By Lethbridge Herald on December 26, 2023.
By Justin Seward
Another year is just about in the books and the University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Athletics continued to see improvements and growth from their teams.
“We’ve had lots of highs and a couple of lows,” said Neil Langevin, Pronghorn Athletics executive director.
“We’re continuing just to try to improve Pronghorn Athletics and that’s the constant theme all the way from individuals improving daily , to programs, to athletics overall … and we continue just to stay on that path.”
Langevin thought the teams were up and down in terms of competitiveness.
“We’ve had some good years with mainly our championship sports,” said Langevin.
“We had huge improvements in our soccer programs. Our basketball teams, last year, were competitive throughout the year and we made a change in men’s basketball ,specifically, and it’s going to take a couple years to grow. But generally we’re seeing growth all which way. We’re seeing a growth with alumni engagement, with fans at games (and) with everything that we generally do.”
The swimming team was high on Langevin’s list of highlights.
“Lots of medals and personal bests, and national medals and rankings, you know, top 10 rankings,” said Langevin.
Men’s swimming team member Chris Alexander won his first gold medal at Canada West Championships in November.
The men’s soccer team made the playoffs in the fall for the first time since 2000.
“That was huge,” said Langevin.
“In the last couple of years, we’ve really tried to improve our resources that we provide for men’s soccer and coach Davin Haigh did a really good job of making sure the atmosphere was really positive and the players did just an incredible job (of) being competitive. The way they trained in the off-season, you knew something special was going to happen with this group. And if you talk to them, they’re somewhat happy with the season but also a little bit annoyed that they didn’t make it past the quarter-final but we’re sure proud of their effort and they deserve a lot of accolades.”
Langevin thought a highlight for women’s rugby was being able to compete at the Canada West Championship as hosts and finishing fourth in the conference with a young team.
The rugby team faced a juggernaut in UBC in the semi-final before losing in the bronze medal game.
“They’re competitive throughout and definitely improved considering they’re a young group,” said Langevin.
Track and field’s Jinaye Shomachuk won a gold medal at the USports Championship in weight throw.