Kristen Yawney is all business when she's on a judo mat. Just ask anyone who has tried to beat her.
Yawney, a member of the Prince George Judo Club, battled to a gold medal at the junior national championships in 2010 and followed that up with silvers in 2011 and 2012. An injury kept her away from nationals in 2013 but she's now back in form, as evidenced by her first-place finish at the Saskatchewan Open in January.
Yawney, now 16, has been involved in judo since the age of six.
Haley Black, Team Canada.
Black, who trains with the Prince George Barracudas, is the first member of the local swim club to make the junior national team. She recently represented her country at the Victorian Open championships in Australia and won the B final in the 200-metre backstroke. Black, 17, also made the A finals in the 50m backstroke and 200m butterfly and finished sixth in both those races. She's in her final year at Duchess Park secondary and has signed a scholarship agreement with Northern Kentucky University.
During her high school basketball career, Kayla Gordon was the heart and soul of the Cedars Christian Eagles. As a physically-dominant forward, she led the Eagles to three consecutive silver-medal finishes at the senior girls single-A provincials.
Outside of high school, Gordon played for Team B.C. at the Under-17 women's nationals in 2012. B.C. won bronze at the tournament and Gordon – who averaged 12 points and four rebounds per game – was chosen as an all-star. She's now playing on scholarship at Trinity Western University.
There's no slowing down Carolina Hiller.
Hiller, a member of the Prince George Blizzard speed skating club, has qualified for the junior national short track championships in each of the past two years. In her first year, in Toronto, she was a 15-year-old competing against mostly 17- to 19-year-olds and still zipped to a handful of top-30 finishes. Hiller attended her second nationals in January of 2014 in Montreal. She was one of only four B.C. skaters to make the trip.
Emily Dickson is part of Canada's next wave of top-level biathlates.
Dickson, who represents the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, wore Team Canada colours at the 2013 youth/junior world championships in Austria. At worlds, her best finish was 54th. Last month, she was in Prince Edward Island for the 2014 world trials and earned a spot on the national team once again.
At the time of this writing, Dickson was preparing for worlds in Maine.
Five-pin bowlers Lezzyl Aquino, Paige Meise, Megan Reimer and Kassidy Johnson were on target for provincial and national titles in 2013.
The Black Diamond Lanes foursome rolled to B.C. and Canadian gold in the junior girls division. At provincials, they posted a four-game score of 3,187, well in front of the second-place team from Port Coquitlam (2,943). Then, at nationals – held in the Lower Mainland – Aquino and company played a total of 21 games and beat Quebec for top spot. The Black Diamond girls won 16 of their matches and had an average team score of 810.29. Quebec won 14 games and averaged 757.71.
Laing, a point guard who recently finished his Grade 12 season with the PGSS Polars, is one of the top young players in B.C. At last year's quad-A high school provincial championship, he scored 45 points in a single game. For the tournament, he piled up 130 points in four games, an average of 32.5 per contest. Earlier in the season, he led the Polars to the city championship title.
Laing's skills and his love for basketball earned him a spot on the Under-17 provincial team in the summer of 2015.
Post-secondary basketball is next for Laing, who will run the hardwood with his hometown UNBC Timberwolves next season.
After years of development with the Prince George Barracudas swim club, Binnema made the Canadian junior national team in April of 2015. Then, at the FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore, he set a Canadian age-group record in the 100-metre butterfly with a time of 53.86 seconds. He beat the old record of 53.92 seconds, and, in the process, placed 11th out of 80 swimmers.
Closer to home, Binnema is a member of the University of Alberta Golden Bears swim team. As a first-year member of the team in 2015, he helped the Golden Bears to national gold in the 4x100-metre medley relay. With Binnema swimming the butterfly leg, the Bears upset the heavily-favoured UBC Thunderbirds.
Bichon, an elite-calibre snowboarder, represented Canada at the 2016 World Youth Olympics in Norway and finished just off the medal podium in two events. The 17-year-old – who was an alternate this season for World Cup events in Austria, Italy and Germany – placed fourth in individual snowboard cross and then duplicated that result in a mixed-nationality team competition.
In 2015, Bichon was part of Team B.C. for the Canada Winter Games, which were held in Prince George. At the Games, he raced to gold even though he was one of the youngest athletes in the field. Leading up to the Canada Winter Games, Bichon made the national team for the 2015 FIS World Junior Championships in China.