Mike Matunin and Stephanie Sun are the first ever winners of McMaster University’s Dr. Mel and Marilyn Hawkrigg Outstanding Sportsmanship Awards.
The honours were announced at McMaster’s 83rd Annual Athletic Awards Celebration, held in the New David Braley Athletic Centre, to recognize outstanding individual and team achievements.
Matunin, from Unionville, Ont., was the Top golfer all season. At the Ontario University Athletics championship, he errantly signed his card showing a lower score (77 vs. 78) and voluntarily disqualified himself from the tournament.
Sun, a native of Trenton, Ont., helped shape the personality of a swim team that had 95% of their student-athletes post personal best times.
The other nominees for the Outstanding Sportsmanship Awards were Cam Mitchell (Rugby), Dan Smedley (volleyball), Cheryl Kemsley (ice hockey)and Carly Welch (volleyball).
The Female Athlete of the Year was Lindsay Degroot (Thedford, Ont.) from Mac’s women’s basketball team. She earned First team All-Canadian Honours becoming McMaster’s second women’s basketball player in school history to earn this distinction. Heather McKay was named to the CIS First team in 1989/1990. Degroot averaged 18.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per game in her first full season as a Marauder to lead McMaster to a CIS Number One ranking for 10 consecutive weeks enroute to an OUA West championship.
At the CIS championship, Degroot had three double-double performances, scoring 30 plus points in back-to-back games.
The other nominees for Female Athlete of the Year were: Carly Cermak (swimming), Stephanie Howorun (wrestling), and Sarah Van Hoof (rugby).
The Ivor Wynne Trophy award winner for the Male Athlete of the Year, went to Mike Pletch (Lucan, Ont.). Pletch is the first McMaster rugby player, male or female, to receive the honour. He captained the team, leading the Marauders to their fourth OUA championship in the past five years. Pletch was named the OUA West Division MVP and OUA Trillium Award recipient as the best all-around contributor, on and off the field.
Pletch is just returned from the West Coast where he trains with the National team.
The other nominees for the Ivor Wynne Trophy were: Martin Ajayi (basketball), Scott Chester (swimming), Sheldon Francis (wrestling), Matt Miller (wrestling), and and Jason Wellings (golf).
The Dr. Edna Guest Award for the Graduating Senior who Radiates the Spirit of McMaster was swimmer Jane Wilkinson (Stratford, Ont.). Wilkinson was the team co-captain and a three-time OUA All-Star, Marauder Scholar and Academic All-Canadian. She finished her fourth year by swimming to lifetime best performances in every event she competed in at the CIS Championship.
Wilkinson was also a student-athlete tutor and coordinated the Swim team Terry Fox run raising over $4,000.00.
The other nominees for the Dr. Edna Guest Award were Mel Berry (rugby) and Linda Zelek (volleyball).
The Dr. Ray Johnson Award for the Graduating Senior that Radiates the Spirt of McMaster was Dundas’ Adam Steiner from the basketball team. Steiner is a three-time OUA All-Star. In 2006/2007 he was the OUA West Division nominee for the Ken Shields Award presented to the student-athlete who best exhibits outstanding success in basketball, academics and community involvement. He was the 2006 recipient of the Dr. Jack Kennedy award for Top Male Marauder Scholar, and earned Academic All-Canadian honours for the past four years. Steiner has been a CIS student committee member and is a member of the McMaster Judicial Review committee.
The other nominees for the Dr. Ray Johnson Award were Paul Hrkal (volleyball), and Natan Reiter (cross country and track and field).
The Les Prince Award for Individual Community Service was Shawn Benninger (Hornepayne, Ont.) from the cross country and track and field team. Benninger serves as a local organizer for the Raise the Roof national campaign to bring awareness and raise funds for homelessness. He also founded and directs the “Old Shoes for Bare Feet” program that collects footwear for Africa.
The other nominees for the Les Prince Award were Nate Finlay (football), and Carly Moore (soccer).
The Joyce Wignall Award for Team Community Service went to the gymnastics squad. The gymnastics team spent numerous hours volunteering at Homestead Christian Care, an organization providing housing and rehabilitation to those in the community with mental illness. The team also played a large role in the organization of Living Rock’s Annual Hungry for Challenge Charity Dinner which helps support Hamilton street youth. Friday evening (March 23) the team, along with several other teams will participate in the Relay for Life, an overnight team running event that benefits the Canadian Cancer society. The team has set a goal of raising $1,000.00 for Cancer research.
The other Joyce Wignall Award nominees were fastpitch, field hockey, rowing and swimming.
The Bruce Cochraine Award for Support Staff including assistant coaches was presented to Student-Therapist, Megan Deffett (Caledon, Ont.). She provided outstanding care to student-athletes for the past two years. Deffett played a key role in providing sport medicine coverage for football and was instrumental in the overall set-up and daily operations of the Sport Medicine Bracing and Retail store.
The other nominees for the Bruce Cochraine Award were Rob Ashwood (operations and scramble crew) and Lieran Docherty (operations).
The Team Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards were also announced. Team MVP’s were:
Men’s Badminton – Jacky Ng (Ancaster); Women’s Badminton – Jamie Williams (Mississauga); Baseball -Tom Sidorkewicz (Hamilton); Men’s Basketball – Martin Ajayi (Hamilton); Women’s Basketball – Degroot (Thedford, Ont); Cheerleading – Adam Benn (Toronto); Men’s Cross Country – Shawn Benninger (Hornepayne, Ont.); Women’s cross country – Anna Tratnyek (Shakespeare, Ont.); Cycling – Kevin Hazzard (Burlington); Fastpitch Shannon Galea (Oshawa); Men’s Fencing Ken Blonde (Chatham); Women’s Fencing – Ilinca Nae (Mississauga); Field Hockey – Kelsey Norlund (Duncan, B.C.) and Sara Quiring (Alymer, Ont.); Football (Offense) – Andre Sadeghian (Beamsville); Football (Defense) – Simon Binder (Almonte, Ont.); Men’s Golf – Matunin; Women’s Golf – Jamie Wilson (Port Colborne); ymnastics – Jennifer Harvey (Cookstown, Ont.); Men’s Lacrosse – Thomas Hurley (Aurora); Women’s Lacrosse -Kelly Emms (Whitby); Men’s Rowing – Aubrey Oldham (Hamilton); Women’s Rowing – Nora Griffiths (Burlington); Men’s Rugby – Mike Pletch (Lucan); Women’s Rugby – Sarah Van Hoof (Linsay, Ont.); Men’s Soccer – Kyle Grootenboer (Brantford); Women’s Soccer – Andrea Dunn (London); Men’s Squash – Jarrod Smith (London, ON); Women’s Squash – Kristina Taylor (Notre-Dame-de-L’lle-Perrot, Que.); Mens’s Swimming – Scott Chester (Unionville, Ont.); Women’s Swimming – Carly Cermak (Cambridge); Synchronized Swimming – Lindsay MacLean (Oshawa); Men’s Tennis – Maciej Mandus (Mississauga); Women’s Tennis – Lee Chapman (London); Men’s Track – Nathan Reiter (Sault Ste Marie ) and Rodney Gabay ( Mississauga); Women’s Track – SuzAnne Brown (Sarnia) and Adrienne Bethune (Mississauga; Men’s Volleyball – Daniel Smedley (Woodbridge, Ont.); Women’s Volleyball – Sarah Masterton (Pickering, Ont.); Men’s Waterpolo – David Jones (Hamilton); Women’s Waterpolo – Alicia Lummack (Hamilton); Men’s Wrestling – Matthew Miller (Jarvis); and Womens’s Wrestling – Caitlyn Goodfellow (Barrie).