On June 15, Huskie Athletics announced the inductees to the University of Saskatchewan’s Athletic Wall of Fame.
Dan Farthing, Jamie Epp, Kelsie Hendry, Mickey Jutras, Kent Kowalski and Jacqueline Lavallee are among the athletes who will be named to the wall.
Massage therapist Al Bodnarchuck will be honoured for his help in building the Huskies program.
Two previous squads, the 1996 Huskies football team and the 1987-88 Huskies men’s volleyball team, will also be inducted.Farthing, who went on to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, got his start with the Dogs. He is one of the top Canadian Interuniversity Sport players of all time. According to a press release, from 1987 to 1990 he won numerous individual awards such as CIS Rookie of the Year, Canada West MVP and CIS first team all-Canadian. In Farthing’s final season, he led the Dogs to a Vanier Cup win.
An eight time CIS first-team all-Canadian for both track and field and cross country, Epp was named to more all-star teams than he attended years of university. In 2000-01 and 2001-02, he was named the CIS cross country athlete of the year. He holds the Huskies record in the 3,000 metre race with a time of 8:14.96 and has won the CIS 1500-metre race three times and the 3,000-metre race once.
Hendry, a pole vaulter who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, dominated her sport from 2000 to 2005, winning the Canada West championship every year and winning the CIS championship three times in a row within those years. She still holds the Canada West women’s pole vault record with a jump of 4.2 metres.
A dual-sport all-star who competed for the Huskies’ wrestling team and who enjoyed five successful seasons with the Saskatoon Hilltops, Jutras only missed the wrestling podium twice from 1999 to 2003. Against his 65-kilogram weight class opponents, he succeeded in bringing home a Canada West medal every year he competed. In 2001, 2002 and 2003 he also won medals at the CIS level. His best year came in 2002 when he won gold in both Canada West and the CIS.
Kowalski, who was just recently promoted to full professorship in the College of Kinesiology at the U of S, was the Huskies men’s soccer keeper from 1988 to 1992 and is a current assistant coach with the team. During his years as the Dogs’ keeper, the team only won six games. Despite this, Kowalski was a Canada West all-star and a Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (now known as the CIS) all-Canadian, an extraordinary accomplishment considering his team’s dismal record.
Competing for both the women’s soccer and basketball teams, Lavalle dominated not one but two sports as a Huskie athlete. She received numerous Canada West and CIS all-star awards and sits fourth on the Huskies career points list for soccer with 18 and eighth on the career points list for basketball with 1,082. Lavalle is the current assistant coach for the women’s basketball team and an inductee in the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame.
Bodnarchuk began his career as a student trainer with the Huskies in 1981. He was the trainer in 1987 when the men’s track and field team won a CIS championship. He was the trainer when the football team won its 1990 Vanier Cup and when they won it again in 1996.
Bodnarchuk is now a nationally renowned trainer who has attended four Olympic games as part of Canada’s medical staff. According to Huskie Athletics, after Donovan Bailey’s 100-metre gold medal in 1996, Bailey recognized Bodnarchuck with an Olympic ring for his help with the sprinters.
The 1996 Vanier Cup winning Huskies football team went 7-1 during their regular season and easily defeated all opponents in the playoffs. Their championship win came with a 31-12 win over St. Francis Xavier University.
Apart from numerous first and second team honours in the CIS, the team also dominated the Canada West awards by winning the MVP, the outstanding defensive player, the rookie of the year, the outstanding lineman and the coach of the year trophies. Notable players from the team who went on to compete in the CFL include Scott Flory, Matt Kellett and Kevin Lefsrud.
The 1987-88 CIAU champion men’s volleyball team put together one of the most outstanding streaks in volleyball history after not losing a single set within their conference for the entire second half of their season. Their talented squad had numerous Canada West and CIAU all-stars whose most notable include current Huskies men’s volleyball coach Brian Gavlas.
Wall of Fame inductions have previously taken place in 1984, 1987, 1994, 2001 and 2007. This year’s Athletic Wall of Fame ceremony will take place Sept. 10, 2011 at TCU Place.
image: Huskie Athletics