TORONTO (CIS) – The national season award winners were announced Thursday morning prior to the start of the 2016 CIS indoor track and field championships, presented by Muscle MLK.
On the women's side, Brittany Crew from the York University Lions was named the outstanding performer in field events for the second straight year. She was accompanied in the winners' circle by Toronto's Gabriela Stafford (outstanding performer in track events), Lethbridge's Sandra Latrace (rookie of the year) and York teammate Sheereen Harris (Student-Athlete Community Service Award).
In men's competition, the recipients included Sacha Smart of Toronto (track MVP), Peter Millman of Lethbridge (field MVP), Patrick Hanna of Montreal (top freshman) and Jared Olson of Saskatchewan (Student-Athlete Community Service Award).
The three-day CIS meet, hosted by York for the first time in school history, runs from Thursday to Saturday at the Toronto Track and Field Centre. Selected events will be webcast throughout the championships on www.CIS-SIC.tv.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (TRACK EVENTS): Gabriela Stafford, Toronto
Stafford was honoured with the Dr. Wendy Jerome trophy as the overall most valuable performer in the OUA after winning three gold medals, two in record-breaking time, at the conference championships two weeks ago, while also leading the Varsity Blues to a second-place finish in the team standings.
The third-year psychology major from Toronto dominated the OUA meet, first breaking Olympian Paula 29-year-old record in the 1000m (2:44.18) with a time of 2:42.84, and then setting a new school standard of 4:15.67 in the 1500m, surpassing former Varsity Blues standout Megan Brown (4:19.78 in 2007). Anchoring the Blues 4x800m relay team, she earned her third gold medal of the meet in a time of 8:48.24.
Stafford dominated this year at the university level following a breakout summer season, which saw her claim a silver medal in the 1500m at the 2015 in , South Korea.
"Gabriela Stafford is the total package. She is an extremely determined, bright and talented young woman who inspires all of us by her effort in everything she does," said head coach Carl . "This is a fantastic way to honour all that she has done this season."
Nominees from other regional associations were Grace Annear of UNB (AUS), Maïté Bouchard of Sherbrooke (RSEQ) and Jenna Westaway of Calgary (Canada West).
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (FIELD EVENTS): Brittany Crew, York
Crew, who hails from East York, Ont., is one of the top throwers in the country and has had an outstanding 2015-16 season. She shattered both of her own OUA championships weight throw (18.75m) and shot put (17.49m) records at this year's event, and set personal bests in both events earlier in the season at the York Open with marks of 19.38m and 17.78m, respectively.
The fourth-year kinesiology and health science major, who has been recognized by York for her outstanding achievements in both academics and athletics, goes into this week's CIS championships as two-time reigning titlist in the shot put and defending gold medallist in the weight throw. She represented Canada in the shot put at last summer's Universiade in South Korea.
"Brittany has had an outstanding university career so far and this season in particular she's continued to improve as an athlete," said head coach Colin Inglis. "She keeps raising the bar and continues to rewrite our school and OUA record books. She's gained a lot of experience and has had a lot of success in the last few years and I have no doubt she has a bright future on the international stage."
The other nominees were Sarah Taplin of Dalhousie (AUS), Frédérique Djoussou-Lorng of Sherbrooke (RSEQ) and Sandra Latrace of Lethbridge (Canada West).
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Sandra Latrace, Lethbridge
Latrace, a native of Brooks, Alta., was not only named the Canada West rookie of the year this season, she was also selected as the top female performer in field events.
On day one of the Canada West championships, she showed a flare for the dramatic, winning the long jump by only two thanks to a final leap of 6.10m. Latrace continued her stellar first season with the 'Horns on day two, missing her second gold medal by only two in the triple jump with a leap of 11.65m, still good for silver. The super freshman was also fifth in the 60m sprint.
"Sandra has stepped up and competed like a veteran in her very first season as a CIS athlete," said head coach Larry Steinke. "She has improved every competition and has shown her talent and commitment at every opportunity. She has an incredibly bright future in the CIS."
The other nominees were Victoria LeBlanc of UNB (AUS), Geneviève Gagné of Laval (RSEQ) and Katrina of Toronto (OUA).
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Sheereen Harris, York
Harris, a sprinter from Toronto, is one of the leaders on the Lions track and field team and has been highly involved in the York community since she started her university career.
The kinesiology and health science student organizes in-school multi-sport clinics for students at a local public school, and has also coordinated a program with the Toronto Police force called "4 Kicks" to encourage local children in the area around York University to become more physically active. Harris has also been a peer mentor in the PAWS (Providing Athletes with Winning Strategies) program, where she assists first-year student-athletes in their transition into university both academically and athletically. In the classroom, she earned CIS academic all-Canadian in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
At the OUA championships this season, Harris earned a pair of medals, including gold in the 300m (38.50) and silver in the 60m (7.50) in a personal best time. She's currently ranked first in CIS in the 300m and second in the 60m.
"Sheereen is the consummate student-athlete. Her outstanding accomplishments on the track have been equaled by her achievements in the classroom and as a leader on our track and field team," said coach Colin Inglis. "She's heavily involved in not only the York athletics community but the local community as well. She leads by example and there's not a better person for our young athletes to look up to than Sheereen."
The other nominees were Morgan Hawkes of Dalhousie (AUS) and Alexa Hrycun of Alberta (Canada West).
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (TRACK EVENTS): Sacha Smart, Toronto
Smart became the first Varsity Blue to earn the OUA Phillips Trophy since 2000. The Toronto native and fourth-year kinesiology major captured four medals, including three gold, in leading the Varsity Blues to a fourth-place team finish at the 2016 OUA championships.
Smart kicked off the meet with an OUA record-breaking performance in the 1000m, bettering former teammate's Michael Del Monte's 2010 mark (2:23.99) in a time of 2:21.10. He followed that up with a first-place finish in the 600m (1:18.81) on day two, before helping Toronto's 4x400 relay team to a new OUA-record time of 3:17.06. He also helped the 4x800 relay to a silver medal.
"Sacha is a leader both on and off the track. He demonstrates this by his commitment day in and day out to not only bring out the best in himself but his teammates as well," said coach Carl . "This has been a breakout year for Sacha and we are so proud of him."
The other nominees were Matthew Coolen of Dalhousie (AUS), Antoine of Laval (RSEQ) and Kahlen Branning of Regina (Canada West).
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (FIELD EVENTS): Peter Millman, Lethbridge
, who hails from Truro, N.S., becomes the first Pronghorn since Olympian and four-time winner Jim (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009) to receive the CIS award in men's field events. For the third consecutive season, the fourth-year senior swept the throwing events at the Canada West championships and was named the conference male field performer of the year. He was also a key part in the Pronghorns setting a new program record with 10 Canada West medals.
Millman kicked off the conference meet with his fourth consecutive gold medal in the weight throw. His furthest throw of 17.83m won the event by more than two . On day two, he led the Pronghorns to a podium sweep of the shot put event for the second consecutive year. The reigning CIS champion in the discipline, Millman added to his medal haul with his second gold of the weekend and won the event with a throw of 16.70m.
"Once again Peter has shown why he is one of the best CIS throwers by dominating Canada West in both of the throws and topping the CIS rankings in shot put," said coach Larry Steinke. "He continues to provide leadership and inspiration for our athletes and sets the bar for excellence both on and off the field."
The other nominees were Matthew Musoke of Saint Mary's (AUS), Patrick Hanna of Montreal (RSEQ) and Riley Bell of Western (OUA).
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Patrick Hanna, Montreal
Hanna is the first member of the up-and-coming Carabins program to be named CIS rookie of the year. At the conference level, the 20-year-old medicine student from Roxboro, Que., was also recognized as the top male performer of the season in field events.
At the RSEQ championships, he claimed gold in the triple jump thanks to a leap of 15.18m and placed second in the long jump after hitting the 6.87m mark. He scored 12 of 42 team points for the Carabins, lifting the young program to fourth place in the men's standings.
Last summer, Hanna, whose father represented Lebanon in the 100m at the world championships, competed at the junior Pan American Games in Edmonton. Earlier this season, he had the best result in Canada in the triple jump (15.78), in any age group.
"Patrick is a very talented freshman," said head coach Janvier. "He will be an exceptional ambassador for our program for years to come and he's also a great teammate. At the RSEQ championships, he competed in the long jump in addition to the triple jump just to get points for the team. Patrick is like the calm before the storm. When he decides he'll perform, he performs!"
The other nominees were Matthew Coolen of Dalhousie (AUS), Ramzi of Western (OUA) and Brendan Calef of Alberta (Canada West).
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD:Jared Olson, Saskatchewan
Olson, a fifth-year business student from Saskatoon, has been an integral part of the Huskie track and field team since his rookie year in 2011. Over five seasons, he has shown leadership skills by helping other team members with their event performances as well as in later years giving advice on classes and programs as well as tutoring.
Olson is one of the group leaders and, in that role, has gotten volunteers as well as volunteering himself for the team's many fundraising activities. He has also represented the track and field team on the Huskie Athletic Council committee in 2015 and 2016. He helps with elementary school relays that the team puts on by assisting in the organization of the students as well as mentoring them on the skills needed to run the relays.
Athletically, Olson's hard work and dedication to his event – the 60m hurdles - has him currently ranked third in CIS and first in Canada West. His 4x200m relay team, which he has been a member of for the last four years, is also ranked first in the country.
"Jared has been an outstanding leader for the Huskie track and field program ever since he joined us five years ago," said head coach Joanne McTaggart. "He has been selfless donating his time to help others in our program both athletically and academically. In addition to all of the hard work he has put in on the track to become a top-ranked athlete, Jared has been more than willing to volunteer his time in the Saskatoon community."
The other nominees were Savoy of St. Thomas (AUS), Jean-Samuel Lapointe of Laval (RSEQ) and Mitchell Torres of Guelph (OUA).
2015-2016 CIS SEASON AWARDS
Athlete of the year (track events): Gabriela Stafford, Toronto
Athlete of the year (field events): Brittany Crew, York
Rookie of the year: Sandra Latrace, Lethbridge
Student-athlete community service award: Sheereen Harris, York
Athlete of the year (track events): Sacha Smart, Toronto
Athlete of the year (field events): Peter Millman, Lethbridge
Rookie of the year: Patrick Hanna, Montreal
Student-athlete community service award:Jared Olson, Saskatchewan
2016 CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (selected events webcast daily at www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Thursday, March 10
13:30Weight Throw (W) Final
15:3060m Hurdles (W) Pentathlon
15:4560m (M) Heptathlon
16:15High Jump (W) Pentathlon
16:30Long Jump (M) Heptathlon
18:0060m (W) Heats
18:1560m (M) Heats
18:15Shot Put (W) Pentathlon
19:00Shot Put (M) Pentathlon
19:0060m (W) Final
19:1060m (M) Final
19:15Long Jump (W) Pentathlon
19:2060m Ambulatory (W) Exhibition Final
19:30600m (W) Heats
19:45600m (M) Heats
19:45High Jump (M) Heptathlon
20:004x200m Relay (W) Heats
20:204x200m Relay (M) Heats
20:45800m (W) Pentathlon
Friday, March 11
13:00Weight Throw (M) Final
14:4560m Hurdles (M) Heptathlon
15:45Pole Vault (M) Heptathlon
16:3060m Hurdles (W) Heats
16:4560m Hurdles (M) Heats
17:00Long Jump (W) Final
17:00High Jump (M) Final
17:001000m (W) Final
17:101000m (M) Final
17:3060m Hurdles (M) Final
17:4060m Hurdles (W) Final
17:50300m (W) Heats
18:05300m (M) Heats
18:30Pole Vault (W) Final
18:303000m (W) Final
18:503000m (M) Final
19:00Long Jump (M) Final
19:10Shot Put (W) Final
19:301000m (M) Heptathlon
19:40300m (W) Final
19:50300m (M) Final
20:004x800m Relay (W) Final
20:154x800m Relay (M) Final
Saturday, March 12
12:30Triple Jump (W) Final
12:30Pole Vault (M) Final
13:15600m (W) Final
13:30600m (M) Final
14:154x200m Relay (W) Final
14:254x200m Relay (M) Final
14:30High Jump (W) Final
14:45Triple Jump (M) Final
14:45Shot Put (M) Final
14:451500m (W) Final
15:001500m (M) Final
16:004x400m Relay (W) Final
16:154x400m Relay (M) Final