June 18th, 2024

Pronghorns make strides forward in 2022

By Lethbridge Herald on December 27, 2022.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns saw successful results from athletes within its programs in 2022.

The year 2022 was where it felt like athletics went back to a full slate of games after coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re generally overall as a department in many behind the scenes things, we’re pretty happy with some of the good positive changes,” said Neil Langevin, Pronghorn Athletics executive director.

The fall teams had soccer programs and rugby competing.

 Langevin said, “We continue to move ahead there,” despite the women’s soccer team having rough results.

“We’re (now) hiring … a new coach. So we’ve made a coaching change with women’s soccer,” he said.

“That’s ongoing right now. We should have somebody in place pretty soon. Then men’s soccer, we had the first year for Davin (coach Haigh). They had a bunch of results that were pretty positive; they had more wins than they have had in the past. There’s really a sense of improvement with that team, that they feel that they’re close to challenging for (a) playoff spot.”

The swim team had an outstanding year in the pool last spring and as hosts of the Canada West Championship in November.

It was last March, that then rookie Horns swimmer Apollo Hess ripped the pool up at the USports championship in Quebec City.

Hess etched his name in the Canadian History books after a time of 26.65 seconds in the 50-metre breaststroke, after beating the USPORTS record earlier in that day of competition.

He also won gold in the 200-metre breaststroke, silver in the 100-metre breaststroke, silver in the 4-by-100-metre free and silver in the 4 -by-100-metre medley at that championship.

“The Swimming program has been working hard for many years and kind of been under the radar,” said Langevin.

“But having somebody as dominant in the pool as Apollo, and then the men’s relay and others. Chris Alexander has had an incredible year as well. Yeah, it’s great to see.”

Alexander was upgraded to a third place finish in the 50-metre backstroke after a doping infraction to another team at the USports Championship.

The Horns swam to success at the Canada West Championship last month.

Alexander won the silver medal in the 50-meter backstroke with a time of 24.53 and Tristan Bennett in the 50-metre breaststroke with a time of 27.74.

On the second day,  Hess carve the pool to a  gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 58.55, teammate Raine Arden won gold in the 200-meter freestyle and  Alexander claimed bronze in the 50-meter freestyle (22.78).

The relay team of Arden, Hess, Alexander and Parker Brown won  silver in the 400-metre freestyle.

The same team home silver in the 400-meter medley  relay on the third day.

The Horns men’s swim team was ranked fifth in the country and the women’s team are 14th as of Dec. 26.

The women’s basketball team made a Final Four appearance at the University of Saskatchewan and bowed out in the bronze medal match to University of Regina.

“When you get to the Final Four, it means legitimacy,” said Langevin.

“They wound up in the semi-final against the host Saskatchewan, who’s an absolute juggernaut in women’s basketball … Our girls put up a good fight,  but they were beaten by a better team. The experience, you could see it on the girls, have helped them even in to this season where they’ve been shorthanded and lots of injuries.”

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