Weekend wrap: Town wins silver at U SPORTS championships, York’s best ever finish

York University Lions wrestler Alexandria Town continued to put her name into the history books this past weekend with a second-place finish at the U SPORTS championships, the best ever result for a York women’s wrestler in program history.

The third-year student-athlete, who returned in impressive fashion this year after missing all of last season with an injury, won her second national medal after claiming bronze in the 55kg weight class in 2016. She is the only York wrestler to win a U SPORTS medal.

Alexandria Town Lions wrestling York U
York University Lions wrestler Alexandria Town (left) earned the the best ever result for a York women’s wrestler in program history

This year, competing at 59kg, she had a bye in the first round and then won both of her round-robin matches by tech fall over Krystin Paquette from the Alberta Pandas and Mackenzie Alexson from the Saskatchewan Huskies, including registering the fastest tech fall of the entire competition in just 36 seconds against Alexson. More details on the York Lions website.

Track and field Lions finish fourth, fifth in team standings at OUA championships

The York University Lions men’s and women’s track and field teams finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively, at the 2018 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships hosted by the University of Windsor at the St. Denis Centre in Windsor, Ont.

The Lions picked up six podium finishes on day 2, including three gold medals. The men’s team missed out on the bronze medal by half a point, scoring 99 points to the 99.5 by the host Lancers.

The day began in record-breaking fashion for the Lions as Nicholas Fyffe won his fourth straight OUA triple jump title with a new conference mark of 15.17m, surpassing the previous best distance of 15.13m that former York great Marlon Nangle recorded in 2007. It was his second medal of the meet as he also won the bronze in the long jump on Friday.

Also winning her second medal, and first gold, was Holly Pitters, who finished first in the women’s triple jump with a personal-best mark of 12.52m, her first title in the event. The result was a tremendous one for the fifth-year athlete, who was the favourite to repeat as champion in the long jump on day 1 but came up just short, finishing two cms behind the champion to take the silver medal.

The third gold of the day for the Lions came in the 60m, where Xavier Joseph ran 6.86 seconds to shock the field and cross the finish line in first place. More details.

On Friday, the Lions opened the championships with six medals. The most impressive performance of the day came in the men’s 60m hurdles, where Kayden Johnson ran a blazing fast 7.92 seconds to win the gold medal. The third-year athlete, also a running back on the Lions football team, already had the fastest time in the country heading into the meet and he lowered it by 0.19 seconds. More details.

Men’s hockey Lions sweep Rams in OUA quarter-finals with 3-2 win in Game 2

The York University Lions men’s hockey team eliminated the Ryerson University Rams from the playoffs on Saturday night with a 3-2 victory at the Mattamy Athletic Centre to sweep their OUA quarter-final best-of-three series.

The first period saw strong offensive efforts on both sides, with the Rams making 12 shots on net and the Lions just behind at 10. However, defensive efforts were equally as strong, as neither team were able to score. The period ended in a 0-0 tie. More details.

Game 1 was much more intense as the Lions bounced back from a two-goal deficit after two periods with five unanswered goals in the third to record a 6-3 victory. After falling behind by two goals in a lopsided second period, the Lions came out flying in the third, levelling the score less than 90 seconds in and then adding another two quick goals later in the third to secure the win.

Derek Sheppard wasted little time getting the scoring started, finding the back of the net for the first goal of the game just a minute and a half into the first period. More details.

Women’s basketball Lions fall short in first-round playoff match-up

The York University Lions women’s basketball team was eliminated from the post-season in the first round by the Ryerson University Rams on Wednesday night by a score of 66-61 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The stands were filled with hundreds of Lions fans as tonight’s game was part of the Subway Series, and the support paid off in the first quarter when the Lions took an early lead at 8-4, which later grew to 16-6. The quarter rounded out with the Lions still in the lead 16-10.

Things took a different direction in the second quarter, however, as the Rams made some big plays and slowly but surely closed the gap, going on to take a small lead of 31-29 by the end of the quarter. More details.

Men’s volleyball Lions pick up straight sets win over Blues in final regular-season match

The York University Lions men’s volleyball team closed the regular season with a straight-sets win over the Toronto Varsity Blues at the Tait McKenzie Centre on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions had already clinched the second seed in the OUA East Division with a 12-6 record regardless of how Sunday’s match finished, and the Blues had already been eliminated from the playoffs.

Like the women’s team did earlier in the day, the Varsity Blues got off to a strong start, earning three points before the Lions earned their first on a Varsity Blues’ service error. Logan Mend followed this up with a service ace to put the Lions just behind at 3-2. The Lions continued to bounce back and forth between leading and trailing. At the technical timeout they were leading 16-14. More details.

Women’s volleyball Lions nearly complete comeback in loss to Blues to close regular season

The York University Lions women’s volleyball team forced a fifth set after dropping the first two in an eventual 3-2 loss to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the regular-season finale for both teams at the Tait McKenzie Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Despite the loss, the Lions finished 8-11 and clinched the fourth and final seed in the OUA East Division playoff race after the Nipissing University Lakers lost to the Ryerson University Rams earlier in the day. The Varsity Blues will be the second seed in the division after completing a 15-4 regular season.

The first set got off to a rough start for the Lions when the Varsity Blues raced ahead with four points before Heather Setka could get the Lions onto the scoreboard. By the time the technical timeout came around, the Varsity Blues had a huge 16-2 lead and they carried that through to a 25-8 win. More details.