Calgary’s Rebecca Smith Named Top 8 Academic All-Canadian For 2021-22 U SPORTS Season

by SwimSwam 1

January 24th, 2023 Canada, College, News, U Sports

Courtesy: Calgary Athletics

CALGARY – Eric Lutz and Rebecca Smith of the University of Calgary Dinos have both been selected as two of the Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2021-22 season, U SPORTS announced Tuesday morning.

Lutz is a recent graduate and alumnus of the Dinos track & field/cross country program, while Smith is a household name as not only a standout swimmer for the university, but an Olympic medallist for Canada.

The Dinos duo is joined by Shae Demale of Saint Mary’s, Alex Carson of Dalhousie, Jade Downie-Landry of McGill, Jean-Simon Desgagnés of Laval, Raphaël Garcia of Carleton and Kate Current of Western.

Among the nearly 5,000 student-athletes who achieved Academic All-Canadian status in 2021-22, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences were selected to make up the Top 8.

This marks just the fifth time in Canada West history and 14th time across all U SPORTS conferences that one conference was represented by athletes from one single university.

Lutz and Smith become the ninth and tenth student-athletes in Dinos history to be honoured as a Top 8 Academic All-Canadian, joining Max Eisele (2020-21) of men’s basketball, Kate Pexman (2017-18) of women’s volleyball, Andrew Buckley (2014-15) of football, Hayley Wickenheiser (2010-11 and 2011-12) of women’s hockey, Kelly Matheson (1999-2000) of women’s soccer and Olympic swimming medallist Curtis Myden (1993-94 and 1998-99).

About this year’s honourees:

Eric Lutz
Hometown: Red Deer, AB
School: University of Calgary
Program: Bachelor of Social Work
Sport: Cross-Country & Track and Field

A three-time Canada West and five-time U SPORTS champion, Eric Lutz ended a stellar university career last year by being named the Canada West Track and Field Athlete of the Year and University of Calgary’s Male Athlete of the Year.

At the Canada West championship, he was the winner of the 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter events, where he broke the old record by 2.53 seconds. At the U SPORTS championship, he won gold in the 1,000 meters and bronze in the 1,500. Also a cross-country runner, Lutz was the bronze medalist in the Canada West championship last year and was eighth at the U SPORTS championship.

Lutz has been an important example of how high-level athletics can be married with significant involvement in one’s community. In 2021-22, he was given the Canada West and U SPORTS Student-Athlete Community Service Awards in both track and field and cross-country for his work – the second year in a row receiving both honours. He works as a child and youth care counsellor in Calgary and is a volunteer athletic coordinator for the Calgary Spartans Track and Field Club.

Lutz graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor of Social Work with Distinction, ranking in the top-10 percent of his graduating class. He is a four-time Academic All-Canadian, earning a 3.9 GPA during his degree, and in 2020 he was recognized with the ii’taa’poh’to’p Excellence Award – an award given annually to indigenous students at the University of Calgary for academic merit.

Rebecca Smith 
Hometown: Red Deer, AB
School: University of Calgary
Program: Nursing
Sport: Swimming

Coming out of a silver medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Rebecca Smith was a standout performer in U SPORTS swimming last year. She led her Calgary Dinos to the Canada West Championship in late 2021, earning first-place results in six individual and team relay events and was named the Canada West Female Swimmer of the Year. She then followed this up with a stellar national championship. Smith set a new U SPORTS record in the 200-meter butterfly and picked up three more first-place finishes in the 50-meter and 100-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle, as well as a silver in the 400-meter medley relay and two bronzes in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relays. The 2019 U SPORTS Rookie of the Year for swimming and a 10-time U SPORTS champion, Smith also has four Commonwealth Games medals to her name.

Outside of the pool, Smith holds a 4.0 GPA in her nursing program at the University of Calgary and earned both an Academic All-Canadian and Dean’s List distinction last year. From Red Deer, Alberta, Smith also volunteers her time coaching younger children in the University of Calgary swim club and mentors developing swimmers through the “Head-to-Head” program.

The Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation was founded by the Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada, who first honoured Canada’s Top 8 student-athletes in 2013.

This year’s elite group will be honoured on Thursday by Her Excellency at the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall in the nation’s capital.

Courtesy: U Sports

U SPORTS proudly announced Tuesday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2021-22 season.

Shae Demale of Saint Mary’s, Alex Carson of Dalhousie, Jade Downie-Landry of McGill, Jean-Simon Desgagnés of Laval, Raphaël Garcia of Carleton, Kate Current of Western, and Eric Lutz and Rebecca Smith of Calgary were nominated for their excellence both on and off the field of play.

Among the 4900+ student-athletes who achieved U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian status in 2021-22, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences were selected to make up the Top 8.

U SPORTS student-athletes achieve Academic All-Canadian status for having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one – or more – of their university’s varsity teams.

The elite group will be honoured on Thursday by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary SimonGovernor General of Canada, at Rideau Hall in the nation’s capital.

The Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation was founded in 2013 by the Right Honourable David Johnstonformer Governor General of Canada, who first honoured Canada’s Top 8 student-athletes.

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Bo Swims
13 days ago

🦖👍