Langley athletes ran, jumped, swam and battled their way to greatness at the 2016 BC Summer Games from July 21 to 24.
Locals competed on the Fraser Valley zone team, which finished second overall behind Vancouver Island-Central Coast in the medal standings with 144 pieces of hardware.
Fraser Valley athletes encompassed the cities of Abbotsford, Langley, Mission, Maple Ridge and Chilliwack.
Langley athletes excelled in team sports as well as individual sport, several taking home gold in various track and field events. Langley athletes contributed to 53 golds, 53 bronze and 37 bronze for Fraser Valley.
Langley leaped and sprinted onto the podium in track and field. Eniko Sara came within a centimetre of accomplishing both her goals.
But while she didn’t set a new personal best – she did tie her previous best – Sara accomplished her other goal, capturing the gold medal. The 14-year-old from Langley was competing in the girls high jump on Friday morning at Rotary Stadium, the opening day of the BC Summer Games in Abbotsford.
“I was so happy to win the gold – that was my goal coming in,” she enthused.
The victory meant all of her training had paid off.
As for the atmosphere and experience of the Games, Sara said it was what she expected.
“It was just so much fun competing, with everyone watching and cheering us on.”
Ian Vandergugten did Langley proud.
The 15-year-old took the gold in the 100-metre hurdles on Saturday.
His time was 13.99, over Noah Russell of West Kelowna (14.64) and Nanoose Bay’s Shane Stewart (15.37).
It was a productive first day at the BC Summer Games for Vandergugten.
Vandergugten advanced from the 100m preliminaries to that afternoon’s final.
And he took top spot in the final heat, crossing the line in 12.05, ahead of Coquitlam’s Jaden Severy (12.19) and Richmond’s Hiroki Sato (12.22).
But rather than bask in the glory of his victory, he was quickly moving across the track at Abbotsford’s Rotary Stadium to the long jump pit, where he secured the silver medal.
“It was pretty awesome,” Vandergugten said about winning the 100m title.
The time was not his best as there were some pretty strong head winds the racers dealt with.
The 15-year-old from Langley admitted to some nerves.
“There is a lot of competition here,” he said, adding that the opening ceremonies the night before were still in his head.
“It has been a great experience so far.”
As for the silver medal, Vandergugten said he was happy to find the podium, especially since his jump of 5.82m wasn’t near his personal best.
Langley’s Brooke Musche took gold in the girls 800m with a time of 2:16:44 and third in the 300m with a time of 41:04.
Langley athletes contributed to medal wins in team sport too.
The temporary beach set-up at Mill Lake Park proved to be the perfect venue for local athletes, as both the Fraser Valley boys and girls beach volleyball teams earned gold.
The girls team, comprised of MEI students Ashley Huberts and Karissa Marazzi, dominated the tournament with an undefeated record and beat the VICC duo of Madison McDonald and Olivia Godek by scores of 21-17 and 21-9 on Sunday to win it all.
Huberts and Marazzi have been playing together since Grade 7 and the pair said this ranks high on their list of achievements. They play for Langley’s Airborne volleyball club when high school volleyball is finished.
The boys beach volleyball side was more of the same for the Fraser Valley, as Abbotsford’s Colton Loewen teamed up with Langley’s Brodie Hofer to win gold.
Like the girls, the boys cruised through the tournament without a loss, and won gold by beating the Fraser River duo of Matthew Armstrong and Jakob Toews (21-15 and 21-16).
“It felt good and it’s pretty rewarding to win,” Loewen said. “We haven’t really played much together and we were kind of figuring each other out the whole tournament.”
The good vibes on the indoor volleyball court continued for the Fraser Valley team at UFV, as the boys team also took home gold.
Fraser Valley took down VICC in two sets (25-19 and 25-21) on Sunday to earn the top spot.
Langley players on the team included: Brandon Hsu, Jeremy Goh, Caleb Kastelein and Joshua Rabie. Coached by Jason Warkentin.
Medal wins continued on the indoor volleyball court for Fraser Valley, as the girls team took home bronze. Fraser Valley defeated Vancouver Coastal in the bronze medal game to take home the hardware. Langley’s Grace McGillivray, Brenna Connolly and Robin Marriott were on the bronze winning team.
Fraser Valley also won big on the soccer pitch, as the girls team had a clean sheet the entire tournament to win gold. They clinched gold with a 2-0 win over VICC at the MRC fields on Sunday.
Langley players who contributed to the win were Abigail Berg, Chantel De Lange, Kaylun McLeod and Kailey Rankin.
The Fraser Valley equestrian team took silver overall in their competition with Langley’s Ashley McKissock, Layla Robson, Caroline Jeanneret and Natasha and Angelie Holzer on the team.
Holzer shined in dressage, taking gold in event 1, 2 and 3.
Fraser Valley girls finished with silver in softball, falling in the gold medal game to Vancouver Island. Breianna Jones, Mikayla Whelband and Kate Dolinski helped win silver.
Over on the Bedford Channel in Fort Langley, Langley’s Kayden Bousfield took home a silver medal in the rowing M1X 1500m race with a time of 3:21:84.
Several Langley girls helped the Fraser Valley rugby team win it all.
For complete results from the games including many more Langley athletes and their standings, visit bcgames.org.
— By Monique Tamminga and Gary Ahuja (Langley Times), and Ben Lypka and Eric Walsh (Black Press).