Prince George Sports Hall of Fame



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Jadyn Arnett.jpg

Jadyn Arnett (2016)

Five Pin Bowling

Jadyn Arnett isn't even a teenager yet and she's already a national champion.

Arnett is a five-pin bowler from Prince George's Black Diamond Lanes. In May of 2015, at the age of 11, she rolled to a Canadian singles title in the bantam age group. In a match-play format, Arnett won 17 of her 21 games and posted the tournament's highest scoring average, 178.23. Her best individual game at nationals, which were held in Toronto, was a 265 on the second day of the three-day event.

Arnett also advanced to the Canadian finals in 2014 as part of a Black Diamond bantam girls team.

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Hannah Esopenko (2016)


Hannah Esopenko found gold in the national pool. Silver and bronze, too.

Esopenko, a member of the Prince George Barracudas swim club, powered to the three medals at the 2015 Canadian Age Group Championships in Quebec City. She was golden in the 50-metre breaststroke (time of 33.17 seconds), won silver in the 100m breaststroke and took bronze in the 200m breaststroke. Esopenko went into the meet as the top-ranked 15-and-under swimmer in the 100m and 200m distances and was ranked second in the 50m category. At the same nationals, she placed fourth in the 400m individual medley and fifth in the 200 IM.

Later in the 2015 season, Esopenko competed in the senior national championships for the first time in her career.


Tristina Howse (2016)


In her first-ever appearance at the Canadian cadet wrestling championships, Tristina Howse fought to a spot on the podium.

At nationals, held last April in Fredericton, N.B., Howse battled to a silver medal in the 80-kilogram class. Even though she normally competes at 75kg, she pinned Ashley Gravelle of Ontario in her first match, a result that moved her directly into the final. In the bout for gold, Howse lost to Vancouver's Serena Woldring, who was the reigning B.C. champion at 80kg.

Prior to nationals, Howse grappled to a gold medal at the north central zone high school championships and was named outstanding female wrestler in the north. As a 16-year-old representing Prince George secondary school, she went on to finish fourth at the high school provincial championship tournament.

Howse was also a silver medalist at the 2015 B.C. Summer Games.

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Meryeta O’Dine (2016)


Meryeta O'Dine is riding her snowboard to international success.

In the sport of snowboard cross, O'Dine has ascended to the World Cup level. In late February, she competed at a World Cup race in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and zipped to a sixth-place finish. The meet was a test event for the 2018 Winter Olympics and O'Dine's result was her best World Cup finish to that point in her career.

Earlier in the season, O'Dine claimed a pair of gold medals at North American Cup races on her home slopes of Tabor Mountain.

During the 2015 Canada Winter Games, in which snowboarding was also held at Tabor, O'Dine was golden in women's snowboard cross. She was 18 at the time and beat 21-year-old Tayler Wilton of Ontario in the final.

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Lavanna Laass (2016)


Lavanna Laass is one powerful presence on a judo mat.

Laass, who developed her skills at the Hart Judo Academy under the instruction of Prince George Sports Hall of Fame member Bruce Kamstra, is one of the top young judokas in the country. This season, at the age of 18, she won silver and bronze medals at the Quebec Open in Montreal – silver in the U-21 under-63-kilogram class and bronze in senior women's category.

In 2015, Laass was part of Team B.C. for the Canada Winter Games and, with a home crowd cheering her on, battled to a silver medal in the 63kg division. She also secured silver at the 2014 junior/youth national championships.

Laass is now living and training in Lethbridge but found time to attend competitions in Portland, Germany and Scotland in March.

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Brogan O'Brien (2016)


Brogan O'Brien is working on a future in the National Hockey League.

O'Brien, a centreman for the Prince George Cougars, is considered a prospect for the 2016 NHL draft, which will be held in Buffalo in June. He put himself on the radar of NHL scouts while playing with the junior A Prince George Spruce Kings last season and moved up to the Western Hockey League level with the Cougars this season.

As a first-year member of the Cats, O'Brien established himself as one of the team's top offensive threats. He finished the regular season with 18 goals and 56 points, a total that placed him fifth on the club. Within the WHL, O'Brien finished fourth in the rookie scoring race.

Ryan Gaiesky.jpg

Ryan Gaiesky (2016)

Track & Field

Ryan Gaiesky has some of the fleetest feet in Canada.

As a member of Team B.C. at the 2015 Royal Canadian Legion youth national track and field championships, he blitzed to a bronze medal in the 110-metre hurdles. At the same meet, Gaiesky also ran for Team B.C./Yukon in the Under-18 boys 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay and earned bronze medals in both races.

To qualify for nationals, Gaiesky was golden in the 400m hurdles at the 2015 B.C. Athletics Track Jamboree (time of 56.50 seconds) and took silver in 110m hurdles (14.97 seconds). Gaiesky trains with the Prince George Track and Field Club.

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Rylan Matters (2016)


Rylan Matters forces defenders to be at their absolute best.

Matters is one of the most promising young quarterbacks in Western Canada. With his strong and accurate arm, he has worked his way into the Canadian Junior Football League as a member of the Calgary Colts.

For Matters, high school ball was a stepping stone. When he was a Grade 11 player with the Duchess Park Condors, he was the top-rated quarterback in B.C.’s senior varsity double-A division and played for a provincial all-star team in a game against Alberta. In his Grade 12 year, Matters suited up in the 2015 Senior Bowl, an honour reserved for the elite players in B.C.


Jonah Brittons (2019)


In any sport, turning pro at 16 is rare. Motocross rider Jonah Brittons is among the select few who have accomplished the feat.

In the summer of 2017, Brittons broke onto the Rockstar Energy Drink professional circuit. At his first pro race in Kamloops, he placed 23rd overall in the 250cc class. Brittons adjusted to the new level quickly, however, and found himself with a trio of top-eight finishes in the first seven stops on the 10-race tour. At that point, he was 13th overall in the standings. He finished the year 35th overall after encountering some difficulties the rest of the way.

In 2018, Brittons proved he belonged with the best riders around when he finished 14th overall on the Rockstar loop.

In his final year as an amateur, Brittons claimed CMRC Eastern Canadian Championships in the MX1 and MX 3 intermediate classes in Deschambault, Que.


Ben Hendrickson (2019)

Five Pin Bowling

Set them up, and Ben Hendrickson will knock them down.

Hendrickson, a youth five-pin bowler from Nechako Lanes, is one of the best in Canada in his sport. When he was a first-year senior (ages 15 to 19) he rolled to the B.C. singles championship in the division and won the bronze medal at nationals in a roll-off against a six-time national medalist. Hendrickson, now 18, was back at provincials for senior boys singles in early March and finished third in a match-play format.

Hendrickson also represented B.C. in last season’s Canadian Youth Challenge Championship with partner Corbin Taylor. Hendrickson has been averaging 260 in his youth and adult leagues this season and has already broken 400 for a high-single game – not bad considering 450 is perfection.

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