Tokyo/Langley – Eight Olympic athletes and support staff affiliated with Trinity Western have wrapped up their respective competitions at the Tokyo Olympics. With these performances at the highest level possible, Trinity Western leaves the Tokyo Olympics with their heads held high.
TWU’s men’s volleyball trio of Ryan Sclater (’17, Port Coquitlam, B.C.), Lucas Van Berkel (’14, Edmonton, Alta.) and Steven Marshall (’13, Abbotsford, B.C.) helped in securing a fifth-place finish for Canada’s men’s volleyball team. As the Canadians bowed out in quarter-final loss to the Russian Olympic Committee, strong Olympic debuts from Sclater and Van Berkel were emphasized by impressive performances in their last game against the ROC, which saw both put together their best statistical performances of the tournament. Marshall – who competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio – played three sets, one of which saw him at one point join Sclater and Van Berkel to make up Canada’s front row.
Alison Jackson (’14, Vermillion, Alta.) finished 32nd in the women’s cycling road race amidst extraordinary circumstances. Only finding out she would be competing in the biggest competition of her life 11 days before the women’s road race, Jackson capped off her Olympic debut by clocking a time of 3:59:47 over the 137.
Regan Yee (’18, South Hazelton, B.C.) made her Olympic debut, running in the 3000m steeplechase. Racing in the excessive heat of Tokyo’s summer season, Yee finished eighth in her heat with a time of 9:41.14, but came up shy of earning a spot in the final.
Trinity Western’s current head athletic therapist Natalie Ghobrial served as the athletic therapist for the bronze medal-winning Canadian Women’s Softball team. The women’s softball team defeated team Mexico in a dramatic 3-2 win which was sealed by a massive go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ghobrial has served with the Spartans since 2006 as a valuable member of the athletic department.
Pairing up with Trinity Western’s Human Kinetics department before competing, local BMX racers Drew Mechielsen and James Palmer, who both workout at TWU’s workout facility for varsity athletes, but are not student-athletes with the Spartans, both made their Olympic debut in emphatic fashion. Mechielsen dazzled in her debut, placing eighth in the women’s BMX race, securing the second best result for the Canadian Women’s National team since the event was introduced to the Olympics in 2008. Meanwhile, Palmer finished 21st overall. Both Mechielsen and Palmer have been training under the instruction of Andrew Evans, who is the Director of Rugby for TWU and the Spartans former strength and conditioning coach.
About Spartan Athletics As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 13 sports in the Canada West conference, including women’s and men’s soccer, volleyball, basketball, hockey, cross country and track & field, as well as women’s rugby sevens. TWU also competes as an independent team in men’s rugby. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 12 U SPORTS team championships and 29 Canada West team championships.