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COUNTDOWN TO THE GAMES: A mix of veterans, rookies

Island athletes will compete on the diamond, track, mat at Canada Games


Published on July 18, 2017

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – With a little more than a week until the first group of athletes head to Winnipeg there are lots of details being looked after from both a sport preparation and logistical standpoint.

The teams are fine-tuning their training to peak at the right time and I’m sure the host society in Winnipeg is working diligently to welcome the delegations from every province and territory in Canada.

Baseball

Prince Edward Island’s baseball team, which will be on that first flight, has had a busy spring and summer training and playing a number of exhibition games and tournaments, including a trip to Montréal to play a series against a Québec all-star team.

The team features players from across the province and they will open the Games tournament against Ontario. Their remaining games will see them play Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador in the preliminary rounds of the tournament. The results of these games will determine their seeding for the playoff round.

Jason Monaghan is the head coach of the team and has Bob Doyle as his assistant. Bob has been part of the Canada Games coaching staff in 2009 and 2013. Dave Benton is also on the bench and has been participating in a coach apprentice program during the past two years, which included attending education sessions with other coaches from across Canada.

Baseball will take place at three venues, including Shaw Park, Whittier Park and Elmwood Giants Field.

Athletics

While the ball team is playing, the athletics team will be busy competing at the University of Manitoba Stadium. The stadium is located on the same campus as the main athlete’s village, which will allow Team P.E.I. athletes to easily become spectators during their downtime.

The team has a great mix of experienced and new Canada Games team members and this starts off with the coaching staff as Colin MacAdam and Keith Tanton have both coached at multiple games. The team also has at least half a dozen athletes who have attended the Games before in athletics or other sports.

The team attended a large meet at the East Coast Games a few weeks back to determine the 28 athletes who will represent our province and since then have been busy attending a number of different meets, including the New Brunswick Legions and Atlantic championships.

Bailey Smith and Matthew Tanton also competed at the national championships in Ottawa earlier this month.

Once the team arrives in Winnipeg they will have a few days of training before the competition begins on Monday, July 31.

Wrestling

At about that time, Week 2 athletes will be eagerly waiting their turn to make their way to the prairies and this would include the wrestling team.

The male and female wrestlers will compete at the Axworthy Health and Recplex.

The team includes five male and three female wrestlers, who will be competing against other athletes in their own weight class. The teams will have their weigh in on Tuesday, Aug. 8, and then start the competition first thing Wednesday morning.

The female team will wrestle in a pool with athletes from Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and New Brunswick while the males will be pitted against B.C., Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut.

The male wrestlers are lead by Nik Cummins, who has coached at the Games in the past, and Nico Verhoeven, who was a former Games wrestler, while Steven Banks and Kalyn Salmon coach the female team.

Need to know

A look at Prince Edward Island’s men’s baseball, athletics and wrestling teams competing at the Canada Games in Winnipeg.

Baseball

Where – Shaw Park, Whittier Park and Elmwood Giants Field.

Best finish – Sixth at the 1969 Games.

2013 Placing – 10th.

Athletics

Where – University of Manitoba Stadium.

Best finish (as a team) – Eighth at 1969 Games.

2013 finish – 11th.

Wrestling

Where – Axworthy Health and RecPlex.

Best finish – Ninth at multiple games

2013 finish – 10th.

Francois Caron is the central region co-ordinator for the sport, recreation and physical activity division of the P.E.I. Department of Health and Wellness. He has attended nine Games and will be Team P.E.I.'s assistant chef de mission during the second week of the 2017 Canada Games.

Rosters (as of July 17)  
Athletics Hometown
Maddy Cogswell Stratford
Ben Coles North Milton
Morgan Cormier Cornwall
Alex Cyr Wellington
Madison Dayton Charlottetown
Tori Fitzpatrick Charlottetown
Vanessa Foster Frenchfort
Malcolm Gilman Brackley Beach
Constance Gilman Brackley Beach
Tori Hogan Tignish
Matthew Kinch Tignish
Damon MacDonald Stratford
Owen MacFadyen Cornwall
Hillary MacLean Kensington
MacKayla MacPhee-Martell Mermaid
Nathan Mahar Cornwall
Noah Manning Souris
Kelly McCardle Stratford
Ryan Merrett Charlottetown
Darcy Norton Charlottetown
Megan O'Hanley Souris
Michael Rogers Charlottetown
Bailey Smith Mount Stewart
Matthew Tanton Summerside
Michaela Walker Summerside
Kylee Wallace O'Leary
Alyssa Weeks Hunter River
Daniel Whalen Vernon Rive
Zachary Wilson Cornwall
Danny Lane North Wiltshire
Coach Colin MacAdam Charlottetown
Coach Keith Tanton Summerside
Manager Julie Gilman Brackley Beach
Baseball  
Eric Anderson Charlottetown
Max Benton Clyde River
Brett Caissie Summerside
Dylan Cameron Cornwall
Noah Duckworth
Charlottetown
Colin Gaudette Tignish
Nick Havenga Cornwall
Garret Hébert Charlottetown
Connor Jones Charlottetown
Nathan Jones St. Peter's Bay
Chandler Laporte Cornwall
Denver MacDonald Souris
Ben MacDougall Summerside
Logan MacDougall Summerside
Josh Myers Miscouche
Dylan Noonan Searletown
Gabe Peñalver Charlottetown
Nathan Purchase Montague
Patrick Young Charlottetown
Coach Jason Monaghan Stratford
Coach Bob Doyle Pleasant Grove
Apprentice coach Dave Benton Clyde River
Wrestling  
Clay Campbell Summerside
Jesse Heartz Charlottetown
Drew Hurry North Rustico
Victoria Keefe Oysterbed
Christian MacDonald Stratford
Savannah Maclachlan Bonshaw
Karlyn Shea Elmsdale
Ben Tanton Summerside
Coach Steven Banks Charlottetown
Coach Nik Cummins Charlottetown
Coach Kalyn Salmon O'Leary
Coach Nico Verhoeven Cornwall
Manager Tim Murphy Montague