(Photo credit: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall © Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, 2014)
OTTAWA (CIS) – The Canadian Interuniversity Sport student-athletes announced last month (Oct. 14) as Top Eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2013-2014 season were honoured in Ottawa, on Monday morning.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presented the second Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation to the eight recipients, during a ceremony at Rideau Hall.
Every year, a growing number of CIS student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians, having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one - or more - of their university’s varsity teams.
In 2013-14, a record 2,861 students achieved the prestigious status, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,695 set a year ago.
Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four CIS regional associations are selected annually to make up the Top Eight.
The 2013-14 recipients from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) are Michelle Pryde, a soccer player and chemistry student from Acadia, and Adrian Robertson, a hockey player and business administration student from UNB.
Representing the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) are McGill standouts Mariam Sylla, a basketball player and pharmacology student, as well as Cédric McNicoll, a hockey player and accounting major.
The winners from Ontario University Athletics (OUA) are Western’s Caroline Ehrhardt, a track and field athlete and health sciences student, as well as Carleton’s Tyson Hinz, a basketball player and commerce student.
Last but not least, the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) recipients are Manitoba volleyball player Brittany Habing, a science student, and Alberta basketball player Jordan Baker, who is currently working towards his master’s degree in coaching.
“The record number of Academic All-Canadians once again this year speaks volume about the quality of our student-athletes, but also our coaches, support staff and our universities,” said CIS chief executive officer, Pierre Lafontaine. “The Top Eight represents the very best of what university sport is all about. To be selected among 11,500 of their peers is an achievement these exceptional student-athletes should be extremely proud of.”
Following is a profile of each member of the 2013-2014 Top Eight, as well as a list of all-time winners.
ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS (OUA)
Name: Caroline Ehrhardt
Hometown: Espanola, Ont.
School: Western University
Faculty: Health Sciences
Program: Health Sciences
Sport: Track & Field
Eligibility in 2013-14: 4th year
Born in the small Northern Ontario town of Espanola, Caroline Ehrhardt has accumulated podium finishes in her first four years with Western’s track and field program. After winning two medals in her first appearance at the OUA championships in 2011, she has claimed the OUA and CIS individual titles in the triple jump event each of the past three seasons, while also excelling in the long jump over that period with a pair of OUA crowns and a CIS silver. She was the OUA championship MVP in field events in both 2013 and 2014.
A health sciences student, Ehrhardt has achieved CIS Academic All-Canadian status in three of her first four years at Western. A three-time member of the Dean’s List, she has received numerous academic accolades since she arrived on the London campus, including the Western Scholarship of Excellence, the Gordon Risk Athletic Award (twice) and Larry Shaw Scholarship.
In the community, Ehrhardt has been volunteering since 2013 with Childreach, an early childhood development resource centre in London. She is also a volunteer track and field coach, including assisting with a day camp for local indigenous schools each march since 2011.
“Caroline is an exceptional student-athlete who goes above and beyond to achieve the best she can in her sport and in the classroom,” says Western head coach Vickie Croley. “On the track she commits fully to an all-round training program combining physical training, psychological training, nutrition and recovery. She is the captain of her team and leads by setting an amazing example on and off the track. She takes her role very seriously and genuinely cares about the well-being and success of each of her teammates. In addition to being a three-time CIS champion, she is also a three-time national senior champion who is driven to represent her university and country at next year’s FISU Games and Pan Am Games.”
Name: Tyson Hinz
Hometown: Ottawa, Ont.
School: Carleton University
Program: General Commerce
Eligibility in 2013-14: 5th year
Tyson Hinz, who was born in Sherbrooke, Que., but moved to Ottawa at a young age, wrapped up one of the most successful careers in CIS men’s basketball history last march. Over his five seasons with the Ravens, the 6-foot-6 forward guided Carleton to four CIS titles, was twice voted MVP of the national championship and was a four-time all-Canadian, including in 2010-11, when he was named the CIS player of the year in men’s basketball and CIS overall male athlete of the year (BLG Award). He also helped Canada claim silver at the 2011 Summer Universiade in China.
Hinz, who is now playing professionally in Holland, graduated last spring with a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton’s Sprott School of Business. In 2013-14, he maintained a GPA of 10.56 out of 12.0.
Throughout his five years at Carleton, Hinz was actively involved with both the Ottawa area Spirit Program and Camp Merrywood, helping children with special needs. He also assisted in the coaching of many basketball teams and skill sessions with the Ottawa Guardsmen Basketball Club.
“Tyson exemplifies the ultimate student-athlete and is the type of player that every coach looks for,” says Carleton head coach Dave Smart. “He not only excels at his sport, he is a proven leader to his teammates, a role model in the community and very focused in the classroom. His five-year commitment to the Carleton basketball program helped us get to the next level every day. I am excited to watch him continue his basketball career, professionally in Holland, and know he will continue to represent the Ravens well.”
ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (AUS)
Name: Michelle Pryde
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
School: Acadia University
Eligibility in 2013-14: 2nd year
Born and raised in Calgary, Michelle Pryde moved to the East Coast two years ago to attend Acadia University and join the Axewomen soccer program. After being named the team’s rookie of the year in 2012, the centre-midfielder helped the Axewomen reach the AUS championship final for the first time in over a decade last fall.
On the academic front, Pryde has maintained an exceptional cumulative grade point average of 3.98 over her first two years in Acadia’s challenging chemistry program. A two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian and member of the Dean’s List, she has received numerous academic awards since her arrival on the Wolfville, N.S. campus, including the David Ryan Memorial Scholarship and C.W. Small Scholarship.
Pryde’s volunteer work in the community and on campus includes her involvement with the S.M.I.L.E. program (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience), the RCMP Anti-Bullying WITS Campaign, the Wolfville Children’s Centre, L.E. Shaw Elementary School, the Relay for Life, as well as CIBC Run for the Cure.
“Michelle is respected by her peers within the team to such a degree for her academics, ability on the field and commitment to the community that she was named to our leadership group in only her second year,” says Acadia head coach Amit Batra. “I believe she exemplifies exactly what ultimately all student athletes can aspire to achieve: Excellence in the classroom, leadership on her team, and caring in her community.”
Name: Adrian Robertson
Hometown: Mississauga, Ont.
School: University of New Brunswick
Faculty: Business Administration
Program: Business Administration
Eligibility in 2013-14: 2nd year
Adrian Robertson, who hails from Mississauga, Ont., joined the Varsity Reds in the fall of 2012 following a five-year career in the Ontario Hockey League with Peterborough, Windsor and Sudbury. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound rearguard had an immediate impact as a freshman as he helped the V-Reds capture the University Cup national championship. In his sophomore season last year, he received the Michael Cavanagh Memorial Award in recognition of his excellence on and off the ice.
In the classroom, the two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian has a cumulative GPA of 4.2 after two years in UNB’s business administration program, including five perfect A+ grades in the winter of 2014. In addition to the Cavanagh Award, the list of academic awards he has accumulated since he arrived on the Fredericton campus includes the George & Elaine Andrews Memorial Scholarship in Athletics, the John F. Bassett Memorial Scholarship and the Helen Neill Campbell Merit Award.
While at UNB, Robertson has been a volunteer coach with the V-Reds Prospects camps, working with young hockey players between the ages of 6 and 14. He had previously volunteered with the Windsor Spitfires Foundation in his OHL days and, more recently, worked with the RBC Blue Water Project in Toronto.
“Adrian was a high-performance achiever and top quality leader for our hockey program both on and off the ice last season,” says UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “He was our team leader in academics with a 4.2 GPA and was one of our top defencemen, winning the prestigious UNB Michael Cavanagh Award which recognizes top performance on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.”
RÉSEAU DU SPORT ÉTUDIANT DU QUÉBEC (RSEQ)
Name: Mariam Sylla
Hometown: Montreal, Que. (born in Conakry, Guinea)
School: McGill University
Eligibility in 2013-14: 2nd year
A native of Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, Mariam Sylla has been nothing short of phenomenal in her first two seasons with the McGill women’s basketball program. After being voted CIS rookie of the year in 2012-13, the 6-foot-1 centre was named MVP of the RSEQ conference and a first-team all-Canadian in her sophomore campaign thanks to her Quebec-leading 9.4 rebounds per game and her 13.1 points per contest, good for second in the league. She has already led the Martlets to back-to-back RSEQ titles and a pair of CIS championship appearances.
A two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian, Sylla has a cumulative GPA of 3.63 out of 4.0 in pharmacology, including a stellar 3.77 last winter. At McGill’s athletic banquet last April, she merited the Uldis Auders Memorial Trophy as most outstanding sophomore student-athlete.
A co-captain of the Martlets, Sylla helps to coordinate the team's annual wheelchair basketball game with the Montreal Action Centre as part of the “Chaire Aware” campaign to promote awareness about those with physical disabilities. She will be participating for the third straight year in the Varsity Council's annual Christmas food drive and is also coordinating the team's upcoming visit the Montreal Children's Hospital, to hand out Halloween treats to the young patients who are unable to leave the hospital.
“Mariam brings great raw athleticism and toughness to our team,” says McGill head coach Ryan Thorne. “She is a great competitor who will sacrifice her body for the ball, which makes her a force on the boards. Her ability to knock down the 15-footer, makes her a threat both inside and out, which I believe has contributed largely to our team’s success over the past two seasons.”
Name: Cédric McNicoll
Hometown: Boucherville, Que.
School: McGill University
Eligibility in 2013-14: 4th year
Cédric McNicoll, a native of Boucherville, Que., made his debut with the Redmen a year ago after three seasons at the professional level in the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League, which followed a stellar junior career that saw him average over one point per game in the QMJHL. The 5-foot-10, 174-pound centre excelled in his first season with McGill earning OUA all-conference honours and finishing second on the team in scoring with 15-25-35 in only 23 contests. He then claimed the OUA playoff scoring title with 16 points in eight games and guided the Redmen to an appearance in the University Cup national tournament.
McNicoll, who enrolled at McGill in the fall of 2012 but was redshirted in his first year after coming back from the pros, merited CIS Academic All-Canadian status in his management program, where he is majoring in accounting. He was the 2014 recipient of the Guy Lafleur Award of Excellence as the Quebec university player who best combines hockey excellence with academic success and citizenship.
In the community, he has volunteered for numerous school and hospital visits during his time in the QMJHL, the ECHL and AHL, and now at McGill.
“Cédric was a key contributor to our success last season. He is dynamic offensively and plays well in all three zones,” says McGill head coach Kelly Nobes. “He is a great leader for our team as he is very serious and conscientious with regards to his approach to games and practices. His work habits are outstanding. Not only is he an elite player, he is also an elite student as evidenced by his GPA in the demanding faculty of management.”
CANADA WEST UNIVERSITIES ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (CWUAA)
Name: Brittany Habing
Hometown: East St. Paul, Man.
School: University of Manitoba
Program: General sciences
Eligibility in 2013-14: 3rd year
A native of East St. Paul, just north east of Winnipeg, Habing was a difference-maker last year in her first campaign with the Bisons’ women’s volleyball program after transferring from the University of Winnipeg, where she had played for two seasons. In her Manitoba debut, the 5-foot-8 setter was named a second-team Canada West all-star after she led the country with 10.46 assists per set and was later voted to the CIS championship all-star team after she guided the Bisons to an upset win over six-time defending champion UBC in the national final.
Habing was as productive in the classroom in her first year at Manitoba with a spectacular 4.0 GPA in science.
Very involved for years in the Winnipeg community, Habing participated in 2013-14 in the Bisons Against Bullying school program, Bison Book Buddies and the Siloam Mission visit, assisting people in need in the inner-city. She also gave back to the volleyball community as a volunteer coach at numerous youth camps.
“Brittany is such an outstanding representative for our program, our conference and our university. We are all so proud of her accomplishments in the classroom and on the court,” says Manitoba head coach Ken Bentley. “She really is the consummate student-athlete in that she is completely dedicated to her studies and her sport and we are so fortunate to have her in our program.”
Name: Jordan Baker
Hometown: Edmonton, Alta.
School: University of Alberta
Faculty: Physical Education and Recreation
Program: Graduate Studies
Eligibility in 2013-14: 5th year
Jordan Baker put an explanation point on a remarkable five-year career with his hometown U of A men’s basketball program in 2013-14. In his final university season, the 6-foot-8 forward was voted Canada West MVP, was named a first-team all-Canadian and guided the Golden Bears to the conference title and a bronze medal at the CIS championship, where he was selected a tournament all-star. Now a member of Canada’s senior national team, the former Canada West rookie of the year graduated from the Bears program as the career leader in most major statistical categories including points, rebounds, assists and steals.
An equally stellar student, Baker earned Academic All-Canadian status in each of his five years at Alberta thanks to his 3.9 cumulative GPA, including a 3.8 mark in Graduate Studies last year. He graduated in June 2013 from the U of A School of Business and is currently working towards his master’s degree.
In the community, Baker organized and ran the Dave “Dutch” Holland 3-on-3 junior and high school summer basketball league in Edmonton. He also volunteered with the University Athletics Board, while helping run various summer camps on the U of A campus.
“Jordan had a tremendously influential five-year career with our program,” says Alberta head coach Barnaby Craddock. “The hard work that he put into training has left a tremendous standard for the upcoming generations of our athletes to uphold. Jordan put the same amount of hard work into his academics, and that shows in his high achievements and annual inclusion as an academic all-Canadian.”
AUS: Michelle Pryde, Acadia (soccer) / Adrian Robertson, UNB (hockey)
RSEQ: Mariam Sylla, McGill (basketball) / Cédric McNicoll, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Caroline Ehrhardt, Western (track & field) / Tyson Hinz, Carleton (basketball)
CWUAA: Brittany Habing, Manitoba (volleyball) / Jordan Baker, Alberta (basketball)
AUS: Monica MacDonald, UNB (swimming) / Travis Gibbons, Acadia (hockey)
RSEQ: Émilie Chamard, Montreal (soccer) / Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill (football)
OUA: Alicia Brown, Toronto (track & field) / Steven Takahashi, Western (wrestling)
CWUAA: Jaki Ellis, Alberta (volleyball) / Paul Clerc, UBC (soccer)
AUS: Miranda McMillan, Dalhousie (hockey) / Nathan Musoke, Dalhousie (track & field)
RSEQ: Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, Laval (rugby) / Marc-André Dorion, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Nicole Sassine, Windsor (track & field) / Darragh McGee, Toronto (soccer)
CWUAA: Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary (hockey) / Kyle Ross, Saskatchewan (hockey)
AUS: Heather Ambery, UNB (soccer) / Daniel You, Dalhousie (volleyball)
RSEQ: Alexandra Lojen, Montreal (volleyball) / Marc-André Dorion, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Erika Reiser, Windsor (track & field) / Shujon Mazumber, Toronto (wrestling)
CWUAA: Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary (hockey) / Darren Mazzei, Victoria (cross country - T&F)
AUS: Alex Legge, Dalhousie (basketball) / Jacob Kilpatrick, UNB (volleyball)
QSSF: Marie-Michelle Genois, Laval (basketball) / Steven Bielby, McGill (swimming)
OUA: Megan Brown, Toronto (cross country - T&F) / Dillon Heap, Wilfrid Laurier (football)
CWUAA: Jennifer Hinze, UBC (volleyball) / Thomas Hall, Manitoba (football)
AUS: Isabelle Miles, UNB (soccer) / Christopher Morrison, Saint Mary’s (hockey)
QSSF: Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux, Laval (swimming) / Emmanuel André-Morin, Montreal (volleyball)
OUA: Noelle Montcalm, Windsor (track & field) / Keith Beavers, Waterloo (swimming)
CWUAA: Kayla Dykstra, Victoria (basketball) / Kyle Ross, Regina (hockey)
AUS: Justine McMillan, Acadia (cross country) / Niklas Rademacher, Dalhousie (volleyball)
QSSF: Jennifer Thomson, McGill (volleyball) / Tyler Marghetis, Concordia (wrestling)
OUA: Brae Anne McArthur, Guelph (track & field) / Brad Rootes, Brock (basketball)
CWUAA: Adrianne Vangool, Saskatchewan (track & field) / Benjamin Schellenberg, Winnipeg (volleyball)
AUS: Katie Hollinshead, Dalhousie (soccer) / Colin Sinclair, UNB (hockey)
QSSF: Audrey Lacroix, Montreal (swimming) / David Foley, Sherbrooke (track & field)
OUA: Jackie Malette, Windsor (cross country - T&F) / Justin Hall, Queen’s (cross country - T&F)
CWUAA: Katie Davidson, Manitoba (volleyball) / Jay Langager, Lethbridge (hockey)
AUS: Christine Terese Chislom, StFX (cross country) / Jeff Weiler, Dalhousie (volleyball)
QSSF: Marylène Laplante, Laval (volleyball) / Nicolas Murray, Laval (swimming)
OUA: Jackie Malette, Windsor (cross country - T&F) / Joel Scherban, Lakehead (hockey)
CWUAA: Kristen Hagg, Alberta (hockey) / Chris Meehan, Trinity Western (volleyball)
AUS: Hilary Burn, Dalhousie (cross country - T&F) / Tyler Dyck, StFX (hockey)
QSSF: Danielle Day, McGill (soccer) / Tyler Marghetis, Concordia (wrestling)
OUA: Allison Oosterhuis, Western Ontario (soccer) / Ian MacLeod, Toronto (swimming)
CWUAA: Danielle Bourgeois, Alberta (hockey) / Paul Deniset, Manitoba (hockey)
AUS: Natalie Oake, St. Thomas (hockey) / Daniel Hudgin, Moncton (hockey)
QSSF: Carolyn McCabe, McGill (swimming) / Simon Therrien, UQTR (soccer)
OUA: Lulu Bursztyn, McMaster (wrestling) / Sagar Desai, Western Ontario (basketball)
CWUAA: Danielle Bourgeois, Alberta (hockey) / Adam Ens, Saskatchewan (volleyball)
AUS: Marieke Gardner, Dalhousie (soccer) / Kjetil Vaage, UNB (soccer)
QSSF: Marie-Hélène Giasson, Laval (swimming) / Alexandre Pichette, McGill (swimming)
OUA: Alison Mills, McMaster (volleyball) / Robert Smart, Carleton (basketball)
CWUAA: Maria Gallo, Alberta (rugby) / Blair St. Martin, Alberta (hockey)
AUS: Andrea Faryniuk, Dalhousie (track & field) / Tim Mullen, Saint Mary’s (soccer)
QSSF: Sarah Ali-Khan, McGill (cross country & T&F) / Strachan Hartley, McGill (football)
OUA: Lauren Fratesi, Ottawa (swimming) / Alexandre Hayes, Ottawa (swimming)
CWUAA: Jacqueline Lavallee, Saskatchewan (basketball) / Jeff Zorn, Alberta (hockey)
AUAA: Kate Ellis, UPEI (basketball) / Steve Gallace, Saint Mary’s (hockey)
QSSF: Catherine Foley, Sherbrooke (track & field) / Strachan Hartley, McGill (football)
OUA: Karina Verdon, Ottawa (hockey) / Andrew Kwiatkowski, Western Ontario (basketball)
GPAC: Brandy West, Regina (hockey) / Joey Mikawoz, Manitoba (football)
CWUAA: Jen Dowdeswell, UBC (field hockey) / Mark Versfeld, UBC (swimming)
AUAA: Kate Ellis, UPEI (basketball) / Aaron Barkhouse, Dalhousie (soccer)
QSSF: Sara Russo-Garrido, Laval (soccer) / Yannick Demers, Montreal (swimming)
OUA: Kristine Spekkens, Queen’s (volleyball) / Alex Hayes, Ottawa (swimming)
GPAC: Erin Soroko, Winnipeg (basketball) / Shawn Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Kelly Matheson, Calgary (soccer) / Spencer Holt, Lethbridge (basketball)
AUAA: Jolene Bourgeois, UNB (field hockey) / Jan Trojanowski, Acadia (basketball)
QSSF: Stephanie Welsh, McGill (track & field) / David Dufresne, UQTR (soccer)
OUA: Nathalie Côté, Ottawa (cross country - T&F) / Bob McGill, Queen’s (cross country - T&F)
GPAC: Nadia Melon, Manitoba (volleyball) / Shawn Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Jessica Mills, UBC (basketball) / Curtis Myden, Calgary (swimming)
AUAA: Tracy McGee, UPEI (field hockey) / Peter Benoite, Memorial (basketball)
QSSF: Wendy Whelan, McGill (volleyball) / Alexandre Émond, Montreal (volleyball)
OUA: Rebecca Chambers, Toronto (track & field) / Tim Cowan, McMaster (swimming)
GPAC: Kathy Hrehirchuk, Manitoba (volleyball) / Darreb Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Sarah Joly, Alberta (soccer) / Mike Dalziel, UBC (volleyball)
AUAA: Rachelle Beaton, Dalhousie (track & field) / Chris Diamond, UPEI (soccer)
QSSF: Andrea Bacsfalusi, McGill (swimming) / Pierre Hudon, Laval (football)
OWIAA / OUAA: Laurie Halfpenny, Guelph (soccer) / Russell Jones, Toronto (swimming)
GPAC: Amanda Mlodzinski, Manitoba (swimming) / Phil Peters, Winnipeg (volleyball)
CWUAA: Sarah Joly, Alberta (soccer) / Mike Sieben, Alberta (volleyball)
AUAA: Carla Edwards, Mount Allison (volleyball) / Chris Diamond, UPEI (soccer)
QSSF: Anna Leong, McGill (swimming) / Alex Hutchinson, McGill (track & field)
OWIAA / OUAA: Vicki White, Ottawa (soccer) / David Kantor, Queen's (volleyball)
GPAC: Jackie Honey, Manitoba (track & field) / Mel McManus, Manitoba (track & field)
CWUAA: Liz Smith, Alberta (soccer) / John McArthur, UBC (swimming)
AUAA: Jill Lawless, Acadia (volleyball) / Vojtech Kucera, St. Thomas (hockey)
QSSF: Caroline Vachon, Laval (track & field) / David O'Hara, McGill (cross country)
OWIAA / OUAA: Karen Jackson, York (basketball) / David Kantor, Queen's (volleyball)
GPAC: Renelda Friessen, Manitoba (volleyball) / Wayne Weathers, Manitoba (football & wrestling)
CWUAA: Adair Duncan, UBC (basketball) / Todd Langley, Victoria (basketball)
AUAA: Kathy McNally, UPEI (field hockey) / Ron Whelan, StFX (soccer)
QSSF: Julia Maughan, McGill (soccer) / Jason Della Rocca, Concordia (wrestling)
OWIAA / OUAA: Karen Jackson, York (basketball) / Craig Donaldson, Western Ontario (hockey)
GPAC: Sandra Carroll, Winnipeg (basketball) / Scott Koskie, Manitoba (volleyball)
CWUAA: Erika Forster, UBC (track & field) / Curtis Myden, Calgary (swimming)