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Lloyd rowers propel Team Saskatchewan

By August 25, 2022No Comments
Lloydminster rowers did well at the Canada Summer Games on Team Saskatchewan in Niagara, Ont. Elijah Lopez, left, finished sixth in the men’s fours and fifth in the men’s eight while Shelby Lane earned a silver in the women’s quad and a bronze in the women’s eight. Liam Gilby (not pictured) finished sixth in the men’s quad on the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course. Supplied Photo

 

Lloydminster rowers, led by Shelby Lane on Team Saskatchewan, created a big wake on the water at the Canada Summer Games in Niagara, Ont.

Lane earned a silver medal in the women’s quad and a bronze in the eights at the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course on the weekend.

The University of Saskatchewan student rower is only the second Lloydminster athlete to medal at the Games since 2005 and the first ever to win two medals.

Her success, and a fifth-place finish for Elijah Lopez in the men’s eights and a sixth position in the men’s fours along with a sixth for Liam Gilby in the men’s quad, helped Team Saskatchewan exceed all expectations.

“Our goal going into the games was to win three medals total for Team Saskatchewan,” said a tired Lane on Tuesday in Saskatoon.

“We were definitely excited when we got five, and I got two out of the five medals.”

The team also won bronze in the women’s singles final and a bronze in the men’s singles and doubles competition.

The team’s medal haul ties a Games-best performance for the team to the delight of Lloydminster Rowing Club coach Michelle Lopez. She was at the Games to cheer on the gang and her son Elijah.

Her other son Jonah who, rows with Brock University, had to withdraw due to an injury.

“We cheered so very loud and stood so very proud of all athletes on Team Saskatchewan,” she said.

“I am so very proud, and yes, all results exceeded expectations. All of their hard work paid off.”

Lane hopes her success, and that of Elijah and Liam, will inspire more youngsters to join the rowing club. 

“Elijah and I, we started three years ago and we have already attended Canada Games and I got some medals. The men’s side is a little bit tougher because there’s some really good men’s rowing teams in the other provinces,” she said.

Elijah and Liam qualified for the finals at the Games through the repechage.

“I would hope our success would boost some other people to try rowing because it’s definitely fun,” said Lane.

She says her Team Saskatchewan coach gave her team two weeks off to recover with some light training before getting back on the South Saskatchewan River to continue building for the Canada University Championships at Henley in November.

At the Summer Games, Lane’s quad boat placed first in their heat to automatically qualify for the finals- in tough against fast boats from Ontario and B.C. from the get-go.

“We lost to Ontario which was full of athletes who just attended World’s in Italy so were very happy with the outcome,” said Lane.

A sprint over the final 500 metres helped them secure silver over the boat from B.C.

Lane says it was also comforting to have her parents cheering her on.

“They’ve always been number one supporters. It was nice to hear them cheering while I was racing,” she said.

The women’s eight final, however, was a nail-biter for Team Saskatchewan rowers and supporters alike that ended in a photo finish.

“We won by .08 seconds,” said Lane.

“We definitely thought Alberta had won, but it was close. We waited for the announcer to call who got bronze and it was us, so we were all pretty excited.”

The finals took place over a hot humid weekend but with little to no wind.

Shelby’s mom Lana flew back to Lloyd a day earlier than team members and added her impressions to the mix starting with her daughter’s stellar performance.

“I was screaming pretty good. It’s very exciting as a parent to watch your child do what she loves to do and to be doing it successfully,” she said.

“There was lots of screaming and cheering in the stands and pacing. We had the cow bells going.”

Lana says they spent the entire week watching and cheering on Lloydminster rowers as well as Team Saskatchewan.

“Liam and Elijah rowed extremely well. For all Saskatchewan boats to make the finals that’s pretty impressive,” she said.