On Friday, Sport BC celebrated its best athletes, and Maple Ridge Ramblers wrestler Payten Smith was among them.
Her name was included alongside other B.C. Athletes of the Year, including Olympic speed skater Denny Morrison and Western Hockey League player of the year Sam Reinhart.
Smith was chosen as the female high school athlete of the year, for the 2013-2014 school year.
“This young wrestler’s success is a result of her unwavering determination and perseverance. Her tenacity in prevailing in the wrestling world is very well represented by her success in the 2013-2014 school year,” said the announcement from the organization that supports and promotes all sports.
Smith won the provincial champion title for senior girls wrestling for the fourth consecutive year. She also earned the title of National Champion of the girls’ juvenile freestyle wrestling and girls Greco-Roman wrestling.
Smith was dominant, considered one of the best athletes in Ramblers history, and among her many many impressive accomplishments were remaining undefeated for four-straight years, allowing no points to bbe scored against her from 2011-2014, and being the only BC girl to win gold at the Canada Summer Games.
With her success, she became the first Maple Ridge Secondary School female wrestler to receive a full-ride scholarship to Simon Fraser University for Varsity Wrestling.
She also enjoyed a good rookie season with the Clan. She went out with a bang, at the nationals last month, Smith was the surprise of the tournament, picking up a bronze medal in the consolation final of the 191-pound class. She pinned Jackie Williams of King University 1:24 into their match. Smith entered the tournament ranked 9th at 191-pounds and was coming off an ankle injury. Smith’s only loss at nationals came by a touch fall 14 seconds into her quarterfinal match against Williams but Smith avenged that loss in the bronze medal match.
Smith had a come-back victory to upset the No. 2 seed in the consolation semifinal to give herself a shot at bronze.
Smith won five matches in the tournament and finished 29-6 this season.