York Lions field hockey coach Zeeshan Minhas is the 2021 winner of Field Hockey Canada’s Development Coach Award
Faculty of Health student and Canadian sprint canoeist Katie Vincent captures the world championships gold at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Copenhagen
Incoming track and field student-athlete to compete in Tokyo Paralympics
Charlotte Bolton, an incoming York University student-athlete, will join the Lions this September after competing with Team Canada’s Paralympic track and field team in the F41 shot put and discus events. The Paralympics begin on Aug. 23.
Bolton, 18, is currently a key member of the Canadian squad who qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after posting impressive qualifying results this past summer at events in Montreal. She holds three Canadian records in the F41 throwing events – shot put (9.05 metres), javelin (20.33 metres) and discus (26.02 metres).
“To watch Charlotte work her way onto the [Canadian Paralympic] team was amazing,” said Lions track and field head coach Raymond Rudder. “She kept getting better as we approached the selection deadline, and was determined to make the team. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this young, hard-working athlete.”
Originally, Bolton’s goal was to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, but the one-year postponement of the Tokyo games allowed her to hone her skillset for an extra year, which proved to be the difference. In just one calendar year, her personal best in the shot put increased by over two full metres – from 7.04 metres to the aforementioned Canadian record of 9.05 metres.
Bolton and her teammates will all be medal threats once the games get underway – all 16 of the Canadian Paralympic athletes are ranked at least top eight in the world for their respective events.
Bolton is one of 55 up-and-coming Canadian athletes to receive a 2021 Fuelling Athletes and Coaching Excellence Program grant selected by Petro-Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the Coaching Association of Canada.
Bolton’s connection to York doesn’t start when she begins her journey as a Lion this fall – Richard Parkinson, a former York track and field coaching staff member, will be the throws coach overseeing Bolton during the Paralympics.
York-affiliated athletes post impressive results, including bronze medal, at Tokyo 2020
Eleven athletes with connections to York University took part in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, and brought York Lions pride to the world stage of excellence in sport. York undergraduate student Katie Vincent earned a bronze medal for Canada with her partner Laurence Vincent-Lapointe in the Canoe Sprint, contributing to the nation’s final medal count of 24 (seven gold, six silver and 11 bronze).
Competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were:
Jason Ho-Shue (Badminton), a Canadian badminton player and a student in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
Results: Men’s Doubles – Rank: 9; lost games in the group play stage; didn’t advance to next round
Katie Vincent (Canoe-Kayak), an undergraduate student in York’s Faculty of Health and a canoe-kayak sprint athlete.
Results: Canoe Sprint – Women’s Canoe Single 200m – Finished eighth in the final with a time of 47.834
Canoe Sprint – Women’s Canoe Double 500m – Bronze medal with a finish time of 1:59.041
Brandie Wilkerson (Beach Volleyball), who attended York until 2014 and starred for the women’s volleyball team during her time with the Lions.
Results: Rank: 5 (eliminated by Latvia in quarterfinal)
Melissa Humana-Paredes (Beach Volleyball), a York alumna who previously played for four years for the Lions.
Results: Rank: 5 (eliminated by Australia in the quarterfinal after going undefeated for every round prior)
Shady El Nahas (Judo), a York alumnus who competed as a wrestler at York in 2017.
Results: Men – 100 kg – Rank: 5; made it through to the contest for the bronze medal and lost to Portugal
Brittany Crew (Shot Put), a decorated former Lion with multiple medal-winning performances at international competition and recently earned a slew of impressive awards for York at the national stage.
Results: Athletics – Women’s Shot Put – Finished; no rank
Pierce Lepage (Decathlon), a runner who graduated from York University in 2019 with a degree in interdisciplinary social science.
Results: Athletics – Men’s Decathlon – Rank: 5
Bismark Boateng (Track & Field), who competed in track at York after transferring from Ryerson where he initially competed in soccer.
Results: Athletics – Men’s 100m – Finished eighth in Round 1 heat with a time of 10.47; did not advance
Athletics – Men’s 4 x 100m Relay – Finished; no rank
Khamica Bingham (Track & Field), a 2020 humanities graduate and highly decorated track and field competitor.
Results: Athletics – Women’s 100m – Placed fifth in semi-final heat with a time of 11.22; did not advance to final
Arthur Szwarc (Indoor Volleyball), who was a Lion for two seasons, earning accolades in both years for men’s volleyball.
Results: Rank: 8 (eliminated by Russian Olympic Committee in quarterfinal)
Syed Muhammad Haseeb Tariq (Swimming), a York University graduate from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and former member of the York University Lions competitive swim team.
Results: Men’s 100m Freestyle – Placed sixth in his heat with a time of 53.81; did not advance
Other notable York affiliations
Two York-affiliated athletic therapists also joined the Canadian Olympic team. Alumna Andrea Prieur, a certified athletic therapist, was part of the Health Services team and alumna Natalie Ghobrial was with the women’s softball team as their athletic therapist.
Two York graduates were heard on the broadcasts during events: Lance Winn, who graduated from York with a political science degree in 1991, called the play-by-play for the softball tournament on CBC, where Canada earned a bronze medal; and Andi Petrillo, an English and mass communications graduate, who split time with the legendary Scott Russell as studio host for the main CBC coverage.
Behind the scenes, Anne-Marie Thuss was a member of the women’s basketball team’s staff as team manager. Her squad finished the round robin with a 1-2 record and did not advance to the quarterfinal due to point differential. Thuss competed with the Lions in the 1980s.
York U students, staff and friends can save big on tickets to the National Bank Open presented by Rogers
See some of the world’s best men’s tennis players in action at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers (formerly Rogers Cup), which is underway until Aug. 15 at the Aviva Centre on York University’s Keele Campus.
York University staff, students and friends receive 25 per cent off select National Bank Open tickets for any session up to the Saturday night semi-finals.
To purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/2TZgFK5 and use promo code: NBO21YORK.
For more information, visit the National Bank Open presented by Rogers website.
Tait McKenzie Fitness Centre opens to students July 19
York University’s Tait McKenzie Fitness Centre will reopen on Monday, July 19 to students only.
Pre-registration is required and is open now, and bookings can be made five days in advance. Click here to register for a time slot.
Tait McKenzie has put the following protocols in place to ensure physical distancing and safe areas to work out:
- The Fitness Centre will have six 60-minute sessions (9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.) with a 30-minute cleaning period in between.
- Capacity will be 30 people during each session.
- Some equipment has been removed to free up space.
- There will be marked zones for physical distancing within the fitness area.
- Machines and exercise areas have been separated to ensure physical distancing.
- All machines are positioned in a safe way.
- Attendees will be able to use most of the equipment available.
All dates are subject to change based on restrictions and conditions from the government of Ontario or York University.
For more information on the limited reopening, visit reconline.yorkulions.ca/booking or yorkulions.ca/covid.
York Lion Alexandria Town earns silver for Canada at Pan-American Wrestling Championships
In an impressive showing, returning York University Lions wrestler Alexandria Town took home some hardware for Canada on the international stage recently. The native of Scarborough, Ont., walked away with the silver medal in the 57-kilogram weight class at the 2021 Pan-American Championships in Guatemala.
Donning the maple leaf on her chest, Town produced exceptional results at the tournament. She went 2-1 in the opening rounds of the tournament to qualify for the semifinal, where she earned a victory via technical fall over her American opponent Cameron Guerin.
In the final, Giullia Rodrigues Penalber De Oliveira pinned Town to earn gold. The Brazilian was the only wrestler to beat Town in the tournament’s competition.
Town, who will pursue a teaching degree at York this fall, is no stranger to representing Canada on the international stage. She has achieved notoriety as a prominent senior wrestler internationally, earning multiple medals at events around the globe. The highlight of her achievements was winning Canada’s first-ever gold medal at the U23 world championships in Romania in 2018. She also finished 12th at her first senior world championships and was third at the Canadian Olympic trials in 2019.
Town is looking to lead a Lions women’s wrestling program that is poised to make a splash in the coming years.
The Lions were nationally ranked for most of the 2019-20 season and had an impressive showing at the year-end championships, as Bailey Agard and Brea Rodgers won OUA silver medals and then Agard went on to claim a bronze at the U SPORTS championships while Rodgers was named the OUA’s rookie of the year. The addition of Town strengthens the team and positions the Lions as contenders for next season.
Quartet of Lions selected for 2021 East-West Bowl roster
Four members of the York University Lions football team were selected to the 2021 East-West Bowl roster announced by U SPORTS and the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Representing the Lions on the West roster are defensive lineman Kwadwo Boahen, linebackers Dawson Davis and Matt Dean, and kicker Dante Mastrogiuseppe.
The roster recognitions celebrate the next generation of top Canadian football prospects, with 110 U SPORTS-eligible standouts identified for the 2022 CFL Draft, following completion of the 2021 Draft on May 4.
Boahen is a six-foot-three, 260-pound lineman from Calgary, who has been with the Lions for three seasons. In his debut season, he earned a place on the OUA all-rookie team and was named the squad’s Jeff Johnson Rookie of the Year. In his second year, he started all eight games and finished sixth on the Lions in total tackles while also recording a forced fumble.
Davis played his first season with the Lions in 2017 and appeared in seven games as a rookie. The six-foot-one, 230-pound Abbotsford, B.C., native took the following season off but returned even better in 2019, starting all eight games and ranking fifth on the team in total tackles.
Fellow linebacker Dean is six foot two, 196 pounds and from Oshawa, Ont. He was an OUA all-rookie team member along with Boahen in 2018 and had one of the team’s highlights of the year that season, blocking a game-winning field goal attempt by Waterloo to preserve a 34-32 victory. The following season he tied for third on the team in total tackles, led the team in tackles for loss and had three sacks.
Rounding out the quartet is Mastrogiuseppe, a six-foot-one, 190-pound London, Ont., native who has been the team’s starting punter and placekicker since he first joined the team in 2017. He played in all 16 games over his first two seasons and in 2018 he ranked fourth overall in the OUA in punting average, a mark that was also a York school record.
For the next year, players from both squads will vie for coveted spots on the CFL Scouting Bureau Top 20 Prospects List – published in the fall, winter and spring – before showcasing their skills through virtual or in-person regional and national combines in advance of the draft this time next year.
Alexandria Town returns to Lions, set to lead women’s wrestling program
The most decorated female wrestler in York University history will compete for the Lions again this fall as Alexandria Town resumes her varsity career after a three-year hiatus.
Town previously graduated from York with a degree in kinesiology and health science and has spent the past three seasons competing internationally for Canada, winning multiple medals at events around the globe. The highlight of her achievements was winning Canada’s first-ever gold medal at the U23 world championships in Romania in 2018. She also finished 12th at her first senior world championships and was third at the Canadian Olympic trials in 2019.
She has now turned her focus back to her education and her Lions career. She will be in teacher’s college at York while looking to lead a Lions women’s wrestling program that is poised to make a splash in the coming years.
The Lions were nationally ranked for most of the 2019-20 season and had an impressive showing at the year-end championships as Bailey Agard and Brea Rodgers won OUA silver medals and then Agard went on to claim a bronze at the U SPORTS championships while Rodgers was named the OUA’s rookie of the year. The addition of Town strengthens the team and positions the Lions as contenders for next season.
In her three years competing for the Lions (2016-18), Town became York’s first women’s wrestling all-star and all-Canadian. She won three OUA medals (two silvers and one bronze) and two U SPORTS medals (one silver and one bronze) and will set her sights on reaching the top of the podium in her remaining time with the Lions.
She was also an extremely engaged student-athlete and was honoured for her contributions with a prestigious Lions Legacy Award at the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year.
Lions football player Luther Hakunavanhu drafted by CFL
A member of the York University Lions football team saw his professional athlete dreams come true on Tuesday night when Luther Hakunavanhu heard his name called in the 2021 Canadian Football League (CFL) Draft.
Hakunavanhu, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound receiver from Edmonton, Alta., will head back to his home province after the Calgary Stampeders selected him in the fifth round, with the 44th overall pick. He blossomed into a top target for the team’s quarterbacks throughout his career. He joined the Lions in 2017 and played in all 16 games over his two most recent seasons, including starting all eight in 2019. That year, he led the Lions in receiving yards (470) and touchdowns (three) and was second in total receptions (29). He registered 69 catches for 951 yards and six touchdowns during his time with the Lions.
Known for his tremendous athleticism, Hakunavanhu also starred on special teams and in 2019, recorded eight total tackles.
It marks the fourth straight year the Lions have had a player drafted into the CFL and a total of eight players selected in that stretch.