Skip to content

Southridge student athletes shine at sports provincials

South Surrey school wins big in soccer, golf, rugby, track and field

Southridge Secondary student athletes have been busy with more than academics lately, winning gold, silver and bronze medals at provincials in recent weeks.

Gold-medal winners were the senior girls soccer team, who brought home the 'A' provincial banner after finally "slaying the dragon" that was Kelowna's Immaculata Regional High School 1-0.

"We have lost to them in the final of this tournament four times in the last 10 years, with two of those seasons erased due to COVID," said soccer coach Erin-Marie Alhayek, who praised their play throughout the whole season.

"(Everyone was) elated! Relieved. And extremely happy. Our team defence was excellent all tournament. The team peaked at the right time and played for each other with no selfish motives."

They also had zero goals scored against them the entire tournament, she noted, and added Grade 11 student Katie Scarth was named Super 16 player of the tournament (one player from each team was chosen), and Nadia Anderson, the team's goalkeeper and graduating senior, was chosen as the goalkeeper of the tournament.

"Every player literally played their best soccer of the season at the right time of year. What a way to go out for our five graduating seniors!"

Track and field athletes also brought home the provincial 'AA' banner after winning the championship in Nanaimo June 8, a week after student athlete Ava Eichhorst competing in the Heptathlon, which involves competing in seven different events over two long days — and won third place.

At the provincial championships, Southridge was represented by senior girls Eichhorst, Rachel McDonald and Catie McDonald, and our junior athlete Meghan McDonald. On Thursday, Eichorst scored points by placing seventh in javelin, while the other athletes advanced in heats to finals.

Catie McDonald scored points by finishing the gruelling 2000m steeplechase in fifth place, while Eichorst scored more points for the team in the highly technical 100m hurdles by placing sixth. Following that, Rachel McDonald racked up more points by snagging a silver medal in the 1500m finals. All three of the McDonalds ran the 3000m in brutally hot temperatures, with Rachel McDonald once again, taking a second-place silver medal. Athletes also came in fifth in the 4x400 relay.

"Then the real tension began! We knew the team did well, and by our own calculations — we figured we had scored 35 team points, but we were not sure if it was enough," said track and field coach Gary Loosemore, who coaches the team with Heather Rolufs. 

Athletes' excitement grew as winners were announced, as the team realized they were the winners.

"There was a whole lot of jumping up and down, screaming, hugging and high-fiving going on... We never really did hear the announcement that Southridge had won the championship banner."

The win also cemented the team's legacy as the first Southridge track team to win two banners in one year — one for the South Fraser championship and one for the provincial championship.

Southridge's golf team, defending provincial champions after winning last year, brought home the silver for the South Surrey school.

After losing two players — one who graduated and is playing golf at Harvard, and team captain Harvey Liu, who was playing at an American Junior Golf Association tournament in the U.S. — Eason Liu, a Grade 8 student finished second overall among male golfers for the entire tournament.

Grade 10 athlete Mandy Wang shot a team-best +14 over two days and was second overall among female golfers for the tournament. 

"Although being a much younger team, they persevered on a challenging course and faced tough weather conditions," said golf coach Braeden Pistawka.  

"The team shot 26 strokes better than their first round, showing resilience and grit. Unfortunately, York House had a substantial lead after the first day and we couldn't quite make up the difference."

A second-place finish is still "a huge accomplishment," he said. "We look forward to competing for the provincial championship again next year."

After winning the South Fraser Championships, Southridge's male rugby sevens team placed fourth in the BC School Sports provincial tournament, which was held in Abbotsford, where a 15s tournament was also being held.

Seeded 10th out of 16th teams across the province, the sevens squad went 2-1 in round-robin play, beating St. Thomas More and Charles Bloom secondaries, and losing to West Vancouver Secondary.

"We came second in our pool, so we moved to the championship bracket on the second day," rugby coach Travis Smid said.

"Our first game was against Belmont Secondary, which was seeded number three in the tournament. We beat them 19 to 12," he continued.

While the win put the team into the winner's side of the bracket, they lost their last two games, putting them in fourth place. 


Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
Read more