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Local world champion on the move

Published on

Barry Wright

Point Edward’s loss is Oakville’s gain.

Ian Van Reenen began a full-time job this week as a professional firefighter with the Oakville Fire Department, leaving a volunteer position with the village.

But the 22-year-old didn’t depart without first padding his resume by winning another Canadian men’s crown at the National Scott Firefit Championships in Kitchener late last month.

Van Reenen’s winning time of 1:13.63 was about a second and a half slower than the world record he set earlier this summer at a regional event in Ingersoll, a result he said was due to wet weather at the national event.

His time was virtually the same as his winning time for the event in Quebec last year.

He also successfully defended his Canadian volunteer firefighter title with a 17 second victory over his nearest rival from Nova Scotia.

“They call it the hardest two minute in sports,” said the Sarnia Christian School and St. Clair Secondary School grad.

“You put all the bunker gear and firefighter equipment on and then try doing all that breathing through a straw,” he explained. “The lack of air definitely adds to the challenge.”

He hopes to defend his title next year as a member of his new department.

Oakville finished fifth in the 27-team field this year.

Van Reenen, a graduate of the Fire Science Technology program at Lambton College, was also a co-coach with Sue Patrick of the college team that also competed at the recent national event.

“It was another great year for Lambton College,” he said.

Among the highlights for the Lions, Jordan Lee finished second in the Rookie category only one-tenth of a second behind the winner from B.C., while Zach Munoz, Jared Adams, Jordan Cuthbertson and Kyle Couture all cracked the top 25.

Lee and Munoz also combined to finish fourth in the men’s relay event.

On the women’s side, Vanessa Maciukiewicz, Courtney Surridge, Sarah Goodman and Rachel Hunchak all finished in the top 20.






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