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Spartans to play for Canada

Five Langley university alums to Tokyo Olympics

  • Jul. 15, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Langley’s Trinity Western University (TWU) alumni will once again help lead Canada’s men’s volleyball into the Olympic Games, as three Spartan alums – Ryan Sclater, Steve Marshall and Lucas Van Berkel – were named to Canada’s 12-man Olympic roster for the upcoming Games in Tokyo.

For Sclater and Van Berkel, this year’s nomination will be both of their first opportunities to don the Maple Leaf at the Olympic Games.

For Marshall, the roster nod marks his second opportunity to compete with Canada in the Olympics, as he was one of three Spartans who also represented Canada in Rio in 2016.

Canada also named two Spartans to their three-man alternate contingent, Eric Loeppky and Langley native Dan Jansen Van Doorn, who was part of Canada’s playing roster in Rio.

The alternates will train with the team up until the start of the Games.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Former Langley volleyball player top points-getter as Team Canada beats Argentina

The Spartan quintet is coming off helping Canada to a successful Volleyball Nations League campaign, which saw the Canadians finish eighth overall that saw the team end the tournament on a five-match winning streak.

Canada is competing in men’s volleyball at back-to-back Olympic Games, following their quarterfinals appearance at Rio 2016, which marked Canada’s return after a 24-year absence.

The team qualified for Tokyo in January 2020 at home in Vancouver after defeating Puerto Rico and winning the NORCECA Men’s Tokyo Qualification Tournament. Canada was the only undefeated team at the four-country event.

READ ALSO: Langley Spartans volleyball players heading to Bulgaria, Italy

In addition to the volleyball contingent, Spartan alum Regan Yee will represent Canada in the 3,000 metre steeplechase, after qualifying for the Olympics with a Canadian record time of 9:27.54.

Natalie Ghobrial, Spartans head athletic therapist, will also be in Tokyo, as she will work with Canada’s women’s softball team as the athletic therapist.

In a last-minute addition to Canada’s cycling team, fellow TWU track and field alum Alison Jackson will compete in the women’s road race, after she was initially marked as a non-travelling alternate.

Jackson, who was Canada’s top road race finisher at both the 2019 and 2020 World Championships, was added to the Canadian team after another country withdrew from the competition.

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Langley Advance Times