Mariah Whitfield will be in dead heat next year with some of North America's best women's field lacrosse players.
The Port Coquitlam product has built up an impressive résumé that recently earned her a commitment to the University of Indianapolis starting in the 2024 season.
The Greyhounds of the reigning national women's field lacrosse champions of NCAA Div. II — the second highest level of collegiate athletics on the continent.
Whitfield's passion and commitment, through Port Coquitlam minor league and provincial competition, led to breaking a glass ceiling for the sport.
In August 2022, the Terry Fox Secondary Grade 12 student was an alternate captain for Team BC for female box lacrosse's Canada Summer Games debut.
She combined for three goals and one assist in six games at the national tournament, claiming a silver medal alongside four other Tri-Cities athletes on the roster.
"My personal role models are all the female lacrosse athletes from B.C. who have gone away to universities on lacrosse scholarships and have gone to many places for lacrosse," Whitfield said in her Canada Summer Games profile.
"My main role model other then the ones I grew up watching in my province would probably be Charlotte North as she is an amazing lacrosse player."
Prior to the Canada Games, Whitfield aided in the Port Coquitlam Saints' first provincial junior female box lacrosse title in four years.
The 17-year-old, listed as an attack, defender and midfielder, has represented B.C. on a number of other occasions in places like Arizona and Texas.
She was also part of the province's 2019 national championship team in Lacrosse Canada's female bantam division, leading the blue and gold to a 7-1 record in Coquitlam.
"We are all so proud of her for committing to a scholarship to play in the NCAA," said Whitfield's father, Chris, in an email to the Tri-City News.
Whitfield has suited up in other sports like soccer, volleyball and tennis, but her ultimate dream is to represent Canada's national field lacrosse on the world stage.
She's also part of Terry Fox Secondary's girls' field lacrosse team that currently plays exhibition games against three other schools.
Whitfield could also be joining some former teammates next year as there are currently five Tri-Cities athletes on Indianapolis' roster.
The Greyhounds completed a 22-1 record in 2022 that brought the NCAA Div. II championship trophy to the university, including 6-0 in the playoffs.
U-Indy is already 2-0 to start its 2023 field lacrosse campaign in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).