Abbotsford athletes medal in PanAm water polo

Martel, Aikema and Utas excel in Jamaica at Youth Pan American Games

A trio of Abbotsford water polo stars are back from Jamaica with some hardware.

Athletes Eric Martel, Emily Aikema and Brianna Utas all medalled at the Youth Pan American water polo championships in Jamaica, which wrapped up on Sept. 12.

Martel won bronze on the Team Canada boys team and potted 14 goals over the tournament that ran for eight days. The boys team lost in the semi-final to Brazil but then bounced back to defeat Puerto Rico 14-10 to finish third. The win also earns the team a spot at the world championships next year.

Aikema and Utas, both playing on the Team Canada girls team, earned silver at the tournament, and Aikema scored 12 goals. Utas manned the defensive end of the pool and helped shut down the opposition.

The girls team lost 25-6 to the United States early in the tournament and then the two teams eventually squared off again in the final. Canada put up much more of a fight in the second match, pulling to within one goal with one minute to go, but the Americans scored late to win 8-6. The girls earned silver medals in the loss and also a spot at the world championships next year.

The trio of athletes hope to secure a spot on the world championships teams, but in the meantime return to local pools with the Fraser Valley Water Polo Club. Martel hits the water with the Valley U19 men’s team coached by 2008 Olympian Kevin Mitchell as they seek a national championship in May.

Utas joins Aikema on the Valley U19, after winning a national championship with the Valley U16 team last year. Justin Mitchell, named most valuable coach at the national championships last year, returns as head coach for 2015-16.

For more information on the club, visit fraservalleywaterpolo.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford man wins $1 million in Lotto 6/49 draw

Kenneth Giffen wins prize after deciding to stop in Agassiz gas station after fishing trip

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Missing Richmond man last seen in Chilliwack

Shawn Johnson last seen on June 30 on Main Street

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Eagle Landing

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read