The Moose Jaw Kinsmen Flying Fins standout emerged as Team Saskatchewan’s top performer through the first half of the Games in Swift Current last week, tearing up the Aquatic Centre pool to come home with five gold medals, two silver, a bronze and at the very minimum a top-six finish in every race she swam.
Johns topped the podium in the 100 metre backstroke and butterfly, 200m back and breaststroke and 400m individual medley. The 15-year-old competitor’s silver came in the 200m IM and bronze in the 4x100m freestyle. Johns was also fourth in the 4x200m free relay, sixth in the 4x200m mixed free relay and sixth in the 3,000m open water swim.
Austin Lin also picked up gold for Team Sask, topping the podium in the 100m free and adding a host of medals in the relays, including silver in the 4x100m mixed free, 4x100m men’s free and 4x200 men’s free along with a bronze in the 4x200m mixed free.
Chloe Johns, 13, had a solid meet in her own right, winning silver in the 4x100m medley relay while putting together sixth-or-better finishes in the 50m breast, 200m breast and 4x200m IM relay.
Reese Koch, 15, finished fifth in the 4x200m free, seventh in the 50m back, 4x100m free and 4x100m medley as well as eighth in the 100m back and ninth in the 200m back.
Alexis Bradish continued her rapid ascension to the top of the wrestling ranks, winning gold in her 65-kilogram women’s division.
Bradish qualified directly for the final in her weight class after posting a 4-1 record. Interestingly enough, Bradish’s opponent in the single’s championship match, Judith Russell of Yukon Territory, was her only loss in the duals. Bradish needed only 2:17 to record the fall and take first place.
Payton Kell also put together a 4-1 record in his 39-to-42-kg division but was unable to get his own measure of revenge, as he lost by technical fall to Manitoba’s Ebraheim Aldrar in the gold medal match.
Kyle Yamniuk’s bad luck in the duals saw him finish with a 3-2 record after a pair of close decision losses, seeding him in the bronze medal match against Northwest Territories’ Quinn Critch. There, Yamniuk picked up a similar result to his victory over Critch in the duals, winning by pinfall in 1:42 to secure his medal.
Dylan Boughen and the Saskatchewan men’s basketball team capped the event with a silver medal, falling 90-70 to Alberta in the gold medal game. Boughen had five points in the title game.
It was a solid weekend in general for the Central Cyclones standout, has he put up 16 points in an opening 94-74 loss to Alberta before Team Sask went on a three game winning streak. That run saw Boughen put up eight points in a 69-51 win over Northwest Territories, 10 in a hard-fought 62-59 win over Manitoba and 16 in defeating Yukon 76-48.
Courtney Botterill and Team Sask ran into weather issues in the women’s softball tournament and took the field for only four games, but got the job done just the same in winning silver.
The Moose Jaw Bantam Ice standout didn’t play in the opening 6-3 win over Alberta but subbed in midway through each of their other contests, which included a 3-2 loss to Manitoba in what would be their final round robin game.
Rain cancelled the final two preliminary contests, with Saskatchewan defeating Alberta 4-3 in the bronze medal semifinal before dropping an 8-1 decision to Manitoba in the gold medal contest.
University of Regina Cougars sprinter Jonah Branning picked up a pair of medals in track and field during the second half of the Games.
Banning won silver in the 200m in 21.97 seconds and followed with a second-place finish with Team Sask in the 4x100m relay. He also picked up a sixth-place finish in the 100m, running a time of 10.99 in the final.
Peacock grad Camryn Gillies took the track for a pair of top-10 finishes, taking eighth in the 800m in 2:33.30 and ninth in the 400m in 1:03.24.
Austin Lin was back in action during the second half of the Games, this time on the tennis court. He joined with Saskatoon’s William Preciado to go 3-1 in the team competition and win silver, before defeating NWT’s NWT Ethan Carr and Nikhilesh Gohil 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinal and falling 6-3, 6-3 to Alberta’s Arshot Bhatti and Aiden Rypien-Nazar in the first-place match.
Harry Lin saw action in men’s singles and also went 3-1 in team matches. He then lost his quarter-final contest 4-6, 6-1, 10-1 to Manitoba’s Stefan Barre before rebounding to claim fifth overall with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Manitoba’s Daksith Premathilaka.
Team Saskatchewan finished the Games in second with 56 gold medals, 80 silver and 77 bronze for 213 total. Alberta posted a commanding win in the medal total with 56 gold, 80 silver and 77 bronze for 299 medals; Manitoba was third with 49 gold, 59 silver and 171 overall.