Concordia's very own Joel Mrak will be heading to France early next month to represent the CCAA at the 13th International University Sports Federation (FISU) Forum. The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association is the national-level organization encompassing five collegiate sport member-conferences across the country including Alberta's ACAC. Joel will be joined by CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) rep Jean-Pierre Hamel of Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) from July 4-9 in Montpellier, France.
For the complete story, please go to the CCAA website by clicking on the link below. 'Bonne chance' (and safe travels), Joel!
The Thunder Men's and Women's Soccer programs will both be holding ID Camps in June. The Thunder Women will hold two days of activity on Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th on the pitch at Concordia. Both sessions will run from 10 AM to Noon. The Men's program will hold just one, 3-hour session on Saturday, June 11th from 10 AM to 1 PM, also on the field at Concordia. For complete information and contact numbers, please click on the appropriate link below.
May 9th – September 2nd, 2016
The Thunder Men's Soccer program and Head Coach Ian Skitch are proud to present the first group of recruits that are going to be sporting the Thunder Navy and Gold come September. Additional recruits are 'in the pipeline' but here are the first three from the Class of 2016-17.
Israel Olufuwa: Israel was born and raised in Nigeria and is a seasoned veteran of post-secondary athletics, having played 4 years with Covenant University FC in Ota, Nigeria. Israel Captained the team for two years, winning awards as MVP, a Golden Ball, a Silver Boot as well as numerous medals in his tenure with Covenant. Israel is coming to the Thunder as a graduate student and will be pursuing a Master's Degree in the Autumn.
Christian Hernandez: A product of the Soccer Academy at Edmonton's Archbishop O'Leary High School, the 5'10" Striker/Attacking Midfielder has been on the winning end of four provincial titles with Inter 98 and was a national finalist with them as well. Christian was also a participant on a St. Francis Xavier Academy team that went overseas to play in Italy last year.
Stephano Silva: Another graduate of Archbishop O'Leary High School, Stephano is also a club team veteran, having spent time with both the Drillers and Ital Canadians and was a USA Cup finalist. A versatile talent, Stephano can cover the field as both a Central Midfielder or a Defender and will be coming to Concordia in pursuit of a Bachelor of Management degree.
Following a season in which they graduated 7 players, the Concordia Thunder Men’s Hockey team has many holes to fill on their roster. Coach Dan Glegloff and his staff have spent a majority of the Spring recruiting and are proud to officially introduce the excellent student athletes that will be joining the team next season.
Tanner McCorriston – Goaltender – Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL)
Tanner, a St.Albert native, joins the Thunder following an excellent three year career as a starting goalie in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the Spruce Grove Saints and Whitecourt Wolverines. He brings with him plenty of winning experience including an AJHL Championship in 2014 with the Saints. In his two years with Whitecourt, he set Wolverine team records for career wins (36), career shutouts (2), wins in a season (24) and shutouts in a season (2). McCorriston also holds the team record for most starts by a goaltender in a season and career.
Ian McLellan – Forward – Grand Prairie Storm (AJHL)
Ian is from Red Deer and has spent the past three seasons with the Grand Prairie Storm of the AJHL. This past season Ian served as Captain of the Storm and had a career high 38 points. Ian is an excellent two-way player and will bring his leadership skills to the Thunder. Ian is also a player with Championship experience winning the Telus Cup (National Midget Championship) with the Red Deer Chiefs in 2013. Ian will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Management program at Concordia.
Jakob Lavoie – Defenseman – Canmore Eagles (AJHL)
Jakob is from St.Albert and has spent his last 3 seasons playing with the Canmore Eagles. Jakob was the Captain of the Eagles last season and is a physical defenseman that takes pride on his work in his own end. Jakob will bring a strong work ethic and leadership to the Thunder and will be a huge help to the Thunder PK. Jakob will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Faculty at Concordia.
Rory Davidson – Forward – Battlefords North Stars (SJHL)
Rory is from Delburne, Alberta and spent last season with Battlefords of the SJHL. Previously Rory played 2 seasons with the Drumheller Dragons of the AJHL. Rory is an excellent skater and his speed will be an excellent asset for the Thunder, especially at home where they play on an Olympic-sized rink. Rory has been part of many successful teams and won 2 Telus Cups (National Midget Championship) with the Red Deer Chiefs in 2012 and 2013. Rory will be taking Science at Concordia next year.
Chance Thomas – Forward – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
Chance is from Edmonton and has spent the last 2 years with Dauphin in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Previous to his time in Manitoba, Chance spent a year playing for the North Bay Trappers of the NOJHL. Chance is an offensive forward that was able to put up 107 points in his 166 game Junior A career. Chance will be enrolled in the Faculty of Management at Concordia.
Romano Morrison – Forward – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
Romano is from Edmonton and spent last season with the Dauphin Kings in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Romano previously played 2 season in the AJHL with the Calgary Mustangs and Whitecourt Wolverines. Romano is a big and fast power forward that will contribute at both ends of the ice for the Thunder.
Patrick Carlin – Defenseman – Neepawa Natives (MJHL)
Patrick is from Edmonton and played the last two seasons with the Neepawa Natives of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Patrick is a strong skating two way defenseman who led his team’s defense in points last year with 25. Patrick is a strong student and will be taking the Bachelor of Management program at Concordia.
Jordan Busch – Defenseman – Kimberley Dynamiters – KIJHL
Jordan is from Edmonton and played the last three seasons with Kimberly of the KIJHL. Jordan is a strong skating, puck moving defenseman who put up excellent number in his three years in Kimberley. Last season Jordan was named Best Defenseman in his division and scored 66 points in only 52 games. Jordan will be enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program next year and eventually plans on pursuing a career in Education.
Concordia Thunder Athletics and Thunder Women's Basketball Head Coach Robbie Valpreda are pleased to present the recruiting 'Class of 2016-17'.
Gracie Fox: 5’10 Guard, Harry Ainlay High School: Set to join the team is Gracie Fox, a very long and versatile Guard. “We are very excited to have Grace join our Thunder team for the upcoming season. Grace provides length and rebounding for us on the perimeter. I have had the pleasure of knowing Grace and her family for a long time,” said Coach Valpreda.
Morgan Dool: 5’6 Guard, transfer from Red Deer College: During her two years at RDC, Morgan averaged 10 ppg and shot 32% from the 3pt line. “Morgan has got some range and can definitley score the ball from the perimeter. She has the experience of playing in the conference already and we will look to her for leadership as well.”
Allison Raitz: 5’9 Guard, Leduc Composite High School: Allison is set to join the Thunder Women’s Basketball team from Leduc Comp. She played all three years on the senior team and this last year the Leduc Tigers completed their best season yet, finishing 5th in Division 1. “Allison has great footwork and strength. She comes from a well coached program at Leduc Composite and she was also part of Basketball Alberta’s “Targeted Athlete Strategy Program,” states Coach Valpreda.
Lise Heinricks: 5’6 PG/Guard, Strathcona Composite High School: Lise has great potential for the ACAC, coming from a basketball family and an excellent program and school at Scona. “Lise has great fundamental skills and good basketball IQ. She competes hard and is an excellent all around athlete.”
Jamie Shaigec: 5’10 Forward, transfer from Keyano College: Jamie will be joining the Thunder squad after a 1-year absence from ACAC competition. Jamie is a Forward who can shoot the ball well from 15 feet out and rebound under the rim. “Jamie is someone who we are excited to have. She has played in the league and understands the game. Her challenge will be to get used to the game again and the demands of being a student-athlete," concludes Coach Valpreda.
On April 8th, the CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) published the complete list of this season's winners of the Academic All-Canadian award. This is the CCAA's most prestigious award (their words!) and is awarded to those rare student-athletes that are named as both All-Conference athletes (ACAC Conference All-Stars) AND who also have an honours-level GPA. This season, Thunder Athletics had a record SEVEN athletes that were awarded this honour: Takeisha Wang, Badminton; Marriya Jenkins and Kirk Sundt, Cross-Country Running; Laura D’Andrea, Brynn deVries and Magdalena Boras, Women's Soccer; and Jose Villaneuva, Men's Soccer.
The new list reflects how rare this achievement is especially in light of Concordia being a relatively small school in comparison to most of the others on the list. Of the 94 CCAA member institutions across the country, there were only 50 that had athletes that qualified for the award and of those 50, only TWO schools had more winners than we did; Holland College in Charlottetown, PEI with an enrollment of 8500 and Humber College in Toronto with an enrollment of 83000(!).
Congratulations to our award winners. You've done your school proud!!
Click on the link below for the complete list of winners:
On Tuesday April 5th, the Concordia Thunder Athletics community celebrated this past year's achievements and outstanding performances at the 2015-16 Thunder Athletics Awards Banquet. The banquet was held in the Robert Tegler Student Centre and was attended by over 170 Thunder Athletes, Coaches and Concordia Dignitaries.
Kicking off the evening, the Men's Soccer team and Head Coach Ian Skitch took to the stage where first year Defender Erik Archimowitz was named the Rookie of the Year. Next up, second year Midfielder and two-sport athlete Avian Prince was selected as the Most Improved Player. Team Captain Jose Villanueva started off a string of award wins as this season's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete for Men's Soccer. Jose remained at the podium to collect the Most Valuable Player trophy along with a pair of parchments as an ACAC All-Conference and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian Athlete. Two of the team's veteran ironmen – Serhiy Adamyk and James Sousa – were honoured as Graduates.
On the Women's Soccer side, Head Coach Franco Imbrogno started things off by naming Goaltender Selina Verkland as this season's Rookie of the Year. The Most Improved Athlete award went to second year Midfielder Alexandra Manzanillo. For the second year in a row, Maggie Boras took Outstanding Scholastic Athlete honours while third year defensive stalwart Kaitlyn Diduck was named as the Most Valuable Player. In an embarrassment of riches, no less than five Thunder ladies received acknowledgement as ACAC All-Conference athletes – Jaida Stasiuk, Laura D'Andrea, Maggie Boras, Brynn deVries, and Selina Verkland. Boras, Devries and Verkland were also recognized as CCAA Academic All-Canadians. Rounding out the evening, fourth year Forward Alexa McGillivray was honoured as the team's lone Graduate.
The Women's Basketball team and Coach Robbie Valpreda began their portion of the evening naming first year stand out Sofia Lucadello as their Rookie of the Year. Next up, second year athlete – and first year Concordian – Ann Stewart was selected as both the Most Improved and the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete. Another veteran athlete – but in just her first season in a Thunder uniform – Nakita Newman was feted as the Most Valuable Player. Two of the evening's earlier winners were brought back to the podium with Sofia Lucadello being recognized as the ACAC Rookie of the Year while Nakita Newman took home the parchment as an ACAC All-Conference selectee.
Next up, it was the tall men's turn on the dais. For the second year in a row, third year Guard Brett Jakubec was named as the Most Improved Player. The Most Dedicated Athlete award went to 5th year veteran 'Mr. Thunder Basketball' Nathaniel Wojcicki. First year Guard Bevan Purnell earned the team's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete award while the team's top point-getter Jason Jones Jr. was named as the team's Most Valuable Player and also received recognition as an ACAC All-Conference Athlete. In his fifth and final year of competition, Nathaniel Wojcicki was celebrated as the team's lone Graduate.
With Indoor Track now firmly established as a full-fledged ACAC sport, the XCR/IT teams boasted yet another large number of winners on this night. First up, it was the ladies team that took to the stage with Head Coach Matt Norminton naming last season's Female Athlete of the Year Rachael Smillie as his Most Improved Athlete. Third year veteran Shelby Edgar was selected as the Most Dedicated Athlete while perennial all-star Marriya Jenkins collected her FIFTH consecutive Most Valuable Athlete trophy. Jenkins then proceeded to add to her status as the most decorated athlete in Concordia Thunder history collecting two more parchments as an ACAC All-Conference and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian athlete and a crystal trophy as a CCAA All-Canadian. In her final appearance at the podium, Jenkins was joined by teammate Kristina Dong as both were feted as Graduates.
Next up, it was the men's turn to take the stage with Kenton Sportak starting off, taking the hardware as the Most Improved Athlete. Co-Captain and fourth year veteran Kevin Chambers collected his second consecutive Most Dedicated Athlete title as well as his second consecutive Outstanding Scholastic Athlete certificate. With his record-breaking, multi-Gold Medal season, fifth year veteran Kirk Sundt was unquestionably the Most Valuable Athlete. Sundt – along with team mate Sportak – were both lauded as ACAC All-Conference athletes and as co-winners of the ACAC Player of the Year designation. Sundt continued to rack up the accolades, being recognized as a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian. The 'running men' closed out their portion of the evening acknowledging their Graduates, Kevin Chambers and Ben Thomas.
After saying good-bye to the core of his record-breaking 2014-15 team last Spring, Thunder Badminton Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine showed prodigious recruiting skill in the off season and put the 2015-16 edition of the Thunder right back up on the medal podium. Leading off the parade of winners was second year player Alex Stewart, who was named as this season's Most Improved Athlete. One of the few remaining team veterans, Lindsay Ross took home the hardware as the Most Dedicated Athlete. Then it was time for the 'Takeisha Wang show', with the rookie phenom being celebrated as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete, the Most Valuable Player, the ACAC Player of the Year and – along with Women's Doubles partner Rachael Smillie – an ACAC All-Conference athlete. Rookie Calvin Siu also received acknowledgement for his All-Conference selection. Wang rounded out her incredible season, receiving honours as both a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian. Badminton wrapped up their time on the dais with the acknowledgement of Graduates Alysha Dyck and Lindsay Ross.
Boasting a full Men's team again this season, Thunder Golf named second year player Connor Beeston as the team's Most Dedicated Athlete. Fifth year veteran and two-sport athlete Beau Ferbey was named as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete while fourth year Graduate Brendan Algeo was named as the team's Most Valuable Player.
Led to the stage by first year Coach Travis Jones, the Thunder Curling team wasted no time in naming Jessica Panchyshyn (the team's only rookie athlete) not surprisingly, as the Rookie of the Year! Next up to the podium was fourth year 'versatile veteran' Jason Ferster who receive kudos as the team's Outstanding Scholastic Athlete. Second year athlete Adrienne Maschmeyer took home the hardware for Most Valuable Athlete and stayed at the podium to receive accolades as the ACAC Player of the Year for Skipping her squad to the ACAC Mixed Team Gold Medal. Thunder Curling closed out the evening with Jason Ferster – along with fellow fourth year player Konnor Wood – receiving recognition as ACAC All-Conference Athletes.
With their players literally hanging off the stairs at the end of the stage, Thunder Athletics' largest contingent of athletes 'took the face-off' on their portion of the evening with Hockey team Head Coach Dan Glegloff naming Defenseman David Randall as the Rookie of the Year. Next up, the puck bounced to third year Defenseman and former two-sport athlete Connor Reinson as he was selected as the Most Improved Player. For the second time that night, fifth year veteran Defensemen (and Golfer) Beau Ferbey took the parchment as the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete while the team's top scorer, Nathan Smith took home the hardware as the Most Valuable Player. Rounding out the evening, the team could have filled an entire wall with Graduation plaques with seven athletes being so recognized: Jordan Hoffman, Filip Kejdana, Rhys Hadfield, Tyler Stevenson, Brett Richards, Filiph Bystrom and Beau Ferbey.
Thunder Women's Volleyball began their presentation with Head Coach Trever Turner naming Libero Tierra Pitt as the team's Rookie of the Year. The Most Dedicated Athlete trophy went to third year Outside Hitter Shandelle Meyer. Second year Middle Julia Heupel earned the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete Award and then turned right around to return to the podium as she was also honoured as the team's Most Valuable Player.
On the Men's Volleyball side, short and sweet was the order of the day with first year Head Coach Lucas Jacobson bringing Middle Hunter Scott to the podium as the Rookie of the Year. For the second year in a row, fourth year Right Side Connor Reeves was named the Most Dedicated Athlete. Reeves and Scott were not done yet as they were named as the co-winners of the Outstanding Scholastic Athlete Award. For the third consecutive year, fifth year Setter and team Captain Alex Ingstrup was named as the Most Valuable Player. Ingstrup was also joined by fourth year Libero Christian Legg as they received Graduation plaques.
In his fourth year as a Thunder Minor Official, Gabe Wood was feted as this season's Minor Official of the Year. Gabe has filled multiple roles over the course of his service to Thunder Athletics and this season was the DakStats Operator for Thunder Volleyball AND the DakStats Spotter for Thunder Basketball.
This year's recipient of the Tom Austin Sportsmanship Award was 5th year Men's Basketball stalwart Nathaniel Wojcicki.
In 2014-15, Thunder Athletics observed that it is a rarity when a Coach is selected as an ACAC Coach of the Year in their respective sport and so it is an even more unusual circumstance when not only one but TWO Thunder Coaches were chosen as COY's in 2014-15. This season, Thunder Athletics had not one, not two but THREE coaches that were so honoured. For the second consecutive year, Franco Imbrogno was named as the ACAC Women's Soccer North Division Coach of the Year. Cross-Country Running and Indoor Track's Matt Norminton was the COY in Cross Country Running last season and this season, took the same honours for Indoor Track. Badminton's Kevin MacAlpine also took home his second ACAC Coach of the Year parchment, having been honoured with the same title back in the 2010-11 season. All three coaches were recognized for their remarkable achievements by their respective team Captains.
This year, Thunder Athletics honoured Eleven athletes who completed all 5 years of their eligibility in collegiate sport and of those eleven, Eight of them completed all 5 years in a Thunder uniform. Plaques of appreciation were given to Men's Basketball's Nathaniel Wojcicki, Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track's Marriya Jenkins, Kristina Dong, Kirk Sundt and Kenton Sportak, Hockey's Tyler Stevenson, Brett Richards, Beau Ferbey and Filiph Bystrom, Men's Soccer's Justin Pucci and Men's Volleyball's Alex Ingstrup.
This year's nominees for the Thunder Athletics Female Athlete of the Year were: Badminton's Takeisha Wang – Takeisha was an ACAC All-Conference athlete and Player of the Year, an ACAC Silver and CCAA Bronze Medalist in Women’s Doubles and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track's Marriya Jenkins – Marriya was the team Captain, MVP and Thunder top finisher in every race, an ACAC Silver Medalist and All-Conference athlete and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Curling's Adrienne Maschmeyer – Adrienne was an ACAC Gold Medalist, the first female Skip to win a Mixed-team title in ACAC history and the first Mixed-team player to be named an ACAC Player of the Year; and Soccer's Kaitlyn Diduck – Kaitlyn was a team Captain and MVP, 1st Team All-Star at the ACAC Championship and the Player of the Game at the CCAA National Championship.
The Thunder Athletics Female Athlete of the Year is TAKEISHA WANG!
This year's nominees for the Thunder Athletics Male Athlete of the Year were: Basketball's Jason Jones Jr. – Jason was an ACAC 1st Team All-Conference athlete, team Co-Captain and top scorer averaging 16 PPG and he recorded four, 30+ point games in 2015-16; Cross-Country Running/Indoor Track/Badminton's Kirk Sundt – Kirk was an ACAC Silver Medalist and All-Conference athlete, an ACAC Triple Gold Medalist in Indoor Track and co-winner of Player of the Year and a CCAA All-Canadian and Academic All-Canadian; Hockey's Nathan Smith – Nathan was the team MVP, the top scorer with 34 points in 29 games and was 9th place overall in ACAC scoring; and Soccer's Jose Villanueva – Jose was the team Co-Captain and MVP, an ACAC All-Conference athlete and a CCAA Academic All-Canadian.
The Thunder Athletics Male Athlete of the Year is KIRK SUNDT!
CONGRATULATIONS to all of our honourees and to ALL of our Thunder Athletes on another fantastic year!!
Athletes of the Year Takeisha Wang and Kirk Sundt
The Concordia Thunder Women's and Men's Basketball programs will be holding an Identification Camp for prospective student athletes on Saturday, April 2nd at the Ralph King Athletic Centre. For complete details and contact information, please click on the link below.
The Concordia Thunder Women's and Men's Basketball programs will be holding an Identification Camp for prospective student athletes on Saturday, March 19th at the Ralph King Athletic Centre. For complete details and contact information, please click on the link below.
The Thunder Badminton team once again had some successful results at the 2016 CCAA National Badminton Championships this past week, hosted by Vancouver Island University in in Nanaimo, BC. The Women's Doubles team of Rachael Smillie and Takeisha Wang went 3-2 in the round robin. To open tournament play, they defeated a PACWEST team from Langara 21-7, 21-14. Their second win came from defeating a team from Atlantic (Mount Allison) 21-5, 21-5. In the round robin they also defeated a team from Ontario (George Brown) 21-18, 21-10. Their only two loses were at the hands of the powerhouse duo from NAIT (and eventual National Champions) 21-16, 21-11 and from a team from Ontario (Seneca) 21-14, 21-14. This put them in 3rd place after the round robin and a rematch against the girls from Seneca.
In the semi-finals, Takeisha and Rachael went into the match with a different game plan than the round robin. They knew they had to play better and change up a few things in order to defeat the Ontario team. Takeisha and Rachael ended up losing a nail biter 21-17, 16-21 and 21-18 which put them in the Bronze Medal match. That medal match was against the team from Langara, however it was much tougher this time around as the Langara girls played very well. Rachael and Takeisha were able to hold on with a win in 3 games, 21-17, 19-21 and 21-18 to capture the Bronze Medal. "This was Takeisha Wang's first trip to Nationals as a first year athlete at Concordia and ACAC Female Player of the year, so a Bronze is not a bad start to her career," enthused Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine. "Rachael claimed a Silver Medal last year at Nationals in Women's Singles and with a Bronze Medal this year, she is looking to get the Gold next year as she rounds out her degree at Concordia."
In other action, the Thunder had 4th year player Lindsay Ross claim a 5th place in Women's Singles defeating a girl from Atlantic (Kings College) in her last match 21-13, 21-17. "That is the 2nd year in a row that Lindsay has claimed 5th place at Nationals in Women's Singles, which is an incredible accomplishment."
First year players Dshant Sharma and Calvin Siu had a great experience this past weekend but definitely have a lot of room to improve and get better and this experience will hopefully motivate them to work harder and elevate their game. "The improvement that this team has shown in the last few weeks and even just at the Championship itself was truly amazing. They lost their last match to a team from Atlantic (Mount Allison) 18-21, 21-15, 21-10 which put them in 6th place."
Overall Kevin MacAlpine and Assistant Coach Samantha Wong were very proud of the entire team and look forward to working hard and seeing more improvement next year! Well done Thunder!
Over the past two weeks, numerous Thunder athletes have risen to the top at their respective ACAC Championships and the list of medal winners and ‘best of’ accolades is an enviable one. Beginning with the ACAC Badminton Championships, Thunder athletes Calvin Siu, Rachael Smillie and Takeisha Wang all received honours as ACAC All Conference athletes. For Takeisha, the accolades did not stop there as she was the unanimous choice of all the Coaches of the ACAC Badminton schools as the Female Badminton Player of the Year. This is a remarkable achievement for any athlete but it is even more exceptional than usual in that Takeisha is in just her first year of ACAC competition. In the final high point of her remarkable rookie season, at the Nationals banquet on Wednesday, March 2nd, Takeisha Wang was named to the CCAA All-Canadian National team.
In just the 3rd year of ACAC competition, the Thunder Indoor Track team rocked their ACAC Championship with several runners dominating the field. In a most unusual development, two 5th year runners – Kirk Sundt and Kenton Sportak – were named as ‘co-recipients' of the ACAC Men’s Indoor Track Runners of the Year. With their great showing at the Champs, the Thunder Women’s team finished 3rd overall and the Men’s team claimed their first ACAC overall team title. In the final ‘icing on the cake’, Head Coach Matt Norminton was also named as the ACAC Indoor Track Coach of the Year.
Long held as one of the ‘quietest’ sports on campus, the Thunder Curling team came out roaring at their ACAC Championship. The ACAC Mixed Curling Gold Medal was the first ever for any Thunder Curling team. Thunder Skip Adrienne Maschmeyer was also selected as the ACAC Female Curler of the Year. Adrienne further distinguished herself as the first women to Skip a team to the Gold Medal in Mixed competition and was the first Mixed player to ever be selected as the Female Curler of the Year.
Although neither team were able to make the playoffs this season, both the Men’s and Women’s Thunder Basketball teams had players that were recognized by the ACAC for their individual performances. On the Men’s side, 2nd year Thunder Guard Jason Jones Jr. was selected as a first team All-Conference athlete while on the Women’s side, versatile first year Thunder Guard/Forward Nakita Newman was selected as a second team All-Conference player.
To cap off her first year in a Concordia uniform, Thunder Guard Sofia Lucadello was selected as the 2015-16 ACAC North Division Rookie of the Year. Congratulations to all of our distinguished Thunder personnel on their accomplishments!
The Thunder Indoor Track teams had a big weekend down in Calgary where the ladies team finished 3rd overall and the men’s team claimed their first team title with a decisive victory over their rivals from Lethbridge.
Ladies Co-captain and 5th year runner Marriya Jenkins got things going in the 3000m with a solid 2nd place performance behind the women’s Athlete of the Meet Vanessa Trofimenkoff from MacEwan. Second year runner Rachael Smillie finished in 6th place, running a big personal best. On the men’s side, 5th year runner Kirk Sundt claimed his first Gold Medal of the meet, finishing well ahead of the competition. Men’s Co-captain and 4th year runner Kevin Chambers finished in a solid 6th place running a season’s best while rookie Ian Lee finished in 10th place. In the 300m heats, rookie Baylee Frissell finished in 9th place while 5th year runner Kristina Dong finished in 11th place. In the men’s 300m heats, 5th year runner and Co-captain Ben Thomas finished in 3rd place while rookie Avian Prince ran a personal best to finish in 7th place, both qualifying for the finals. Rookies Qasim Valji and Andrew Sanchez-Orosz finished in 10th and 11th place, respectively.
Ladies Co-captain and 3rd year runner Shelby Edgar finished in 4th place in the 1000m while rookie Bailey Troccoli-Hughes picked up 2 points for the women’s team by placing in 9th place. Second year runner and soccer player Brynn deVries finished in 10th place in a season’s best time. In the men’s 1000m, 5th year runner Kenton Sportak picked up his first Gold Medal of the weekend, setting a new Championship record in the process. Second year runner Michael Quick picked up his first medal of the weekend, running a season’s best to finish 3rd place overall while Chambers doubled back to finish in 6th place.
In the men’s 300m finals, Avian Prince ran a fantastic race to win his section and claim 5th overall. Thomas also ran a solid race to finish 3rd overall and pick up his first medal of the weekend. “That was a great first day,” said Head Coach Matt Norminton. “Everyone ran very well and the men have a nice a lead heading into Day 2 and the women are sitting in 3rd place”.
Day 2 started with the ladies 600m and Kristina Dong made a big surge at the end of the first lap to run a season’s best and finish in 11th place overall and score the team a point. Rookies Frissell and Troccoli-Hughes both ran personal bests to finish in 12th and 14th place overall. On the men’s side, Kenton Sportak claimed his 2nd Championship record and Gold Medal of the meet. Ben Thomas ran a season’s best to finish 4th overall and score some huge points for the team while rookies Avian Prince, Andrew Sanchez-Orosz and Qasim Valji all ran personal bests to finish 13th, 14th and 17th, respectively.
In the women’s 1500m, Marriya Jenkins pressed the pace early and ran away from the field to add another ACAC medal to her collection. Shelby Edgar finished in 7th place, Rachael Smillie ran another personal best to finish in 11th place while Brynn deVries ran a season’s best to finish in 14th. In the men’s 1500m, Kirk Sundt picked up his 2nd Gold Medal of the weekend and set his first Championship record. Michael Quick ran the smartest race of the weekend, going out at a sensible pace and gradually picking off those who went out too fast to claim 2nd place overall. Kevin Chambers finished in 5th place while Ian Lee finished in 11th place. The final event of the weekend was the 4x400m relay and the women ran a new school record to finish in 4th place. The men’s B team consisting of Valji, Orosz, Lee and Prince ran their fastest time of the year and finished in 6th place. The men’s A team consisting of Thomas, Quick, Sundt and Sportak took the lead from the gun and did not look back, running a new Championship record in the process. Sundt and Sportak also shared the Male Athlete of the Meet honours with their 3 gold medals apiece. “What a weekend,” exuded Norminton. “This is truly a special group of young men and women. To have so many talented and hardworking individuals all on the same team at the same time has been such an incredible experience. It’s up to the rookies and returning members to carry on this tradition now. It took us 4 years to get to this point. It was a lot of hard work, a lot of miles run and a lot of sweat by the core of this team. I couldn’t be prouder.”
Photos Courtesy of Andrew Crossett and SAIT Athletics
This past weekend the Concordia Thunder Mixed Curling team travelled to St. Paul and came away with ACAC Gold at the 2015-16 Championships. Skip Adrienne Maschmeyer led her team to a 2W-1L record after the round robin to take #2 ranking and move into the 1 vs 2 page game. A win over RDC in the page game gave Concordia its berth to the Gold Medal game, facing the Olds Broncos. The Thunder got off to a shaky start, finding themselves down 3-0 after the first end. But led by some terrific shot making by their Skip, the team battled hard throughout the entire game resulting in an 11 to 7 victory after 7 ends. "I'm very proud of this team," beamed Head Coach Travis Jones. "They all came together and brought Concordia into the ACAC curling world as a competitive contender. Adrienne and (Third) Jason (Ferster) helped lead their team all year. I could not ask for a better group of student athletes."
Records were set as Skip Maschmeyer is the first ever female Skip to win the Mixed Gold Medal and the first Mixed player to ever win Female Player of the Year. Two of her team mates were also recognized for their outstanding play as Konnor Wood was awarded All-Conference status as a Lead and Jason Ferster the same as a Third.
Well done Thunder!
This weekend the Thunder closed the 2015-16 season with a split on a road trip to Fort McMurray. Friday night the Thunder won 4 to 2 with goals from Tyler Stevenson, Adam Wheeldon, Nathan Smith and Fil Kejdana. Connor Dobberthien was stellar, making 50 saves in the win.
Saturday the Thunder fell 5 to 2 to the Huskies. Tyler Stevenson and Colin Minardi scored for the Thunder in the loss. Congratulations to Brett Richards, Kegan Bowman, Jordan Hoffman, Fil Kejdana and Tyler Stevenson who are graduating after excellent careers with Concordia! Great job, guys!
Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh
Concordia's University's School of Physical Education and Wellness is pleased to announce their drop-in Fitness Class schedule for March. All students, staff and faculty are invited to participate in these 30 minute sessions, which go in the main gym every Wednesday from 12:05 to 12:35. For more details and a schedule of the classes, please click on the link below.
The Thunder Badminton team had a very strong showing in the ACAC Championships this past weekend, held at NAIT. The event got started out on the right foot with the ACAC Championship Banquet being held on Friday night wherein the Thunder had Calvin Siu, Rachael Smillie and Takeisha Wang all receive honours as ACAC All Conference athletes. The awards did not stop there for Takeisha. The Coaches from all the ACAC Badminton Schools chose her as the Female Badminton Player of the year.
On Saturday, the attention focused on the Badminton court with Men's and Women's Doubles getting underway first. DShant Sharma and Calvin Siu lost a close final to a strong NAIT Ooks team 21-15 and 21-14. "Overall they played very well and I think they continue to get better and better and hopefully (will) peak at Nationals," stated proud Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine. Takeisha Wang and Rachael Smillie also came up against a very strong NAIT team in their final. "They did not have their best game and have a lot of work to do in the next couple weeks but are looking to reverse the result on the Nationals stage." Rachael Smillie was last year's 2015 ACAC Women's Singles Champion and she claimed a Silver Medal at Nationals. Takeisha Wang is a first year player for the Thunder who has dominated the Women's side in all events in the ACAC this year. Lindsay Ross and Alysha Dyck also played very well winning the Bronze medal in Women's Doubles over a team from Olds.
Next up was the Singles competition. The Thunder had graduating player Lindsay Ross taking Silver in the Women's side, losing in the final to an athlete from Olds College 21-15 and 21-11. Lindsay also qualified last year for Nationals and the Thunder are is hoping that she can improve on her 5th place finish from last year and end her career in the ACAC on a high note. The last event of the day was Mixed Doubles wherein Concordia had graduating players – and future teachers – Kirk Sundt and Alysha Berkner win a Bronze Medal. "It was a great way for them to end their ACAC careers," said MacAlpine. "Alysha played all 4 years on the Badminton team with Kirk coning aboard just this year. Kirk is a very high level runner on the Thunder Cross Country team and decided to come out for Badminton this year, too. The improvement he made was incredible." In the overall team competition, the Thunder finished in 2nd place behind the powerhouse NAIT Ooks.
Overall the Thunder captured 3 Silvers and 2 Bronze Medals at the Championships and will be sending 5 players to Nationals. This year, the CCAA National Championships are being held at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC from March 1st -5th. Good Luck Thunder!
Friday night the Thunder Women’s Basketball team took to the court in Camrose where they squared off against the Vikings of Augustana. Right from the start, the contest was going to be a battle as both teams were competing for the last playoff spot in the North. It was the Vikings who came out and set the tone early, creating havoc for the Thunder on both ends of the floor. The Vikings came out with energy, hustle and continued to pour in basket after basket and as a result, the Thunder found themselves down 24-7 after the first quarter. “We were not focused and prepared after that first quarter. It was like a shock for us. I had to remind the girls what we were playing for and to tell them that now for the next 3 quarters, we had to push ourselves to our limits to get back in the game,” stated Head Coach Robbie Valpreda. As the second quarter began, the Thunder were the ones who came out with a vengeance as they continued to attack the rim and not settle for jump shots. They applied pressure to the Vikings that had them turn the ball over enough times to get the Thunder back in the game. Concordia did an excellent job, only allowing the Vikings to score two field goals in the second quarter and cutting their deficit to 32-24 at halftime. As the second half began the Thunder continued to battle back, but couldn’t get past the 7 point deficit they were in but when the fourth quarter began it was the Thunder who made the final push to take the game into overtime. “We battled every possession; we hustled after every loose ball and we never gave up,” remarked Coach Valpreda. Overtime began with the Thunder getting out to an early four point lead 58-54, but again the Vikings battled back to be on top with a 59-54 lead with 19secs left. Sofia Lucadello was able to put back an offensive rebound with 2.9secs left and gave the Thunder a 60-59 lead. Augustana inbounded the ball with one last attempt to win the game and for them it paid off as they scored the shot at the final buzzer to win 61-60. “(What an) incredible finish. This was an excellent game for everyone involved. I cannot say I have coached a game like this before,” glowed Valpreda. "Both teams were outstanding but even though the outcome was not what the Thunder wanted, their effort and resilience was exceptional. I’m so proud of the way these girls fought tonight, most teams would have given up after being down 24-7, but these girls fought and battled and played their hearts out and did everything to give us a chance. We played together as a united family.” Congrats goes to Nakita Newman who was POG with 21pts, 5rebs, and 2Blks.
Saturday evening the Thunder were back home to play their final regular season game. Coming into the game the Thunder still had a bitter taste in their mouth from the previous night and were looking to finish the season with a win. “At this point it’s about finishing with pride and confidence. This team has developed immensely over the second semester and we just want to continue to get better.” The Thunder came out of the gate with the passion and energy they needed to win and after one quarter, the game was tied at 16. But the Thunder gave themselves some momentum on transition baskets to take the lead into halftime 30-25. Going into the second half, the Thunder continued to make basket after basket and jumped out to as much as a 7pt lead. The Vikings battled back, hitting some big 3 pointers and kept the game close. The Thunder held on to a small lead right to the last second as the Vikings gave it one more attempt from half to win the game; another possible buzzer-beater to win, BUT it fell short as the Thunder went on to win the game 53-51. Concordia received big contributions from everyone. Shyanne Walton, Ann Stewart and Nakita Newman all scored in double digits but it was Kendall Armstrong who was excellent off the bench. “Ken was great tonight. She was vocal, she battled and she scored 8pts off the bench. This is exactly the type of play Kendall can provide for us,” said Valpreda. "The Thunder should hold their heads high for a long time as they performed above all expectations this weekend. I’m so honored to have coached a team like ours. To win this game says a lot about who we are; to come back and win after losing a game for a playoff spot at the buzzer in OT the previous night and compete tonight…other teams might have just packed it in but not our team. This is a great team to have coached this season and I look forward to the future of this program and the players,” vowed Valpreda.
Congratulations to POG Kendall Armstrong on her strong performance. The Thunder will host their Identification Camp on April 2nd. Times will be announced soon. THUNDER UP!!!
This past weekend was the final one for the Thunder Men’s Basketball squad for the 2015-16 season. Travelling to Camrose on Friday night for the first of a home and home with the Augustana Vikings, the Thunder would start very slow and not be able to overcome an early 18 point deficit and dropped the game by a final score of 84-70. Leaders for the Thunder – Mike Malin with 12 points and 6 rebounds, Ryan McLaren with 11 points and 12 rebounds, Jason Jones Jr. and Artez Scharer also added 11 each with Brett Jakubec chipping in 10.
Saturday back at the RKAC would be the final game of the season and it too, did not start well for the Thunder who found themselves down by as much as 26 points in the second quarter and trailed 44-24 at the half. However the Thunder would find the resolve to go on a 47-5 run and would lead by 16 early in the 4th and close out the Vikings by a final score of 78-68. Leaders for the Thunder – Brett Jakubec with 27 points and 9 rebounds, Ryan McLaren with 17 points and 7 rebounds, Bevan Purnell added 13 points with Ben Grimsrud in his final game registering a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“The final game of a year is always tough,” remarked Coach Reagan Wood. “This year we say goodbye to two amazing guys – Ben Grimsrud and Nate Wojcicki – so I’m glad we found a way to send them out with a win. They have been team captains and leaders both on and off the floor for us. Ben was my first recruit as a Head Coach and to see how he has grown as a player has been remarkable, I couldn’t be more proud of Ben and what he has accomplished through his hard work, especially overcoming his ACL tear, and getting back to a point where he could compete at such a high level. Nate has been the heart and soul of our team for many years and has always given 100%. He too, has battled injuries and had to miss a lot of time over his career but his dedication to our team has been unquestioned. Replacing what he brings to our team is going to be hard to do. I know that as he moves into the next phase of his life he is going to continue to be an incredible person and a leader wherever he is. I want to thank Ben and Nate for the combined 10 years they have put into our program. We are all much better for the time they have given to our team and I am going to miss them tremendously.”
The Thunder Men's Volleyball team had to settle for a weekend split after two hard fought, 5-set matches Friday and Saturday. Playing a pair of home games against the visiting Grande Prairie Wolves, the Thunder hit the court of a vengeance on Friday night. Graduating 5th year Setter – and team Captain – Alex Ingstrup was the star of the show, putting on two excellent setting performances in his final weekend as a member of the team. In a nearly two hour match, the Thunder battled back after a first set loss that went to extra points to eventually take the match 3-2 (24-26, 25-16, 29-27, 22-25 and 15-10). On Saturday afternoon, the Thunder once again pushed the Wolves to a fifth set, after dropping the first two sets and then roaring back with two set victories of their own. Unfortunately in the end, it was the Wolves who would own the fifth set on this day, handing the Thunder a defeat in their final match of the season (25-17, 25-18, 22-25, 22-25 and 15-7). "Hunter Scott had his most efficient performance as a member of the team and we look forward to more of those next year," stated Coach Lucas Jacobson. "Although the record was improved this year we as a group left a few wins on the table. We all look forward to a good off season and getting back at it in September and making a playoff run."
This weekend the Thunder faced a huge challenge as they took on the undefeated NAIT Ooks. Friday night at home the Thunder honoured their graduating players before the first face off. Congratulations to Jordan Hoffman, Brett Richards, Filip Kejdana, Tyler Stevenson and Kegan Bowman on their pending graduation. The game itself however was a disappointment for the Thunder as they dropped an 8 to 1 decision to the Ooks.
On Saturday night at NAIT, the Thunder battled hard in enemy territory. Goals by Filip Kejdana, Brady Bakke, Aaron Petten and Phil Dillon kept the Thunder close but they eventually lost a 6 to 4 decision to the now 30 – 0 Ooks. The Thunder played hard in the loss and will take lessons from playing an experienced championship caliber team. Concordia will look to finish the year on a winning note when they visit Fort McMurray this weekend for a pair of games against the Keyano Huskies.
Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh
The Women's Volleyball team wrapped up their regular season play over the weekend as they hosted the Grande Prairie Wolves in two home court matches. Playing one of the top teams in the Conference, the ladies came out hard in the first set on Friday and challenged the Wolves but unforced errors did them in and they lost the set 25-23. After the first set the team lost focus in their first contact and although they tried to stay with the Wolves, the team struggled and went down to defeat with scores of 25-7 and 25-18. Dayna Starke was the Player of the Match for the Thunder.
In Saturday's afternoon match, the ladies showed signs of fighting with Grande Prairie but the Wolves showed why they are a favorite to win the league title as they defeated the Thunder in straight sets 25-15, 25-15 and 25-17. Tianna Smith was the Player of the Match for the Thunder.
Coach Turner's comments from the match and season: "The weekend was a chance to get all players in and see what they have for the upcoming season. Although we struggled to get a league win this year, I am very proud of this team for their commitment to the program and the steps we have taken to bring the women's volleyball team at Concordia to the level that it needs to get to, to be successful. The individuals that we have on this team that are returning had the chance to see what the level of volleyball is in the ACAC and know how hard they need to work over the summer months to be successful. I know we can get there and we as a coaching staff are excited to see this team and ladies succeed."
On Friday night the Concordia Women’s Basketball team took to the court to face off against the Huskies from Keyano College. Both teams knew the circumstances surrounding the weekend; win and keep their playoff opportunities alive or lose and limit their chances for a postseason. The Thunder came out of the gate looking focused and prepared, knowing that they had to be good tonight and not make too many mental mistakes. The game was a back and forth affair as both teams fought for every possession, rebound and an opportunity to put themselves ahead. With the game tied at the end of the first quarter, the Thunder looked to take a leap forward in the 2nd frame as they attacked the pressure from Keyano. “We have to attack the pressure with the dribble or by passing it before the defense gets there. We have to take advantage of all situations," stated Coach Valpreda. Not only did the Thunder do a great job offensively but also held Keyano to two points in the second quarter going into halftime up 30-20. Going into the second half, the Thunder had to be better at one thing and that’s being at the free throw line. The Thunder struggled at making those 'easy' ones and couldn’t fully open up the lead and Keyano was able to stay in the game largely due to the Thunder’s lack of finishing. “We have to be better at closing out the game. They have some excellent players on their team that are able to turn the tables quick and come right back.” Coach Valpreda was making a specific reference to Keyano’s all-star Kika Greenlee who leads the North in scoring and is the engine that makes Keyano work. That being said, Concordia's Jordan Lembryk did an excellent job of defending her, keeping her to 17pts. The Thunder had contributions from everyone and continued to work together to get the 70-59 victory. Player of the Game was Sofia Lucadello with 12 pts, 3 steals, 9 rebs and 2 assists.
Saturday afternoon the Thunder took to the court for the matinee game. Continuing on from where they left off on Friday night, Concordia came out charged up and ready to go. But the Huskies would also come out fighting, knowing this was their only opportunity to keep their postseason dreams alive. The game began with the Huskies being the aggressor as the Thunder kept putting them on the free throw line and missing defensive rotations to give the ladies from Ft. McMurray multiple opportunities to finish around the rim. The Thunder did clean it up and worked a lot harder to take away those chances for Keyano and closed out the first quarter up 23-20. As the second quarter opened, the Thunder started to pull away with the guidance of Nakita Newman who hit a barrage of 3-pointers. “Nakita played well today. She seemed focused and locked in on what she needed to do. She’s a veteran and she stepped up for us today,” glowed Coach Valpreda. Although the Thunder again had free reign on the offensive end, they could not capitalize on free throws, shooting just 30% from the line after 20 minutes. Going into halftime the Thunder were up 44-33. “We weren’t great from the FT line in the first 20 mins. By contrast, Keyano made 13 out of 15 free throws in the first half. As the second half started the Thunder again came out scoring basket after basket and when they did get to the FT line, this time they took full advantage of it, shooting 65% in the second half. The Thunder played as a cohesive unit and battled every possession, closing the game out with a 78-67 win. "The Thunder looked great this weekend and played with energy, hard work and hustle. I’m very proud of the way the girls responded this weekend. They competed and kept battling and (we) got contributions again from everyone on the team," concluded Valpreda. Congratulation to Nakita Newman who was Player of the Game with 24pts, 5rebs, 7asst, 2blks and 2 steals.
The Thunder will finish their regular season with a home and home series against the Augustana Vikings. The final home game goes Saturday night at 6 PM at the Ralph King.
Once again the Thunder Badminton team is giving back to the community with a number of their coaches/athletes getting involved with coaching Badminton in the Alberta Winter Games. The games were this past weekend – Feb 13-16 – in Medicine Hat and the athletes ranged from grade 8 to grade 11. The Games are held every two years. Kevin MacAlpine has been involved with coaching Zone 5 since 2004. Zone 5 is the outskirts of Edmonton (Sherwood Park/St Albert, etc.). This is MacAlpine's 7th time coaching the team. (04/06/08/10/12/14/16). "I think it's very important to give back. Many of the athletes from this zone are just great athletes but haven't had much coaching at all. These athletes learn a lot from this experience and I have seen many of them go on and play at very high levels of badminton". MacAlpine has coached 7 athletes over the years in the Winter Games that all went on to play – or are currently playing – ACAC Badminton.
Not only has Coach MacAlpine been very involved with coaching himself, but he always encourages his Thunder Badminton athletes to get involved as well. Two years ago when the games were hosted in Banff/Canmore, Concordia not only had MacAlpine coaching, but also 3rd year Thunder athlete Rachael Smillie and current Assistant Coach Samantha Wong coached other zones that needed help. This year, 4th year player Lindsay Ross is helping coach MacAlpine with Zone 5. Lindsay was actually coached by MacAlpine on the 2010 Alberta Winter Games. First year player Takeisha Wang is coaching the Zone 8 team (north) because they do not currently have a coach. Coach MacAlpine thinks its very beneficial for everyone involved. "The winter games athletes get to meet and get coached by some top level ACAC Badminton players and they can see what they can aspire to."
The Thunder Badminton team continues to give back to the community and this is another great example. Good job, Thunder!!
Coach Kevin MacAlpine
This weekend the Thunder took on the Briercrest Clippers in a pair of games at Clareview Arena. On Friday night the Thunder and Clippers traded early goals before the Thunder pulled away and secured a 6 to 4 victory. Fifth year Forward Tyler Stevenson scored 2 goals, Phil Dillon added a shorthanded goal and Rhys Hadfield backstopped the Thunder to the win. On Saturday afternoon, the Thunder jumped out to a quick 4 to 1 lead before the Clippers clawed back with a pair of power play goals to make it a 1 goal game. In the third period, the Thunder pulled away and finished of the Clippers with a 6 to 3 win. Colin Minardi returned from a broken collarbone to score 2 goals for the Thunder and Phil Dillon scored 2 goals including another shorthanded goal. Connor Dobberthien got the win in net against his former squad.
Next weekend the Thunder take on the undefeated NAIT Ooks. Friday night marks the last home game of the year for the squad and Coach Dan Glegloff and the rest of the Thunder staff "hope to see a big crowd to send off our graduating players". The puck drops at 8:15 at Clareview Arena.
Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh
The Thunder Indoor teams mixed it up this weekend with some of Canada West's best CIS competitors at the UofA which saw them set 4 new ACAC Indoor Track records and 6 new school records. The 1000m was the first event of the weekend which saw ladies Co-captain Shelby Edgar lead the way with a new personal best time in the event, finishing in 21st position overall. Bailey Troccoli-Hughes also ran a personal best to finish in 25th place while Brynn deVries made her indoor debut, placing in 28th spot. Kenton Sportak continued his fantastic season, winning his heat and running his fastest time of the season to set a new school record and finish in 8th place overall. Kevin Chambers took a tumble on the first lap but still finished in a respectable 17th place overall.
In the ladies 3000m, Marriya Jenkins ran a new personal best to finish in 4th place overall, setting a new school record at the same time. Not to be outdone on the men's side, Kirk Sundt continued his banner season by also running a new personal best to finish in 5th place overall. Kirk's time also bettered his own school and ACAC record. Rookie Ian Lee continued to improve by taking off 17 seconds from his 3k time which he set the weekend before. The final event of Day 1 was the 4x400m relay which saw the Thunder men finish in 3rd. The team of Sundt, Sportak, Ben Thomas and Michael Quick managed to break their own school record and set a new ACAC record in the process. "That was a great first day," said Head Coach Matt Norminton. "Everyone is rounding into peak form at the right time; this is fantastic!"
Day 2 saw the 300m speedsters take to the track first with Kristina Dong running her 2nd fastest ever time in the event to finish in 14th place. In the men's 300m, Ben Thomas ran his fastest time of the season to finish in 25th place in a highly competitive field. Avian Prince, Andrew Sanchez-Orosz and Qasim Valji all ran new personal best times to finish in 32nd, 34th and 35th place, respectively. Kenton Sportak was the sole Thunder runner to take part in the 600m and he ran another excellent race to win his heat and finish in 4th overall. Sportak broke his own school and ACAC record in the process.
The final event of the weekend was the 1500m and ladies Co-captain Marriya Jenkins won her heat in a season's best time to finish in 13th place overall. Shelby Edgar ran a season's best and her 2nd fastest time to date to finish in 22nd place while Rachael Smillie ran a personal best to finish in 30th and Brynn deVries made her debut over the distance to finish in 31st place. In the men's side, Kirk Sundt battled hard and nearly broke the elusive 4:00 barrier, finishing in 6th place in a new school and ACAC record. Mike Quick ran a season's best to finish in 24th while Kevin Chambers did the same to finish in 28th. Ian Lee continued his rapid improvement, knocking 16 seconds off his time from Lethbridge to finish in 30th place. "Day 2 was another great day for us," said Norminton. "We have a week to get in a few more good workouts and then we'll ease it down in preparation for the ACAC Champs. The key now is to keep everyone healthy and just stay sharp." The Indoor Track teams will take next weekend off before heading to the ACAC Indoor Track Championships which are in Calgary (SAIT) this year.
Photo Courtesy of Rick Scott
Heading into a do or die weekend against the Keyano Huskies, the Thunder Men's Basketball team were going to be in tough without starting point guard Artez Scharer and 5th year forward Nathaniel Wojcicki. Needing at least one win, the Thunder would have to muster one of their best efforts of the year. A slow start by both teams in Friday’s opener would have the Thunder down 30-22 at the half. A poor 3rd quarter would find the Thunder down as much as 21 points but as the penultimate frame came to a close the Thunder would begin a 21-2 run, highlighted by five 3-pointers from Jason Jones Jr., that carried into the 4th and would bring the score to 52-50 with 6 minutes to play. Unable to get any closer than 2, the Thunder would end up dropping this one 71-62. Leaders for the Thunder were Jason Jones Jr. with 31 points, Brett Jakubec with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, Mike Malin added 12 points as well to go along with 3 blocks. Adam Johnson added 5 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Game two – facing playoff elimination – the Thunder would come out strong and hold a 22-16 lead after the first but end up down 39-35 at half. Cutting into the lead in the 3rd the Thunder would be down only two heading into the final quarter. Unfortunately the well would dry up as the Thunder missed some key shots and ended up on the short end again by a score of 75-65. Leaders for the Thunder were Jason Jones Jr. with 16 points, Brett Jakubec with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, Ryan McLaren with 11 points and Mike Malin with 6 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. “Keyano is a big, physical team who can defend well,” said Coach Wood reflecting on the weekend. “We battled hard but came up short in some key areas that hurt us. We gave up a lot of second chance points because we didn’t secure rebounds after getting stops. Keyano has good rebounders and we did not match them in this area. I thought some of our young guys came in and worked hard, but hopefully they saw that they have to continue to improve so that we can come out on top against good teams like Keyano.”
The Thunder wrap up the 2015-16 season this weekend with a home and home series with the Augustana Vikings. Friday will go out in Camrose with the rematch Saturday at the RKAC. Saturday will also be Senior night for the Thunder where they will honour the departing Nathaniel Wojcicki and Ben Grimsrud. Come out and show your support for these tremendous players who have invested a combined 10 years in the Thunder Men’s Basketball program. Both games tip off at 8 PM.
The Concordia Men's Volleyball team had a tough weekend against the playoff-bound NAIT Ooks. The weekend match up started on Friday evening at NAIT where Thunder managed just a single set victory in a 3-1 losing effort (25-17,16-25, 25-11 and 25-9). "We didn't have our best Friday night at NAIT," lamented Head Coach Lucas Jacobson. "The guys struggled for the majority of the match with the exception of a great second set."
Back home at the Ralph King on Saturday night saw the Thunder put up a much better fight, pushing the Ooks to a five set, two hour marathon. "(This) was a much better played match. The guys played good enough to win but some tough calls and untimely errors ultimately cost us the match," stated Jacobson. The Thunder came within 3 points of the match victory against a team that is just 6 points out of first place in the Ooks. Set scores on Saturday were 25-11, 25-27, 25-21, 20-25 and 15-12.
The Thunder will wrap up the 2015-16 season with a home double header this coming weekend. "We are going to prepare as best we can in a short week for our final two matches this weekend against Grand Prairie to send our fifth year setter (team Captain Alex Ingstrup) out with a couple wins." Matches go on Friday night at 8 PM and Saturday afternoon at 3.
The Thunder Women's Volleyball team continued regular season play over the weekend as they faced a very good team from NAIT. Playing against a very experienced team, the ladies struggled with their first contact and the Ooks took advantage of that, winning in straight sets on Friday with scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-11. Tierra Pitt was the Thunder Player of the Match. On Saturday, the team played well in spurts but against a team that doesn't make errors, the ladies could not overcome their unforced errors and once again lost in three sets. Scores were 25-11, 25-17 and 25-20. Julia Heupel was selected as the Player of the Match for the Thunder.
The team will wrap up their season this upcoming weekend as they host a home double-header against the Grande Prairie Wolves. First serves go Friday night at 6 PM and Saturday afternoon at 1.
This past weekend the Thunder Badminton team was in Olds competing in their 2nd ACAC tournament of the year and once again, had some great results. Although the Thunder were edged out by NAIT in overall team points, the results were much closer than they were for Tourney #1 and the Thunder maintained a comfortable team lead over both the host Olds College Broncos and the King's University Eagles.
Once again Takeisha Wang completely controlled the Women's Singles event going another perfect 4-0 and finishing first. She is a perfect 8-0 in Singles competition for this season and defeated the top player from NAIT in the final match 21-13 and 21-15. Due to unforeseen circumstances, last year's ACAC Gold Medalist Rachael Smillie was unable to compete in the first ACAC tournament of the year but she came back stronger than ever this past weekend. She lost a close battle in the Women's Singles semifinals 22-20, 21-17 but then teamed up with Takeisha Wang in Women's Doubles and went a perfect 4-0 defeating NAIT's top duo in the finals 21-13, 19-21 and 21-14. Takeisha was trying to go for the triple crown and win all three events but she came up a little short in Mixed Doubles with partner Calvin Siu, going 4-1 and losing in the finals against a very strong NAIT team.
Next up for the Thunder will be the ACAC Championships hosted by NAIT on February 20th. The Thunder should have some very good chances in the Women's Doubles division with Takeisha and Rachael looking to take home the Gold, but it will be a very good battle as NAIT also has a very strong team. The Thunder should also have some very good shots in the Women's Singles and the Men's Doubles categories. "We will have a couple weeks of solid practices and make sure we are ready for the Championship, enthused Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine. Good luck Thunder!
The Thunder Indoor Track teams hosted the 2nd ACAC indoor meet of the season on Saturday up at CFB Edmonton. The event was well attended by all schools with the ladies finishing in a tie for 2nd place with SAIT behind Lethbridge and the men also finishing in 2nd place behind Lethbridge. "Both our men and ladies ran well on Saturday," said Head Coach Matt Norminton. "I rested up a few of the guys because they had already raced 3 weekends in a row but the rookies all raced very well." In the 1000m, ladies Co-Captain Marriya Jenkins finished in 4th place, setting a new school record. The other ladies' Co-Captain Shelby Edgar ran a season best and her 2nd fastest 1000m ever to finish in 7th place overall. Rookie Bailey Troccoli-Hughes made her debut over the 1km distance to finish in 14th place. In the men's 1km, 2nd year runner Michael Quick made a strong move for the lead with 350m to go but couldn't quite hold on for a medal as he finished in 5th place overall. Men's Co-Captain Kevin Chambers kicked off his season, finishing right behind Quick in 6th place. After the 1k's it was over to the speedsters in the 300m. Fifth year runner Kristina Dong ran a new personal best and school record over the distance to finish in 5th place overall. Rookie Baylee Frissell finished just behind Dong in 7th place overall, also a new personal best. "I'm over the moon with that time," said Dong after her race. In the men's 300m, Avian Prince closed hard to run a new personal best and rank him as the 4th fastest Concordia runner of all time over that distance. Qasim Valji finished in 9th place and ran a good 2nd half after a slower start. In the men's 3k, Kevin Chambers doubled back to finish in 10th place while rookie Ian Lee made his debut over the distance to finish in 11th place just behind Chambers. In the 600m, Jenkins doubled back to pick up a Bronze Medal while Edgar finished in 6th place. Troccoli-Hughes and Frissell also doubled back in the 600m to finish in 8th and 9th place overall. In the men's 600m, Avian Prince and Qasim both made their debuts over the distance to finish in 5th and 6th place overall. In the final event of the day, both the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams finished in 2nd place to Lethbridge.
Next up for the Thunder is the Golden Bear Challenge meet being held at the UofA next weekend.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Antoniuk
With every game critical to the playoff picture, the Thunder MBB squad was in tough against the #5 nationally ranked NAIT Ooks this past weekend. Friday night's tilt at NAIT started slow for the Thunder but they were able to battle back to a 29-28 score at half time. Another slow start to the third quarter had the Thunder go down ten but a resilient group found a way to go on a 30-10 run and take down the Ooks by a final score of 79-69. “This was our most complete effort of the year,” said Coach Reagan Wood. “It’s been 6 years since we’ve won at NAIT which is probably the toughest home court to get a win on so being able to get one there was huge. I liked our toughness and the way we executed over the course of 40 minutes tonight.” Leaders for the Thunder: Brett Jakubec with a career high 25 points, Adam Johnson notched another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Jason Jones Jr. added 14 with Artez Scharer scoring 12 to go along with 5 assists.
Game two at the RKAC would start well for the Thunder breaking out to an 11-0 lead and up 23-15 after the first. The Ooks would storm back and be up 44-38 at the half. Struggling to get stops in the 3rd, the Thunder would be down 10 heading into the 4th quarter. The Thunder again dug deep and were able to close the gap to 82-80 with 10 seconds to go but the Ooks finished a tough layup and drew a foul which put the visitors up 85-80 which would be the final score in this one. “Seems like the magic number is 80 this year,” remarked Coach Wood. “When we hold teams under 80 we win, when we don’t we lose. We didn’t use our good start well enough and when the Ooks adjusted defensively we took too long getting going against their zone. We weren’t good in transition and allowed too many easy attempts at the rim. We are going to need a huge effort in our next 4 games and a bit of help to get into the playoffs.” Leaders for the Thunder on Saturday night were Artez Scharer with 17 points, Mike Malin with 16 points and 7 rebounds, Ben Grimsrud with 15 points and 8 rebounds with Brett Jakubec adding a nice line of 14 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Thunder have two home games this week against another tough, nationally ranked opponent in the Keyano Huskies. Game one goes Friday night at 8pm with the rematch at 3pm on Saturday.
This Friday night the Thunder Women's Basketball headed across town to face the veteran-laden NAIT Ooks in the first of a home-and-home series. The Ooks shot out to an early lead but the Thunder battled back and were themselves leading for a short time. However, as the game progressed the veteran Ooks started to apply the pressure and with their tough defense, the Thunder found themselves turning the ball over on almost every offensive play. “We panicked," stated Head Coach Robbie Valpreda. "We know that the Ooks do one thing well and that’s play pressure defense. They like to sit in a zone and make the opposing team make the mistakes and that’s what we did.” On the other hand, the Thunder did an excellent job with their own half-court defense and the Ooks struggled as well to get a basket. Unfortunately the Ooks did take advantage of the Thunder turnovers, scoring in the fast break on numerous occasions. One positive note for the Thunder was the play of Ann Stewart. She did an excellent job of limiting NAIT's post play. However, with the other weapons they have at their disposal, the Ooks capitalized on all the Thunder turnovers and cruised to a 66-35 win. Player of the Game went to Sofia Luccadello with 12 pts.
Looking to bounce back from Friday's performance, the Thunder took to their home court on Saturday night knowing that they needed to come in with much better effort and hustle. The Thunder put their intentions into practice and took the early lead, looking rejuvenated from the previous night. Concordia really limited their turnovers as well in the early going, getting to the rim and drawing fouls, but it was their performance from the free throw line that would hurt their chances of staying close with Ooks. “As a team, we are doing an excellent job with our defense but on the offensive side, we need to capitalize at the rim on opportunities (that) we get.” At the half, the Thunder found themselves down 30-16. In the second half, the Thunder started to play with more emotion and battled with the Ooks every possession. The hustle and heart was there but once again the Thunder could not put the ball in the basket. They had great looks and chances under the rim but the ball just didn’t want to drop for them. As the final buzzer rang, the Thunder found themselves on the short end of another lopsided verdict, dropping the contest 64-39. “We missed 17 free throws tonight and some 'gimmes' under the rim," lamented Valpreda. "The Ooks didn’t out play us; we beat ourselves on Friday night with turnovers and tonight with free throws. When you play a team with that much experience they take advantage of those situations." Shyanne Walton was Saturday night's Player of the Game.
The Thunder are now looking ahead and preparing for their final two weeks of the regular season and definitely have no room for mistakes as they move forward. They will host a two-game home stand this coming weekend against the Keyano Huskies before finishing off the regular season against the Augustana Vikings.
Concordia University’s new School of Physical Education and Wellness is thrilled to be offering free drop in fitness classes for ALL students, staff and faculty starting February 10th! The 30 minute classes will go Wednesdays from 12:05 to 12:35. Join us in the gym for 30 minutes of exercise and experience all of the amazing benefits of increased physical activity. For a complete description and schedule of the classes, please click on the link below.
This past weekend, Concordia welcomed ACAC Curling to the Winter Regional tournament, hosting a total of 51 round robin games and 1 tie breaker. The Thunder Mixed (Co-ed) team posted a 3-2 record with wins over Lakeland, RDC and Portage, losing only to NAIT and Olds. Their record – combined with the results from the Fall Regional – put the Thunder in a three-way tie for 2nd place in ACAC Championship qualifying. A tie-breaking 'skill competition' event was needed to break the log jam and saw the Thunder slotted to 3rd spot in the official ranking. Skip Adrienne Maschmeyer led her team to qualify for the ACAC Championships with a 6-4 record overall for the regular season. The team made the crowds gather behind their sheets on multiple shots of extreme difficulty or high risk. The team played really well with a few unfortunate great shots by opposition teams resulting in the losses. "I'm excited to see this team come together," enthused first-year Head Coach Travis Jones. "We started the season practices late and having a new coach so late in the season, it was a great feeling being behind the glass with watching these amazing athletes qualify for provincials. Adrienne (Skip) and Jason (Vice Skip) have been an amazing duo in their collaboration, determination and team spirit leading the team."
The Thunder will have almost a full month to prepare for the Championships which will be hosted by Portage College on February 27th and 28th. Go Thunder!