Before the Beijing Olympics even began, two SMUS students flew to the US to compete for a few medals of their own and both brought home the gold. At this year’s CanAmMex Games, Liz Fenje and Derek Stedman competed against the top rowers from El Salvador, Mexico and the United States.
Liz took home gold for both the women’s quad and double, making it the second year in a row that Canada took first place in those events. Derek won gold for his performance in the men’s quad. All twelve events took place on the Oklahoma River over two very hot days.
“It was a wonderful experience in many ways and made us realize again just how great Susanne Walker is as a coach,” says Liz’s mother Ann Fenje, who went to the games. Competition was tight in the 2000-metre races. In the men’s quad, only one second separated the Canadian team from silver-medal winners El Salvador. There was slightly more breathing room in the women’s events, as Canada won the women’s double by 17 seconds and the women’s quad by 24 seconds. Liz and her fellow rowers also took gold in the women’s quad exhibition race, which they finished 12 seconds faster than their gold-medal win.
It was an exciting year for the games, as Canada, Mexico and the US all finished within two points of each other. This year, the US took the top spot with 28 points, followed by Canada with 27 points. Last year, Canada took the top spot with 30 points while the US took second with 29 points. It was also the first time El Salvador joined in the competition.
SMUS is looking forward to another excellent rowing season this year. Coach Susanne Walker will be back again to train both new additions and veteran competitors.