Cheema's Craig Spence and partner Alix Plomteux are crowned Pan Am Games gold medal winners. (CanoeKayak Canada photo)

SANTIAGO, Chile: An athlete from Cheema Aquatic club, plus two toher canoe/kayak athletes from the Fall River area are bringing home hardware from the Santaigo 2023 Pan Am Games.

Craig Spence of Dartmouth and partner Alix Plomteux; Michelle Russell of Fall River; and Ruley Melanson along with her K4 500 metre foursome all medaled on Friday.

Windsor Junction’s Sloan MacKenzie, also from Cheema, and partner Katie Vincent are scheduled to compete on Saturday in C2, 500-metres.

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(CanoeKayak Canada photo)

Spence and Plomtexu struck gold in the C2, 500-metre men’s competition.

It was the third gold medal for Team Canada on the water.

The two athletes event was a medal race right out of the gate.


Melanson, who is from Dartmouth and a former Cheema athlete, took silver with her foursome.

She teamed with Courtney Stott, Natalie Davison, Riley Melanson and Toshka Besharah-Hrebacka.

The team took silver in the K4, 500-metre race.

Michelle Russell. (Canoe Kayak Canada photo)

Meanwhile, Fall River’s Michelle Russell was in a zone on the water in Santiago.

The kayaker went on to grab gold medal in the K1, 500-metre race.

It’s an event she has had success in during the past, and her hard work shone through as she took the gold.

The medal capped off another big day, with Canada looking to add more hardware on Saturday, the final day of competition.