Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics
A total of 165 University of Alberta student-athletes were recognized Wednesday morning at the annual Golden Bears and Pandas Academic All-Canadian breakfast.
The 165 Academic All-Canadians - which featured 151 U SPORTS student-athletes, and another 14 golf and tennis athletes - was the most ever for the University of Alberta. The previous record of 141 U SPORTS athletes was set in 2005-2006.
The breakfast, which is held yearly in Lister Hall, celebrates the student-athletes who earned Academic All-Canadian (AAC) status during the previous season. The criteria to be honoured as an AAC is maintaining an average of 80% or better over the academic year while competing full-time for one - or more - of the university’s varsity teams.
With 151 student-athletes being honoured on Wednesday, the University continues to lead the country in Academic All-Canadian student-athletes, with the Golden Bears and Pandas total now standing at 2,750. The next highest Canada West school is the Calgary Dinos, who have over 500 fewer AAC's than the University of Alberta.
Also celebrated on Wednesday morning were the winners of the Kathlene Yetman Memorial Trophy and the Mark Goodkey Memorial Trophy, which are presented annually to the Female and Male UAlberta Academic All-Canadian student-athletes of the year. Five-year Pandas volleyball outside hitter Meg Casault was the winner of the Kathlene Yetman, while former Golden Bears soccer captain Niko Saler was awared the Mark Goodkey Memorial Trophy.
The Kathlene Yetman Memorial Trophy was named in honour of a Pandas swimmer and Academic All-Canadian, who died in February of 1996. Casault, who spent five seasons with the Pandas volleyball team, was awarded the trophy following her graduation from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. Casault finished her career as the conference's all-time leader in kills and points, while earning the 2017 Canada West and U SPORTS Most Outstanding Player of the Year awards.
The Mark Goodkey Memorial Trophy honours the memory the Golden Bears hockey alumnus and two-time Academic All-Canadian Mark Goodkey who died in March of 1996. The 2016-17 Goodkey Trophy was given to Saler, a Graduate Studies and Research student-athlete, and five-time Academic All-Canadian. Saler captained the Golden Bears to a Canada West and U SPORTS Championship in his final season with the Bears, finishing his career as a five-time conference all-star, and two-time U SPORTS All-Canadian.