of the Year honoured at banquet
Havaris and Heffernan top Mustangs
By Ian Denomme
Bela Nizami and Joyce
THIS IS WAY BETTER THAN THOSE PARTICIPATION RIBBONS I GOT IN
GRADE SCHOOL. Eva Havaris and Christian Heffernan receive
their trophies for best female and male athlete, respectively.
Western athletics held its annual athletic awards banquet Tuesday
night at the Greek Canadian Club to cap off another year of Mustangs’ sports.
While the dapper event had a party atmosphere — shown by
the raucous crowd of student athletes — there was also serious
business at hand. The night was an opportunity to recognize the
best Western has to offer by announcing all of the major award
Each team presented an MVP award and the Bronze “W” awards
were also handed out. Arguably the most important part of the night
was the presentation of the Dr. Claude Brown Memorial Trophy and
the F.W.P. Jones Trophy to the male and female Athletes of the
The male Athlete of the Year award went to football and track
star Christian Heffernan, while all-Canadian soccer player Eva
Havaris was selected as female Athlete of the Year.
Havaris enjoyed numerous accomplishments over her time at Western.
This season she was co-winner of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Player of the Year award, becoming the first Mustang ever to win.
She also received the Ontario University Athletics Golden Boot
award for leading the OUA in scoring. In 12 games, she had 11 goals
and 20 assists. She is a two-time OUA Most Valuable Player and
Despite all her accolades, she was not expecting the award.
“I’m definitely surprised. It’s quite an honour;
I’m very flattered,” Havaris said. “Being in
the audience the last few years made me aspire to want to win it.
It’s just my competitive nature.”
Heffernan is a two-sport star who also has his share of accomplishments.
He was the captain of the football team this season and currently
sits sixth in Western history in all-time receiving yards. On the
track, he is a six-time all-star and five-time All-Canadian. He
is a member of the CIS record- holding 4x400 metre relay team and
also won an OUA gold medal in the 600m.
“I’m shocked; I really didn’t think about it,” Heffernan
said. “To be in the same league as [Jimmy] Grozelle and [Andy]
Kwiatkowski is quite an honour. It won’t really hit me for
a few days.”
Both Havaris and Heffernan will continue to be essential parts
of their teams next season, albeit in different capacities. Havaris
will still be in school finishing her masters in sport management,
and hopes to help out with the team. Heffernan will be back with
both the football and track teams next year and finishing school
as he promised his dad before pursuing a career in the CFL.
Dan Smith, Western’s director of Sport & Recreation
Services, felt that both athletes were deserving of their awards.
“When we make the decision, we look at athletes who have
made outstanding contributions over their career. Eva is a CIS
MVP and certainly meets all the criteria. Christian is an exceptional
two-sport athlete, and is an example of what’s great about
Western athletics,” he said.
The decision on the winner is made each year by a selection committee
that selects the Purple Blanket winners and the Athletes of the
Year. The committee is made up of senior administration from the
kinesiology department and athletic alumni groups. The coaches
submit nominations and the selection committee reviews them to
determine who is most deserving.
Both awards are very prestigious and winning puts the athletes
into an elite and select class. Havaris is only the second soccer
player to have won the award, and Heffernan joins Jack Parry (1947-48)
and Robert McFarlane (1949-50) as both football and track athletes
to have won.