Plenty of Surrey and White Rock athletes came home from Vancouver Island last weekend with bags loaded heavier than when they left, as a result of all the medals won over four days at the BC Summer Games.
In team competitions – ranging from track-and-field relays to soccer – local athletes did especially well. On the track, the Zone 4 (Fraser River) team, of which most Surrey and White Rock athletes were members of, won gold in both the girls 4×100-m and boys 4×400-m relays, while also scooping silver in the girls 4×400 and bronze in the boys 4×100.
Considering athletes in each zone came from different cities, it stands to reason that many athletes involved in team events had limited time to practice together. For example, Zone 4’s gold-medal winning boys 4×400 team – which included Surrey’s Owen Pinto and Nathan Chan, Cloverdale’s Praise Aniamaka and Burnaby’s Ryan Goudron – had not run together as a group until Friday at the Cowichan-hosted Games.
Prior to that they had trained with their individual clubs, but never together.
“No one made it difficult to work as a team and we all came prepared,” said Aniamaka. “No one was going to let each other down, we had each other’s back.”
Other teams to find its way to the podium included the Fraser River zone’s Special Olympic athletics team – which won gold in the mixed 4×100 relay and included Surrey’s Olivia Neuman, Thomas Rak, Lauren Simpson, Harrison Stuyt-Withnall and coach Deborah Carter – as well as the zone’s boys and girls soccer teams, both of which won silver medals.
The boys squad had a strong Surrey presence, and included Beckham Hatch and Thomas Stuart – both Semiahmoo Secondary students – as well as Armaan Bhullar, Yuvraj Bisla, Harb Chahal, Gabriel Cotolan, Saverino Filippelli, Roberto Garduno, Jujhar Gill and Lothario Lifanc Milfrise.
The team went undefeated until the championship game, which they lost 2-1 after a last-minute goal against.
The girls team included Surrey’s Sash Merk.
In girls rugby, Surrey’s Robyn Alexander, Katie Deslauries, Kierra Diggle, Nicolette Duchesne, Rachel Smith and Erin White, along with White Rock’s Sabine Sommer, led Zone 4 to a bronze medal.
Both Zone 4 five-on-five basketball teams also earned bronze medals, with the boys team including Semiahmoo Secondary’s Eli Djordjevic, Ryson Dalupang, Jomer Aldred Magitbay, Akash Narayan, Dominic Robles, Illijah Roque and Justin Ursua, while the girls squad included Kanani Coon, Danielle Cooper, Kaida Fujimura, Ella Judson, Tanisha Lal, Felisha Rivera, Maria Zhang and head coach Amy Beauchamp.
On the volleyball court, Zone 4’s boys team –which included Surrey’s Alek Bunculet, Kyden Dmitruk, Jordan Gazzola, Martin Jirava, Nathaneal Kang, Daniel Lafleur, Reese Rowland, Emmanuel Tran, Andrew Wilk, and White Rock’s Noah Halladay – won gold, as did the golf team, which included Bailey Bjornson, Jun Nam, Dylan Prasad and Hudson Squirell.
In boys beach volleyball, South Surrey’s Malachi McMullin – an Earl Marriott Secondary student and Seaside Volleyball Club member – won gold for the Fraser River, alongside his playing partner Martin Prinsloo.
Surrey field lacrosse players Ryan Baker, Benjamin Dos Santos and Jackson Fahlke, alongside assistant coach Matthew Sobey, also won gold at the Games, while canoe/kayak teams won three medals – two silver and one bronze. Zone 4’s canoe team included Surrey’s Landon McQuarrie, who also won two individual silvers.
There were plenty of individual medals doled out to local athletes, too. In track and field, Estella Mainela won bronze in both girls 100- and 200-m races; Pinto won silver in boys 300-m and 800-m; Emma Deboer won gold in girls high jump; Adam Pederson – who was also part of the bronze-medal winning boys 4×100 team along with Ajax Shen – won bronze in long jump, as well as 100- and 300-m hurdles; Laysha Tunti won gold in girls long jump and 80-m hurdles; Aniamaka was first in boys triple jump and 300-m hurdles, and third in 100-m hurdles; while Michael Ogbeiwi and Charanjit Nijjar were first and second, respectively, in boys shot put.
The latter pair also finished first and third, respectively, in discus. Ogbeiwi also won gold in hammer throw.
In the 1,500-m boys steeplechase, Cash Raymond won silver; Krysthina Vlahovic won silver in 300-m hurdles; Rak won gold in the Special Olympics’ 100- and 200-m races as well as long jump, and silver in the 400 and shot put; Neuman won gold in the Special Olympics’ girls 100-, 200- and 400-m and added silver in long jump; and Lauren Simpson also won Special Olympics bronze, in the girls long jump.
Competing for Zone 5 (Vancouver-Coastal) Delta’s Madelyn Bonikowsky – a member of South Surrey-based Ocean Athletics Track Club – won gold in the girls 1,200-m; silver in the 2,000-m and bronze in the 1,500-m steeplechase, while Jacob Bonikowsky won silver in the 1,200-m. They both added relay medals to their totals, as well.
Another Ocean Athletic member, Sophie Fernback, won gold in the pentathlon for Zone 5.
In equestrian competitions, Shannon Sutton won silver and bronze medals in dressage, and a handful of Surrey wrestlers also scored top finishes: Harjind Singh Grewal, Summit Mann, Karanpreet Gill and Kenna Wells-Flanders all won gold on the mat; Baltej Mundi, Hannah Dhillon and Karanveer Mahil won silver and Sahil Kang and Simran Khattra won bronze.
In the pool, Nicholas Huang won silver in boys 100-m breaststroke; Ryan De Ocampo was second in 100-m backstroke; and Viviana Li scored bronze in 200-m breast;
Overall, Fraser River finished second in team standings with 127 total medals, behind only the 145 won by the Vancouver Island-Central Coast team.
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