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Games Notebook

Matt Lofgren and the B.C. men's volleyball team won a bronze medal at the Western Canada Summer Games on Sunday.

The B.C. squad beat Saskatchewan in three sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-17) in Sunday's bronze-medal match at the Tournament Capital Centre. B.C.'s head coach was Pat Hennelly, head coach of the TRU WolfPack men's volleyball team, with Drew Venables, a Kamloops native who also works with the WolfPack, serving as an assistant.

B.C. went 2-2 in the round-robin, ending with a four-set (25-23, 25-27, 25-17, 25-20) victory over Saskatchewan on Saturday.

Alberta beat Manitoba 3-2 (25-16, 16-25, 25-25, 22-25, 15-9) in the gold-medal match.

The B.C. women's volleyball team, with Ashley Shannik of Kamloops serving as an assistant coach, won the gold medal. B.C. beat Manitoba 3-1 (27-29, 25-18, 25-23, 25-15) in the championship final.

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Tori Spence of Kamloops wrapped up an excellent week of cycling with a top-five finish in the women's mountain bike event Sunday at the Kamloops Bike Ranch.

Spence, a speed skater most of the time, went into the Games hoping to finish in the top half of the field in each of her three events.

She did much better than that, taking fourth in Thursday's time trial, fourth in Friday's road race and fifth in the mountain bike, an event in which she had never competed.

Spence did the mountain bike in one hour 16 minutes 45.30 seconds. Winnipeg's Anna Schappert, who won the road race, crossed in 1:09:20.1 to win the mountain bike.

And, just as in the road race, Schappert edged out Calgary's Caeli Barron by an eyelash. Barron, who was a tenth of a second back of Schappert in the road race, was three tenths behind on the mountain.

Courtenay's Amanda Wakeling was third in 1:12:41.40.

In the men's mountain bike race, Calgary's Felix Wilberg cruised to a four-minute victory over Quinn Moberg of Garibaldi Highlands. Wilberg won in 1:08:05.50, with Moberg well back in 1:12:44.70.

Edmonton's Samuel Beaudoin was third in 1:15:08.80.

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B.C.'s streak of winning the medal standings at every WCSG continues, thanks to a 261-medal performance in Kamloops.

B.C. has finished with the most medals in every WCSG, starting with the first Games in 1975.

This year, they had 130 gold medals, 68 silver and 63 bronze. Alberta was second with 232 medals, 53 of them gold and 99 silver.

Saskatchewan finished third, holding off Manitoba in that record. Team Sask had 133 medals, including a respectable 45 gold and 41 silver, while 22 of Manitoba's 115 medals were of the golden variety.

Northwest Territories, with three, and Nunavut, with two, also won medals. Yukon Territory was shut out.

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B.C. also won the Western Canada Summer Games trophy, which goes to the team that earns the most points during the competition.

According to a WCSG press release: "At the conclusion of every sport in the Games, each province/territory was ranked according to a system outlined in the sport's technical package. Games Trophy Points are then awarded. When all the sports are complete, the points for each province/territory are added together. The team having the highest point total wins the trophy."

B.C. had 213 points, 114 of them in the second half, to beat Alberta, which finished with 187 points. Manitoba (166), Saskatchewan (159), Northwest Territories (33), Yukon (30) and Nunavut (six) also took part.

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To put B.C.'s dominance in perspective, look not at the overall medal standings - B.C. had 29 more medals than Alberta - but at the gold-medal standings.

Of the 250 gold medals handed out over the 10-day event, 130 were won by B.C. athletes.

B.C. swimmers brought in the biggest haul, winning 40 gold medals, with athletics earning 18 gold medals and rowers ending with 11 gold.

In the 13 team events - where only one medal was handed out - B.C. won 13 medals, eight of them gold and three of them silver.

Both of B.C.'s basketball teams - aided by Kamloops' Riley Oien and Joe Davis - won gold in the first half, with the field hockey, rugby, women's soccer and women's soccer squads winning gold in the second half. Other B.C. gold winners were the men's beach volleyball duo and the women's softball team.

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But B.C. also was notable in its sportsmanship.

The B.C. women's soccer team's head coach, Markus Reinkens of Port Moody, showed some brilliant sportsmanship in an 8-0 victory over Northwest Territories on Friday.

After an N.W.T. player was given a red card early for handling the ball, Reinkens pulled a B.C. player so the teams could play 10-on-10 for the remainder of the match.

Tom McManus, the head coach of the WolfPack women's soccer team and a man who has seen his share of soccer games, called it a "true quality" move.

"I've never been as proud to be from B.C. as when I saw that," McManus said.

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B.C.'s flag bearers at the closing ceremony were swimmers Joseph Byram of Vernon and Kierra Smith of Kelowna, who combined to win 17 medals.

Byram, the 17-year-old captain of the B.C. boys swim team, won nine gold medals - in the 100-metre freestyle, 100m backstroke, 4X200m freestyle relay, 4X50 medley relay, 200m backstroke, 4X100m freestyle relay, 4X50m frestyle relay, 200m freestyle and the 4X100m medley relay.

Smith, 17, won a silver medal to go along with seven gold medals - in the 200m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 400m IM, 4X50m medley relay, 200m butterfly and the 4X100m medley relay.

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B.C. also won 20 artistic gymnastics medals, eight of them gold.

Nicolas Garfias of Abbotsford had a hand in six of those gold medals, as he finished the competition with a four-gold performance in the individual events on Sunday.

Garfias, 13, finished tied with Alberta's Carter Shelton in the floor exercise, each scoring 12.20 points and each winning a gold medal. Garfias went on to win the pommel horse (11.55), the parallel bars (12.35) and the high bar (12.30).

He also won Friday's all-around event (72.65) and helped B.C. win Friday's team competition.

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Perhaps equally amazing was the play of B.C.'s golf team, which not only won both of the team competitions but whose members also ran away with the individual events.

B.C.'s girls shot a two-day total of 435 to win the team tournament, which wrapped up Saturday at The Dunes. Alberta (472) and Manitoba (486) also hit the podium.

The B.C. men also cleaned up, shooting 417 to beat Alberta by 15 strokes and Saskatchewan by 29.

B.C. golfers swept the podiums in the individual events, which ended Sunday and included scores posted in Friday and Saturday's team rounds.

Surrey's Taylor Kim won the girls gold medal, shooting 214 over three days to beat Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam by five. Bronze-medallist Grace Chua of White Rock shot 221 to finish a stroke clear of West Vancouver's Alix Kong.

Winnipeg's Winnie Hyun was fifth, shooting 233.

The boys' individual event also was all B.C. - Courtenay's Mark Valliere was first, shooting 205, with Surrey's Donald Qiu second at 208 and Richmond's Curtis Chan third at 214. Kevin Kwon of Pitt Meadows was fourth, at 215, one stroke ahead of Alberta's Patrick Murphy and Tyler Saunders, who tied at 216.

B.C. will go down as the first team to win gold medals in two new WCSG sports - golf and triathlon, which ran in the first half.

mhunter@ w88Việt nam www.premiercentral.net

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