SPORTS IN BRIEF: Victoria golfers in swing of things; Whalers sink Saints for bantam title; Tide advance to rugby final: Local drivers to race GT on Edmonton Indy track

Golf, bantam lacrosse, race cars and rugby

Victoria golfers in swing of things

A trio of South Island golfers will represent B.C. at the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship in California, and a former University of Victoria Vike is competing in the Canadian Open Championship in Vancouver this weekend.

Ex-Vikes’ golfer Mitch Evanecz of Red Deer, Alta., earned a spot in the Canadian Open at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club by winning a one-hole playoff victory on Monday.

It’s the first Professional Golf Association tour event for the 25-year-old who graduated from UVic in 2010.

A pair of 25-year-olds, Kevin Carrigan of Royal Colwood and Cory Renfrew of Cordova Bay golf courses join Craig Doell from the Victoria Golf Club as three of the five B.C. players participating in the 45th Pacific Coast championship, July 26 to 29, at the Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif. The course overlooks Lake Tahoe.

Whalers sink Saints for bantam title

Juan de Fuca minor lacrosse’s West Shore Whalers rose to the occasion as hosts of the B.C. Lacrosse Provincial bantam box championships, July 13 to 17.

Thirty teams competed in four bantam divisions, A1, A2, B and C. Gold- and bronze- medal games took place at Panorama Recreation Centre, but previous games were also played at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and Juan de Fuca arena.

The Whalers took gold in the bantam-B finals, 5-3 over the Port Coquitlam Saints. It was the Saints’ first defeat this year.

Coquitlam defeated Port Coquitlam 5-1 for the bantam-A1 gold. Mackenzie edged Langley 3-2 for bantam-C gold.

Westshore’s A1 squad fell to fourth, losing the bronze medal final to New Westminster, 7-4. But the Whalers did manage to win bronze in a match between the two organizations at the bantam-B level, prevailing 5-2.

The Saanich Tigers took the bantam-A2 bronze, 9-4 over Chilliwack, and Cowichan No. 2 defeated Mission 8-7 for bantam-C bronze.

Midget box lacrosse provincials began Wednesday (July 20) in Coquitlam and wrap up Sunday.

Vancouver Island Tide advance to B.C. U20 rugby final

A win at Parkland secondary clinched a berth for the Vancouver Island Rising Tide in the final of the men’s rugby U20 provincial competition. The Rising Tide survived a late surge of three tries by Fraser Valley to win 36-29 in Sidney on July 16.

“(Fraser Valley) really gave us a scare,” Vancouver Island coach Ken Goodland said.

“We really took our foot off the gas in the last bit there.”

Scoring tries for the Rising Tide were Vaughn Gaston, Kapi Vataiki, Blake van Heynin, Corey Walker and Carlin Hamstra. Vancouver Island has two wins in the three-team tournament. The provincial final is July 30 in West Vancouver versus the winner of Fraser Valley and Vancouver.

Driver hopes to bite back at Indy race

With Edmonton earning a reputation as the mosquito capital of Canada this summer, race car driver Bill Okell says the only thing he’s itching for at this weekend’s Edmonton Indy is a win.

Okell will race his rebuilt 1964 MGB in the July 24 grand touring sports car race, just a few hours ahead of the event’s headline Indy Car race.

Throughout Okell’s race the grandstands will continue to fill, until as many as 40,000 people are watching later in the day. To keep the race fans happy the event organizers have ordered helicopters to drop anti-mosquito spray across the area.

“If anything, it could end up making the track real sticky,” joked Okell.

Long-time Victoria racer Okell will be joined on the track by Victoria’s Dave Cormier, though Okell’s car is graded GT4 and Cormier’s 2008 Porsche Cup Car – a factory version Porsche built for racing – is a GT1. They’ll share the track, but their results will be listed in separate standings.

Okell is currently fourth in the GTU series points standings out of Mission Raceway, with Saanich’s Ian Mackie in sixth. Okell is also sitting first in California’s Nasport Lite, a semi-pro series run by the Sports Car Club of America including legendary tracks Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey and Sears Point Raceway in the Sonoma Valley.