Pilar Khoury and Johnny Berhanemeskel were named the University of Ottawa’s top varsity athletes for the 2014-15 season at the Gee-Gees Varsity Awards Banquet on Friday night. The record-setting pair from uOttawa’s two no. 1 ranked teams this season headlined a night of recognition for over 30 award winners including for 13 team Most Valuable Players.
Khoury set a new Gee-Gees scoring record by notching 14 goals in 15 regular season games, giving the fourth year striker 47 regular season goals in her career to rank first in women’s soccer program history. She then scored the game winning goal in both the OUA semifinal and the championship game to give Ottawa its eighth conference championship and the second in Khoury’s career. The Ottawa native was named the OUA East Player of the Year and a First Team All-Canadian.
Berhanemeskel was the OUA’s top men’s basketball scorer this season, posting a career high 23.2 points per game. The fifth-year guard shot 55 per cent from the field, helping him move into third place in the all-time OUA scoring record books with 2000 career regular season points. On that conference list of all-time scorers he is the top ranked guard. He holds numerous Gee-Gees records for three-point shooting and scoring marks and was named the OUA and CIS Men’s Basketball Player of the Year this season, becoming the first ever Gee-Gee to win the national award.
Women’s hockey goaltender Maude Lévesque-Ryan and medley swimmer Montana Champagne took home the awards for Rookie of the Year – the first time that award has been handed out by uOttawa in recent years. Lévesque-Ryan (Rimouski, Qué.) was outstanding between the pipes for the garnet and grey, posting an average of 34 saves per game. She led Ottawa to two wins over no. 1 ranked Montreal during the regular season and was undefeated in shootouts. Champagne captured three medals at the OUA Championships, including a silver in the 200-metre individual medley. He also helped uOttawa to its best ever men’s team finish at the CIS Championships by earning top ten finishes in three individual events and set new team records in three events this season.
Another new award this year, the Volunteer Recognition Award, was given to football team equipment manager Cameron Lyons. Lyons has worked with the football team since 1998. He is relied upon for an innumerable amount of tasks to make things run smoothly and has an integral member of the staff for 17 years.
The President’s Awards were given to Andrew Heffernan of the track and field team and Kellie Forand of the women’s basketball team to recognize their commitment to athletics, academics, and community service.
Heffernan is completing his Master’s in Public and International Affairs while also serving as a guide runner for a visually impaired multi-time Canadian Paralympian. The pair will be running this summer Para-Pan-Am games in Toronto. Andrew, who hails from Peterborough, Ont., has also dedicated the time to the Liberal Party of Canada for the last two and a half years as a volunteer.
Forand is in her second season with the women’s basketball team and earned academic All-Canadian status both years, posting a 9.8 GPA during the fall semester of 2014 in her communications program. The Shawinigan, Que., native is an outstanding overall role model and tireless worker within her team. She has volunteered her time with the 2014 Francophonie Games and as a speaker for Encounters Canada as well as many basketball clinics and camps.
Taylor Rennie was recognized as the Student Therapist of the Year. The senior student worked primarily with the women’s basketball team this season while also providing coverage to various other teams whenever needed.
In addition, ten athletes were given the Director’s Award in honour of their success on the national stage.
2014-15 Directors Award Winners:
Johnny Berhanemeskel - Winner of the Mike Moser Memorial Trophy as CIS men’s basketball Player of the Year, and CIS first team All-Canadian
Robert Bonomo - Winner of a CIS Bronze medal in the men’s 50m Butterfly
Jen Boyd- Winner of the Jim Atkinson Award as CIS women’s rugby Coach of the Year
James Derouin - Winner of the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as CIS men’s basketball Coach of the Year
Myriam English – Named to the CIS first team of All-Canadians for women’s volleyball
Pilar Khoury - Named to the CIS first team of All-Canadians for women’s soccer
Ettore Lattanzio - Winner of the J.P. Metras Trophy as CIS football’s Most Outstanding Lineman, and CIS first team All-Canadian
Cynthia Leblanc - Named to the CIS second team of All-Canadians for women’s soccer
Katie Phillips - Winner of the CIS women’s Cross-Country Rookie of the Year award
Kellie Ring - Winner of the CIS Tracy MacLeod Award in women’s basketball in recognition of determination, perseverance, and unwavering spirit.
2014-15 Team Most Valuable Players:
Basketball (M) – Gabriel Gonthier-Dubue
Basketball (W) – Stephanie MacDonald
Cross Country (M) – Mathieu Vierula
Cross Country (W) – Isabelle Kanz
Football – Ettore Lattanzio
Hockey (W) - Maude Lévesque-Ryan
Rugby – Danielle Erdelyi
Soccer – Pilar Khoury
Swimming (M) – Robert Bonomo
Swimming (W) – Eryn Weldon
Track and Field (M) – Nelson Cecereu
Track and Field (W) – Devyani Biswal
Volleyball – Myriam English