A month (or so) in review

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Cross country teams wrap up seasons at new heights

Image Credit: Kyle Terwilegar

In November, for the first time in the NCAA, the women’s cross country team finished first place in both the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship and the west regionals. The men also broke new ground, qualifying for their first ever national championship.

While winning both the conference and regional titles guaranteed the women a spot at the national championship, the men just made the cut, placing sixth at regionals, as the top six teams qualified for the national championship.

At nationals, however, the women placed seventh, matching their previous year’s performance. They did beat their fellow regional competitors and GNAC rivals, Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington.

“We can’t be disappointed finishing seventh because we were the number one team in the region,” head coach Brit Townsend told SFU Athletics. “The course was slow, wet and muddy so it was tailor-made for the tough mudders. We are a team of track athletes running cross country so the course really slowed us down.”

Runner Jennifer Johnson achieved all-American status cracking the top 40 at 30th,  while Rebecca Bassett — who led the team at the GNAC and regionals — just missed the honour at 43rd.

Meanwhile, the men’s team, coming into the tournament unranked, placed 20th out of 32 teams. Sophomore Oliver Jorgensen led the team placing 88th, while runners Marc Antoine-Rouleau and Cameron Proceviat finished 128th and 129th.

Men’s basketball wows with high-octane offence

Image Credit: Ron Hole
Image Credit: Ron Hole

The Clan men’s basketball have jumped out of the gate ending 2014 with a 6–3 record, winning their only Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) contest so far.

Although the Clan usually dominate this time of the year — having gone 6–3 to wrap up 2013 before finishing the 2013–14 season 10–16, struggling in the GNAC — it’s their offence that has been drawing attention.

Last year, even when winning all but one game against non-conference rivals, they only scored in the triple digits three times: twice non-conference and once in the GNAC. Their highest single game score was 112 points and averaged 78.4 points per game.

This season, they have not scored less than 90 points in any game, including the Division I exhibition matchups which did not count towards their record. In 11 games (including the exhibition games), the team has managed to reach 160 points twice.

Although the game was much tighter than much of their non-conference contests, in their one GNAC matchup in December they still managed to score 123 points.

Point guard Sango Niang leads the GNAC in scoring with 21.8 points per game while Roderick Evans-Taylor and Justin Cole are third and ninth in the conference, respectively. Niang ranks 19th in the NCAA.

Though it is usually the second half of the season that turns the record negative for the men’s basketball team, it appears that this year they might be able to keep it going.

Swim teams host Clan Cup

Image Credit: Hamed Yaghoubi Shahir
Image Credit: Hamed Yaghoubi Shahir

On the weekend of November 21–23, SFU’s swim teams hosted the 18th annual Clan Cup International. Both the men’s and women’s put up dominant showings, ending the swim meet first in total points with 1591 — with second placers Oregon State at 959.

Freshman Adrian VanderHelm became the the first member of the men’s swim team ever to qualify for an NCAA national championship, having qualified in men’s 200m freestyle as a result of beating the NCAA Division II ‘A’ standard which guarantees qualification. His time, 1:36.29, was the fastest time this season.

Now, SFU faces four more swim meets — four more opportunities for swimmers to qualify for the national championship — before heading to the national championship held in Indianapolis, IN on March 11.

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