Lions demonstrate their prowess on the international stage

Over the summer, several athletes from York achieved success on both the domestic and international level. Four Lions represented Canada at the 2005 World University Summer Games (FISU) in Izmir, Turkey, while 14 Lions participated in the Canada Summer Games in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Leading the Lions contingent at FISU was Ohenewa Akuffo (left), who won a gold medal in the 72-kg class in women’s wrestling. The 26-year-old business administration student defeated her Ukrainian opponent 2-0 in the final. This was the first time women’s wrestling was included as an event in the Games, and the Canadian team did extremely well winning six medals in the inaugural competition.

On the track, York’s 2004-2005 Female Athlete of the Year Kristen Matthews (right) finished 11th in the high jump with a leap of 1.70m. Anthony Garber, a double-medallist at the 2004-2005 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships, was the lead-off runner on the 4 x100m relay team that finished fourth in their heat but failed to advance to the final. Kristy deVries was a key member of the Canadian women’s soccer team who finished fifth at the Games, equaling Canada’s best result in the event’s history. The squad defeated Japan 3-0 in its final game.

At the 2005 Canada Summer Games,York athletes helped their respective provinces win four medals, including two golds.

The Lions were most successful on the track, where Marlon Nangle and recent graduate Patrick Russell (left) both finished first in their respective disciplines. Nangle, a fourth-year administrative studies student, won gold in the men’s triple jump with a jump of 15.03 metres. It has been a superb off-season for the 2004-2005 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Track MVP, as he is undefeated in the triple jump in Canada this summer.

Russell, the 2004-2005 OUA Outstanding Male Performer, won the 110m hurdles in a time of 14.75. Following the Canada Games, he is off to the Netherlands where he will compete in the decathlon, an event he set the OUA indoor record last year. In December, Russell will also compete for Canada in the decathlon at the Francophone Games in Niger.

Also competing on the track were Chris Theriau, Chelsey Wilson and Alecia Beckford-Stewart. Theriau finished fifth in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.33. Wilson was a member of Nova Scotia’s 4 x 100m relay team who finished sixth. Both Theriau and Wilson are entering their first year at York. Beckford-Stewart competed in two events, finishing eighth in the 100m hurdles and tenth in the heptathlon.

In men’s volleyball, three Lions helped Team Ontario capture the bronze medal. Second-year hitter Jordan Matthews, along with first-year players Adam Podstawka and Reid Hall helped the squad finish second in Pool B before defeating British Columbia 3-1 in the bronze medal game. Coaching Team Ontario was recent York Sport Hall of Fame inductee and former volleyball star Mark Ainsworth.

In women’s field hockey, the trio of OUA All-Star Nicole Zaharopoulos, rookie Brittney Blount, and second-year Kinesiology and Health Science major Emma Horsley helped team Ontario finish third, defeating Saskatchewan 2-1 in the Bronze Medal game.

Three Lions also competed in field hockey for New Brunswick. Christianne Theriault scored once for her province, while Ashley Arrowsmith and Monique Babineau also saw game action.