LONDON, Ont. – Men’s wrestler Steven Takahashi and women’s track and field athlete Caroline Ehrhardt were recognized for their outstanding careers on Tuesday night as the Western Mustangs held the 2014-15 Athletic Awards Gala at the London Convention Centre.
Takahashi finished his five years at Western by becoming the 76th winner of the Dr. Claude Brown Trophy, while Ehrhardt wrapped up her five-year Mustangs career as the 59th winner of the F.W.P. Jones Trophy. Both awards are presented to an athlete judged to have made the greatest contribution to intercollegiate athletics within the university during their time at Western.
Few have ever dominated OUA and CIS wrestling as Takahashi has during his time with the purple and white, winning a total of eight gold medals in OUA and CIS competition. He claimed the top spot in his weight class each year that he competed, and only an injury late last season that kept the London native out of action at the OUA and CIS Championships prevented him from winning the top spot for five consecutive seasons.
Along with his success at the university level, Takahashi is also a standout on the global stage, representing Canada in a number of events including the Universiade as well as the 2011 Pan American Games where he earned a bronze medal. The kinesiology student is stellar in the classroom as well, and was named a CIS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2012-13 season, receiving a commendation from Governor General David Johnston.
Other nominees for the Dr. Claude Brown Memorial Trophy were rower Marc Addison and hockey player Steve Reese.
One of the greatest track and field athletes in Mustangs history, Ehrhardt leaves Western in possession of both the OUA and CIS Championship records in triple jump, the later of which broke a milestone that had lasted for 22 years. From Espanola, Ont., Ehrhardt has been stellar in university competition, claiming a total of 18 OUA and CIS medals, including seven provincial and four national gold.
If her success at the university level wasn’t enough, Ehrhardt has captured the Canadian triple jump title for the past four seasons, and is a former three-time Canadian Junior triple jump champion and two-time Canadian Junior long jump champion.
A leader on the track and field team, Ehrhardt is also a leader in the classroom as the health sciences student was honoured at Rideau Hall this past November by Governor General David Johnston as a CIS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2013-14 season. She was also selected as one of the 2015 Young Women of Excellence by the YMCA of Western Ontario.
Also nominated for the F.W.P. Jones Trophy were hockey’s Kelly Campbell and rugby player Lori Josephson.
Along with the Brown and Jones trophies two Mustangs were selected as the Male and Female Athletes of the Year.
In only the third year of its existence the Female Athlete of the Year Award already has a repeat winner, as Kelly Campbell was honoured for her outstanding play this season. She also received the award for the 2012-13 season, the first time it was ever presented. Campbell was nothing short of phenomenal this season, leading the OUA with a .954 save percentage and 16 wins which earned her OUA First Team All-Star and CIS First Team All-Canadian status.
The St. Thomas native didn’t stop there however, going undefeated with an 8-0 record in the post-season to help lead the Mustangs to their first-ever OUA and CIS titles, and being named both the OUA Finals Player of the Game and CIS Championship Tournament MVP.
Lori Josephson and track and field athlete Robin Bone were also nominated for the Female Athlete of the Year Award.
Justin Scapinello was named Male Athlete of the Year, becoming the second men’s volleyball player in three seasons to do so after Garrett May took home the award in 2012-13. Scapinello was one of the best players in the country this season, placing in the top ten in a wide variety of categories, and leading the OUA with 315 kills, 31 service aces, 367 total points and averaging 4.7 points per set. For his efforts he was named an OUA First Team All-Star.
Other nominees for Male Athlete of the Year were basketball player Greg Morrow and football player Daryl Waud.
Also presented on Tuesday night were the prestigious Purple Blanket awards, which are given to student-athletes, usually in their graduating year, that are judged to have made an outstanding contribution to Western athletics.
This year 12 Purple Blankets were handed out with six going to major award nominees Caroline Ehrhardt, Kelly Campbell, Lori Josephson, Steve Reese, Steven Takahashi, and Marc Addison. Other winners included football’s Brian Marshall, men’s rugby’s Ade Ojo, women’s rower Sara Matovic, women’s golf’s Jessie Mercer, women’s cross country and track and field’s Amanda Truelove, and women’s squash player Holly Delavigne.
Team MVPs were honoured as well, with the full list of winners outlined below:
Men’s Badminton: Bryan Jok
Women’s Badminton: Adrianna Giuffre
Baseball: Tommy MacDonald
Men’s Basketball: Greg Morrow
Women’s Basketball: Caroline Wolynski
Men’s Cross Country: Kevin Blackney
Women’s Cross Country: Amanda Truelove
Men’s Curling: Nathan Gonsalves
Women’s Curling: Chantal Allan
Men’s Fencing: Andrew Kennel
Women’s Fencing: Vivian Poon
Field Hockey: Katelyn Roganowicz & Megan Duffy (co-MVPs)
Figure Skating: Christina Liao
Football: Daryl Waud
Men’s Golf: Harris Bundy
Women’s Golf: Jessie Mercer
Men’s Hockey: Steve Reese
Women’s Hockey: Kelly Campbell
Men’s Lacrosse: Matt Spanger
Women’s Lacrosse: Jesse Porter and Tenyka Snider (co-MVPs)
Ringette: Michelle Coppens
Men’s Rowing: Adam Rabalski (Heavyweight)
Men’s Rowing: Brett Duncan (Lightweight)
Women’s Rowing: Kathleen Morrison (Heavyweight)
Women’s Rowing: Jill Moffat (Lightweight)
Men’s Rugby: Armin Gurdic
Women’s Rugby: Lori Josephson
Men’s Soccer: Andrew Walton
Women’s Soccer: Jessi Couto
Softball: Shannon Davidson and Stacie Cox (co-MVPs)
Men’s Squash: Cory Shannon
Women’s Squash: Holly Delavigne
Men’s Swimming: Gamal Assaad
Women’s Swimming: Paulina Bond
Men’s Table Tennis: John Malik
Women’s Table Tennis: Rongge Zhang
Men’s Tennis: Alex Low
Women’s Tennis: Josie McCann
Men’s Track and Field: Isoken Ogieva
Women’s Track and Field: Caroline Ehrhardt
Men’s Volleyball: Justin Scapinello
Women’s Volleyball: Kelsey Veltman
Water Polo: Jared Webster
Men’s Wrestling: Steven Takahashi
Women’s Wrestling: Madi Parks