Ju­nior ath­letes shine on na­tional stage

Sport P.E.I. to rec­og­nize those from squash, wrestling, judo, triathlon, field hockey

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Com­piled by Sport P.E.I.’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Nick Mur­ray.

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.

Emma Jinks

Bernard

Tay­lor

Con­nor Jinks

Sobey

MacLel­lan

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