York University Athletics & Recreation and the School of Kinesiology & Health Science will welcome four new inductees to the York University Sport Hall of Fame at the annual dinner and ceremony on Friday, Sept. 11.
Three former student-athletes and one coach will be inducted in 2015.
This year’s inductees are track and field athlete Michelle (Hastick) Cowell, wrestler Paul Hughes, volleyball player Djordje Ljubicic and longtime track and field head coach Sue Wise.
Created in 1980, the Sport Hall of Fame honours individuals who have significantly contributed to York’s interuniversity sport program as athletes, coaches and administrators, and who have exemplified the spirit and ideals of York University sports in their professional and community lives. The selection committee consisted of varsity alumni, current student-athletes and several University administrators.
Michelle (Hastick) Cowell (BSc ’95) was a strong jumper and sprinter in her time with the York track and field team (1992-95). She helped the team win the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA) silver and Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU) bronze medals in her final season in 1995. That same year, she won a pair of CIAU individual medals, claiming gold in the long jump and silver in the triple jump. She was a four-time OWIAA medallist and overall earned two CIAU all-Canadian awards and three OWIAA all-star honours. She still holds the York records in both long jump and triple jump. Cowell went on to win four senior national triple jump titles. She was the first Canadian female to jump over 14 metres and also the first to win a medal at an international games, claiming bronze in the triple jump at the Francophone Games in Madagascar in 1997. She also represented Canada at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, the 1999 Pan Am Games and the 2001 World Championships, and was an Olympic team member and athlete representative at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Paul Hughes (BA ’90) was a top wrestler on the best teams the York wrestling program has ever fielded. He helped the squad win its first-ever CIAU championship (1989) and its only two Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA) titles (1987, 1989). He was also part of the teams that finished second at the national tournament (1987) and third at the conference championships (1986). He was twice crowned the CIAU champion in his weight class, in the 68kg division in 1989 and the 61kg class in 1986, as part of the four individual national medals he won while at York, also claiming a silver (1987) and a bronze (1985). He also won two individual OUAA gold medals, and throughout his career he was a three-time CIAU all-Canadian, a two-time OUAA all-star and he earned York’s Male Athlete of the Year award in 1987. Hughes also represented Canada internationally, winning the gold medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
Djordje Ljubicic (BA ’96) was a tremendous setter for the York men’s volleyball team in the early ’90s. He earned first-team OUAA all-star honours in each of his five seasons with the program (1991-96) and was the OUAA East rookie of the year in 1992. He helped the team win back-to-back conference titles in 1993 and 1994, earning the championship match MVP award in 1994, and he competed at the CIAU championships in each of those seasons. A team captain and a three-time team MVP, Ljubicic went on to compete on the FIVB World Beach Volleyball Tour for 10 years and represent Canada at the 2001 World Championships and the 2003 Pan Am Games.
Sue Wise was the head coach of the York men’s and women’s track and field teams for 13 seasons, guiding the programs to remarkable success. Throughout her tenure, she led the Yeowomen to OWIAA and CIAU championships in 1988 and 1990, the only two conference titles in program history, as well as three other national medals (silver in 1996, bronze in 1991 and 1995) and five provincial silver medals (1987, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996). She also led the Yeomen to three CIAU bronze medals (1990, 1993, 1999) and eight OUAA medals (silver in 1989 and 1993, and bronze in 1990-92 and 1997-99). In addition, she was the founder of the York University Track & Field Club. Wise coached several athletes at multiple international events, including the FISU Games and the Commonwealth Games. Both the OUA and the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Women’s Coach of the Year awards are now named in her honour.
The Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony will take place at Toscana Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Vaughan, Ont., at 3201 Hwy 7 West. Tickets are $75 per person or $600 per table (eight seats) and may be purchased online at yorkulions.ca/ticketing. For more information abour the event, contact Kim Servinis at 416-736-5982 or email@example.com.