Key updates from McMaster sports over the past week

So much happened in McMaster sports over reading week, that catching up on school work might not be the only thing you missed over the break. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most important things that happened in sports over the break.

Women’s Rugby

The women’s rugby team had an outstanding run. Combining the results of their final two games of the regular season and the quarterfinals of the OUA championship, they outscored their opponents 196-5. In the quarterfinals they beat the Trent University Excalibur women’s team 71-0 to advance to the semifinals, where they ultimately fell to the Guelph University Gryphons. They then won the bronze medal match scoring 41 points to the Brock University Badgers’ three. This year marks the third year in a row where the McMaster women’s rugby team has secured a bronze medal.

Of note, Alissa Zhang, a member of our women’s rugby team, was awarded the Shiels Division Community Service Award for providing great services to our community. The Shiels division is home to five teams in total, including Queen’s University, University of Guelph, Brock University and The University of Western Ontario. Zhang has volunteered with the McMaster Children’s Hospital and at the Rotman Research Institute. She also founded GirlsZone, a program that aims to get young girls into science.

Cross Country

The cross country team held onto their number two ranking in the nation, a ranking that they have held since the start of the month. This was after their recent win at the Bayfront Open where, not only did the team place first but, Marauders Alex Drover and Sergio Raez-Villanueva took home individual gold and bronze medals respectively. The bayfront open provides a preview as to how the team may perform when they host the Ontario University Athletics championship on Oct. 26.

Football

After a seventh place national ranking, the football team dropped to ninth a week later. This was in part due to the Marauders’ loss to the Carleton University Ravens, accounting for their second loss of the season. Their record currently stands at five wins and two losses. In the final game of the regular season, the Marauders beat the University of Waterloo Warriors 31-14. This pushed their record to six wins and two losses, securing a first-round bye in the OUA playoffs, which gives them an advantage as they get a week of extra rest and guaranteed spot in the semi-finals. Their next game is also the OUA semifinals, which will take place on Nov. 2.

McMaster Hall of Fame

On Oct. 19, McMaster honoured six former student-athletes into our hall of fame. The honorees included Lindsey Sutherland, James Pottinger, Jeremy Sparrow, Nicole Pirko and Dan and Mike Pletch. Sutherland was a key piece of the women’s basketball team that won OUA titles in 2006 and 2008. Pottinger led the defence on McMaster’s back to back Yates cup title wins in 2002 and 2003. Not only did he see great success at the university level, but Pottinger was also selected second overall at the 2006 Canadian National Football league draft. Sparrow won a total of 20 medals at the OUA championships, 10 of which were gold. He also collected 10 medals at the national level, three of which were gold, in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union, which is now referred to as the U sports championships. Pirko is a key symbol of women’s squash at McMaster. She was the first-ever student in school history to win gold at the OUA championships in 1999. Pirko also took home bronze medals at the OUA championships in 1998 and 2001. Finally, identical twins Dan and Mike Pletch were inducted for their efforts on the men’s rugby team. They contributed to four OUA title-winning seasons. Dan was a finalist for the Ivor Wynne award, McMaster’s male athlete of the year award, in 2005 and 2006. Mike won the award in 2007. Their accomplishments didn’t stop there, with both of them playing for Team Canada in the 2007 rugby world cup.

Image courtesy of C/O zack jones

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