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REF NO.: 102

SUBJECT: Memorial University's varsity athletics holds 54th annual awards ceremony
DATE: April 4, 2014

Memorial University’s varsity athletics handed out its 54th round of annual awards last night, Thursday, April 3.
Athletes, coaches, administrators and supporters of the Sea-Hawks were on hand as major award winners were announced. 
This year’s recipients of the Butler Trophy for the male and female varsity athletes of the year were swimming’s Gavin Dyke and cross-country’s Caroline McIlroy.
Seven of Memorial’s graduating student-athletes were inducted into the Athletic Honour Society, which recognizes those that have made an outstanding contribution to the athletic program at Memorial University. Election to membership in the Athletic Honour Society is the highest athletic award that can be conferred on a student at Memorial University. This year’s inductees were Lauren Windsor (soccer), Dayna Hogan (swimming), Angela Peddle (volleyball), Samantha March (volleyball), Adrienne Penney (volleyball) and Brittney Dalton (basketball).
This year’s recipient of the Dr. J.D. Eaton Coach of the Year Award was Walt Mavin of the women’s soccer team.
The winner of the Sea-Hawks Cup, which recognizes the varsity team that best combines athletics, academics, community initiatives and fitness scores, was the women’s volleyball team.  
The Michael "Beecher" Smith Heart Award is presented annually to the student-athlete that goes above and beyond the call of duty in his or her sport. The award is in memory of Michael Smith, a varsity wrestler who passed away suddenly in January 2007. This year’s recipient was Caleb Gould of the men’s basketball team. Mr. Gould also received the Graham Snow Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the student who combines prowess in varsity athletics with high academic achievement.
(Please see backgrounder for other major award honours awarded.)
During the ceremony, Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial, indicated that in response to the recommendation from the 2013 President’s Task Force on Competitive Sport at Memorial University, the university is investing $275,000 in varsity athletics. The new investment will mean funds to hire a full-time volleyball coach, an additional $50,000 for athletic scholarships, increased support for off-season competition and more resources for recruitment. Grenfell Campus will also establish a competitive sport co-ordinator. President Kachanoski also put out a challenge to business, industry and the community that he would match contributions for support of athletes made by outside individuals and groups up to an additional $25,000.
The 2013 President’s Task Force on Competitive Sport at Memorial University: Recommendations for Future Success was released in November. The task force conducted a thorough review of competitive sport at Memorial.
“Our athletes and the varsity program are a very important part of who we are as a university. They are out there in the community, they are mentors and they represent our commitment to community engagement and to the people of the province,” said Dr. Kachanoski.
 
Background
Caroline McIlroy had an outstanding cross-country season in 2013. She started off the season by winning the six-kilometre race at the St. Francis of Xavier Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Invitational in September. At the AUS Championship in October she finished fourth, earning her third straight AUS all-star and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) cut, making her the only Sea-Hawk to finish in the top 10 all season
 
Gavin Dyke dominated the pool in his 2013-14 rookie season. Qualifying for CIS early in the season, Mr. Dyke brought home four silver medals in as many events from the Dalhousie AUS Invitational. In January he excelled again with five gold medals in all of his individual events. At the AUS Championship on home soil, Mr. Dyke was on the podium five times individually and twice for relays, and was named rookie of the meet. After the CIS championship where he was the only Sea-Hawk to qualify, the AUS named him rookie of the year. 
 
This year’s recipient of the Dr. J.D. Eaton Coach of the Year Award was women’s soccer head coach Walt Mavin. Mr. Mavin provided great leadership, guiding a predominantly rookie team to the AUS quarter-final where they were defeated in overtime. This marked the first time in five years that the team reached the playoffs.
 
The winner of the Sea-Hawks Cup which recognizes the varsity team that best combines athletics, academics, community initiatives and fitness scores, was the women’s volleyball team. The women’s volleyball team was involved in a number of community initiatives this year, including the Terry Fox Run, the Ronald McDonald House Breakfast and the Go Pink initiative of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They were also one of Memorial’s top performing academic varsity teams. The team had a hard fought playoff run before losing in the AUS quarter-final.
 
The Michael “Beecher” Smith Heart Award is presented annually to the student-athlete that goes above and beyond the call of duty in his or her sport. The award is in memory of Michael Smith, a varsity wrestler who passed away suddenly in January 2007. This year’s recipient was Caleb Gould of the men’s basketball team. Mr. Gould is actively involved within the community, never hesitating to step up and help. The proud and supportive Sea-Hawk provides leadership to his team through his infectious attitude.
 
A double winner this year, Mr. Gould was also awarded the Graham Snow Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the student who combines prowess in varsity athletics with high academic achievement. Mr. Gould is a scholarship-winning business student, a standout athlete and an active volunteer in the community.
 
Other major award honours awarded during the night included:
• Student Trainer of the Year: Sara Avery
• Cheerleader of the Year: Sasha Best
• Jubilee Cup (Most Outstanding Distance Runner): Caroline McIlroy
• Soccer Male and Female Most Valuable Players: Jane Pope and Jordi Slaney
• John Drinkwater Memorial Trophy (Varsity Swimmer of the Year): Gavin Dyke
• Edward P. Browne Memorial Trophy (Outstanding Male and Female Inter- university Basketball Player): Kelia Pond and Vasilije Curcic   
• NLVA Most Valuable Player Awards (Most Valuable Male and Female Varsity Volleyball Players): Angela Peddle and Nathan Tilley
• Wrestler of the Year: Ian Janes
 
Several scholarship recipients were also recognized during the evening, including:
• Damien and Denis Collier Scholarship: Ian Janes (wrestling)
• NLSA Soccer Awards: Hannah Noseworthy and Matthew Hamlyn
• Friends of Sea-Hawks Soccer Awards: Taedy O’Rourke and Alexe Morgan
• Elizabeth Dale NLVA Scholarship: Krista Hogan and Catherine Ducey      (volleyball)
• Lorne Woolridge NLVA Scholarship: Cody Harvey and Blake Power (volleyball)
• ANE Running Club Award: Justine O’Leary and Connor Bolton
• Harold Squires Scholarship: Noel Moffat (basketball)
• Frank T. Butler Memorial Scholarship: Megan Robinson (basketball)
• Erin Bursey Memorial Leadership Award: Adrienne Penney (volleyball)
• James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Nominee: Angela Peddle (volleyball)
 

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