Sending the largest Bisons roster since 2019 to the CanWest Championships, the herd raced impressively in Kelowna, B.C. on Saturday.
On the women’s side of the team, all three runners finished in the top 50. Rookie Lena Klassen led the pack, placing 21st with a time of 30:00. Angela Kroeker finished close behind in 24th at 30:14 and veteran Hailee Morisseau placed 43rd with a time of 31:18.
The fastest Bison times overall came from the men’s side of the team, with Justin Kroeker crossing the finish line just outside the top 10 with an 11th place time of 24:52. Veteran Calvin Reimer finished 32nd at 26:08 with teammate Noah Fillion finishing just seconds behind to capture the 33rd spot.
Rookie Carson Kroeker placed 41st with a time of 26:37 and was named to the 2023 CanWest All-Rookie Team, while veteran Alexander Brandt-Ganding rounded out the group in 53rd with a time of 27:07.
A Bisons football win would have made securing a berth in the post-season easy, but with the University of Calgary Dinos 35-23 win on Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, the Bisons recorded the best loss of the season.
Heading into Saturday’s match, the Bisons had to win, or lose by less than 13 points, to advance to the Hardy Cup semifinal.
Aided by the blustery conditions on the field, Calgary came out firing, putting up 16 points in the first nine minutes of the game before Bison quarterback Jackson Tachinski would find receiver AK Gassama in the endzone for the herd’s first points.
The Dinos countered with another major before the herd mustered a counterpunch with a grinding 15-play drive for the Bisons’ second touchdown.
While the elements were a factor, the herd did not capitalize on defensive back Sebastien Reid’s interception or use kicker Maya Turner’s sure foot on the same drive from the Dinos 39-yard line for a potential field goal before halftime.
Calgary would put up four more field goals on the day before the Bisons mounted a rocky comeback. The herd’s offence was stopped four times in the last quarter, even turning the ball over on downs at the Dinos’ two-yard line.
However, down 35-15, the Bisons miraculous loss came in the last 12 seconds of the game when defensive back Stephen Adamopoulos forced the Dinos’ running back to fumble. Fellow defensive back Nick Conway performed the scoop and score with zeroes on the clock, followed by Tachinski finding receiver De Shawn Le Jour for the two-point convert post-season clinching walk-off.
Punching a historic fifth consecutive ticket to the Hardy Cup semifinal, the Bisons will face the 6-2 University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in Vancouver on Nov. 4.
There were plenty of podium finishes for the Bisons swim team at the St. James Seals Invitational Oct. 21 to 22 at Pan Am Pool.
On the men’s side of the team, veteran Carson Beggs claimed a bronze and three gold, third-year Rhade Kostelnyk took home two silver and fellow third-year Andriy Usan claimed two silver and a gold.
Second-year Gavin Reimer claimed two bronze and a silver, while Eric Dupre swam to a bronze, a silver and two gold. Brayden Stacey took a silver and three gold and Ty Unrau claimed a bronze and three gold.
On the women’s side of the team, veteran Georgia Pengilly took home two silver and a gold, Kara Dziadek claimed a gold, Kelsey Fillion claimed two silver and two gold and Hannah Schanel’s best finishes came in the 50-metre freestyle and backstroke, placing just outside the podium in both at fourth place.
Shea Guest claimed a bronze, two silver and a gold, Indigo Halldorson Haines took home two bronze and a silver, Ella Howe scored a bronze, a silver and three gold and Ava Toyata claimed a gold. Rookie Eilishrose Hazlitt took home a silver and a gold, while fellow rookie Avery Weiland claimed two bronze.
Bisons women’s soccer
Rookie midfielder Taryn Cabak has been named to the CanWest Women’s Soccer All-Rookie Team. Cabak scored her first U Sports goal in September against the University of Regina Cougars before recording three more goals on the season. Cabak also recorded 14 shots on goal and nine points, holding second overall on the team in all three stats.