Junior athletes shine on national stage
Sport P.E.I. to recognize those from squash, wrestling, judo, triathlon, field hockey
The Island’s top junior athletes will be recognized Wednesday when Sport P.E.I. hands out the hardware for the Rodd Hotels and Resorts junior male and female athletes of the year.
Athletes from s qu a sh , wrestling, judo, triathlon and field hockey will receive recognition at the awards presentations at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel.
Brandon Bernard ( judo), Connor Jinks (squash) and Martin Sobey (triathlon) are all in contention for the male award, while the female honour is between Emma Jinks (squash), Abbey MacLellan ( field hockey), and Hannah Taylor (wrestling)
Lennox Island judoka Bernard enjoyed a fine 2015, winning the prestigious Elite 8 competition for the best in the country for his weight and age group. He followed this up with a bronze at the Canada Games, P.E.I.’s only medal winner, and at nationals he won two more medals, bronze in both the under-18 and -21 divisions at the more than 90 kilogram and more than 100 kg categories, respectively.
Dominant in the region, Bernard finished the year by being part of the Canadian junior development team that competed in France.
Stratford’s Connor Jinks became a Canadian champion in 2015, winning the under-17 national title in Calgary. Playing since he was seven-years-old, Connor has become one of the best juniors in Eastern Canada, and he helped the Canada Games team to an excellent fifthplace finish, where he was also named most sportsmanlike player of the tournament.
He is a fine all-round sportsman, most notably in badminton, where he has won provincial medals.
Sobey is making great strides in triathlon, recording excellent results at the North American championships in Sarasota, and the American junior championships in Monterrey, Mexico, where he helped Canada win a relay gold.
Recording a fine fifth-place at the nationals, the Charlottetown native also enjoyed good finishes in the Canadian junior series and as part of the junior development team he trained and competed in Europe. He is currently in Victoria, B.C., as part of the Tr iath lon Canada High Performance Centre.
Like her brother Connor, Emma Jinks won a Canadian title in 2015, taking home the under15 national title. It was an outstanding year for Emma, helping P.E.I. to a fifth-place at Canada Games, while pushing herself into the top female ranking in the province. She competed at the under-17 German Pioneer Open in Cologne, winning silver, and she too is a fine all-round young athlete.
MacLellan has her sights set on the national field hockey team, and the Pownal native became the only player east of Ontario to be selected for the Canadian junior development squad, playing in the under-21 series against the USA in Lancaster, and scoring her first national team goal.
In the fall she enjoyed a fine rookie season for Northeastern University, an NCAA Division 1 school in the Colonial league, one of the top conferences for field hockey in the United States.
Taylor enjoyed a busy year, her travels taking her to the World Junior Championships in Sarajevo, the Pan Am Championships in Mexico, and international tournaments in Spain and Romania, where she medalled.
The Summerside native won a silver at the nationals in addition to winning the team trials event, and in total she won 12 wrestling golds in the year, including the Concordia University Invitational, where she beat a CIS national champion. Taylor also competed in judo at the Canada Games.