Sports Roundup -- Rowers bring home the steel/Breiland tames course

Rowers bring home the steel

Two members of the Bainbridge Island Rowing Club won some “steel” at the World Masters Games in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, July 22-25.

Mary Madison and Nina Mitchell rowed their red double scull, christened “Ladybug,” to a silver medal in the “C” class for women over age 43 and a bronze medal in the “B” class for women over 36.

The duo, who have just started sculling two years ago, started the first day by finishing second in their first heat in the Women’s “B” double scull with a time of 3:52.

They won their semifinal heat in a time of 3:50, but they came in third by mere hundredths of a second to a duo from Portland, Ore., who had defeated them earlier at the Northwest Regionals.

On the second day, “Ladybug” and “Constant Craving,” the single scull piloted by Grant Dull, were able to finish their heats (the Women’s “C” Double for ages 43 and older and the Men’s “C” Single, respectively) before officials cancelled the remaining heats at 10 a.m. due to a strong wind that was predicted to reach upwards of 70 kilometers per hour (43.8 mph).

With the third day a scheduled off day, Madison and Mitchell went out and finished off the competition, finishing first in the semifinal heat with a time of 3:59.48, the fastest time clocked in the semifinal heats.

In the final heat, they finished second to a team out of Chicago with a time of 4:00.45.

Dull competed in the Men’s “B” single as well as the “C” single, but was denied in the semifinal heats, finishing out of the top two places needed to advance.

The “Ladybug” took part in the Women’s “A” competition for women ages 27 and up on the final day.

They placed second in their first heat, then, needing a top four finish to advance, broke out of a three-way deadlock to finish third and move on to the finals.

There, they started out in last place, but recovered to finish fourth with a time of 4:00.90, just missing out on third by two seconds to a team from Tasmania.

Dull finished fourth in his semifinal heat in the “A” single, as he had a poor start, then lost an oar when he crashed violently into a buoy.

Breiland tames course

In his first-ever competitive cycling event, islander Ken Breiland won a gold in the 20K road race and silver in the criterium for his age group at the Washington State Senior Games on Sunday in Lacey.

On a closed-off street adjacent to the Lodge at Jubilee, a community for adults age 55 and older, he finished fifth overall in the road race with a time of 33:55.

“I thought I would get a medal, but I didn’t know I would finish first,” Breiland said. “I didn’t go down there thinking it was a walk in the park, and it wasn’t.”

The Senior Games is an event for men and women 50 and older to come out and be active.

Athletes can compete in individual events such as archery, pickleball and powerlifting, or a group can compete in team events such as softball, basketball and soccer.

Breiland first heard about the event when he read a 2002 Review story on Andy Kosick, a Bainbridge Island resident who competed in the cycling competition at the games.

“I thought, ‘I’m in reasonably good shape, I should try this,’” he said. “I had just watched the Tour de France on TV, but it’s a little different trying to do it yourself.”

Breiland said he was pleased with his times, even with temperatures in the low 90s and everyone else breathing down his neck.

“When you’re doing the last three-fourths of a mile, you’re pushing yourself harder than you think you can because everyone else is pushing themselves just as hard,” he said.

He was also modest about his accomplishments.

“It’s not like I’m some record holder,” he said. “There are a lot of guys that are older that are stronger than me. I looked at the times (for the races) and I said, ‘Well, I can go that fast.’

“Then I saw them hand out the awards for the 10K road race and they announced their times and they were going pretty fast.”

But he still had a “real blast” competing in the races, and plans to race next year to qualify for the National Senior Games, held in odd-numbered years.

“It was a great, challenging, fun event to do,” Breiland said. “It makes you want to stay in shape and compete for next year.

“My buddies want to do it with me next year, but they’ll be in another age group.”

Michael Kroom, another competitor from Bainbridge Island, finished fourth in his age group for the road race and third for his age group in the criterium event.

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