Canada West Communications
- Calgary’s Niki Oudenaarden is the Canada West female first star of the week after securing three medals at the U SPORTS Track & Field Championships in Edmonton
- Lethbridge’s Peter Millman capped of his five-year field career with a third consecutive national gold in the men’s shot put
- Also earning star honours this week were: Alberta’s Kacey Otto (female second star), Trinity Western’s Ryan Sclater (male second star), Manitoba’s Rebekah Eckert (female third star), and Calgary’s Thomas Cooper (male third star).
EDMONTON – National track and field medalists Niki Oudenaarden from Calgary and Peter Millman of Lethbridge are the Canada West first stars of the week after their winning performances at the U SPORTS Track & Field Championships over the weekend.
Oudenaarden and Millman, who were both named U SPORTS Field Athletes of the Year prior to the championships thanks to their performances at the conference championship two weeks ago, combined for five medals at the national meet, which was hosted by the University of Alberta.
Oudenaarden earned gold in the pentathlon, silver in high jump, and bronze in the 4x400m relay, while Millman secured bronze in the weight throw, and gold in shot put at the final university meet of the season.
Also earning star honours this week were: Alberta’s Kacey Otto (female second star), Trinity Western’s Ryan Sclater (male second star), Manitoba’s Rebekah Eckert (female third star), and Calgary’s Thomas Cooper (male third star).
Female first star – Niki Oudenaarden
Calgary Dinos track and field
Pentathlon, high jump, relays
St. Albert, Alta.
Meet log: Thursday, March 9 to Saturday, March 11 – gold in pentathlon, silver in high jump, and bronze in the 4x400m relay at the U SPORTS Track & Field Championships in Edmonton, Alta.
Fourth-year student-athlete Niki Oudenaarden began the U SPORTS Championships in Edmonton by being named the U SPORTS Female Field Athlete of the Year after her tremendous performance at the Canada West Championships two weeks ago, becoming the first Dino since former Olympian Jessica Zelinka in 2007 to earn the national nod.
On the first day of nationals, Oudenaarden captured a pentathlon gold medal with a final score of 4134 – 208 points ahead of the silver medal winner. She came in first in three of the five events including the high jump, shot put, and 800m run. The following day, Oudenaarden competed in the long jump, finishing an admirable fourth, and the shot put, finishing fifth.
It was Day 3 that Oudenaarden got back on the podium, winning a silver in the high jump, before finishing off her U SPORTS season with a bronze in the 4x400m relay.
Male first star – Peter Millman
Lethbridge Pronghorns track and field
Meet log: Thursday, March 9 to Saturday, March 11 – bronze in weight throw, gold in shot put at the U SPORTS Track & Field Championships in Edmonton, Alta.
Prior to the final university track meet of his career, Lethbridge Pronghorn fifth-year thrower Peter Millman was named the U SPORTS Male Field Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row and added to his award haul, being named Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner for the first time in his career.
After qualifying for the weight throw event in each of his five years, Millman finally reached the podium Friday, taking home a bronze medal. His furthest throw of 18.82 metres was a season best and just three centimetres short of his personal best.
In the final event of his Pronghorn career, the Truro, N.S. product took home his third consecutive national gold medal in the shot put with a toss of 17.25 metres.
Millman concluded his Pronghorn career with four national medals, nine Canada West gold medals, two national Field Athlete of the Year awards and as a four-time Canada West Field Athlete of the Year.
Female second star – Kacey Otto
Alberta Pandas volleyball
Physical Education & Recreation
Game log: Friday, March 10 – 13 kills, eight digs, and two blocks in 3-0 W vs. UBCO in CW semis / Saturday, March 11 – 11 kills, 10 digs, and five aces in 3-1 W vs. UBC in CWF.
Fifth-year University of Alberta Pandas outside hitter Kacey Otto is the Canada West second star of the week after leading the Pandas to their 11th Canada West title.
Otto finished the Canada West Final Four in Edmonton with 24 kills, 18 digs, five aces and an assist as the Pandas defeated the UBC Okanagan Heat and UBC Thunderbirds en route to their first conference title since 2012.
The Calgary, Alta. product led the Pandas with 13 kills and 33 attempts in their semifinal win over the Heat. Not only did Alberta cruise past UBCO in straight sets to advance to the Final, they also booked their ticket to the U SPORTS Championship after a one-year absence.
Otto was even better in the Canada West Final, adding another 11 kills, 10 digs, five aces and an assist in the Pandas 3-1 win over UBC. The Pandas captain was also named the Mikasa Player of the Match in the final.
The No. 1 seed Alberta Pandas will aim for their 8th U SPORTS Championship this weekend in Toronto, as they open the tournament against the host Ryerson Rams in the quarter-final on Friday.
Male second star – Ryan Sclater
Trinity Western Spartans volleyball
Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Game log: Friday, March 10 – 17 kills, seven digs, five aces, and one block in 3-2 W vs. Alberta in CW semis / Saturday, March 11 – 21 kills, eight digs, five blocks, and an ace in 3-2 W vs. Manitoba in CWF.
Ryan Sclater was the offensive catalyst for a resilient Spartans side, as he was named the Canada Final Four MVP after helping Trinity Western earn a pair of comeback wins in both the semifinal and final to secure the Spartans their second straight conference title.
The Canada West Player of the Year collected 38 kills, 15 digs, six aces and six blocks over the course of the Final Four, helping TWU beat third-seeded Alberta before knocking off the top seed and host team, Manitoba.
In TWU’s semifinal win over Alberta, Sclater not only had 17 kills to lead all attackers, but also had a match-high five aces. In the gold medal match, the Port Coquitlam, B.C. product was even more impressive on the outside, earning 21 kills and adding five blocks and eight digs. In fifth set of the title tilt, the fifth-year Sclater capped his conference career in emphatic fashion as he had five kills and not a single attacking error, guiding TWU to a convincing six-point victory.
Sclater and the Spartans enter the U SPORTS championship tournament as the top seed as they look to defend their national title.
Female third star – Rebekah Eckert
Manitoba Bisons track & field
Meet log: Thursday, March 9 to Saturday, March 11 – gold in women’s triple jump at the U SPORTS Track & Field Championships in Edmonton, Alta.
At the completion of the 2017 U SPORTS Track & Field Championships at the University of Alberta In Edmonton from March 9-11, the Manitoba Bisons had a winning performance from first-year Rebekah Eckert.
Eckert earned gold in the women's triple jump with a leap of 12.32m on the third and final day of competition. She improved on her fourth-place ranking heading into the championships in the triple jump event. The Winnipeg native had six consecutive jumps of over 12 metres and her last jump was her longest of the championships.
Eckert earned 2016-17 U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian recognition for her championship effort.
The 5’10” jumper had an amazing rookie campaign as earlier this season she was second at the 2017 Canada West Track & Field Championships, which earned her Canada West Second Team All-Star honours and Canada West Female Rookie of the Year.
Male third star – Thomas Cooper
Calgary Dinos basketball
Game log: Thursday, March 9 – 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists in 85-69 L vs. Carleton in U SPORTS quarter-finals / Friday, March 10 – 30 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 92-84 W vs. Manitoba / Saturday, March 11 – 28 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals in 96-65 W vs. Saint Mary’s.
The University of Calgary Dinos men’s basketball team finished off their season with a U SPORTS consolation championship at the U SPORTS Final 8 tournament in Halifax, N.S. over the weekend.
In his fifth and final season, Thomas Cooper did not disappoint, finishing his career as the leading scorer in all three games at the tournament and was the team's player of the game in all three contests. On Thursday against the eventual champion Carleton Ravans, Cooper recorded a game-high 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. In the consolation semifinal the following day against Canada West rivals, the Manitoba Bisons, Cooper was the only player on the floor that recorded a double-double. He scored a game-high 30 points and 11 rebounds, and added three assists and three steals in the team’s win. To cap off his career in his final game, the Arts student led the Dinos to a consolation championship and fifth-place finish with 28 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.