Thorup, Fletcher reach final 24 at World U-21 beach volleyball championships
By Pat Payton
It was “pretty amazing news” for Brooke Overholt, her former Stratford St. Mikes coach Mark Dewan e-mailed to the Independent recently.
The Warriors’ track and field Alumnus has been named to the Canadian national team for the upcoming 2019 Pan American Under-20 track and field championships. The 18-year-old St. Marys resident will be travelling to San Jose, Costa Rica for the July 19-21 meet.
The biennial track and field competition celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer and will feature athletes from 31 different countries across the Americas.
“It feels great,” Overholt told the Independent on the weekend. “It’s always been a goal of mine. It’s a nice feeling to finally be named to the team and be able to represent your country.”
Overholt is one of 47 athletes (25 women and 22 men) selected to represent Canada. She will compete in the 400-metre hurdles and possibly in the 4X400m relay. Overholt, who is a member of the London Legion track and field club, is one of 23 Ontario athletes on the Canadian team.
The Canadian contingent heading to San Jose will compete in 28 out of 46 events contested at the championships, and will look to better its medal count from 2017 – a year that saw Canada bring home 22 medals (six gold, nine silver and seven bronze) and its best finish at the Pan American U-20 championships in 30 years.
Successful freshman season
Overholt, meanwhile, recently completed a successful NCAA freshman year at Cornell University in upstate New York.
She finished fourth and was the top Cornell athlete in the 400-metre race at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, Feb. 23-24. Her time was 56.32 seconds. She was the only freshman in the 400m final and missed the podium by 0.22 seconds.
Overholt, however, didn’t go home empty-handed. She earned a silver medal with Cornell teammates in the 4x400m relay.
Prior to the meet, Overholt ran a personal best 55.90 seconds at Boston University’s Valentine’s Open. She was briefly No. 1 in Canada in the U-20 Women’s 400-metre ranking.
Earlier, Overholt set new indoor personal bests in the 60m hurdles (8.76 seconds) at Penn State and 400m (57.20 seconds) at Boston University, and she was the anchor runner on the record-setting Cornell freshman 4X400 relay. Overholt’s anchor leg was 56.02 seconds.
Overholt also trained and competed in two meets in California over an eight-day period this past season.
Thorup, Fletcher reach final 24 at Worlds
In other International sports news, the local duo of Abbey Thorup, of St. Marys, and Iris Fletcher, of London, competed very well for Canada at the recent FIVB World Beach Volleyball U-21 championships in Udon Thani, Thailand, June 18-23.
Thorup and Fletcher won all three of their qualifying matches (in straight sets) to reach the main draw of the women’s bracket. They defeated Chinese Taipei 21-10, 21-15, Japan 21-12, 21-14, and a U.S. entry 21-16, 24-22.
The main draw (32 teams) consisted of eight pools of four teams.
Thorup and Fletcher started with a 21-12, 21-16 loss to a Russian duo, but defeated an Egyptian team 21-9 and 21-12 in their second match. The third match for the local pair was against a team from Mozambique, determining second and third place in their pool. They lost the first set 21-12, but bounced back to win the next two, 21-18 and 17-15.
With the field reduced to 24 teams, second and third-place teams played cross-over games against teams from other pools. Thorup and Fletcher played an Australian pair and lost 2-1. They won the first set 21-11, but then lost 21-19 and 15-13.
The final 16 teams featured the winners of the cross-over games (eight teams) playing the eight pairs who finished first in their respective pools.