Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows athletes won medals as the 2019 Sprint Nationals for canoe and kayak were held in Regina recently.
Corey Stewart of the Alouette Paddling Club, which is based in Pitt Meadows, won gold and bronze medals. He is coached by Brian Hammer, and is in a wheelchair and has cognitive delays. Stewart was third in the 200m para kayak class, and won the 200m ID class.
The 27-year-old started paddling in 2008, and has medalled at nationals five years previously. But 2019 was a comeback after three years away from the sport, and he said getting back on the podium felt great.
There were 12 members of the Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club at the event, and Cassidy MacPherson was a standout with gold medals in both the under-16 1,000m and 6,000m kayak races, and bronze in the 200m.
Brian Malfesi, a longtime national team member, won bronze medals in the senior kayak 1000m and 500m events.
The 26-year-old has represented Canada since 2010 when he competed at the Pan American championships in Mexico City. In 2016 he competed at the under-23 World Championships in Belarus, on a four-man kayak team that finished eighth.
Alex Brent is a member of the Whonnock Lake club, and he won gold with the Trois Rivieries teammates in the two-man kayak 1000m and K4. He also had four silver medals in junior categories – two individual and two team.