Ancaster’s Kisil picks up rowing bronze at Pam Am Regatta

Canada picked up three medals – a silver and two bronze – on Monday at the Pan American Games regatta in Guzman, Mexico. There are still two more days of finals to go.

The women’s pair of Sandra Kisil of Ancaster, ON, and Sarah Bonikowsky of Orangeville, ON, took a bronze in the first race of the morning.

“It was a good race. We had our fastest start yet, and we definitely made some improvements since our first race here,” said Bonikowsky, who was part of the women’s eight at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. “The competition was strong, but overall this feels awesome and it’s something to build on as we head into Nationals in November. This gives us a lot of motivation to take back into training camp.”

Argentina won in 7:24.57, followed by the U.S. (7:29.05) and Canada (7:32.74).

The women’s team took another bronze in the women’s double event. “It was a fight the whole way down the course. We gave it our all. We knew it was going to be a tight race, and a good chase at the finish,” said Elizabeth (Buzzy) McCord of Toronto, ON.

Cuba won in 7:13.76, followed by the U.S. in 7:14.34 and Canada in 7:16.29.

“It feels wonderful. We’ve worked really hard in training. Buzzy is a great partner and we work together very well. In this race, we were definitely a crew, not two rowers out there. Buzzy called a good race and I responded. We are amped for the quad (their next event),” said women’s double crew member Audra Vair of Creemore, ON.

The Canadian men’s four had an exciting race to silver.

“We executed our start well – better than in the heat,” said Dave Wakulich of St. Catharines, ON. “Argentina, Mexico and Cuba set a great pace, and the U.S. moved after the first 1000m. With 600 to go, we knew what we had to do, and the crew responded to my calls. I’m proud of our guys – they put everything into it…. We are hungry and are going to go for gold in the eight (on Wednesday).”

Argentina won in 6:04.41, Canada’s silver-medal time was 6:05.65 and bronze went to Cuba in 6:06.51 – home-country favourites Mexico just missed out, coming fourth in 6:06.59.

This crew is Spencer Crowley of Lantzville, BC, Blake Parsons of Toronto, ON, David Wakulich of St. Catharines, ON, and Kai Langerfeld of Parksville, BC.

The men’s double – with Michael Braithwaite of Duncan, BC, (who took the place of injured Steven Payne) and Eric Bevan of North Vancouver, BC – was fifth today in 6:47.76. Argentina took gold in this event in 6:26.55.