OTTAWA (CIS) – Gabriela Stafford, a track star from the University of Toronto, and Ammanuel Diressa, a basketball player from Ryerson University, are the ArcelorMittal Dofasco CIS female and male athletes of the week for the period ending Jan. 24, 2016.
Stafford, a third-year psychology major from Toronto, was simply dominant at the uOttawa Winter National Invitational with wins in the 1000 and 1500-metre races, including the second-fastest time in the world in 2016 on the shorter distance. The 5-foot-4 runner, who claimed a silver medal for Canada in the 1500m at last summer's Universiade in South Korea, clocked 2:42.47 in the 1000m on Saturday to edge UofT teammate and reigning CIS champion Sasha Gollish by .03 second, and prevailed by more than 12 seconds in the 1500m thanks to a CIS championship standard time of 4:20.52. Stafford's performance in the 1000m would have been good enough to shatter the CIS championship record of 2:42.81 set back in 1988 by two-time Olympian Paula Schnurr of McMaster.
Acadia basketball player Paloma Anderson, McGill basketball player Alex Kiss-Rusk and Calgary hockey player Iya Gavrilova were also nominated for the women's award.
Diressa, a third-year business management student from Toronto, averaged 25 points per game to lead the Rams to a rare weekend sweep against powerhouses Ottawa and Carleton, who were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country going into the contests. The 6-foot-4 guard, in his first season with Ryerson after transferring from Tennessee Tech (NCAA), led all scorers in both matches as he collected 21 points, six rebounds and three assists in a 79-61 win over the reigning CIS champion Ravens, before adding 29 points, three boards, three assists and four steals in an 87-80 defeat of the Gee-Gees. The Rams, who lead the OUA East standings with an 8-1 record, climbed to No. 1 in the national rankings on Tuesday, becoming the first team in school history to merit the status.
UNB hockey player Francis Beauvillier, Laval volleyball player Vicente Ignacio Parraguirre Villalobos and Saskatchewan hockey player Kohl Bauml were the other male nominees.
AUS: Paloma Anderson, basketball, Acadia
RSEQ: Alex Kiss-Rusk, basketball, McGill
OUA: Gabriela Stafford, track & field, Toronto (recipient)
CWUAA: Iya Gavrilova, hockey, Calgary
AUS: Francis Beauvillier, hockey, UNB
RSEQ: Vicente Ignacio Parraguirre Villalobos, volleyball, Laval
OUA: Ammanuel Diressa, basketball, Ryerson (recipient)
CWUAA: Kohl Bauml, hockey, Saskatchewan