It’s an all-female affair for athlete of the year honours

Three women are the finalists for the Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year Award for 2008.

Paralympic swimmer Chelsey Gotell of Hamilton, Canadian national soccer star Melissa Tancredi of Ancaster and boxer Jacqueline Park of Burlington are all in the running for the Bill Sturrup Trophy, which will be awarded at the Catholic Youth Organization’s 23rd Annual Celebrity Dinner next month.

Park, also a finalist in 2007, won her national championship and the Ringside World Championship in 2008 and was selected to Team Canada for the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship in Ningbo City China, finishing in the top five in the 48 kg division.

Tancredi won the ‘Golden Boot’ award as the top scorer in women’s Olympic soccer qualifying. She had four goals in four games. She went on to score another goal at the Beijing games. Tancredi was also a member of the silver medal winning team at the Peace Queen Cup in Suwon, South Korea.

Gotell, a native of Antigonish, N.S., and who attends McMaster University, amassed five medals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, including two golds. She smashed a 12-year-old world record in the 100 metre backstroke by more than nine seconds, was part of the world record breaking Canadian team which took the 200 metre individual medley, won a silver medal in the 100 metre freestyle and captured bronze medals in the 100 metre butterfly and the 400 metre freestyle.

The winner will be announced at the CYO dinner on Thursday, Feb. 26 at the Hamilton Convention Centre.