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Bangen enters Hall of Fame, Flowerday and Rumo take home top honours

KAMLOOPS –Nine different awards were handed out and the TRU Athletics Hall of Fame welcomed one new inductee Thursday night at the WolfPack Annual Awards Night.
Sam Flowerday of men’s volleyball and Raiya Rumo of women’s soccer took home the centrepiece awards as the Sports Task Force Athletes of the Year.
A Canada West First Team All-Star, Flowerday was the most effective attacker in the entire nation last year. He led all of U SPORTS with 418 kills – a mark that also set a new WolfPack record and was the fourth-highest kill season in Canada West history. The catalyst for the WolfPack offence all season long, he helped the team score five victories over teams that finished the season ranked in the U SPORTS Top 10.
Making program history as the first member of the ‘Pack to earn First Team Canada West All-Star honours, Rumo had a fantastic 2023-24 campaign. The centre back from Courtice, ON started all 14 conference games and routinely shut down some of the most prolific strikers in the country. Alongside her defensive prowess, Rumo scored the first goal of her Wolfpack career to help lead TRU to a record of 5-7-2 on the season.
Legendary head coach Terry Bangen became the second-ever inductee in the coach category of the TRU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Coming to Kamloops in 1976 to take over the reins as the men’s hockey coach and assistant athletic director of Cariboo College, Bangen became one of the most decorated coaches in the institution’s history over the next 11 seasons.
Under his guidance the team captured nine British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association (BCCAA) conference championships, including six-straight from 1983-1988. Bangen and his Cariboo College squad also earned a pair of second place finishes at the 4-West championships (a competition between the top collegiate teams from B.C. to Manitoba) while also qualifying for a then-record five-straight trips to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national hockey championships from 1984-1988.
Earning the CCAA Coaching Award of Excellence in 1987, Bangen also served as Athletic Director of the University College of the Cariboo Sun Demons in 1994-95.
Leaving UCC to become the head coach of men’s hockey at McGill University in1995-96, Bangen went on to accumulate many accolades throughout a legendary coaching career. An assistant coach, assistant general manager, director of player personnel and senior advisor in the WHL for over 20 seasons, he captured three Memorial Cup titles with the Kamloops Blazers. He spent time as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks while also capturing gold with Hockey Canada and the 1994 La Copa Mexico and the 1996 IIHF World Junior Championship.
In total, Bangen spent 22 years working for post-secondary athletic institutions in Kamloops.
Caylah Lemon of women’s soccer and Patrick Izett of men’s soccer earned the Cliff Neufeld Leaderships Awards.
A standout in the classroom, the community and on the field of play – Lemon is a great representative of the WolfPack. A member of the team’s leadership group, she excelled in honours psychology classes this past year while also finishing fourth on the team in points despite missing time due to injury. In the community she helped lead many initiatives including supporting fundraising efforts for a fellow Canada West women’s soccer player undergoing cancer treatments.
Captain of the WolfPack and a leader in the community, there can be no doubt Izett has left his mark on the department. Leading the team to a sixth-straight playoff appearance, Izett racked up four goals and four assists while also leading the team’s community events and spearhead the start of the WolfPack Athletic Council.
Sam Elgert of men’s volleyball and Ema Palkovicova of women’s volleyball earned the Dr. Roger H Barnsley Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards.
With a perfect 4.3 GPA in Software Engineering, Elgert is a six-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian and captain of the team for the past three seasons. Moving into second in the program record book with over 2200 career assists this – Elgert finished fourth in the country with over 900 this past season.

Earning straight A’s in post-baccalaureate business courses, Palkovicova is a U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian as well as a standout on the court. The product of Bratislava, Slovakia finished top ten in the conference in digs per set, kills per set and aces per set. Her passion and energy helped TRU make a return to the postseason this past year.
Rounding out the major award winners were Kate De La Mare of women’s basketball and Walker Sodaro of men’s volleyball who claimed the Newcomer of the Year Awards.
One of the most dominant defenders in the entire country, De La Mare was rock steady in her first season with the WolfPack. The product of St. Albert, AB finished third in the entire country among rookies with 30 blocks and fifth with 149 rebounds. She also set a new program rookie record for blocks while putting together the third most rebounds for a member of the ‘Pack in their rookie campaign.
Finishing second in the conference in assists by rookies, Sodaro made an immediate impact in his first year with the ‘Pack. Performing well under pressure, the rookie out of Kelowna also compiled an outstanding GPA in his first year at the university level.

Emily Clark of women’s soccer and Tyler Schilling shared honours as winners of the director’s award. Both finishing their WolfPack careers this season, Clark and Schilling are outstanding student-athletes from the Kamloops area that worked hard day-in-and-day-out to support their teammates.  

Dylan VanSpankeren of men’s volleyball was named the recipient of the Tyler Lowey Award. Presented to a member of the ‘Pack who has shown remarkable resilience in their career, winners of the Tyler Lowey Award have faced a great deal of adversity and continued to compete for the WolfPack, or returned to compete after overcoming a significant injury or obstacle. 
Honoured with the WolfPack Appreciation was Omid Raoufian. Never once missing a varsity game in this three years with the ‘Pack, Raoufian was a standout public address announcer for TRU who went above and enhance the WolfPack gameday experiences.
The event also featured Canada West and U SPORTS All-Stars/All-Canadians and award winners, along with fifth-year athletes who were also honoured at the celebration.
Team MVPs:

Baseball: Carter Spencer

Men’s Basketball: Daniel Bost

Women’s Basketball: Kelsey Cruz

Cheer: Maria Banman

Men’s Soccer: Patrick Izett
Women’s Soccer: Raiya Rumo
Swimming: Jadyn Patrick-Johnston
Men’s Volleyball: Corbin Ockerman
Women’s Volleyball: Brooklyn Olfert


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