Sport York names its 2005 Athletes of the Year

Highjumper Kristen Matthews and running back Andre Durie were named Athletes of the Year at the 37th Annual Sport York Awards Banquet held March 29 at Toronto’s Montecassino Place Banquet Hall. Members of the University administration joined coaches, therapists and more than 400 student-athletes from 24 teams in celebrating the 2004-2005 season at York.

Kristin Matthews Female Athlete of the YearRight: Kristen Matthews accepts Female Athlete of the Year Award from Rob Tiffin, acting vice-president students

Matthews was recognized for her outstanding athletic skill, character, fair play and contribution to the success of the women’s track & field team, which finished 11th out of 16 at the national championships held March 12-13 in Winnipeg. A third-year student in the Faculty of Arts’ Professional Writing Program, Matthews was a first-team Ontario University Athletics All-Star and Canadian Interuniversity Sport All-Canadian. The native of Ancaster, Ont., won gold in the high jump at the OUA Championship and set a new York record as she captured the CIS title. Matthews won gold in the high jump in all five meets she competed in this year and was ranked number one in Canada the entire season.

Andrew Durie, York Male Athlete of the Year

Left:  Andre Durie accepts Male Athlete of the Year Award from Sheila Embleton, York vice-president academic

Durie earned male athlete honours for his outstanding year with the Lions football team. The second-year Faculty of Arts student from Mississauga, Ont., finished second in the CIS in rushing and became the first York player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. A first-team OUA All-Star and CIS All-Canadian, he tied a CIS record with six touchdowns in one game. He was also second in the nation in touchdowns scored and yards per carry. Durie accounted for half of York’s total offence, while accumulating the third highest single-season rushing total in OUA history.

Female Rookie of the Year went to Laura MacCallum who made an immediate impact in her first season with the Lions women’s basketball team, finishing second in team scoring and seventh in the OUA with an average of 14.1 points per game. A student in York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, MacCallum was also named OUA East Rookie of the Year and became the first recipient of the CIS women’s basketball Rookie of the Year award in York history.

Male Rookie of the Year was given to Tut Ruach of the Lions men’s basketball team who ranked second in the OUA and 11th in the country with 4.91 assists per game, while his 85.5 per cent success rate from the free-throw line was fourth in the OUA and seventh in the nation. The Faculty of Arts student earned both OUA and CIS Rookie of the Year honours.

After finishing 10th at the OUA Championship in 2003-2004, the Lions women’s cross-country team placed fourth at this year’s championship, placing three competitors in the top 20, and qualified for the CIS Championship where it finished 10th. The performance earned the squad this year’s Most-Improved Team Award.

Last year’s Charles Saundercook Memorial Trophy winner, Ntare Bainomugisha, was given the honour again this year as the male athlete within the men’s interuniversity sport program who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for life and consideration for others. A five-year starter and Lions’ football team captain, Bainomugisha is a three-time Sport Excellence Award recipient. A don at Stong College, he tutors and mentors members of his team, helping them with essays and assignmnts. The Ottawa native is completing a master’s degree in York’s Faculty of Education.

Women’s volleyball player Dana Haan received the Bryce Taylor Award, presented to a female athlete within the women’s interuniversity sport program who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for life and the consideration of others. A fifth-year member of the women’s volleyball team, Haan is a three-time OUA All-Star and was an Academic All-Canadian in 2001-2002. A former OUA Rookie of the Year, she is a four-time recipient of the Sport Excellence Award. The Brampton, Ont., native is active in the community, conducting presentations for high-school athletes and serving as a volunteer coach.

This year’s recipient of the Spirit Cup Award, Abdullah “Derrick” Salick, supported several York teams and regularly attended all soccer, football, basketball and volleyball home games – enough to win the cup, donated by York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden. Salick was also involved in organizing and officiating intramural soccer games in the fieldhouse for York students.

Several students in the Athletic Therapy Certificate Program were recognized with Sport Therapy Awards for making significant contributions to the success of York University Varsity Sports. This year’s winners were Jennifer Bell, Adam Houston, Solomon Swartz, Enoch Wat and Darren Wharrie.

Athletes in each of the Lions’ interuniversity teams are also eligible for the annual Most Valuable Player Awards. This year’s male and female recipients, by sport, are:

Badminton: Marcus Wong, Lindsay Anderson
Basketball: Dan Eves, Christa Lodge
Cross Country: Andrew Sutherland, Heather Hillsburg
Field and Indoor Hockey: Nicole Zaharopoulos
Football: Andre Durie
Hockey: Phil Knapp, Melanie Quinn
Rugby: Cheryl Phillips
Soccer: Matthew Balkanloo, Ciara Gaizutis
Swimming: Chantelle Hadjikezian
Tennis: Ash Misquith, Pei-Chun Chu
Track & Field: Anthony Garber, Paula McLaughlin
Volleyball: Ryan Anderson, Dana Haan
Water Polo: Christopher Thomson, Christi Bardecki

This story was submitted to YFile by Jim McLarty,  sport & recreation information officer in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science.