Burlington’s Perrault is a valuable runner

Burlington’s Jennifer Perrault is Ottawa’s sole major award winner and the most valuable female performer in track events as Ontario University Athletics announced the major award winners for the 2011-12 track and field season.

Perrault took home a variety of hardware from the OUA championships, receiving gold in the 600m, silver in the 1000m, and bronze as part of the Gee-Gees’ 4x400m relay team. She is ranked third in the nation in each of these events heading into the Canadian Interuniversity Sports championship.

The most valuable male performer at the recent OUA championship hosted by York University is Tim Hendry of the Guelph Gryphons. The Parry Sound, Ont. native takes home the Hec Phillips Trophy after setting a meet record in the men’s shot put with his gold-medal 17.68m throw. Hendry followed up that performance with a silver-medal in the weight throw. The fourth-year field athlete earned 18 points for the Gryphons, helping Guelph to a fourth overall finish. Hendry is ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in shot put and weight throw, respectively, heading into this weekend’s CIS track and field championship, hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Nicole Sassine of the Windsor Lancers is awarded the Dr. Wendy Jerome Trophy, for being the most outstanding female performer at the OUA track and field championship. Sassine (Windsor, Ont.) sprinted her way to a pile of medals, including gold in the 300m and 4x200m relay, and silver in the 60m dash and 4x400m relay. The fourth-year human kinetics major earned 22.5 points for the Lancers, allowing Windsor to three-peat as OUA champions. Sassine will be an athlete to watch this weekend at the CIS championship. She is ranked No. 1 in the 300m, No. 4 in the 60m, and her 4x200m relay team is ranked second.

The most valuable male performer in track events is Matt Walters (North Bay, Ont.) of the top-ranked Windsor Lancers. The third-year middle distance runner anchored the gold-medal winning 4x800m relay team, and earned a pair of silver medals in the men’s 1500m and 3000m, respectively. Walters’ 18.5 points at the championship helped the Lancers secure their twenty-first OUA title in the past 22 years.

Windsor also boasts the male MVP in field events. Andrew Dandie (Toronto), a third-year social work student earned 18 points for the No. 1 Lancers, taking home gold in the long jump and silver in the high jump event.

Rachel Jewett of the Toronto Varsity Blues is the most valuable female performer in field events. Hailing from Toronto, the first-year pentathlete set a CIS standard in the pentathlon, and earned gold in the event. Jewett, displaying great versatility, was also part of Toronto’s gold-medal winning 4x400m relay team. Along with teammates Alicia Brown, Fiona Callender and Sarah Wells, Jewett set an OUA record with a time of 3:44.11. She also earned a bronze in high jump.

This season’s Rookie of the Year honours are split between the York Lions and the Windsor Lancers. York’s David McKay (Victoria, B.C.) won the gold medal in the pole vault by clearing a height of 5m, which surpassed his previous personal best by 25cm. The rookie came into the meet seeded third in the OUA, but won the event by 19cm over the second-place finisher from Toronto. Sarah Swain (North Bay, Ont.) earned 10 points for the Lancers at the championships. The Lancers’ rookie hurdler took home a bronze medal in the 60m hurdles, and finished fifth in the women’s pole vault event.

Western’s Carl Shen is the winner of the male community service award, given to those demonstrating outstanding achievements in track and field, academics and community involvement. The fourth-year medical sciences student took home a silver-medal in the men’s triple jump at the recent OUA championships. He is ranked No. 3 in OUA and No. 5 in CIS in the event. In addition to being an OUA All-Star, the three-time Academic All-Canadian has been named to the Dean’s Honour List in each of his four years at Western. Last year, Chen posted an 89% average in a highly demanding course load, and has been the recipient of a variety of awards and scholarships. In addition to being an outstanding student-athlete, Chen contributes to Western University in a variety of other ways. The Thornhill, Ont. native serves as a Resident Advisor in Delaware Hall, and is the Director of Culture and Academics with Western’s Chinese Student Association. Chen is part of the research team at Roberts Research Institute, and he assists fellow students by tutoring university physics and calculus. Chen asserts his athletic well roundedness on the badminton team, and he is the captain of his intramural volleyball squad.

Nadine Frost (Bocabec, N.B.) of the Guelph Gryphons is the recipient of the 2012 female student-athlete community service award. The fourth-year science student specializes in toxicology and has earned her status on the Dean’s List and the Biological Sciences College Roll of Distinction with a cumulative 86% average. Frost was part of Guelph’s gold-medal winning 4x800m relay team, and took home individual bronze in the 1500m and 3000m middle distance events this year. Frost uses her knowledge and skill as a runner to give back to the Guelph community through coaching. She has been a volunteer with the Run and Read program since September 2009, and is a volunteer coach for the Speed River Track and Field Club. As a varsity athlete ambassador with the Believe to Achieve program, Frost takes part in speaking engagements at local schools, educating children about varsity sports, academics, and the value of team work and goal setting.

Dennis Fairall of the Windsor Lancers is the recipient of the Bob Vigars Award as men’s coach of the year. This is Fairall’s eighteenth Bob Vigars honour, and his third win in succession. The Windsor Lancers have created a dynasty on the men’s side, winning 21 of the last 22 championship banners, and each of those years Fairall has been at the helm of the team.

Western University’s Vickie Croley is the recipient of the Sue Wise Award as women’s coach of the year. Croley is in her nineteenth season with the Mustangs, and in 2012 she led the purple and white to second place on both the men and women’s sides. Croley was last honoured with the Sue Wise Award in 2001, and was also named CIS Coach of the Year during that campaign.