The chosen ones

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This might be the only top 10 some of you are ever mentioned on

Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

The athletes at the University of Regina had their ups and downs this season. While some set records and brought home national championships, others made crucial errors.

But, whether they were the top dogs or the under dogs, the Cougars and Rams can hold their heads high – especially if they are mentioned on this list. If you are not on this list, there is always next year. Step up your game.

1. Might as well repeat

For the second year in a row, Connor Malloy struck CIS gold, ironically defeating the same opponent in back-to-back years – it would seriously suck to be that guy. “That guy” is Jake Jagas, a wrestler out of Guelph University, who just can’t seem to get Malloy’s number, no matter how hard he tries or how many times he asks for it. Jagas will never get the chance to have revenge on Malloy at the CIS level, as Malloy will not be returning next year. Well done Malloy; going out on top is every athlete’s dream. I’m a big fan of that mentality.

2. Practically perfect in every way

The women’s basketball team may not have brought home the hardware it was expecting, but an undefeated regular season is OK, too. The Cougars finished with a regular season record of 20-0 and became known as the undefeated beasts of the CIS – just kidding, I only made that up now. While the team was touted to bring home a national championship, it will have to settle for a perfect regular season record instead. Some people would say that a national championship would be better; I am one of those people.

3. You’re going to the NFL, son

Akiem Hicks is going places. The standout defensive lineman for the Regina Rams was selected to take part in the 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Combine from Feb. 23-27. Hicks was one of 328 players who participated in what has been described as “the ultimate four-day job interview.” Although 328 players may seem like a lot, Hicks was one of only five players to take part in the combine that weren’t NCAA Div. 1 players. Out of those five, four of them played in NCAA Div. 2 and Hicks was the lone player from CIS. In fact, Hicks is thought to be the only CIS player to ever be invited to the NFL combine since it was established in 1985. That’s kind of sad when you think about it.

4. Mr. Interception at it again

While the Rams got off to a rocky start – namely because quarterback Marc Mueller decided to run the ball for some reason on his first play of the first game – Jamir Walker was as calm and as cool as ever. Walker did what he does best, and made other teams quarterbacks look like bitches – can I say that? Anyway, Walker holds four records at the U of R, three of which involve his uncanny interception abilities. Walker was recently invited to the CFL evaluation camp and is undoubtedly going to make a career on the field. Become friends with this kid now, so that you can say you know him when he is rich and famous.

5. No rookie duties for this guy

The men’s volleyball team had more wins this year than any veteran on the squad has ever experienced, but it was rookie Andrew Nelson who it should thank. Nelson became the only U of R player to register 25 kills in a single game, a feat he accomplished twice over the course of the season. After the impressive season, Nelson was a standout candidate for the CIS rookie-of-the-year honors. With the award, Nelson became the first Cougars men’s volleyball player to win a major CIS award. I hope to God Nelson didn’t have to do rookie duties this year; this kid is way too good for that stuff.

6. Reaching the podium

Two members of the track and field team reached the national podium as Chris Pickering and Tait Nystuen picked up CIS bronze medals in their respective events. Pickering placed third in shot put after registering a throw of 17.32 metres. He also came within one centimetre of breaking his own school record. Nystuen claimed his place on the podium after registering a time of 34.17 seconds in the 300m dash. With the time, Nystuen also broke a Cougars record, originally set by Darren Peters, that hadn’t been touched in over 12 years. So essentially, Nystuen has been stalking that record since he was roughly eight.

7. He’s OK I guess

The men’s hockey team may have missed out on the postseason, but it wasn’t because of a lack-of-effort from its captain. Russ Nielsen – aka the guy with the C – had a highlight-reel goal that he will surely be telling his grandkids about one day. During a game against the Lethbridge Pronghorns that went to double overtime back November, it was Nielsen who came to the rescue. Nielsen took advantage of a 4-on-3 power play that the Cougars were granted in the second extra session and hammered a sick one-timer past Scotty Bowles, who was in net for the Pronghorns. There you go Russ, you got your mention.

8. She’s basically a fish

Although the swimming team struggled this year, Jessica Winter was a bright spot in their season. Winter set a pair of school records this season in both the 200m freestyle and the 50m breaststroke. Her time in the 200-m freestyle broke a record that she has previously set earlier in the season. Winter was also the only U of R swimmer to make it to the final round of competition at the CIS championships. Once there, she finished thirteenth in the 400m freestyle with a time of just over four minutes and 22 seconds.

9. It’s not fair he’s good at two things

Tevaughn Campbell started the year as a defensive back for the Regina Rams but, when football season ended, Campbell decided to turn his attention from the gridiron to the track. Campbell joined the track and field team in order to help his running speed for football, but Campbell is one of those jerks who can excel at any sport he chooses. Campbell dominated in the 60m dash this season, reaching the podium multiple times. Although it’s slightly enraging that this kid is so athletically gifted he can just pick up a sport at the university level, it’s pretty unreal that he is a University of Regina product.

10. Remember how crappy the old gym was

With the Centre for Kinesiology, Health and Sport being occupied by the Canada West wrestling championships, the women’s volleyball team was forced to move elsewhere. The only obvious choice was the old and crappy gym. The women’s volleyball team had not played a game in the old gym in roughly eight years, but the stench of the old gym proved to be good luck for the team. The Cougars went on to capture a four-set victory over the visiting Calgary Dinos. However, the Cougars lost the very next night, to the same team when they were back playing in the new gym. Coincidence? I think not.

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