U SPORTS: The Year’s Best Stories from the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack

There were a lot of great moments and stories from across U SPORTS this past year. In this series, 49 Sports takes a look at each school’s best moments. Although there were many great accomplishments, we have kept it to two per school. Enjoy.

Vancouver, BC- In this edition of our best stories series, we travel from coast to coast to take a look at the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, who had some great stories come out of their last U SPORTS season. 

In the pool, on the court and on the field were where the Wolfpack competed, but it was athletes rather than teams who captured our eye this season. 

Swimming: An Olympic hope

Matthew Gauthier and Ryley Macrae were two shining lights in the water for the Wolfpack this year. By the time the year came to an end, both of them had set some career-best times, had hardware in hand and looked to have a shot at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Gauthier first hit the Olympic trial minimum in the backstroke at the PSW winter invitational competition in White Rock, and topped it off with his breaststroke in the 2020 BC Provincial Championships where he won a bronze medal. Although he qualified for the national team trials in the backstroke, it would not have happened this year because the discipline is not an Olympic one. In the end, it didn’t matter as the trials were cancelled due to COVID-19. 

Matthew Gauthier - Swimming - Thompson Rivers University
Gauthier (MppPhotography)

Macrae is a fantastic young swimmer. He competed at the U SPORTS championships, the pinnacle of Canadian collegiate swimming. His best finish came in the butterfly competition where he placed 18th nationally and qualified for the Olympic trials. That being said, his best weekend medal wise came in Kelowna, where he won no-less than seven coveted chunks of gold and one of bronze. It was a fantastic season for Macrae, but unfortunately for TRU, it was his last on their side, as the boy from Kamloops is transferring to either UBC or the University of Victoria to complete his engineering degree and U SPORTS swimming career. 

Although both hit the minimum for the Olympic trials, neither got the opportunity to test themselves against the country’s best. However, with another year of experience and strengthening under their belts, don’t be surprised when you see them in the pool competing for a spot in next year’s summer Olympic games.

Men’s Soccer:  Glasmacher’s Path to Pro

It was not exactly an outstanding year for the Thompson Rivers men’s soccer team, but the story of one player did stand out. 

Jan Pirrates Glasmacher, a defender from Barcelona became the first-ever Canadian Premier League selection out the school when Pacific FC plucked him in the first round. 

Glasmacher becomes first WolfPack chosen in a CPL draft - Thompson ...
(Canadian Premier League)

His selection followed a season where he captained the Wolfpack and was selected as a first-team All-Star in Canada West. Although his selection may have seemed off the radar to many a CPL fan, Glasmacher was a player that then-interim head coach of Pacific FC, James Merriman,  said he had an eye on for a while. 

In speaking to Thompson Rivers Athletics, Merriman said  “I have followed Jan’s progress for the last year and a half. I know Jan is a player and person of high character and I am looking forward to working with him if he earns a U SPORTS contract out of training camp.”

Glasmacher of TRU WolfPack selected in Canadian Premier League U ...
Glasmacher vs UBCO Heat (Allen Douglas)

Pacific FC lost a few key pieces in their defensive lineup in the off-season, and the stable play of Glasmacher could have very well solidified the hole left by the departure of Hendrik Starostzik, who left after one injury-plagued year on the island. 

Alas, the pandemic once again halted the footballing journey of another player, as Pacific FC’s training camp was stopped in its tracks before the Spaniard could earn himself a contract. Nevertheless, the past season was a memorable one for Glasmacher, who could be launching his professional career whenever the world returns to some sort of normal.



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