By Tiffany Williams
Ponoka athletes ran, jumped and swam to success at the Alberta Summer Games in Medicine Hat Aug. 7 to 10. Ponoka competitors represented zone 4 winning 11 gold medals, five silver medals and six bronze medals. The games welcome 2,800 athletes, coaches and officials from across the province participating in 15 different sports with more than 550 medals.
In the pool along Ponoka swimmers won 13 medals, between two brothers. Kyle Morrow won seven golds and two bronze medals. He won gold in the 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 Back, 400 Free and 100 Back. He also won bronze in the 200 MR and 200FR, He even broke two provincial records in the 200 IM he set a new record of 2:17:38 and in the 400 Free he set a new record of 4:28:08.
He says that his favourite moment of the games was when he knocked four seconds off the record. He says that he was a little shocked that he went that fast.
Kyle, 17 years old, was pleased to see all of his training pay off.
“It was a good experience to be at a media driven event with lots of TV coverage and pressure and still do well,” said Kyle. “It was amazing up on the podiums. All athletes have highs and lows and it’s rewarding seeing that your hard work has paid off.”
Keane Morrow, 15 years old, also did expectionally well in the pool. He won gold in the 200 Free, silver in the 200 IM, silver in the 100 Free, silver in the 100 fly, bronze in the 200 MR and bronze in the FR.
Keane thought that it was a great experience.
“ It was a lot of fun. Although I wish I could have watch some of the other sports as well,” said Keane.
Darlene Morrow was very pleased with both of her son’s accomplishments.
“They deserve it. They are both very hard working and focused individuals,” said Darlene. “They are very focused on their goals in the water.
Isatu Fofana cleaned up at the Alberta Summer Games with seven medals. She received a gold medal in the under 15 100 m dash, long jump and 80 m hurdles.
Fofana took home silver for the 200 m, 300 m hurdles and the 4×100 m relay. She also won a bronze medal in the medley relay.
“I think I did well, my goal was to place either first, second or third in the 100m,” said Isatu. “My favourite event is the 100 m, it’s a fast race and it’s over in about 12 seconds.”
Isatu trained in Red Deer every Tuesday and Thursday and believes that the practice, along with her goal, helped her out a lot when it came to her successes in the summer games.
“It was worth it,” she said. “If you believe in anything, it can happen.”
Isatu’s brother, Amara Fofana, also was outstanding in his events and took home a gold medal in high jump and bronze in the medley relay.
The family came to Canada from Sierra Leone about eight years ago and Isatu and Amara’s mother, Yabu Bargura, is proud of all they have accomplished in their lives. Bargura was happy with both of her children’s achievements in the summer games.
“I’m very proud of them, they have worked very hard for it,” said Bargura. “They have done very well for themselves and the community has been so supportive, it’s been wonderful.”
Other summer games results: Tucker Dougherty, gold, lacrosse. Tanner Elliot, fourth, 200MR, fourth 200 FR, fourth 100 free, 100 breast, fourth 100 back and 50 free. Emma McCormick, triathlon, fourth. Ryan Grant, fourth, 100 back, seventh, 100 fly, eighth 200 IM. Mia Huysmans, basketball, fourth. Drew Dennis, football, fourth.
The next Alberta games will be the Winter Games in Lakeland Region Feb. 4 to 7, 2010. The next Summer Games will take place in Peace River in 2010.
With files from Eraina Hooyer