Young athletes from Surrey and White Rock returned home from the BC Summer Games late last month with plenty of medals to show for their efforts, as they helped their Fraser River (Zone 4) team place fourth overall at the Prince George-hosted event.
The event, which was held July 21-24, saw thousands of athletes from across the province compete in a wide variety of sports, from swimming and sailing to wrestling, basketball, soccer, track and field and more.
In track and field competitions, Surrey athletes to land on the podium included Christian Aghedo, who won bronze in the boys 100-m; Justin Smyth, who won silver in high jump; Thomas Wirtz, who won silver in triple jump and bronze in long jump; Ethan Moran, who scored a gold medal in triple jump and silver in 100-m hurdles; Talia Phangura, who won two golds – in shot put and discus – as well as bronze in hammer throw; and Gurleen Mander, who won a pair of silvers – in shot put and discus – as well as gold in hammer throw.
Randeep Dosanjh won bronze in girls discus; Chun-Hong Lee earned a bronze medal in boys pentathlon; Mbunya Tateh won silver in girls pentathlon; and in the Special Olympics division, Zack Thibeault won a slew of gold medals – in 100-, 200-, 400- and 800-m, while also winning silver in long jump. As well, Hillary Birkett won gold in the 800-m, silver in shot put and bronze in long jump, as well as the 100-, 200- and 400-m races.
In the BC Games’ equestrian competition, Ella Ficociello won two medals – bronze in dressage and silver in eventing (overall).
Surrey athletes also dominated in wrestling, with more than dozen locals landing on the podium in a variety of weight classes. Gold medals went to Karanjot Dhillon (boys, 45 kg), Mustafa Nasir (boys, 57 kg), Mostafa Addo (boys, 60 kg), Jasleen Singh (girls, 47 kg), Tanranpreet Dhillon (girls, 51 kg), Natalie Wojciechowski (girls, 60 kg) and Jastej Mundi (boys, 84 kg).
Other medallists included Ekamjyot Mann (silver, boys 51 kg), Xyon Fleary (bronze, boys 60 kg), Harjot Shergill (silver, boys 70 kg), Justin Lalli (silver, boys 78 kg), Exodus Chimanuka (bronze, boys 78 kg), Manpreet Kang (bronze, boys 90 kg) and Armaan Bath (bronze, boys 110 kg).
In the pool, Raneem Hefeeda won gold in girls 100-m backstroke and bronze in 50-m back; Rebecca Soroke won two golds – in 100-m individual medley and 50-m butterfly; Jeffrey Chen won silver in boys 50-m backstroke; Molly Zhang was first in girls 50-m back; and Neil Zhou won silver in boys 50-m freestyle.
In the Special Olympics swim competitions, Katie Johnson won silver in the 50-m breaststroke and bronze in four events – 50 free, 50 back, 100 free and 50 butterfly. White Rock’s Jennifer Utendale also made it onto the podium, winning bronze in the 50-m breaststroke.
Surrey and White Rock athletes were also part of teams that won a handful of medals at the Games – in swim relays, basketball – where both the boys and girls teams won silver – boys box lacrosse, girls softball and soccer and both boys and girls volleyball, among others.