Athletes from the Fraser River zone carry the team's banner during opening ceremonies of the BC Winter Games last week in Penticton.

Athletes top podium at Winter Games

Surrey, Cloverdale and White Rock gymnasts, archers, divers among medallists

Young athletes from across Surrey and White Rock found themselves atop podiums in Penticton last week, after a successful run at the BC Winter Games.

Local athletes were part of either the Fraser Valley (Zone 3) or Fraser River (Zone 4) teams at the event, which ran Feb. 25-28. The Fraser River zone took the overall team title with a combined 107 medals – including 42 gold – while the Fraser Valley zone placed fourth overall, with 86 medals, 34 of which were gold.

Among the medal-winners were Howard Hu, a South Surrey resident who won a pair of medals in karate. Hu won gold in boys intermediate kumite (44-55 kg division), and also added a bronze medal, in intermediate kata.

Surrey’s Jordan Treivish also won a bronze medal in karate, in the boys kumite (44-55 kg) competition.

In the pool, South Surrey diver Taylor Pai won a silver medal on the one-metre board, in the girls’ Group C competition, and narrowly missed another spot on the podium, finishing fourth on the three-metre board. Another South Surrey diver, Jacob Dias, also finished fourth, in the boys three-metre competition.

On the ice, Surrey figure skater Jennifer Utendale won a gold medal in the Special Olympics’ women’s level 2 event, while White Rock skater Krista Milne won bronze in the Special Olympics’ level 3 division.

Also on the podium was Cloverdale’s Faith Benko, 11, who won a silver medal in the juvenile women’s category. Had she landed her final jump, she may have won gold.

“I would have liked to land my last jump, except it wasn’t my day to land it,” she said, adding that it didn’t put a damper on the experience.

“I’d love to do it again. It was a lot of fun.”

On the speed-skating oval, Surrey’s Scott Coons won silver in the 2,000-m boys under-14 points race, and bronze in the 400-m.

Surrey athletes also fared extremely well in gymnastics, taking home a slew of medals in a variety of events.

Kennedy Duke, competing in the female level 8 division, had a big weekend, winning gold in the vault, and silver on balance beam en route to a silver all-around medal.

Amelia Van Andel also won gold on the uneven bars in the same division.

Brady Reeleder, in male level 3, won gold on the pommel horse and silver on the parallel bars to finish second in the all-around competition.

Lowri Robinson, in the female level 7 class, won silver in the vault, while Alexa Slipec nabbed a silver medal in the female level 8 balance beam.

In archery, Surrey sharpshooter Elissa Foley won a pair of gold medals, to round out the city’s medal haul.

In addition to individual medals, Surrey and White Rock athletes were part of a number of medal-wining teams. In badminton, the Fraser River zone won gold in mixed and boys doubles and silver in girls doubles; gold in boys curling; bronze in girls curling – Fraser Valley won gold in the same event – gold in girls team gymnastics, and silver in boys team competition.

For more on the Games, including full lists of participants and results, visit www.bcgames.org

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