Road to Commonwealth Games goes through Victoria

Swimmers, throwers, among local contingent going to Australia

Despite being part of the first generation of athletes to use the Lambrick Park throwing cage, Adam Keenan, a 2011 graduate of Lambrick Park secondary, is not part of the Lambrick Park ‘Tossy Posse.’

Surely, however, he’ll be made an honorary member this week, as he arrives in the Gold Coast of Australia for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, starting today, April 4 until April 15.

Keenan was first in the hammer throw at the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships, and still owns the Canadian junior hammer record from 2013. He’s next in line to be Canada’s top hammer thrower, the payoff after seven years dedicated to throwing. Keenan finished high school in 2011 with gold in the shot put, discus and hammer. He then focused on the hammer qualified for the Commonwealth Games through a “last-chance” effort in December.

Coming off an injury, the pressure is on Keenan, not just to throw well, but to focus on his university studies while he’s there.

“I notified my professors that I will be gone for 10 days to compete for Canada,” Keenan said. “They have all been incredibly supportive and encouraging… Bringing my schoolwork with me to Australia will allow me to have reprieve from the pressure of the Commonwealth Games.”

After a fairly anticlimactic season, Keenan and his coach agreed he needed one more chance to make a big throw. It was at his last-chance attempt, at a December meet in Phoenix, that Keenan threw 72.57 metres to qualify for the Games. It’s an important stepping stone in his career. Since 2011 Keenan trained in Kamloops with coach Anatoliy Bodnarchuk Canadian, who also coached Olympic medalist Dylan Armstrong (shot put). Keenan is currently finishing school at Northern Arizona University.

Among those he’ll join in Australia are fellow hammer thrower Sultana Frizell, the two-time reigning Commonwealth Games women’s hammer gold medalist (2010 and 2014) and Commonwealth Games record holder, who spent 2016 training out of the Lambrick Park throwing cage. It was also Frizell who helped coin the term Tossy Posse, though she since returned to her home province of Ontario.

Keenan is among more than a dozen athletes who’ve come through, or from, Greater Victoria, as the community has become an athlete springboard for international level competition.

Keenan and Frizell join local cyclist Jay Lamoreux, Claremont grad Matt Sharpe (triathlon) and current Claremont student Bryden Hattie (diving), and Hattie’s Boardworks Diving club teammate Celina Toth, national diving champion in the 10m platform.

Two Oak Bay High grads, Maddie Secco and Kathleen Leahy, will represent Team Canada’s field hockey team at the Games.

Mount Douglas secondary grad Conor Morgan, a 6-foot-9 forward in his fourth year with the UBC Thunderbirds, has been named to the Canadian basketball team.

A contingent of Swimming Canada’s athletes from the High Performance Centre based at Saanich Commonwealth Place includes Olympic medalist Hilary Caldwell, recent Claremont grad Sarah Darcel (University of California, Berkeley), UVic Vikes standout Jeremy Bagshaw, Ladysmith’s Faith Knelson, and HPC coach Ryan Mallette. Caldwell will seek the podium in the 200-metre backstroke, the event she won bronze in at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Saint Michaels University School grads Mike Fuailefau and Luke McCloskey, both of local club Castaway Wanderers, join Oak Bay High grads Connor Braid (James Bay) and Caroline Crossley (CW) as locally produced players on the rugby sevens teams for the Games.

 

Kevin Light/Swimming Canada photo Hilary Caldwell swims the backtroke during Swimming Canada National Swim Trials at Saanich Commonwealth Pool in Victoria April 8.

Just Posted

Province delivers notice of unauthorized occupation to Saanich tent city Camp Namegans

A Ministry of Transportation liaison to Camp Namegans delivered a “notice of… Continue reading

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Residents of tent cities unfairly labeled as criminals, says report

Some neighbours supportive of Regina Park camp

Delayed grant decisions could send new Crystal Pool costs soaring

Delays could cost the City of Victoria up to $500,000/month more in construction costs

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Special forces unit to monitor Hells Angels ride on Vancouver Island

Enforcement unit says motorcycle club to hold 35th anniversary ride in Nanaimo

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Most Read