Athletics: Best of 2011

NCAA grants SFU provisional status
A year after becoming a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC), the SFU Clan athletics program has been granted provisional status by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division II committee. The ruling means SFU is now able to function as an NCAA Division II school, competing under the NCAA’s branding standards, banner and logo.

New athletics director joins the team
SFU’s new senior director of athletics and recreation, Milton Richards, brings experience at all three levels of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Richards took the reins Nov. 1, replacing former director David Murphy who left in the spring when his three-year contract was up.

SFU men's soccer team undefeated
The undefeated Clan men’s soccer team nailed its second straight NCAA Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship with a 2-1 victory over Seattle Pacific University.

Coach Jones BC Hall-of-Famer
Clan wrestling head coach Mike Jones, who for the past 35 years at SFU has produced Olympic medallists, world and collegiate champions and countless university-sport national champions, was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in September.

Bhullar named B.C. athlete of the year
Recently graduated SFU Clan heavyweight men’s wrestler, Arjan Bhullar, was named Sport B.C.’s university athlete of the year Feb. 24 at the 45th annual athlete of the year awards.

Crofts dubbed GNAC athlete of the year
Clan middle-distance runner Helen Crofts was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s indoor track and field co-athlete of the year. The third-year science major won three national titles after leading Simon Fraser to a second-place team finish at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national meet.

SFU swims to Clan Cup win
SFU outscored UVic and Team China to take first place at the Clan Cup International swim meet Nov. 6.

Lorne Davies Athletes of the Year
Clan athletes Helen Crofts and David Hibberd were named the 2011 Lorne Davies Athletes of the Year for their outstanding performance in track and field and swimming and diving, respectively.

Business undergrad grapples with success
Michiko Araki, a third-year Beedie School of Business undergrad, is not only winning in the classroom. The aspiring business leader is also enjoying success on the wrestling mat and is emerging as one of the top young female wrestlers in the country.

Weightlifting champ finds literature uplifting
First-year student Derek Herridge is as comfortable sitting back with a great literary work as he is hoisting 120 kilograms over his head. The SFU Surrey world literature student recently netted a gold medal in his 94kg weight category at the Junior Canadian Weightlifting Championships.