Taking a trip down memory lane
Carillon sportswriter Autumn McDowell reflects on her 10 favourite U of R sports memories from the past year
It has been a record-breaking year for University of Regina sports teams.
With numerous teams and individuals having success in their respective sports, a list of top 10 memories is not an easy task. Every player on every team represented the U of R with pride. Everyone can hold their heads high as they did the school proud.
1. U of R wrestler owns the podium
Connor Malloy became a CIS champion when he earned victory over Jake Jagas in the 76-kilogram division. The national medal was Malloy’s third in as many years, as he placed third in 2009, second in 2010, and finally first in 2011. To go along with the gold medal, Malloy was also named the male recipient of the R.W. Pugh Fair Play award.
2. Jeff Lukomski sets another record on the court
Lukomski played his final games, both on the basketball court and on the football field, this year, and left an impression on everyone. In basketball, Lukomski became the school’s all-time scoring leader after hitting a trademark fade away three against the UBC Thunderbirds in front of the hometown crowd. Lukomski also holds the Canada West title for all-time three-pointers with 292 over five seasons with the Cougars.
3. Jeremy Eckert excels in track and field
Eckert was rewarded for his abilities in track and field by being named the CIS and Canada West field athlete of the year. He was the first track athlete in U of R history to earn the national honour. He captured a silver medal at nationals in pentathlon (3,618 points). Eckert managed to score 21 of the teams 106 total points at the Canada West championships, allowing the team to secure another title. Eckert was able to capture the gold medal in both high jump (2.11 metres) and pentathlon (3,680). He also placed third in long jump (6.97m).
4. Jamir Walker has a record-breaking season
As a member of the Rams football team, Walker quickly became an interception specialist this season. Walker set a school record by registering five interceptions on the season, three of which he returned for touchdowns. Walker set another school record for the longest interception return, taking one back 87 yards for a touchdown.
5. Two women’s basketball players dominate on the court
The Cougar women’s basketball team had one goal all season: a national title. Although their dreams did not come true this year, Joanna Zalesiak and Lindsay Ledingham registered personal victories when they were named Canada West all-stars. Zalesiak was named a first-team all-star and second-team all-Canadian and Ledingham earned a second-team nod. The two were dominant on the court all season and were the team’s top one and two point scorers in nearly every game. Both will be back for another shot at a title next year.
6. Men’s volleyball team earns a much-awaited victory
On Nov. 19, the Cougar men’s volleyball team was able to register their first victory in roughly 30 games, dating back to 2009. The Cougars went five sets with the Thompson Rivers WolfPack, but eventually came out on top thanks to strong play by Matt Hender and Joel Colter. The victory wouldn’t be the last one in the Cougars season, as they finished off with a 2-16 record and are looking to better that next season.
7. Rams have an all-star season
The Rams may not have reached their ultimate goal of winning a Vanier Cup, but the talent on the roster this season was undeniable. Seven members of the Rams were named all-stars after an incredible season. Bruce Anderson, Chris Bodnar, Adrian Charles, Akiem Hicks, Brenden Owens, Jamir Walker, and Matt Yausie were all named conference all-stars.
8. Adrian Charles runs at a record
Charles was literally running for a record with the Rams this season, as he was hoping to crack 1,000 rushing yards, something that a U of R player has never been done before. Charles came close to the record, but finished off the season with 972 yards. Even though Charles didn’t break the 1,000-yard barrier, he still managed to set a new school record by surpassing Neal Hughes record of 953 yards set in 2003.
9. Michelle Anderson named a Canada West first-team all-star
Although the women’s soccer team is not known for having a lot of success as a team, Anderson stood out as a force between the goalposts. This honour marked the first time that a Cougars women’s soccer player had been named a conference first-team all-star. Anderson also registered four shutouts this season, breaking her previous record. Anderson is the school’s career leader in all major goalkeeping categories, including wins (six), goals-against average (1.83), and shutouts (seven).
10. Matt Strueby’s shoot-out winner
The Cougar men’s hockey team did not have the greatest season, but they did register some very intense games. In one of the final home games of the season, the new recruits came to play. Brett Leffler scored a regulation goal with just 10 seconds left to send the game to overtime. A scoreless overtime meant a shootout for the Cougars, an area they had been struggling in this season. Strueby’s fourth-round goal in the shootout proved to be the winner, giving the Cougars their last win of the season.