Kingston-connected athletes won medals in two sports, and Kingston’s three rowers have finals to race in all five of their events, after competition Sunday, the second day of the XVII Pan American Games, in and around Toronto.
Napanee’s Brittany Benn and former Queen’s Gael Nadia Popov won gold medals after Canada whipped the U.S. 55-7 in the championship game of the women’s rugby tournament at BMO Field on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition.
The Canadians, undefeated in seven matches in the two-day event, spotted the Americans a seven-point lead before scoring 38 straight points before the end of the first half.
Former Queen’s player Matt Mullins also won a gold medal as Canada defeated Argentina 22-19 in the championship match of the men’s rugby tournament. Argentina, the only team to defeat Canada in preliminary play, 21-7 on Saturday, took a 19-12 lead with a try at 13:27 of the second half but Canada prevailed with a pair of scores after that, the last at 19:43.
Earlier Sunday, the Canadian men beat the U.S. in the semifinals, in a game where Canada went ahead 12-0, fell behind 19-12, then scored tries three minutes apart in the middle of the second half to claim the victory. That was after Canada won its semifinal over Chile, also coming from behind to win 17-12 in extra time.
The Canadian women, meanwhile, were completing an undefeated preliminary round with wins of 45-0 over Argentina and 34-12 over the U.S. Popov scored three tries, two of them in the first half, against Argentina and she scored two more in the victory over the U.S., a game in which Benn also scored a try.
Sunday morning, on the Royal Canadian Henley rowing course in St. Catharines, Will Crothers, Rob Gibson and Nicolas Pratt all qualified for the final in their respective events.
Crothers was in the stroke seat of the Canadian men’s eight that won its heat easily, completing the course in 5 minutes 45.79 seconds, 18.02 seconds ahead of the U.S. The two crews were neck and neck through 1,000 metres, before Canada established a five-second lead to take into the final 500 metres.
Julien Bahain of Laval, Que., Mike Evans of Victoria, Martin Barakso of Nanaimo, B.C., Tim Schrijver of St. Catharines, Will Dean of Kelowna, B.C., Conlin McCabe of Brockville, Kal Langerfeld of Parksville, B.C., and cox Jacob Koudys of Fonthill, Ont., are the other members of a Canadian crew that will be the top seed going into the final, Wednesday morning at 10:35.
Gibson was the stroke in the Canadian men’s quadruple sculls crew that also won its heat to qualify for the final. Gibson, with Matthew Buie of Duntroon, Ont., Bahain and Dean, completed the course in 5 minutes 52.21 seconds, 10.08 seconds ahead of the Cubans. Canada jumped into a four-second lead in the first 500 metres and was never challenged. The final will be raced Tuesday at 10:45 a.m.
Pratt, rowing with Brendan Hodge of Delta. B.C., Eric Woelfl of St. Catharines and Maxwell Lattimer of Delta, B.C., in the men’s lightweight four, came second in the fast heat and advanced to the repechage. Their time, 6 minutes 9.58 seconds, was 9.33 seconds behind the winning U.S. crew, but the third-fastest time overall.
Canada led the repechage from start to finish, stopping the clock at 6:29.10, with a 6.67-second margin of victory over Mexico, to advance to the final, Tuesday at 9:35 a.m.
On Saturday, Crothers was in the Canadian boat that qualified in the final in the men’s four, and Gibson qualified for the gold-medal race in the men’s single.
Also on the water, in this case Lake Ontario off Royal Canadian Yacht Club, the Kingston-connected sailors saw blue—the pale blue of Argentina—as all three were involved in races won by Argentine boats.
After racing was delayed by several hours due to light winds, veteran international sailor Terry McLaughlin, a Queen’s University grad, was second in the J-24; his son, Evert, also a Queen’s grad, was third in the Snipe, and Kingston’s Danielle Boyd, on a boat skippered by Erin Rafuse of Halifax, was sixth in the women’s 49er FX.
Only one race was completed in each division of the sailing regatta, where the six-boat 49er fleet was scheduled for three races and the Snipes and J-24s were supposed to race twice.
Monday morning, Crothers, with Schrijver, Langerfield, and McCabe, will contest the final of the men’s four in St. Catharines. Sailing resumes in all divisions, and Kingston’s Kate Gillis, a Regiopolis Notre Dame grad, will be part of the women’s field hockey team as it begins play at 7 p.m. against the Dominican Republic on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto.