Ex-Viking women’s Henley hero

Burnaby Mountain grad shares a win in under-19 men’s doubles at St. Catharines 133rd regatta

Burnaby Lake Rowing Club scullers came back as champions from the 133rd Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.

Burnaby North Secondary grad Layla Balooch, who currently trains in Victoria with coach Barney Williams in the national development program, won both the under-23 and senior women’s singles at Canada’s national club championships in St. Catharines, Ont. last week.

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Club members Logan Bagneres and Burnaby Mountain grad Daniel Fraser-Maraun captured the u-19 men’s double sculls over a giant field of 77 crews.

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Burnaby's Daniel Fraser-Maraun, on left, and Logan Bagneres won the under-19 men's double sculls at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta last week. - contributed

Balooch, who picked up an oar in Grade 11 while at North, was untouched in her six individual races at the annual Henley meet.

The 20-year-old won her opening heat in the senior women’s 2,000 metres in a competitive-best time of 7:46.98.

She also topped her semifinal heat before winning the Lady Henley Trophy in the final by almost four seconds over Riverside club’s Molly Hamrick in a time of 7:52.65.

In the u-23 2,000m later in the week, weather conditions worsened with strong headwinds, making race conditions more difficult and slowing down overall times.

Balooch completely dominated the younger category, placing first in the women’s final by more than 20 seconds over Leander club’s D’Arcy Arends.

“Everybody noticed her. She was dominant,” said Burnaby Lake club coach Cinda Ewton.

Last year in the u-23 races at Henley, Balooch flipped her scull and failed to place. But this season, all her hard work at the national development centre paid off.

“She handled difficult conditions. It was impressive,” added Ewton.

Fraser-Maraun, 17, and 18-year-old Bagneres have been honing their rowing skills on Burnaby Lake since the age of 14.

Last year, the pair came back with the silver medal in the 2,000m, finishing out of first place by just two seconds.

This year, the boys won the Olympic distance race by a 0.63-second margin.

“It’s pretty cool – born and bred,” said Ewton of the three Burnaby Lake champions. “I think it’s pretty special.”

Lynn Hancock also had a runner-up finish in the championship women's pair at Henley.

The Burnaby Lake club also had some success on the international circuit this summer.

Vlad Timinsky placed seventh in the men’s lightweight quadruple sculls at the u-23 World Rowing Championships, while Stephanie Grauer finished sixth in the women’s fours at the Junior World Championships in Rio de Janeiro last week.

Burnaby Lake’s Lauren Wilkinson will be looking forward to the World Rowing Championships in France later this month.

Canada’s senior women’s eights need a top-five finish at the worlds to earn a qualification to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Also hoping to qualify for the Games is Brendan Hodge, who will compete in the lightweight men’s fours at the worlds.

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