Young athletes shine at Summer Games
A number of local athletes competed in the Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie from July 24 – 27, offering standout performances among some of the top young athletes across the province.
North East Alberta Track (NEAT) Club athletes Mienna Starosielski, Courtney Cole, Jacques Saayman, and Courtney Hebert all brought home medals from the Summer Games, while fellow athletes Brenden Foote and Christian Laramee also made the trip south to represent Zone 7.
“As a coach for our Zone 7 team and also a coach for NEAT, I am extremely proud of our athlete's summer games performances and I am even more proud at how much hard work, time and practice these athletes give to be successful when it comes to a competition such as the Summer Games,” said NEAT coach Robb Foote, following the completion of the games.
Although not all the track athletes took home medals, a number of personal bests were recorded.
Starosielski compared the Summer Games to a mini-Oyumpics, where eight different areas of the province competed against each other in a variety of events.
“The Summer Games give you the opportunity to compete against the best competitors of each part of Alberta,” says Starosielski, who competed in the Heptathlon and took home a bronze medal.
“I was pleased with my overall performance in the heptathlon. It was my first time competing in a heptathlon and as a result I brought home a bronze,” she said. The heptathlon includes the following events: 100m hurtles, high jump, shot-put, 200m, long jump, javelin, and 800m.
Also on the podium was Saayman who got gold in the 3,000m run in the youth category with a time of 9:16.77. A second gold medal came from Hebert in the triple jump with a distance of 10.03 metres. Hebert also took home a bronze in long jump with a distance of 4.66 metres.
Cole took part in the pentathlon and a total of 2,268 points gave her a bronze medal.
Four young football players also travelled to Airdrie to compete at the Summer Games. After trying out for the team, Spencer Graling, Madison Brousseau, Brad Dubrule, and Sam Tillapaugh represented St. Paul on the Zone 7 team.
The team won one game, and lost two, finishing in sixth place, but the experience was worthwhile and something Madison would recommend to other young athletes in the future.
“It was good. The coach said it was the most St. Paul has ever sent to the games,” said Madison, adding, the team was led by a coach out of Lloydminster.
Madison admits it was a bit of a challenge to play on the same team as athletes that he normally competes against during the regular football season.
“It was different.”
As a parent, Aline Brousseau says she wasn’t sure what to expect heading to the games, since the teams don’t have a lot of time to practice beforehand. “I wanted all our boys to do well from St. Paul, and they did. At times, it was stressful but most of all it was a fun time watching football and a very good experience for the boys.”
Also competing at the games was local soccer player Taylor Fedoruk. The team finished in eighth place after playing four games over the weekend.
About 3,000 athletes, coaches and officials took part in this year’s Alberta Summer Games.