The Nelson Rhythm Ropers, seen here after their performances at the national rope skipping championships, are among our best athletes of 2019. Photo submitted

The Nelson Rhythm Ropers, seen here after their performances at the national rope skipping championships, are among our best athletes of 2019. Photo submitted

YEAR IN REVIEW: Nelson’s best athletes of 2019

Recognizing Madelyn Bonikowsky, Matti Erickson and the Nelson Rhythm Ropers

Two track stars and one of Nelson’s oldest clubs had performances to remember in 2019.

Madelyn Bonikowsky, Matti Erickson and the Nelson Rhythm Ropers are the Star’s athletes of the year after putting Nelson in the national sports spotlight.

Bonikowsky, who competes for the L.V. Rogers track team as well as the Kootenay Chaos, had a breakthrough the B.C. High School Cross Country Championships in November when she finished ahead of over 200 competitors to win the senior girls five-kilometre race.

Her victory made her the first Kootenay athlete to step onto the girls’ podium at the event since record keeping began in 1970.

But she wasn’t done there.

One month later Bonikowsky took gold at the Canadian Cross-Country Championships in the under-18 girls four-km race. Ninety-seven of Canada’s top high school runners took part in the event, but the race belonged to Bonikowsky.

Meanwhile, her track teammate built on an already incredible resume.

Erickson, who was also the Star’s athlete of the year in 2018 and named LVR’s top male athlete in June, extended his domination of the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships in June when he won gold in both the 800 and 1,500-metre races.

His victory in the 1,500 was his third in three years, and his time of three minutes 57.31 seconds bettered his own provincial record by four seconds.

Two months later Erickson became a national champion for the first time by winning first place in the under-18 men’s 800 and 1,500 races at the Canadian Legion Youth Track and Field championships.

Those performances led to Erickson being named Nelson’s first sports ambassador by the city.

Finally, the Nelson Rhythm Ropers surprised at the national rope skipping championships in May.

The team’s 15-to-17 age female squad of Maya Pierson, Nadine Lehr, Kaylyn Allingham and Angelia Thomson finished first overall for the Rhythm Ropers in the 15-to-17 age female squad.

Nelson also took the Grand Champion Award for double dutch pairs freestyle, and had several athletes on the podium.

The Rhythm Ropers were formed in 1987 and began skipping competitively in 1998. Winning at nationals served as a reminder that the club is a key part of the city’s thriving athletic community.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School District 8 says a COVID-19 exposure has occurred at Nelson’s Rosemont Elementary. Photo: School District 8
Class at Nelson’s Rosemont Elementary in isolation after COVID-19 exposure

It’s not clear if any students or teachers were infected

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

BC Assessment stats show the majority of Baker Street properties are likely to be locally owned. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Data shows Nelson locals own majority of Baker Street properties

BC Assessment provided mailing address stats for the city’s main street

The toxic drug supply crisis was announced on April 14, 2016. File photo
Nelson demonstration to mark five years of toxic drug supply crisis

An information booth will also be available at ANKORS

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison hopes for economic recovery plan in upcoming federal budget

Kootenay-Columbia Conservative looking for post-pandemic recovery plan in next week’s Liberal budget

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

Most Read