December Snapshots: A roundup of local sports action

By Ottawa Sportspage

OTTAWA TITANS STAR ON INTERNATIONAL TEAR

Ottawa’s Bogdan Djerkovic has been on a roll against international opponents in the FINA World Men’s Junior Water Polo Championship. Djerkovic is part of a Team Canada squad that has a record of 3 wins and 3 losses at the championships that are being hosted by Kuwait. In the preliminary round of the tournament, the 19-year-old Ottawa Titans product scored 4 goals against Egypt, a game that Canada won, and two goals against Russia, which Canada won as well. Djerkovic scored one goal against both Spain and Hungary, which were both losses for Canada. Djerkovic scored three goals in Canada’s first classification game against the United States, which it lost, and three more against Australia in the ensuing classification game. At the time the Sportspage was published, Canada was preparing to play Hungary for a second time in its third and final classification match.
Djerkovic was also named to Canada’s Tokyo 2020 National Team athlete pool at the beginning of December. Canada’s men’s water polo team missed qualifying for the Olympics at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. They’ll take another shot at qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics at a tournament in the Netherlands in late March.

CAPITAL WAVE’S GAUDREAULT HELPS CANADA TO EVEN RECORD IN CANADA CUP

Jessica Gaudreault of Ottawa’s Capital Wave water polo club helped the national team secure an even record of two wins and two losses in the 2019 Canada Cup. Gaudreault was in net for Canada in wins against the Netherlands and China. She did not play in either of Canada’s losses. Canada’s 2-2 record was enough for the team to finish in 3rd place of the five-team event that was held in Montreal in December.

PAIR OF LOCAL DIVERS QUALIFY FOR TEAM ONTARIO, WILL COMPETE AT SPAIN MEET

Two local divers, Kate Miller of the Nepean Ottawa Diving Club and Kathryn Grant of the Ottawa National Diving Club, qualified for Team Ontario based off of their performances at December’s Ontario Winter Provincials. Miller left the event with three gold medals and two silver medals, while Grant took home two golds of her own and one bronze medal. As part of Team Ontario, Miller and Grant will head to Spain in late January to compete in the Madrid Junior Open Age Group Meet.

HORN-MILLER GETS HIGHEST CANADIAN SPORTS HONOUR

Waneek Horn-Miller secured the highest honour in Canadian sports by being chosen as an inductee in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. As a 14-year-old protester Horn-Miller was nearly fatally wounded at the Oka crisis. She would recover from a stab wound that was close to her heart and compile more than 20 medals across multiple events at the North American Indigenous Games between 1990 and 1997. Her trailblazing ways continued at Carleton University where as a water polo player she was the school’s first female athlete of the year in 1994-95 – a feat she repeated in three consecutive years. In 1999, Horn-Miller was named MVP of the Canadian women’s water polo team. The next year she co-captained Canada’s team at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. After being dismissed from the national program after nine years in 2003, Horn-Miller led a group of athletes to force Water Polo Canada to look into claims of coach abuses, which led to the firing of those who had been accused. In 2010, she was a torchbearer for Canada at the Olympics in Vancouver and in 2015 was named one of Canada’s most influential women in sport. In October she became the Hall of Fame’s 11th ever Indigenous inductee.

LOCAL BEACH VOLLEYBALL PLAYER WINS BRONZE MEDAL AT WORLD BEACH GAMES

Ottawa’s Charlotte Sider was part of Canada’s 4X4 volleyball team that claimed 3rd place at the 2019 ANOC World Beach Games that were held in Doha, Qater in October. Canada finished with a 2-1 record in pool play, beating teams from Australia and Gambia and losing to Vanuatu. Canada beat Nigeria in straight sets in the quarterfinals before losing to the United States in swept sets in the semifinals. In a rematch against Australia with the bronze medal on the line, Sider and Canada bested the Aussies by a score of 2 sets to 1.

TEENAGER DAVID NAMED CANADIAN MEN’S SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ottawa’s Jonathan David, 19, was named Canada’s men’s soccer player of the year. The Ottawa Gloucester Hornets and Ottawa Internationals alumni scored a combined 28 goals between Canada and his Belgium club KAA Gent in 2019, representing the highest total of any Canadian player in more than 20 years. Another goal record he claimed in 2019 was the most for Canada in the Concacaf Gold up, where he netted six in total and was a Golden Boot winner in the tournament. David’s appeared in 12 games for Canada’s national team since his first call up in September 2018 and has found the back of the net 11 times in total. Even before reaching his 20th birthday, he’s halfway to tying Dwayne De Rosario’s all-time Canadian national team record of 22 goals, which took him 81 total games.

OTTAWA PAIR INVITED TO HIGH PERFORMANCE BASKETBALL CAMP

Two Ottawa girls will be a part of a group of 57 athletes called from across the country to participate in a Canada Basketball-run camp to establish which players are best suited for the national U-17 and U-18 teams. Merissah Russell and Isabella Gaudet of Capital Courts Academy were the two local players to crack Canada Basketball’s invite list. As both were born in 2002, they’ll be assessed as potential members of the national U-18 team, which is competing this summer at the FIBA U-18 Women’s Americas Championship. As a country, Canada’s U-18 girls are currently ranked 4th best in the world. Fabienne Blizzard, Capital Courts’ head coach, was also invited to the camp held in December in Toronto. Blizzard is an assistant with the U-17 team. While Russell and Gaudet will leave the camp either having secured a Team Canada spot or not, they’ll also be integrated into the national team’s style of play and develop individual performance plans to benefit them into the future.

HOMECOMING COMING FOR WOMEN’S NATIONAL VOLLEYBALL TEAM PLAYER JOSEPH

Team Canada volleyball player Shaïnah Joseph will be expected to wear the maple in her hometown when Ottawa hosts the Netherlands, Poland and Japan for Volleyball Nations League play June 2-4 at the Arena at TD Place. The Canadian women will first seek to nail down a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the continental qualifier Jan. 8-13 in the Dominican Republic.

OTTAWA ATHLETES TO COMPETE AT 2020 YOUTH OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES

Mont-Tremblant skier Sarah Brown of Ottawa has been named to Canada’s alpine team for the Jan. 9-22 Youth Olympic Winter Games, to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nakkertok Nordic skier Luke Allen, an Ashbury College student, also made the grade to qualify for the Games, though his sport (along with many others) have yet to officially release their selections.

SLIDER POSTS CONSECUTIVE 4THS TO KICK OFF WORLD CUP SKELETON SEASON

Ottawa skeleton racer Mimi Rahneva recorded 4th-place finishes on back-to-back weekends to kick off her World Cup season on the track where she first learned to slide in Lake Placid, NY. “There were lots of building blocks laid here over the last two weeks. I’ve slid personal bests all week,” last season’s 3rd-ranked World Cup athlete said via Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “The conditions played a big role on race day, but I’m so happy with my result.”

LOUIS-RIEL GOLFER ROLLIN ROLLS IN MOST BIRDIES AT OFSAA GOLF

Louis-Riel high school’s Mathis Rollin recorded the most birdies in the field and earned the top local finish (tied for 6th overall) with rounds of 80 and 73 at the Oct. 16-17 OFSAA Boys’ Golf Championships in Kingsville, Ont.

SILVER FOR TEAM CANADA PARA HOCKEY PLAYERS AT INTERNATIONAL EVENT

Ottawa products Anton Jacobs-Webb and Tyrone Henry helped Canada to a runner-up performance at the Dec. 1-7 2019 Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup in Paradise, N.L. Canada beat Czech Republic 6-0, fell to Russia 3-2 in a shootout and lost 4-1 to USA in the round robin, and then beat Russia 3-1 in the semi-final before going down 2-1 against USA in the final.

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