighth straight Pan Am appearance, is Canada’s oldest athlete.

Canadian shooting legend Susan Nattrass of Edmonton will carry Canada’s flag into Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremonies on July 13.

Some 5,500 athletes from 42 countries of North, South and Central America will compete in more than 40 sports at the Pan Am Games.

Canada has athletes in all sports except for baseball, BMX cycling, futsal, marathon, racewalk, men’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

(Includes information from The Guardian)

Pan American Games facts

• The Pan Am Games serve as a qualifying event for the 2008 Beijing Olympics in several sports including equestrian, field hockey, handball, modern pentathlon, shooting, synchronized swimming, table tennis, triathlon and water polo.

• The Games also act as a final tuneup for several sports, including the track and field team, which has the world championships in August in Osaka, Japan, and the women’s soccer team, which heads to China in September for the women’s World Cup.

• Canada has a tradition of strong performances at the Pan Am Games, finishing third in the medal standings in 2003 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with 128 medals. The Americans collected 270 medals to finish first, ahead of second-place Cuba, with 152.

• The Canadian team is made up of 236 women and 234 men, with the largest contingent of athletes coming from Ontario (144). Quebec is second with 110, followed by British Columbia (86), Alberta (52), Saskatchewan (21), Manitoba (14), Nova Scotia (nine), New Brunswick (six) and Prince Edward Island (four).

(From The Canadian Press)

Alex's older brother went to High School with Jared Connaughton. Katie Baker was on the Bluefield High School Cross Country Team with Alex, her Dad was the Coach. Swimmer Jarrod Ballem has been over at the Island Games with Stan and is returning home with a total of four medals and setting a Games record. Alex has followed Olympian Kara Grant's career for a number of years now.
Good Luck to all our PEI and Canadian athletes!

Grant is game
Modern pentathlete from Stratford entering third Pan American Games

The Guardian

If with experience comes wisdom, then a sagacious Kara Grant is prepared for her one-day modern pentathlon competition at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Games begin on Friday but Grant does not compete until July 29.

Grant, a Stratford native, leaves for her third Pan Am Games on Tuesday, so she’s not floored by the spectacle featuring some of the best athletes in North, Central and South America.

“The Pan American Games is a big event, but it’s just one event. It’s just one day out of a dozen days on competition that I’ve had this year. I have lots more next year,” said Grant, who lives and trains in Fredericton, N.B.

But don’t think she’s flippant. She’s just realistic after 10 years of international competition in modern pentathlon which combines shooting, running, horse riding, swimming and fencing. Scores from each discipline are tallied for an overall winner.

“Like anything there’s goals, there’s hopes, there’s aspirations,” said Grant, who won a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg. “I’m hoping to have a great day. I hope that’s also going to mean an Olympic qualification for me, but you can’t really set that as a goal because you can’t control how the other athletes are going to perform.”

The other P.E.I. athletes competing at the Games are Jarrod Ballem (open water swimming), Katie Baker (women’s field hockey), Jared Connaughton (200-metre, 4x100-metre relay).

Island native Susan Lemke, who’s lived in British Columbia since 1972, is a coach on the archery team.

Grant’s event will have 16 competitors and four Olympic qualifying slots up for grabs, but Grant said only about half the field is competitive internationally and from that five in reality are vying for the spots.

“It’s a different feel than the World Cups that we compete at and it requires that I be very focused.”

Those that don’t win one of the positions must qualify through rankings points earned from events around the world, including the Pan Ams.

One of the guaranteed spots is for either a northern and central country, one is granted to a South American country and two can go to any athletes regardless of homeland.

The catch is there’s only one of those final two per country, said Grant.

“That’s not so good for Canada and U.S. in particular. We have probably the top four athletes on the ranking list right now from the Pan Americas so even though we may have the four athletes in the top four only the top one from each country will get a spot,” said Grant, who finished 22nd at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

“If (a) teammate and I both have our best days we’ll be one-two, but the doesn’t mean we’ll both have an Olympic qualification spot.”

Grant, 28, is ranked 16th in the world while compatriot Monica Pinette, 30, is ranked 12th. Pinette finished 13th in Athens.

After Brazil is the senior world championships, Aug. 14-22, in Berlin, then the World Cup final in Beijing, 15-16, which is an Olympic test event.

Every continent has its qualifiers. Europe has eight spots available and like the Pan Am Games after those spots are taken points determine who goes to Beijing and who doesn’t.

“It’s not anymore complicated than any other sport,” said Grant. “You want to have a cross-section of the best athletes in the world really and then you have to devise a system that does that. They don’t want to have 10 athletes from one country,” said Grant.

So far, Grant’s pleased with her season which includes a fifth place finish at a world ranking event in Switzerland in May, because of consistency, she said, but she’s looking at the big prize - a trip to her second Olympics.

“I’m hoping that I’ve learned a bit from my past experiences and go in there with a lot of determination but also with a steady hand.”

Grant will be in P.E.I. Monday for her Swing for Beijing fundraising golf tournament Monday at Brudenell River golf course.

Money raised from the tournament supports her training in a bid for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

Kara Grant's Website - http://www.karagrant.net/


Ballem finishes eighth in water
Baker and her field team drop their opening game at the Pan American Games
The Guardian

P.E.I. native Jarrod Ballem finished eighth in the men’s 10-kilometre open water swimming competition Saturday at the 2007 Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ballem, who now lives in Calgary, crossed the line at 2:07:05.8 finishing 4:41.7 behind the winner American Fran Crippen’s gold-medal time of 2:02:24.1.

It was the only event at the Games for Ballem, a native of Marshfield.

Croppen’s teammate Charles Peterson won silver in 2:02:29.1 while Allan do Carmo from Brazil earned bronze in 2:02:53.7.

Canadian Philippe Dubreuil finished fifth at 2:05:52.0.

Other Islanders in action Sunday included Argyle Shore’s Katie Baker in women’s field hockey.

Canada lost 3-1 to Cuba in its first game of the Pool B round robin tournament.

Baker and Team Canada play next on Tuesday against Netherlands Antilles.

Jared Connaughton of Argyle Shore in track and field and Kara Grant of Stratford in modern pentathlon will see their first action later on at the Games.

There is also another Islander at Games.

Susan Lemke, who was born in Charlottetown but now lives in Abbotsford, B.C., is the head coach of the Canadian archery team.

More on Lemke in a future edition of The Guardian.


Mental play key in archery, says coach from P.E.I.
Susan Lemke, who now lives in B.C., is the head coach of the Canadian team
at the Pan Am Games
The Guardian

For Island native Susan Lemke, head coach of the Canadian archery squad at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, success on the field is mind over matter — literally.

“The game is 95 per cent mental. When you see the crack appearing in the fa├žade you have to have the skills to put it back,” said Lemke from her home in Abbotsford, B.C. “Once they fall off the rails mentally it gets very hard to get them back on.”

Lemke was born in Charlottetown in 1961, living in Orwell Cove until 1972 when the family moved to B.C. She counts Orwell Cove’s Gerald Morrissey and Earnscliffe’s James Morrissey as uncles.

She started in archery in 1972 and along the way garnered five Canadian titles as a competitor, coached B.C. shooters to four medals at the 2003 Canada Winter Games and guided Canadian archers to three medals at the 2004 world junior championships.

It’s her first Pan Ams as an athlete or coach.

In Brazil, her job entails everything from being a liason between the six-member team and the Canadian Olympic Association to making sure rules aren’t broken and athletes are fitted for uniforms to getting the team picked up at the airport and trundled to the field to knowing practice schedules.

Add countering injuries or finding a cure for a callous and Lemke’s slate is full.

“I’m going to say this and I’m going to get in trouble, but it’s like looking after a group of children,” she said.

Still, coaching becomes a factor when countering an athlete’s habits.

“(I will say to an athlete) ‘you’re doing pretty good, but I can see emotionally you’re letting everyone else know what you’re doing on the field’.”

Or sidestepping the chirping interplay and trash talking that goes on between competitors at the line.

All the competitors shoot at the same time so a harsh word or a kind word spoken with the intent to disrupt comes into play.

“That’s kind of a hard (stop). You have to watch to ones who are detrimental.”

Lemke leaves today for a 22-hour trip to Rio.

Team Canada arrives Wednesday and the competition runs July 24-29.

The men’s team is coming off a top-eight finish at the world outdoor archery championships in Leipzig, Germany, over the weekend. Canada finished with a gold and a bronze and as the seventh- ranked overall team.

This means three team spots and two individual slots for the 2008 Games in Beijing, China, so with the success in Germany, Lemke’s optimistic about the Pan Ams.

“The team is actually coming off a high. They may not have even peaked yet,” she said. “We could be looking a team medal in the men’s division and potentially one individual medal in the men’s round as well.”

For the women, Lemke points to Olympian Marie-Pier Beaudet, who finished 56th overall in Athens in 2004, as a possible medal hopeful.

Lemke said she hasn’t visited the Island since 1982, and although archery isn’t a winter sport, she hopes to be on Team B.C.’s mission staff for the 2009 Canada Summer Games on P.E.I.

Susan Lemke’s archery resume

* 1977 - Fourth-place finish at Canada Summer Games in Newfoundland and Labrador.

* 1997 and 1999 - Placed 32nd at world championships in Victoria, B.C. and France respectively.

* 2003 - Coached B.C.’s archery team to two gold and two silver medals at the Canada Winter Games in New Brunswick.

* 2004 - Coached Team Canada to one gold and two silver medals at the world junior championships in Lilleshall, U.K.

* 2006 - Given President’s Award by Sport B.C. for volunteer commitment and dedication; began developing archery equipment and facilities for the blind and disabled.


An Olympic idea
Islanders will be able to follow Kara Grant's progress in her Olympic bid online
The Guardian
Ever wonder what it really takes to become and Olympic athlete?

Four Atlantic Canadian athletes, including modern pentathlete Kara Grant of Stratford, have taken the guessing out of the game, and have made themselves available over the Internet for any who would like to watch them train.

The four have signed on to a new program where they will publish stories, clips, videos and weblogs on Aliant’s website so fans can watch their progress as they compete for a spot on the Canadian team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Paralympic Summer Games.

“It’s a great program, I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved with something like this,” Grant said Monday following her fundraising golf tournament at the Brudenell Golf Course.

Aliant officials were also on hand at the tournament to unveil the program called The Atlantic Canada Contenders: Beijing Edition.

The other three Atlantic athletes taking part in the program, which will be launched later this summer, are Paralympic swimmer Katrina Roxon of Newfoundland and Labrador, men’s wheelchair basketball player David Durepos of New Brunswick and 2004 Olympic canoe/kayak team member Andrew Russell of Nova Scotia.

“We really wanted a way that we could open up the ability for youth and anyone across Atlantic Canada to really feel part of that pursuit and to really understand the kind of commitment that it takes to be an Olympic athlete,” said Heather Tulk, senior vice president of marketing for Aliant.

“We wanted to have something that was going to showcase to Atlantic Canadians what it is to follow an Olympic journey.”

Grant hopes those who are interested in her progress will watch her videos and weblogs online so they can see first-hand what it means to compete and train for a world-class athletic event.

“They get to have that extra connection with us, and feel like they are a part of our success. There are a lot of ups and downs. But we’re real people behind that. And I think maybe that’s what people will realize and see.”

She said she already sends e-mail updates to her family, friends and supporters, but this will take that communication to the next step.

“I’ll be providing not just that but also little video clips and things like that as well, so people can really see me talking and explaining how my training is going and how the competitions are going — I’m really excited to be involved.”

Aliant is the official sponsor of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team, a commitment that began in 2006 and runs until the London 2012 Summer Games.

Next up for Grant is the Pan American Games, now underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Grant will compete in her sport, which combines elements of shooting, running, horse riding, swimming and fencing, on July 23-24.

* www.karagrant.net
* www.aliant.net
* www.rio2007.org.br
* en.beijing2008.org

Baker: real deal on Rio
Islander has seen the good back of the Pan American Games host
The Guardian

Two games into the 2007 Pan American Games women’s field hockey tournament, Argyle Shore native Katie Baker is getting a little taste of a bittersweet Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“The weather is like it would be in Vancouver right now, so it’s balmy and nice, summery weather,” said Baker in a recent e-mail interview from Rio. “The culture, well, we aren’t really allowed to wander the streets of Rio. It is very dangerous and there is a lot of crime. We are escorted by police everywhere we go and sometimes have RCMP travel to the field with us.”

Rio is a sprawling city of over six million people on the southeast coast of Brazil. Estimates have about 80 people killed per week, most from the bustling war between drug czars and police.

Shanty-towns built on the city’s hillsides swell with the poor while upper class neighbourhoods like Ipamena and Copacabana are squeezed between the beach and hills.

Baker, who now lives and trains in Vancouver, said police block off traffic when Team Canada is bussed the 30 kilometres from the athlete’s village to the field at the Deodoro military club, a sport facility of the Brazilian army.

The tight security, new athletes quarters and restored older venues are prep for an Olympic Summer Games bid for 2016.

But Baker, in her second season with the senior women’s national team, has seen enough international competition to look past the rough surface.

“The culture in Brazil is (also) very vibrant. When the Brazilian team came into the stadium during the opening ceremonies, the 85,000 people just went crazy and all the athletes were equally as excited,” she said. “The streets were lined with thousands of people when we drove in on the busses waving and cheering. The people are so excited.”

But ultimately Baker’s in Rio to win a medal, difficult now after Canada, second-ranked in Pool B, dropped to 0-2 after losing to Chile (3-1) and Netherland Antilles (1-0).

Canada now awaits Thursday’s final pool game against the United States, the ninth-ranked team in the world. Canada lost 3-0 to the Americans at the Chile Four Nations tournament in May.

Canada must win Thursday to stay in the medal race, but odds are it won’t copy 1999’s bronze medal in Winnipeg. So far, Canada has been outscored 4-1.

“They (the U.S.) are a very competitive side and it will be a tough game. However, I do not think they are unbeatable,” said Baker. “They are a very physical side, and personally I respond well to physical pressure, and I think it is a good opportunity for Canada to become physically tougher.”

The gold medal winner in Brazil qualifies for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 8-24.

The next five teams can reach the Olympics in qualifying tournaments next April.

Canadian field hockey team loses to U.S.
Islander Katie Baker is playing for Canada at the Pan American Games
The Guardian

The Canadiadn women's field hockey team which includes Argyle Shore's Katie Baker was pounded 6-0 by the United States in the final Pool B round robin contest at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Americans scored three times in each of the first and second halves of Thursday's game and finished with a 3-0 record.

Canada fell to 0-3 and out of medal contention after being shutout for the second straight game. The women's squad scored just one goal in the round robin.

Canada plays again Saturday at 9 a.m. versus Uruguay (1-2) in one of two crossover games. The best it can finish is fifth place. Canada won Pan Am bronze in 1999 in Winnipeg, Man., and finished fifth in 2003 in the Dominican Republic.

Also Saturday, the United States faces Chile (5 p.m.) in one semifinal while defending gold- medallist Argentina plays Netherlands Antilles in the other semi (2:30 p.m.).

Baker nets goal at Pan American Games
The Guardian

Katie Baker of Argyle Shore scored for Canada in a 3-0 win over Uruguay in a classification game in the women’s field hockey competition at the Pan American Games Saturday in Brazil.

Canada will play Cuba for fifth-sixth place Tuesday. The Cubans advanced by shelling Brazil 7-0.

Two other Islanders start their Pan Am Games events this week.

Kara Grant of Stratford begins competition in modern pentathlon Tuesday while Jared Connaughton of New Haven takes to the track on Wednesday in the first round of the men’s 200-metre and runs Friday in the 4x100-metre relay.

Medal missed
P.E.I.'s Kara Grant finishes fourth in modern pentathlon at the Pan Am Games
The Guardian

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Kara Grant of Stratford finished just out of the medals Monday in the women’s modern pentathlon event at the Pan American Games.

Grant finished in fourth place while Canadian teammate Monica Pinette of Langley, B.C., captured the silver medal.

Modern pentathlon combines shooting, fencing, swimming, equestrian and running.

Pinette finished with 5,288 points, second behind Yane Marques of Brazil, who collected 5,484 points.

American Mickelle Kelly was third with 5,252 while Grant was fourth with 5,168.

Grant, who now lives and trains in Fredericton, N.B., won a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg and was fifth in the 2003 Games in the Dominican Republic.

She was looking to secure a spot on the Canadian team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but it will be Pinette who has booked her ticket to Beijing with her performance at the Pan Am Games.

However, Grant will have other opportunities to earn a berth in upcoming commpetitions.

“The Pan American Games is a big event, but it’s just one event,” Grant told The Guardian before leaving for Brazil. “It’s just one day out of a dozen days on competition that I’ve had this year. I have lots more next year.”

Monday, Grant started the competition with a second-place finish in shooting but fell to 11th in fencing and 12th in swimming before rebounding with firsts in equestrian and running.

Pinette, meanwhile, was third in shooting, second in fencing, ninth in swimming, fourth in equestrian and third in running.

Marques was fifth in shooting, first in fencing, second in swimming, 10th in equestrian and 10th in running.

Five Islanders are members of the Canadian contingent at the Games.

Jarod Ballem of Marshfield competed in the men’s 10-kilometre open water swim, where he finished eighth.

Katie Baker of Argyle Shore is a member of the Canadian field hockey team that will play Cuba today in the fifth-sixth place game.

Baker had a goal in a 3-0 win over Uruguay on Saturday.

Jared Connaughton of New Haven will compete in track and field Wednesday in the first round of the men’s 200 metres and will run on Friday in the 4x100-metre relay.

Island native Susan Lemke, who now lives in B.C., is the coach of the Canadian archery team.

Grant moves forward
Modern pentathlete looking ahead to her next events after the Pan Am Games
The Guardian

It was a strong finish to a disappointing day for modern pentathlete Kara Grant at the Pan American Games Monday in Brazil.

And the Stratford native didn’t mince words after finishing fourth overall.

“I had two good events, two great events and one fantastic choke,” Grant said in an e-mail to The Guardian Tuesday from Rio de Janeiro.

The Islander had hoped to earn an Olympic berth at the Games. Modern pentathlon includes pistol shooting, fencing, riding, running and swimming.

Just missing the podium is helping Grant to move forward.

“I’m feeling better today and if nothing else, this experience has served to motivate me to continue my training,” said Grant. “I’m very fit, and with a few weeks to prepare I’ll be ready to have the fantastic competition that I’m capable of at the world championships in Berlin.”

Grant opened with a strong shoot to move into second place on Monday.

“I was actually quite happy with (that) as I was pretty nervous and shot poorly in warm up,” she said. “I warmed up well in fencing and it all went downhill from there . . . I was slightly off and didn’t stick to my game plan. My weapons all failed repeatedly and I had to borrow weapons from people from other countries.”

She followed with her fastest swim of the year and had the only clear round of the day in the riding portion.

“I drew the best horse and had a fantastic ride.”

The Islander then turned in the fastest run time of the day, moving from seventh to fourth.

“It was an exhilarating way to finish especially as I was chasing people down right to the last 500 metres.”

Grant’s teammate Monica Pinette finished second to grab the lone Canadian spot for the Olympics available at the Pan Am Games.

“The good news is that I’ve been competing well on the World Cup circuit this year and I should have no trouble qualifying for the Olympics through the world ranking list,” said Grant. “Unfortunately this means my qualification won’t be confirmed until June 2008.”

P.E.I. runner just misses reaching final
Jared Connaughton finishes fifth in his semfinal heat at the Pan American Games
The Guardian

Jared Connaughton of New Haven missed advancing to the 200-metre final by a blink of an eye Wednesday during track and field action at the Pan?American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Connaughton finished fifth in his semifinal heat with a time of 20.85 seconds, .49 seconds off the pace.

The Islander missed a berth in the final by 0.03 seconds with the ninth fastest time overall.

The other Canadian running the 200, Brian Barnett of Edmonton, finished fifth in his semifinal heat in a time of 20.89.

Barnett was also eliminated, placing 10th overall.

The 200 final is today.

Connaughton will also be competing in the 4x100-metre relay on Friday.

In the women’s 200-metre, Adrienne Power of Halifax was eliminated in the semifinals with the 10th fastest time.

Connaughton is one of four Island athletes attending the Games.

Katie Baker of Argyle Shore and her Canadian field hockey team finished in fifth place with a 3-2 win over Cuba in a placing game on Tuesday.

Kara Grant of Stratford finished fourth in the women’s modern pentathlon while Jarrod Ballem of Marshfield was eighth in the 10-kilometre open water swim event.

Island native Susan Lemke, now living in B.C., is a coach of the Canadian archery team.

Back on the track, James Steacy of Lethbridge, Alta., and Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., won gold medals in the hammer throw and heptathlon, respectively, Wednesday to highlight a six-medal day for Canadian track and field.

In addition, Perdita Felicien of Pickering, Ont., and Angela Whyte of Edmonton took silver and bronze in the women’s 100 hurdles and Tyler Christopher of Edmonton and Nicole Forrester of Toronto each added a silver in the men’s 400 and women’s high jump respectively.

Canada’s medal count in track and field stands at four gold, three silver and a bronze.

At the 2003 Games, Canada won 10 medals including three gold. There are still three days of track and field to go at the Games.

The women’s 100 hurdles final came down to a photo finish between Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Deloreen Ennis-London of Jamaica and Canadian record holder Felicien of Pickering, Ont.

Connaughton races today at the Pan American Games

The Guardian

Jared Connaughton of New Haven competes today in the 4x100 relay event at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He is expected to be the lead runner on the Canadian relay team.

Wednesday, he finished fifth in his 200-metre semifinal heat in a time of 20.85. He missed advancing to the final by 0.03 seconds.

Connaughton's team wins semifinal relay
The Guardian

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (CP) — In track and field action Friday at the Pan American Games, Canada's men’s 4x100-metre relay team won its semifinal heat in a time of 38.81 seconds.
The team comprised Richard Adu Bobie of Ottawa, Anson Henry of Pickering, Ont., Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., and Brian Barnett of Edmonton.
Meanwhile, Canada collected a pair of gold medals at the track on Friday at the Games while there was more controversy involving sprinter Tyler Christopher.
Adam Kunkel of Paisley, Ont., won the men’s 400-metre hurdles and Edmonton’s Megan Metcalfe took gold medal in the women’s 5,000 metres.
Kunkel won his race in a time of 48.24 seconds, lowering his previous Canadian record of 48.77 he set last August in Zurich.
“This is one of the most fun races I’ve ever had in my life,” said Kunkel. “I felt smooth all the time and I knew I could have a strong closing. I knew (Pan Am record-holder) Felix Sanchez was slightly ahead of me but at some point I lost him from my sight. I knew I was heading for the gold.”
Metcalfe finished first in 15 minutes 35.78 seconds. Catherine Ferrell of the U.S., was second in 15:42.01 while Leticia Rocha de la Cruz of Mexico was third in 15:43.80.
“The run was physically easy but emotionally very hard,” said Metcalfe. “I was very nervous but I was fresh and knew I had a stronger sprint. My tactic was to push at the end.”
Meanwhile, Christopher was slated to run in the 4x400-metre semifinals but head coach Les Gramantik learned 45 minutes before the race that the Chilliwack, B.C., native had left the athletes village Thursday due to health reasons.
Gramantik juggled the lineup but the relay team failed to advance from the semifinals.
Christopher settled for a silver in the men’s 400 earlier in the week after he didn’t hear the starter’s gun and jogged out of the blocks believing it was a false start. When the race wasn’t called back, he continued to run. The incident enraged Christopher and the fiery sprinter kicked a lane marker and pushed through some officials who were trying to keep him from leaving the track.
In other track and field action Friday, the men’s 4x100-metre relay team won its semifinal heat in a time of 38.81 seconds. The team comprised Richard Adu Bobie of Ottawa, Anson Henry of Pickering, Ont., Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., and Brian Barnett of Edmonton. Archraf Tadili of Laval, Que., finished second in his men’s 800-metre semifinal with a time of 1:47.07 to qualify for the final.

P.E.I. steps on Pan Am podium
The Guardian

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Jared Connaughton has a Pan American Games medal.
The New Haven native was a member of the Canadian relay team that claimed silver on the track Saturday night.
Connaughton, Richard Adu-Bobie of Ottawa, Anson Henry of Pickering, Ont., and Edmonton’s Brian Barnett teamed in the 4x100 relay to place second in 38.87 seconds.
Brazil took the gold in 38.81 while the Americans won bronze in 38.88.
Connaughton, who completed his four years at the University of Texas at Arlington this year, had earlier competed in the 200-metre at the Pan Ams, just missing a berth in the final.
Connaughton was one of four Prince Edward Islanders which participated at the Games.
Kara Grant of Stratford was fourth in modern pentathlon, Katie Baker of Argyle Shore and her Canadian field hockey team wound up fifth while Jarrod Ballem of Marshfield was eighth in the 10-kilometre open-water swimming event.
Island native Susan Lemke, now living in British Columbia, is a coach with the Canadian archery team.
Canada’s track team leaves Rio with 12 medals, including six gold, and two more than it won four years ago in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
But the Pan Am meet wasn’t without its mishaps — a perceived false start that cost sprint star Tyler Christopher potential gold, and the ensuing controversy surrounding his early departure, plus the serious foot injury that will keep heptathlete Jessica Zelinka out of next month’s world championships.
“The best thing we can talk about is we have (12) medals, six gold, that’s as much as we’ve ever done,’’ said Athletics Canada head coach Les Gramantik. “We’re ahead of the Americans in gold medals, which I don’t remember ever happening. And I also know that everybody competed superbly.’’
Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ont., capped Canada’s 137-medal performance at the Games with a gold in show jumping on Sunday.
She finished first with a total of 4.00 faults while teammate Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., took a bronze with 6.43 faults. Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa was second with 5.74.
Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., just missed the podium, finishing fourth with 9.29.
The individual show jumping was Canada’s final medal event of the Games ahead of the closing ceremonies set for late Sunday.
Canada finished the Games with 39 gold, 43 silver and 55 bronze. The team was third behind the United States (237) and Brazil (135) in the overall medal count and fourth in the gold-medal standings.
Canada won 128 medals at the Pan Am Games four years ago in Santo Domingo.