Pan Am silver and bronze for Greater Trail athletes

It was a bitter-sweet Pan American Games for Fruitvale’s Ella Matteucci and Thea Culley of Rossland.

It was a bitter-sweet Pan American Games for Fruitvale’s Ella Matteucci and Thea Culley of Rossland. But in the end, the Greater Trail athletes proved the epitome of class and competitive spirit, winning silver and bronze medals respectively at the 17th edition of the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

Culley and Team Canada women’s field hockey team captured bronze in an exciting 1-0 victory over Chile on Friday, but only after a 3-0 loss to the eventual champion U.S.A. in the semifinal had foiled their chances at the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

“We wanted to beat the Americans and play for the gold medal,” Culley told a CBC reporter. “We wanted to represent Canada and go for that gold medal game, but there was still a lot to play for.”

As for Matteucci and Team Canada women’s baseball team, following a 6-1 victory over Venezuela in the semifinal, the team would settle for silver on Sunday, after falling to rival U.S.A. 11-3 in the gold-medal match up.

“I’m proud of my entire team,”Canadian Manager André Lachance said in a Baseball Canada interview. “We had a great tournament and although this (loss) stings now, we will have a lot to be proud of when we look back (in the future).”

CBC’s controversial coverage of the Games was never more in question than on Sunday when the network ran a re-run of the Canadian men’s volleyball team’s bronze medal match against Puerto Rico, as Team Canada women’s baseball team battled the U.S. for gold in the sport’s first appearance in the Games.

The U.S. jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, as Canadian starter Vanessa Riopel went just one-third of an inning, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk. After going up 5-0 in the third, Canada would reply, scoring three times in the fourth inning against ace Sarah Hudek to cut the lead to 5-3.

However, any late-inning heroics was not in the cards in Sunday’s final, as Anna Kimbrell hit a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning to open up a close game as the Americans tacked on three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to crush Canada’s quest for gold.

Hudek, who hit in the clean-up spot, also drove in three runs, and gave up three runs on four hits while walking five and striking out two over 3 1/3 innings. Stacy Piagno pitched 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball the rest of the way.

Matteucci came into pitch hit in the seventh for Team Canada and, with two out, kept the team’s hopes alive when she was awarded first base after being hit by a pitch. However, the next batter would ground out to third to end the game.

Meanwhile, Culley and Canada’s Field Hockey team won it’s first medal at the Pan Am Games since 1999 with the 1-0 defeat of Chile on Friday night at the University of Toronto pitch.

Brienne Stairs scored at 5:02 of the fourth frame to net the winner on a deflection off a corner from veteran Kate Gillis.

Canada and Chile were relegated to the bronze medal game after losing their respective semifinals, Canada to the United States, while Chile lost 5-0 to Argentina. The U.S. would beat Argentina 2-1 in the final to claim gold.

Canada needed to win gold to claim a berth at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, but Stairs said it was important to come away with a medal before a loud, boisterous home crowd.

And for Culley and the other veterans, the win was a measure of revenge since losing to Chile in the bronze medal match in the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mex.

“For us, it was ‘let’s refocus, let’s honour ourselves and the hard work we’ve been doing for the past four years, or for some of us – eight-to-10 years – and finish on a high note and really achieve something we knew was possible.”

As for the whole Pan Am Games experience, as Culley says,  “it was Pan-Amazing.”

Pan Am Moments:

Thea Culley’s parents Lisa Henderson and Loren Culley of Rossland also attended the Games, and Henderson was featured in a Toronto Star article by Brendan Kennedy entitled, “It’s no Pan-Am picnic for parents watching their children compete.”

The piece describes the emotional roller coaster many of the parents go through as they continue to support their athlete offspring as they travel the world and compete in iconic events like the Pan Am Games.

Henderson also shares some of the unique superstitions that help the parents cope with the experience, and the special moment she shared with Thea after the bronze-medal match.

“Sometimes it’s harder to watch from the sidelines, because you’re helpless,” Henderson said.

To view the full article go to: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/panamgames/2015/07/25/its-no-pan-am-picnic-for-parents-watching-their-children-compete.html

Just Posted

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

Rossland skiier places third at U19 Canadian Ski Cross

Rossland’s Sage Stefani finished out a successful season.

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Most Read