Tyrell Mara throws the discus during a training session. The South Surrey native finished third at nationals last weekend in Ottawa. (Mark Halliday/Moonrider Productions photo)

South Surrey trio win medals at Canadian Track and Field Championships

Porpaczy, Della Siega, Mara all return home from Ottawa with medals

A trio of Semiahmoo Peninsula athletes found themselves on the podium at Canadian Track and Field Championships last week in Ottawa.

At the under-20 level, South Surrey’s Alexa Porpaczy – a multiple gold-medal winner at high-school provincials – won gold in women’s high jump for the second consecutive year, clearing the bar at 1.77 metres.

Porpaczy will now take aim at a podium finish at Youth Commonwealth Games, set for the Bahamas later this month.

Porpaczy’s performance wasn’t the only high-jump medal to make its way back home in the luggage of a South Surrey athlete, as UBC’s Joel Della Siega – a graduate of Elgin Park Secondary – won bronze in the men’s under-20 division.

Della Siega, an Ocean Athletics Track Club member who won the national U20 title outright in 2016, actually finished in a four-way tie for first place Saturday, but ended up being slotted into third spot due to tiebreaker criteria.

Another Surrey athlete, Queen Elizabeth Secondary’s Jasneet Nijjar, narrowly missed a podium spot in the under-20 women’s 200-m. The B.C. high school champ – one of the youngest competitors in the field, considering she just finished Grade 10 – clocked a time of 23.83 seconds, which was just one one-hundredth of a second back of the bronze-medal runner.

At the senior level, former White Rock Christian Academy basketball star and discus thrower Tyrell Mara – who played four years of NCAA basketball at Portland State University – took further steps to his ultimate goal of making the Canadian Olympic team for 2020 after a third-place finish in senior men’s discus.

His basketball career now over, Mara, who now lives in Langley, returned to track-and-field in 2015 with an eye towards qualifying for the national Olympic team.

In Ottawa, Mara – who in a blog post Monday referred to himself in jest as a “random thrower no one had ever seen” – reached a new personal best on his first throw of the day at 53.10 m.

“As I let the first throw go, I knew it was a good one,” he wrote.

It was only the second time he’d ever thrown further than 52 metres, he continued.

One other Semiahmoo Peninsula athlete, Simon Fraser University’s Valda Kabia, competed in the senior competition at nationals. The sprinter – who like Della Siega is a member of Ocean Athletics – finished 15th in women’s 100-m prelims, and 18th in the 200-m.

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


Jasneet Nijjar on the podium at BC High School Championships earlier this year. The Queen Elizabeth Secondary student narrowly missed a bronze-medal at nationals last week. (BC High School Track and Field Commission photo)

Just Posted

A surveillance camera in a photo posted to the Project Iris page on surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Quality surveillance video helps catch crooks, Surrey Mounties say

Charges laid in connection to break-and-enter in Guildford area

This year’s annual Lighted Boat Parade has been cancelled. (File photo)
White Rock’s annual Lighted Boat Parade cancelled

COVID-19 cited as main reason for cancellation of popular winter tradition

Signage outside of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in South Surrey advises of the drive-thru schedule. (Contributed photo)
Cold-weather clothing donations sought at South Surrey drive-thru effort

Weekly collection continues in Mount Olive Lutheran Church parking lot

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

IHIT has been called to a home on Nelson Court in Maple Ridge on Thurs. Oct. 29, 2020 (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Homicide team investigating at Maple Ridge home

Investigators were called to home on Nelson Court

Most Read