Women’s rugby heading to Atlanta for nationals


Aahron Young

On Saturday, Rod Tompkins (back row, second from left) was awarded the Program Development of the Year in North America. Tompkins has been key in the rugby program in helping fund Wayne Rugby Park when it was being built and also when it was being rebuilt after the tornado in October 2013.

Nathan Pearson, Staff Writer

The Wayne State women’s rugby team advanced to nationals while the men’s team was eliminated during the regional rugby tournament Saturday and Sunday in Wayne.

The women’s team started off the weekend on a high note by defeating Western Colorado State 100-0. On Sunday, the women’s team defeated MSU Moorhead 38-10 to advance to the national tournament in Atlanta next week.

“As a captain and fifth year senior this means everything,” Hannah Meyer said. “There is no other feeling like going to nationals.”

The tournament consisted of four teams for the women’s division and three teams for the men’s division. Colorado College, the other semi-finalist on the women’s side, was eliminated by MSU Moorhead.

“It feels pretty awesome,” Jasmine Kovasc said. “We’ve just been building on each other’s success.”

The men’s team defeated Arkansas-John Brown in the first round on Saturday 28-17. Iowa Central received a bye on Saturday, then defeated Wayne State on Sunday 60-12 to advance to the national tournament.

“The men’s team stepped up against Arkansas-John Brown,” Head Coach Darrin Barner said. “It was their best game all year. We were just beat up today against Iowa Central. We were slow and sluggish and just couldn’t run anymore.

“The women found a flow in the game against Western Colorado State, which had a defense that matched up well against our offense. The game against MSU Moorhead went exactly how we thought. They played well, but we had great defense.”

Rich Cortez of USA Olympic Rugby was on hand to award Barner and Rod Tompkins Program Development of the Year in North America. Tompkins donated a large portion of the money that went towards the development of the rugby park.