EDMONTON – Noah Lubberding is the MacEwan Athletics first star of the week after leading the men's golf team to its fourth ACAC Championship in the past six years on Sunday.
Lubberding shot two rounds of 76 at Red Deer's Alberta Springs Golf Resort to pace all Griffins men's players and finish with the ACAC men's individual bronze medal.
Other athletes recognized this week include second star Emma Steele of the women's cross country team and third star Emily Burns of the women's soccer team.
This is the first appearance of the 2018-19 season for all three student-athletes.
1st star: Noah Lubberding, men's golf
St. Albert, AB, fourth-year, Commerce
With two consistent rounds of 4-over 76 in inclement weather at the ACAC Championship, the fourth-year Griffins player led MacEwan's men's team to a 25-shot victory in the team competition.
His own score of 152 at Alberta Springs Golf Resort secured him the men's individual bronze medal – the first time Lubberding has medalled at the championship in his university career.
With their fourth men's team banner in the past six years, Lubberding and teammates Josh Gorieu, Christian Solkowski, Justin Berget and Reid Woodman will next head to the CCAA national championship Oct. 15-19 in Medicine Hat.
2nd star: Emma Steele, women's cross country
Edmonton, AB, first-year, Arts
Making her post-secondary cross-country debut at the University of Saskatchewan's Sled Dog Open on Saturday, the first-year runner surprised herself and her coach by cracking the top 10 with one of the fastest women's 8K times in program history.
Steele blazed to a time of 31:05 in the 8K and finished ninth in a field of 47 Canada West competitors.
That's faster than the 32:57 that 2017 Canada West second team all-star Hannah Leggatt put down on the same course last season to finish in fifth.
While the course conditions were much better this year (shorter grass), Steele's performance was still more than two minutes faster than what she and head coach Drew Carver thought she would be able to run in the season's opening race.
MacEwan's Emma Steele (#505) runs with a pack near the beginning of the Huskies Sled Dog Open. She finished strong and placed ninth (getmyphoto.ca photo).
3rd star: Emily Burns, GK, women's soccer
Sherwood Park, AB, fourth-year, Arts
The Griffins' fourth-year goalkeeper was on point in a weekend home series against two of the toughest teams in the Canada West conference.
Making eight of nine saves against Victoria on Friday night, she led the Griffins to a 2-1 victory over Victoria, the very team that knocked them out of nationals contention in the Canada West semifinals a year ago.
Against UBC on Sunday, she stopped seven of eight and gave the Griffins every chance to get a result against the powerhouse Thunderbirds. That wasn't meant to be as UBC scored on a deflected free kick that she had no chance on and won 1-0.
For the season, Burns is fourth in Canada West with an .829 save percentage and 0.88 goals against average.
She'll lead the 5-2-1 Griffins into a pair of games in Prince George, B.C. against UNBC on Friday and Saturday.
Emily Burns makes one of her seven saves against UBC on Sunday (Chris Piggott photo).