Yukoners bag seven medals at Senior Games

Three Whitehorse athletes showed their speed on foot and wheels at the Huntsman World Senior Games last week in St. George, Utah.

Three Whitehorse athletes showed their speed on foot and wheels at the Huntsman World Senior Games last week in St. George, Utah.

Cyclist Michael McCann and runner Donna Jones sped to seven medals at the Games, including four gold.

Whitehorse cyclist Bill Curtis was edged out of a medal by half-a-wheel length in the final race on Thursday.

Competing in Division I for men 65-69, McCann won a bronze in the hill climb and a gold in the 20-kilometre time trial with a time of 28:15, a full minute ahead of the second-place rider. He then made three in a row with a bronze in the criterium race on Thursday.

It was McCann’s 13th appearance at the Games and his first year in the 65-69 age group, in which he finished second overall.

“It was good. The competition was every bit as hard,” said McCann. “I think the older guys just start training harder – I don’t know what that’s about.

“Maybe they should get a job,” he added, jokingly.

Friday’s 62-kilometre road race, in which McCann won gold last year, was cancelled due to thunder and lightning.

“Other than the last two days when the weather went for a dump, everything was really good,” said McCann.

As reported last week, Jones not only made numerous trips to the podium, she qualified to compete in next year’s Iowa Senior Olympic Games.

“I’m thrilled with that,” Jones told the News in an interview last week. “I’m considering it. Why not? It’s all fun.”

Racing in the women 55-59 category, Jones captured gold in the 10-kilometre race with a time of 49 minutes and 13 seconds. She also won gold in the five-kilometre race with a time of 24:16.5.

Her third gold came midweek in the 4×100 relay, teaming up with two Americans and another Canadian.

Jones also ran to silver in the 400-metre event. Surprisingly, before this summer, Jones had never once raced on a track. Nonetheless, she also placed fourth in the 200-metre sprint, but was at the back of the pack in the 100- and 50-metre events.

“I thought I’d give sprinting a try. I know now I’m not a sprinter,” said Jones. “I’m going to keep to distance lengths. I still might do some track, but they will all be over 400 (metres) from here on in. It really is a totally different sport for those short sprints.”

Jones decided to give track a shot in St. George after a stellar performance at the Canada 55+ Games last month in Sydney, Nova Scotia. There, Jones won more medals than any other Yukon athlete, bagging seven medals, including four gold, in the 55-and-over division.

Curtis, who is in Division II for men 60-64, had his best result on Thursday with fourth in the criterium, missing the bronze by a fraction of a second.

He also claimed 13th in the hill climb and 10th in the 40-kilometre time trial.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com