Year in review: Top five moments in Wolverine sports
This year has been full of highlights as the developing Utah Valley athletic programs have begun to make waves around the NCAA. From exciting postseason finishes to major individual achievements, here are the top five moments from UVU sports over the last year.
5. Former Wolverine Hannah Bruce nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
Hannah Bruce, formerly a defender for the Utah Valley women’s soccer team, was one of the 161 nominees for NCAA Woman of the year. The award acknowledges individuals who are “graduating female college athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.”
Bruce graduated from UVU with a 4.0 grade point average, she was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University and she represented the WAC at the 2019 NCAA Leadership Forum. Due to her academic excellence and outstanding leadership abilities, Bruce took notice around the NCAA getting the nomination for the award.
4. Andre Jones breaks UVU record for 55m Hurdles
Senior Andre Jones broke the previous standing record for the 55m Hurdles at the Weber State Indoor Invitational on Jan. 30, 2021, with an impressive time of 7.46 seconds. This personal best for Jones is now engraved in the UVU record books, placing him amongst history. “Andre Jones setting a school record in the hurdles was a big standout for us,” said head track and field coach Scott Houle.
3. Women’s basketball makes their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance
The Utah Valley women’s basketball team made their first NCAA tournament appearance after claiming second place in the WAC. Due to California Baptist’s ineligibility to play in the NCAA tournament, UVU was the representative from the WAC. Finishing the season with a 13-7 record and boasting two all-conference players in Maria Carvalho and Josie Williams, this Wolverine team will be looking to make a big impact coming into next season.
2. Taylor LaMont and Demetrius Romero earn All-American finishes at Nationals
UVU wrestlers Taylor LaMont and Demetrius Romero were semi-finalists at the NCAA wrestling tournament this year. This was the first time in school history the Wolverines would have two wrestlers in the semi-final round. Romero swept his quarterfinal matchup against Kaleb Romero of Ohio State 6-0 to earn his All-American Status. LaMont would win out a battle against Sam Latona of Virginia Tech 7-3 to also claim the title of All-American.
1. Men’s basketball clinches share of WAC regular season title
In a hard-fought game against Grand Canyon, the Wolverines came out victorious clinching their share of the WAC regular season title. This was only the Wolverines’ second conference title since joining the WAC in 2014. With coach Mark Madsen at the helm and three returning starters, this team looks very dangerous coming into next season and the future is bright.
Sophomore center Fardaws Aimaq had an impressive season for the Wolverines to say the least, leading the NCAA in rebounding at 15.0 per game. In a stand-out performance against the University of Wyoming, Aimaq tallied 27 points to go along with a record-breaking 20 rebounds. Doing all of the important things, Aimaq made a huge impact for the Wolverines this season. UVU head coach Mark Madsen knows the value Aimaq brings to the program, noting his “limitless” potential.
With all of these achievements by UVU athletes and teams, these programs can only go up as they make a name for themselves across the NCAA.