Which athletes will take home hardware?

Gazette Sports predicts Female and Male Athlete of the Year

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Men's rowing

Laura Barclay

STROKE, STROKE, STROKE. Team of the Year could go to any number of Mustangs squads this season, but both the men’s and women’s rowing teams took home the gold at nationals, making them solid contenders for the honours.

Tonight at the annual Western Mustangs Athletic Banquet, Intercollegiate Athletics will hand out several major awards to deserving athletes.

Gazette Sports sat down to discuss what we believe to be Western’s athletes of the year. We have named nominees for Female Athlete of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Team of the Year.

Female Athlete of the Year
And the nominees are ...

Jen Cotten (track and field)
Boasting numerous medals over her four years of varsity athletics, track sensation Jen Cotten practically needs a U-Haul to transport the accumulated hardware.

Some of this season’s highlights include winning the Canadian Interuniversity Sport pentathlon for her second straight year and setting a new CIS record with her score of 3,655. She also scooped up gold in the long jump and 4x400m relay to earn this year’s CIS Female Athlete of the Meet.

Jenn Lam (badminton)
Earning her fifth Ontario University Athletics MVP title in six years, badminton all-star Jennifer Lam has much to be proud of.

A former OUA Rookie of the Year, Lam went undefeated in this year’s OUA championship in both women’s singles and mixed doubles to help earn the Mustangs their fourth consecutive OUA title. She rounded out a remarkable season with an impressive showing at nationals.

Cheryl Beech (golf)
In her graduating year at Western, Cheryl Beech of the women’s golf team helped her squad win the OUA gold medal with her third place finish.

Beech has been a part of the team for three years and has won three consecutive OUA championships.

Beech was named an OUA Second-Team All-Star this past season.

Stephanie Edmison (squash)
For the women’s squash team, Stephanie Edmison was named OUA Player of the Year for the second consecutive season and was named an OUA First-Team All-Star.

Edmison went undefeated during the OUA season and helped her team take the OUA championship gold medal.

Honourable Mentions:
Andrea Ruste (volleyball)
Kelly Russell (rugby)
Amanda Anderson (basketball)
Michelle Weber (field hockey)
Bess Lennox (basketball)

Male Athlete of the Year
And the nominees are ...

Cam Sylvester (rowing)
The men’s and women’s rowing squads captured the gold medal at nationals this season, with three men’s gold medals from Cam Sylvester in the lightweight men’s pair, the lightweight four and the open men’s eight races.

Sylvester earned Canadian University Rowing Championships Male Rower of the Year.

Sylvester also spent last summer at the Beijing Olympic games and given his experience took a leadership role this season at Western.

Chris Hanebury
In his team’s quest for OUA gold, squash sensation Chris Hanebury was a force to be reckoned with. His two easy victories over opponents from Queen’s and McMaster earned him an OUA First-Team All-Star nod and led the Mustangs to their 26th consecutive OUA championship.

Brad Topping
Earning Queen’s Cup MVP was just one of Mustangs netminder Brad Topping’s many accomplishments this season. He stepped up during playoff season, winning seven of eight games and giving up only 16 goals, “topping” the OUA with a save percentage of .939. This performance ultimately led the Mustangs to a silver medal finish at the national championships.

Michael Faulds (football)
Quarterback Michael Faulds led his team to a Yates Cup victory this season and a chance at the Vanier Cup trophy in Hamilton.

Following the Yates Cup victory, Faulds won the 2008 Yates Cup MVP honours, the Dalt White Trophy, for the second consecutive season. In the game, Faulds earned 52 rushing yards out of a team total 147 and completed 15 of 29 attempts for 201 yards and a touchdown.

Honourable Mentions:
Kyle O’Neill (cross country)
Peter Jawl (rugby)
Christian Riedl (tennis)
Matt Curtis (basketball)
Evan Lilly (curling)

Rookie of the Year
And the nominees are ...

Kevin Baker (hockey)
In his rookie year with the Mustangs, centre Kevin Baker tallied 10 goals and 18 assists to lead rookie regular season scoring with 28 points. He stepped up in the CIS championship tournament notching three goals in as many games. A consistent season along side “Fab Freshman” linemates Aaron Snow and Keaton Turkiewicz followed by a solid playoff run, earn Baker The Gazette’s pick for Mustangs Rookie of the Year.

Sam Stewart (wrestling)
After a commanding 6-0, 6-0 victory over her opponent from Guelph in the Ontario University Athletics final, Mustangs rookie wrestler Sam Stewart was named OUA Rookie of the Year. Stewart went on to earn a bronze medal in the 51kg weight class at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships, making her an obvious contender for Mustangs Rookie of the Year.

Honourable Mentions:
Peter Butler (badminton)
Andrea McLaughlin (lacrosse)
Pat Mroczek (soccer)
Ryan Herden (squash)
Aaron Snow (hockey)

Team of the Year
And the nominees are ...

After a mediocre performance at the OUA championships, the Mustang men’s and women’s rowing teams “pulled together” to earn gold medals at the national level. The Mustangs men took the overall gold in convincing fashion, easily topping the silver medalists from the University of Victoria by 16 points. The Mustangs women outshone their rival Queen’s Gaels to win gold. With this triumph, both men’s and women’s rowing teams earn The Gazette’s pick for Mustangs Team of the Year.

Honourable Mentions:
Men’s hockey
Women’s golf

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