Sports reporter Ben Lypka has been on the sidelines for every major sporting event in Mission over the past 12 months.
Here are his top three stories in local sports for 2018.
Mission’s Bryce MacKenzie finished an incredible high school track and field career in style in 2018.
He dominated his age group in jumping events for years, and made sure his final year was more of the same at the B.C. track and field championships in June.
MacKenzie won gold in both the senior boys triple jump and high jump, and also took home silver in the long jump.
He repeated as champion in the high jump, equaling his 2017 mark of 2.05 metres. He was the only competitor at the event to jump over two metres.
MacKenzie also dominated the triple jump, leaping a distance of 13.19. The next closest jumper reached 12.90m.
He then narrowly missed a third gold medal after finishing just .03m behind the winner in the long jump.
This year also proved to be a record-breaking one for MacKenzie, who set a provincial record for senior boys long jump and high jump in May at the Fraser Valley track and field championships.
MacKenzie also made headlines in 2017, winning senior boys gold in the high jump and silvers in the triple jump and long jump as a Grade 11 athlete.
His track success first made the pages of the Mission Record back in 2014, when he won gold in the triple jump and silver in the high jump as a Grade 8 athlete at that year’s provincials. Later that summer he also won bronze at the B.C. Summer Games.
The accolades he earned on the track caught the attention of several universities, and MacKenzie accepted a scholarship to compete as a member of the University of Alberta Golden Bears
FUEL UFV TO GREATNESS
Mission siblings Taylor and Kyle Claggett continued to impress on the court and the fairways in 2018, and helped lead the UFV Cascades women’s basketball and men’s golf teams to stellar years.
Taylor had a breakout basketball season in 2017-18, and is emerging as one of the best players in the Canada West conference in 2018-19.
She helped the Cascades to a playoff appearance last season, and this season has been a major factor in the team’s 7-5 record and sixth place overall standing in the conference.
Taylor is averaging 19.8 points per game (third in the Canada West) and 8.3 rebounds per game, and is a double-double threat in every game. She has also had a remarkable ability to get to the free throw line – with the most attempts in the conference at 121.
She also set a new Canada West record for most free throw attempts and most free throws made in one game with 22 made on 36 attempts against the University of Alberta on Nov. 9.
Kyle helped the UFV men’s golf program dominate at the Canadian University/College Championships in March, as the men won the team title for the first time ever. He finished a solid 11th overall at the event, which occurred in Chilliwack.
His success continued in the fall at the Pacwest championships in Nanaimo. Kyle earned the silver medal in the individual competition, and was also a key part in the UFV team’s repeat as champions at the October event.
Later that month, he helped the Cascades pick up a bronze at the CCAA championships.
MISSION MINOR HOCKEY
One year after being awarded the BC Hockey Association of the Year, the Mission Minor Hockey Association continued the momentum with three local teams earning provincial medals.
The Mission Stars Bantam A1s repeated as Tier 3 provincial champions with a dramatic 2-1 win over the host team from Nelson on March 21 in the provincial final.
The Mission Stars Midget A1s also had a strong showing at their Tier 3 provincials, but came up short to earn silver. They fell 3-1 to Powell River in West Vancouver on March 21.
And the Mission Stars Midget A2s earned provincial bronze with a 4-0 win over Vanderhoof in Houston on March 21.
In other local hockey news, it was a rough 2018 for the Mission City Outlaws, as they failed to make the playoffs in 2017-18 and appear to be on pace to miss again in 2018-19.