McMaster recognizes outstanding athletes

Keenan Jeppesen of Stoney Creek and Richmond Hill’s Jessica Pearo and Sarah Taylor of Stittsville, ON, are this year’s male and female athletes of the year, respectively, for McMaster University.

Jeppesen was presented with the Ivor Wynne trophy while co-recipients Pearo and Taylor received the Therese A. Quigley Award at McMaster’s 86th Annual Athletic Awards Ceremony at the Burridge Gymnasium on Tuesday.

Basketball student-athlete Jeppesen, a fifth-year senior playing in his first year at McMaster, was named a first team Canadian Interuniversity Sport All-Canadian and Ontario University Athletics West Player of the Year. The team captain ranked in the top 10 in five statistical categories, including scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, steals and blocks.

This past July, the Masters of Business Administration student was a member of Team Canada at the World University Games in Serbia.

Ryan Blake (wrestling), Justin Glover (football), Matt Grant (soccer), Jeremy Groenveld (volleyball) and Hassan Muhammad (squash) were recognized as finalists for the Ivor Wynne Award.

Pearo is a member of the McMaster Cross Country and Track and Field teams. She placed fifth at this year’s CIS Cross Country Championship and seventh at the OUA Championship. The third-year kinesiology student helped the team capture CIS Cross Country bronze and OUA silver team medals, the second best finish in McMaster history.

Pearo’s CIS cross country performance qualified her to represent Canada at the 2010 World University Cross Country Championship in Kingston, ON., later this month.

Taylor is a first-year swimmer at McMaster. She earned McMaster’s first CIS swimming medal in eight years. She defeated an Olympic and a World Champion medallist to claim the national silver medal in the 50m butterfly, setting a personal best and team record of 27.47.

Taylor added the CIS medal to the three provincial silvers she picked up at the OUA Championship.

Nina Bui (rugby), Shannon Galea (fastpitch), squash, track and field), Alethia Hazaras (rowing), Jenn Holt (volleyball) and Taylor Smith (basketball) were recognized as finalists for the Thérèse A. Quigley Award.

The Dr. Ray Johnson Award, presented to the graduating male student-athlete who exemplifies the Spirit of McMaster while showing noteworthy athletic ability, was presented to Andrew Lombard (Oakville).

Lombard was an OUA All-Star, former team president and captain of the men’s rugby team. He helped organize the team’s community outreach events such as the Terry Fox Run and Ronald McDonald House Home for Dinner. His outstanding leadership was evident on the practice field and the playing field as well as away from the field and in the classroom.

The commerce student and Marauder Scholar is also heavily involved in various associations within the DeGroote School of Business.

Josh Nederveen (volleyball) and Jeff Watson (lacrosse) were recognized as finalists for the Dr. Ray Johnson Award.

The Dr. Edna Guest Award, presented to the graduating female student-athlete who exemplifies the Spirit of McMaste’ while showing noteworthy athletic ability, was presented to Shannon Galea (Oshawa).

Shannon excelled on the diamond this year for the women’s fastpitch team, leading it to an Ontario Intercollegiate Women’s Fastpitch Association Championship title. For her efforts, she was awarded the Doug Parry (OIWFA) Championship MVP. In addition, the Oshawa native competed on McMaster’s women’s squash team where she finished first in the C-division at the University/College Canadian Squash Championship. She also qualified for the OUA Championship in shot put as a member of the Marauders’ track and field team.

Caitlyn Goodfellow (wrestling) and Rachael McKay (swimming) were recognized as nominees for the Dr. Edna Guest Award.

The Mel & Marilyn Hawkrigg Outstanding Rookie Awards, presented to the male and female student-athletes in their first year of post-secondary eligibility while demonstrating outstanding athletic performance as a varsity team member, were presented to Taylor and Carter Williams of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Taylor was a finalist in all five of her events at the OUA Swimming Championship. The social science student won three silver medals and added a national silver medal two weeks later to her collection this season.

For her performances she was named an OUA All-Star and a CIS second team All-Canadian.

Williams is a native of Calgary, Alberta and attended high school in Scottsdale. He played for Team Arizona and the Arizona Starz club.

In his rookie season at McMaster, he was named the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) Rookie of the Year and a CUFLA All-Canadian. Williams led the McMaster men’s lacrosse team in scoring with 22 goals and 10 assists. The Business student was an integral part in the team’s silver medal finish at the CUFLA Baggataway Cup.

Maggie Cogger-Orr (rugby) and Alexandra Van Ommen (swimming) were recognized as female finalists for the Mel & Marilyn Hawkrigg Outstanding Rookie Award while Cody Lynch (football), Jack Park (water polo) and Matt Sewell (football) were recognized as male finalists.

The Les Prince Award, presented to the student-athlete who best combines leadership with community service through participation in an outreach program was presented to lacrosse player Lara Pilutti of Mississauga. Pilutti has served as a member of the McMaster Athletic Council (M.A.C.) for the past four years. The PhD candidate in kinesiology organized the Project G.O. – Girls Only – day as part of the CIS national women’s basketball championship which saw a group of grade 6, 7, and 8 girls come to McMaster and participate in a variety of activities that were led by McMaster’s female student-athletes. She searched out the Girls Only group, made contact and acted as the liaison with the school board, worked in securing the other female student-athletes as volunteers in specific roles and coordinated the majority of the successful event.

Lindsay Charles (swimming) and Sarah Patterson (fencing) were recognized as finalists for the Les Prince Award.

The Bruce Cochrane Award, presented to the student who best demonstrates unwavering dedication and service to their team, club, or group, was presented to co-recipients Dan Russell of Hamilton, and Mary Tam (Oakville). Russell serves as a technical assistant to the men’s volleyball team. He has put in countless hours in front of a computer, video taping games and preparing game film for the coaching staff and players. He also downloads matches of future opponents and arranges game film for the coaching staff and players to prepare their game plan. Russell prepares over 50 matches in a season, with each match taking two to three hours to produce.

Tam is a student therapist and assistant strength and conditioning coach with the men’s basketball team. Her commitment to the athletes has been exceptional. The kinesiology student incorporated foam rolling into the team’s regular routine, implemented a chocolate milk campaign for post training recovery, and takes time out of her personal schedule to come to all players’ appointments in the sport medicine clinic. Tam is also a member of the cheerleading team.

Breanne Bellingham (football) and Sarah Townsend (women’s basketball) were also recognized as finalists for the Bruce Cochrane Award.

The Joyce Wignall Award, presented to the McMaster team that best demonstrates teamwork, friendship, loyalty and community involvement, was presented to the McMaster baseball team.

The team participated in several community outreach initiatives this year, including the Rotary Haunted House in the fall when they raised close to $1,600 for prostate cancer by growing moustaches as well as donating and preparing food for the parents at the McMaster Children’s Hospital on two separate occasions for the Ronald McDonald House Home for Lunch program.

McMaster also recognized the team MVPs.

Men’s Badminton – Gawain Tang, Mississauga, 4th year Arts and Science, Team Captain.

Women’s Badminton – Allison Bennett, Oakville, 2nd year Civil Engineering – Structural and Geotechnical, Team Captain.

Baseball – Devlin Connelly, Toronto, 4th year Earth and Environmental Science; OUA First Team All-Star.

Men’s Basketball – Jeppesen.

Women’s Basketball – Smith.

Cheerleading – Leigh Conroy, Orangeville, ON, 5th year Engineering Physics and Management Photonics; and Shannon French, Toronto, 4th year Kinesiology.

Men’s Cross-Country – Larry Abbott, Sarnia, ON, 4th year Kinesiology, 15th place at CIS Championship.

Women’s Cross Country – Pearo.

Fastpitch – Galea.

Men’s Fencing – Michael Irvine, Georgetown, ON, Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Senior Team Captain.

Women’s Fencing – Sarah Patterson, Hamilton, Masters in Medical Sciences (Infection & Immunity), Women’s Foil Team Captain.

Field Hockey – Jacqueline Evans, Baumaris, ON, 4th year Arts and Science & Health Studies, 2 time Team MVP.

Figure Skating – Stephanie Waldron, Hamilton, 2nd year Psychology.

Football (Offence) – Jordan Kozina, Brantford, 4th year History. Led team in rushing and all-purpose yards.

Football (Defence) – Ryan Chmielewski, St. Catharines, 2nd year Communications Studies and Sociology, OUA First Team All-Star.

Men’s Golf – Jason Wellings, Flamborough, 4th year English and Multimedia, three Top 3 finishes in four tournaments.

Women’s Golf – Candi Campbell, Corunna, ON, 3rd year Life Sciences, 1st place at Guelph Invitational.

Gymnastics – Kristen Riley, Brantford, 4th year Kinesiology, Club Co-President.

Men’s Hockey – Riley Mulligan, Bracebridge, ON, 4th year Earth and Environmental Science.

Women’s Hockey – Kaley Veerman, Charlton, ON, Masters in Medical Sciences (Blood & Vasculature); and Jennifer Gearing, Fenwick, ON, 1st year Medical Radiation Sciences.

Men’s Lacrosse – Shawn Moloney, Hamilton, 3rd year Physical Sciences, CUFLA Outstanding Graduating Player.

Women’s Lacrosse – Anna Goulding, Oshawa, 2nd year Health Sciences.

Men’s Rowing – Ian Connell, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, 3rd year Engineering Physics and Society.

Women’s Rowing – Alethia Hazaras, Dundas, 3rd year Kinesiology, Canadian University Rowing Championship (CURC): Gold in Lightweight Women’s Doubles and

Bronze in Lightweight Women’s Singles. Emily Loyer, Peterborough, 3rd year Life Sciences, CURC Gold in Lightweight Women’s Doubles.

Men’s Rugby – Andrew Lombard, Oakville, 4th year Commerce, OUA All-Star.

Women’s Rugby – Nina Bui, North York, ON, 4th year Communications Studies and Sociology, CIS All-Canadian.

Men’s Soccer – Matthew Grant, Brampton, 2nd year Sociology, CIS Athlete of the Week.

Women’s Soccer – Cheryl Druchok, Palgrave, ON, Masters in Biomedical Engineering, 4 time OUA All-Star.

Men’s Squash – Hassan Muhammad, Scarborough, 2nd year MBA (Accounting), OUA Player of the Year.

Women’s Squash – Kristina Taylor, Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC, Masters in Radiation Sciences (Medical Physics), 7 time OUA All-Star.

Men’s Swimming – Michael McDonald, Kingston, 3rd year Mechanical Engineering,

Women’s Swimming – Taylor.

Men’s Tennis – Keenan O’Young, Toronto, 3rd year Kinesiology, OUA All-Star.

Women’s Tennis – Dunja Sumanac, Ancaster, 4th year Health Sciences, Assistant Coach

Men’s Track & Field – Noah Fleming, Dundas, 4th year Kinesiology; and Jimmy Tat, Oakville, 3rd year Kinesiology.

Women’s Track & Field – Katie Anderson, Exeter, ON, 2nd year Medical Radiation Science, CIS Bronze Medallist – 4 x 800 m relay

Men’s Volleyball – Jeremy Groenveld, Welland, 3rd year Geography, CIS Second Team All-Canadian; and Tyler Santoni, Kingston, ON, 3rd year Commerce, OUA First Team All-Star.

Women’s Volleyball – Jenn Holt, Hamilton, 4th year Kinesiology, CIS Second Team All-Canadian; and Larissa Puhach, Burlington, 4th year Kinesiology, OUA First Team All-Star

Men’s Water Polo – Graham Park, Waterdown, ON, 3rd year Political Science, OUA Second Team All-Star.

Women’s Water Polo – Carleigh Carter, Ottawa, 4th year Nursing, OUA Second Team All-Star.

Men’s Wrestling – Ryan Blake, Stoney Creek, 2nd year Sociology, CIS Silver Medallist – 68kg.

Women’s Wrestling – Sydney Duggan, Orillia, ON; 1st year Earth and Environmental Sciences, OUA Bronze Medallist – 51kg.