Toronto (via U SPORTS) – U SPORTS proudly announced Thursday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2018-19 season.
The elite group will be honoured at a later date at Rideau Hall, the official residence of workplace of the Governor General of Canada, in the nation’s capital.
The Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation was founded by the Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada, who first honoured Canada’s Top 8 student-athletes in 2013.
U SPORTS student-athletes achieve Academic All-Canadian status 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.
Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences are selected annually to make up the Top 8.
“The list of Academic All-Canadians continues to grow each year,” said Graham Brown, President and CEO of U SPORTS. “The success of the Top 8 is a testament to the dedication of our student-athletes on the field of play, in the classroom and as leaders in their communities across the country.
As the official supporter of the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians, Sherrard Kuzz LLP will continue to support the travel, accommodation and hospitality of the group in the lead-up to the Commendation at Rideau Hall. All eight student-athletes will also receive a customized ring from Baron, the Exclusive Provider of championship rings and recognition jewelry for U SPORTS.
Profiles for the two Ontario University Athletics (OUA) members of the 2018-19 Top 8 are available below.
Name: Zoe Sherar
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
School: University of Guelph
Sport: Track and Field
Eligibility in 2018-19: 2nd
Zoe Sherar entered a new stratosphere as a student-athlete during the 2018-19 varsity track and field season.
At just 19 years of age, Sherar stole the spotlight in what proved to be an unforgettable sophomore campaign.
Over the course of two days in late February at the 2019 OUA Track and Field Championships in Toronto, Sherar earned three separate trips to the top of the podium while helping lead the Gryphon women’s team to their fourth straight conference banner. Sherar took home an OUA gold medal in the women’s 300m, and followed that up with two more gold medals in the relays where she helped the Guelph Gryphons establish new OUA meet records in both the women’s 4x200m and 4x400m relays.
Two weeks later, Sherar would somehow take her performances to an even higher level, with an exceptional showing on the national stage. At the 2019 U SPORTS Track and Field Championships in Winnipeg, Sherar once again took home three gold medals, this time, helping her 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams establish new U SPORTS record times, while also setting a Gryphons record time in her gold medal-winning performance in the women’s 300m.
Sherar’s time of 37.79 seconds in the 300m was the fifth-fastest ever recorded at the national meet. Sherar’s 4x200m relay team broke the Canadian senior and U23 records, thanks in part to her incredible splits. Sherar’s outstanding performance at the U SPORTS Track and Field Championships helped the Gryphons women’s team capture their second consecutive national title, and fourth in school history.
Throughout her sensational 2018-19 track season, Sherar was equally adept in the classroom, where she maintained an impressive 85.7 per cent average while successfully navigating a change in her academic major. In mid-September of 2018, Sherar shifted her academic focus away from statistics and began to pursue a pair of new disciplines, with the Toronto native minoring in economics as well as geographic information systems. Drawn to the University of Guelph’s arts and sciences program because of the wide range of unique specializations offered, Sherar excelled in both disciplines throughout her sophomore season, honing a variety of skills, ranging from the use of mapping software, to long-form written essays analyzing a variety of current social and scientific issues. Sherar also proved to be a valuable resource for her fellow students, as she spent a second consecutive year volunteering as part of U of G’s “Peer Helper Program.” As a peer helper, Sherar worked at the info desk on the third floor of the University Centre where she helped answer academic-related questions from fellow students as well as provide information regarding resources available to students on campus.
In the Guelph community, Sherar’s impact was also widespread, with the All-Canadian track athlete taking part in the Start2Finish Running & Reading Club. This after-school program saw Sherar regularly visit Brant Avenue Public School in Guelph, where she volunteered with elementary school children (Grades 3-6) to address the need for enhanced literacy and physical activity among children experiencing poverty and deprivation in their communities. The program culminates in the Start2Finish 5K running and reading challenge and an awards ceremony recognizing each child’s achievement at the end of the school year.
Sherar also spent the summer of 2018 interacting with local children (ages 7-14) as a camp counselor with the Gryphon Track & Field summer camps. Sherar also represented the Gryphon Track and Field team at the “Bowl for Kids Sake” event in March. The annual fundraising event from the University of Guelph’s Department of Athletics has raised over $100,000 over the past decade-plus in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph.
Following her exceptional collegiate season, Sherar would trade in her Gryphon colours for a Team Canada crest, as she went on to represent her country on multiple occasions during the spring and summer of 2019. In May, Sherar took home Canada’s lone medal from the 2019 IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan after teaming alongside fellow Gryphon Philip Osei to help Canada capture silver in the mixed 4x400m relay. In the process, Sherar was part of a mixed 4x400m relay team that established a new national record with a time of 3:16.78. Sherar also narrowly missed reaching the podium in Japan in the women’s 4x400m relay team.
Two months after her standout performance at the World Relays in Japan, Sherar once took her talents overseas, this time as a member of Canada’s delegation for the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy. There, Sherar finished fifth in the women’s 4x400m relays, running alongside another fellow Gryphon Jenna Westaway. Sherar also competed in the women’s 400m, where she ran to a 10th-place finish.
“Zoe is an extremely well-focused and disciplined student,” said Guelph Director of Athletics Scott McRoberts. “She is an outstanding student and athlete. She is loyal to her team and has a willingness to work hard and make herself and everyone around her better.”
Name: Slater Doggett
Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
School: Queen’s University
Faculty: Arts and Science
Program: Applied Economics
Eligibility in 2018-19: 4th
The 2018-19 season was a historic one for the Queen’s Gaels men’s hockey program and star forward Slater Doggett.
Last year, Doggett once again showed why he is one of the best to sport the Tricolour on the ice, claiming the OUA East MVP and being named a U SPORTS All-Canadian. Doggett, who moved into the program's Top 10 in all-time scoring to close his career, ranked third in the nation with 21 goals and tied for ninth in the conference with 34 points – anchoring the Gaels’ OUA Queen’s Cup championship squad with his leadership both on and off the ice as well.
The graduating forward has also played amongst the best and brightest of Canadian university hockey over his career – winning a bronze medal for Canada at the 2017 FISU Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan, and competing for the 2018 U SPORTS All-Stars against Hockey Canada's World Junior Prospects. In 2018-19, the first-team all-star was held off the scoresheet only three times, thanks in large part to a six-game goal-scoring streak and nine multi-point efforts for the Kingston squad. But while his accolades on the ice can go on and on, his work off of it is just as celebratory.
Doggett's overall portfolio of contributions as a student-athlete also helped garner him the OUA East Division Randy Gregg Award. Among his many initiatives is involvement in the Autism Mentorship Program (AMP), which pairs autistic youth and adults in meaningful, one-on-one mentoring relationships designed to provide support for the present and future. Doggett has also contributed to Nightlight Kingston throughout his university career, volunteering his time with those who are less fortunate. He has also spent time with the Running and Reading Program during his time at Queen's, volunteering once a week at the Molly Brant Public School to support the initiative.
After Queen’s, he quickly signed a professional contract with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL and currently plays professionally for the Vipiteno Sterzing Broncos in the Alps Hockey League, which features teams based in Austria, Italy and Slovenia.
“Slater optimized what it meant to be a student-athlete. His commitment to the game and his studies were the standard for what we look for in a player at Queen’s,” said head coach Brett Gibson. “We looked most nights for Slater to lead the way and most nights he did not disappoint."
“Slater Doggett is one of the most dynamic men’s hockey student-athletes to ever step on the ice at Queen’s. He is an outstanding leader, role model and ambassador for hockey and the University,” said Queen’s Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation Leslie Dal Cin. “Slater successfully combines the demanding rigours of being both a student and athlete, while leading the men's hockey team to their first Queen’s Cup championship since 1981. An Academic All-Canadian, as well as U SPORTS All-Canadian and the top forward in the OUA since his arrival on Queen's campus, he has helped elevate the men's hockey program to a perennial national contender.”