Know Your Athlete, Sports

Varsity highlights of the 2021-2022 season

(McGill Athletics)

Stephanie Desjardins (Martlets hockey, fifth-year)

“The season was challenging with the pandemic coming back at full swing right after the Christmas break. We fought adversity throughout the entire season with restrictions, practicing, and playing with masks. The girls fought hard physically and mentally for the last eight months and showed tremendous character and grit. I think my greatest memory this year is just being at the rink and being surrounded with amazing people every day who push you to become a better hockey player and person.” 

Matthew Beaudet (Redbirds track runner, second-year)

“My favourite moment this year was competing at the U Sports Cross Country championships. The atmosphere was great, with people cheering all along the course, and I was excited to run at this high level meet for the first time. The race itself was very difficult due to the hilly course, cold weather, and fast pace. I was aiming to finish top 10 at this race and I knew I could do it, but at the same time, a lot can go wrong in cross-country races. I started struggling and lost contact with the leaders at about 6.5 kilometres (out of eight kilometres) and started worrying that I was going to start dropping places rapidly, but then I heard one of my teammates’ dad tell me to relax and that no one was close behind me. That helped me regain composure and finish with a strong last kilometre to finish seventh.”

(Mathieu Belanger)
(Monique Francoeur)

Karl Hunger (Redbirds rugby captain, fourth-year)

“I think my most memorable varsity moment was the first game of the season where I got to share the field with my brother Brad. He scored the first try in McGill Redbirds history. We embraced almost halfway down the field. I vividly remember telling him I couldn’t let him go, or else I might burst into tears. As an older brother who couldn’t be outdone by his younger sibling, I scored two tries of my own that very same game. I remember my mom and dad being so proud of us both after the game. That is truly one of the greatest moments of my McGill rugby career.” 

(McGill Athletics)

Charlene Robitaille (Martlets volleyball captain, fourth-year)

“I know I won’t be very original, but my favourite moment is when we won the provincial at home, and when the whole team ran to hug our coach. [It was] the first time she won provincials in 30 years! It was 25-14 on the fourth set for us. I was already starting to cry a little bit on the court because I knew we were going to win […] We will for sure have the same objective to win another provincial championship and go back to the Canadians. We had the advantage of playing against really good teams last week, the girls from Canada West were extremely good, so we now know what we have to improve and focus on next year.”

Mika Chang (Martlets hockey forward, first-year)

“Getting to go to nationals was an incredible experience and what made it even more special was getting to go with the group we had. Having gone through so much adversity this year, with COVID outbreaks and general obstacles, [it] was something that […] brought us closer together. I think both on and off the ice, I’ve been able to step out of my comfort zone, which is something I’m proud of. It’s intimidating as a first year to join an incredibly talented group of new faces, but coming out of this year having developed on the ice and having created lifelong friendships is a huge win in itself.” 

(Marc St-Pierre)
(McGill Athletics)

Jamal Mayali (Redbirds basketball guard, fifth-year)

“My favourite moment was when we won the Quebec championship. It really was special to see all of us happy to achieve that and in the fashion we did it in [….] Adversity definitely was felt when the season was put to a halt earlier this year. It was really challenging because as a team we had a really good first semester and, at the time, that break may have put our momentum to a halt. However, we hit the ground running once the season was back up.”

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