B.C. soccer teams swept the gold medals at the North American Indigenous Games in Ontario last week, and Cowichan Valley athletes played big roles for three of the four squads.
Duncan’s Mariah Thomas scored twice in the U19 female championship match as B.C. topped Eastern Door & the North 3-0 to win gold. Another Cowichan player, Maiya Modeste, was also on the gold-medal team.
Also bringing home gold medals in soccer were Michael Daniels and Liamb Sylvester, who helped B.C. win the U16 male bracket, and Brent and Shane Brown, who won with the U19 male squad. Both male teams won their finals 1-0 over Saskatchewan.
Cowichan athletes also made their mark in canoe/kayak competition, led by Trey Gray-Thorne, who teamed up with Gordon George to win gold in the U19 male MC2 3000m, and with Jordana Seymour to take silver in the U19 mixed MC2 1000m. Gray-Thorne also claimed solo silver in the MC1 3000m, and bronze in the K1 1000m.
Janessa Horne teamed up with Brittney Sam to take bronze in the U19 female MC2 1000m, and took fifth in the K1 200m. Kyla Price placed fifth in the U19 female K1 1000m. Horne and Price also teamed up to finish 10th in the MC2 3000m. Myles Paige finished fifth in the U14 male K1 1000m, and placed eighth in the MC2 1000m along with teammate Mazzari Tate.
In the pool, Cobble Hill swimmer Jasmin Marston came home with a bronze medal in the U19 female 4x50m medley relay, and just missed medals in two other events as B.C. took fourth in the 4x100m and 4x50m freestyle relays. Marston also made finals in every individual event she contested, placing fourth in the 200m IM, fifth in the 200m breaststroke, seventh in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke, and eighth in the 50m backstroke.
The B.C. swim team was led by Duncan Stingrays head coach Leanne Sirup. Also coaching at NAIG was Cobble Hill’s Naomi Walser, who was an assistant with the B.C. U16 male team that placed fifth.
B.C. finished first in the final overall standings with 179 medals (67 gold, 58 silver and 54 bronze), 13 more than Saskatchewan (65-54-47) and 43 more than Ontario (51-42-43).
Watch the Citizen for more stories about local NAIG athletes in upcoming editions.