Ali Lee – team BC
A light mist kept the triathlon conditions slick and chilly for the second day of competition, Aug. 15, at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, hosted at Anzac, Alta. Team BC medaled in both the male and female three-person relay with the men taking gold and the women taking home silver.
Michael Milic (Delta), who won silver in the individual men’s triathlon just two days earlier, was the opening racer for the team BC men. Milic was pitted against Thursday’s individual champion of Alberta, Cooper Bentley, who is a strong cyclist and runner. Milic and Bentley were close coming out of the water and stayed neck-and-neck throughout the bike and run.
Team BC gained some ground on their second leg, raced by Brennen Smith (Victoria). Smith opened up a good lead on his two strengths – the bike and swim. Smith gave team mate Brodie Marshall (Vancouver) a nice gap to work with entering the final leg.
“We had a plan to work hard strengths and weaknesses and we did just that and it worked out,” said Marshall about his team’s performance. “I gave it my all on Thursday but it wasn’t a good day so, it was great to be able to overcome that.”
Marshall pushed hard through the swim and bike and on the run had a 40-second lead on Alberta. Marshall crossed the finish line to seal a team time of 1:01:22 for gold. Alberta (1:01:46) and Manitoba (1:03:28) finished for silver and bronze, respectively.
“It was really slippery today and I had to take the corners super safe to make sure we had the gold,” added Marshall about being the last racer in the relay.
In the women’s relay Desirae Ridenour (Cowichan Bay), Holly Henry (Victoria) and Hannah Henry (Victoria) earned Team BC a silver medal in a time of 1:09:42. Ridenour, who was a bronze medalist in Thursday’s individual event, was the first to race in the relay and came out of the water in third behind both Manitoba and Alberta. Manitoba had a serious lead right off the get-go but the gaps got closer for second and third.
Holly Henry was the second racer for BC and the 17-year-old did very well to close a lot of distance on the swim and bike. To cap it off the Mount Douglas Secondary student passed Alberta on the last leg of the run before tagging sister, Hannah. Hannah Henry, the strongest runner of the three, kept up the pace throughout the swim and bike and did well on the run to push the gap between BC and third-place Alberta. Manitoba dominated in a time of 1:07:57, while Alberta took bronze in 1:11.56.
“I was just so motivated to catch (the Alberta competitor) on the run,” said Holly Henry who closed the biggest gap for the BC team. “Even though it’s an individual event we always cheer each other on and help each other by pointing out what we can do better. Hannah’s a fast runner and I’m a good swimmer and biker so it’s both fun and challenging to race with my sister.”
Today’s relay medals brings triathlon’s medal count to four at these games (one gold, two silver and one bronze). The final day of competition is set for Aug. 16 and will feature the mixed team relay event where two men and two women will compete in a sprint triathlon in relay format.
The race will begin at 9:00 a.m. on the Gregoire Lake beach, while the finish will take place at Anzac Recreation Center.