Brianna Utas

Local water polo athletes named to Team Canada squads

Three Abbotsford athletes are in Jamaica for the Youth Pan American Championships.

Three Abbotsford water polo players — Eric Martel, Brianna Utas and Emily Aikema — have been selected to represent Canada at the Youth Pan American Championships, which started yesterday, Aug. 25, in Kingston, Jamaica.

A top-five finish at the championships in Jamaica would qualify Team Canada for the 2016 World Youth Water Polo championships, which will be hosted in New Zealand for the women and Montenegro for the men.

All three athletes are members of the Fraser Valley Water Polo Club coached by Justin Mitchell and his brother Kevin, who represented Canada at the 2008 Bejing Olympics.

The trio from Abbotsford were selected by national team coaches at the conclusion of the National Championship League season, during which they were among the leading scorers in the Canada-wide league.

Martel and Aikema, both 17, will be starting their senior year of high school this September. Aikema attends W.J. Mouat while Martel and Utas, 15, are students at Yale Secondary School.

Martel, who was selected for the U18 Canadian water polo team, plays the centre forward position – a physical role which requires size, skill and a degree of wrestling ability.

Utas, who along with Aikema, will be competing with the U17 national women’s team, is a two-metre guard responsible for checking the opposition centres and co-ordinating offensive attacks.

Earlier this year, Utas captained the U16 Fraser Valley Water Polo Club team that won the 2015 National Championship League and was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Aikema is a utility player with versatile speed that offers her the ability to play in all positions.

Just Posted

Abbotsford Pilots continue up-and-down season

PJHL club wins in Langley, shutout on home ice by Mission

Abbots-FORD or Abbits-FERD?

Meme sparks debate over proper pronunciation of city’s name

Abbotsford Centre records busiest fall on record

Venue sees more than 48,000 guests and four sellouts from Sept. 14 to Nov. 3

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

UFV Theatre and School of Creative Arts present ART

Production opens Thursday, Nov. 14 at Abbotsford campus

VIDEO: Disney Plus gives Canadians a streaming platform that nearly matches U.S. version

The Walt Disney Company’s new subscription platform unveiled a comprehensive offering of nearly 500 films

What happens if Metro Vancouver bus drivers start a ‘good work’ strike?

Unifor has said they could get ‘creative’ with fare collection if transit strike drags on

Maple Ridge’s anti-panhandling bylaw gets final OK

Council votes 6-1 to ban aggressive begging

Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

‘Wait and see’ approach common practice for 32% of B.C. motorists

Autism support dog refused bus access for being a ‘pet’

B.C. grandmother files complaint with TransLink, calls for better awareness of service dogs

Students plan rally at B.C. education minister’s office as district strike enters third week

Saanich School District students plan to rally outside Rob Fleming’s constituency office in Victoria

73% of B.C. residents agree with a temporary ban on vaping products: poll

54% say they would not date someone who vapes, Research Co. poll suggests

Sex assault charge stayed against Port Moody mayor

Rob Vagramov appeared in provincial court in Port Coquitlam

B.C.’s 13-cent gasoline gap still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Most Read