St. Bernard and Gumiela earn top honours

York Track and field star David St. Bernard and two-sport standout Aurelea Gumiela have been named York University’s top athletes for 2007-2008.

St. Bernard, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) champion in the triple jump, was named York’s male athlete of the year, while Gumiela, who starred for the CIS silver medal-winning Lions soccer team as a goaltender before joining the hockey team as a forward, earned the top female honour Thursday, March 27 at Sport York’s 40th annual awards banquet at the Montecassino Banquet Hall in Woodbridge.

Right: David St. Bernard

St. Bernard, a fifth-year student, was a two-time winner Thursday as he also copped the Charles Saundercook Award, presented to a male athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for life and the consideration of others. Just two years after suffering through a fatigue-filled season caused by Addison’s Disease, a hormonal disorder that caused him to lose 20 pounds, St. Bernard struck gold at the nationals in Montreal with a top triple jump of 15.34 metres, a school record. St. Bernard, the only athlete to crack the 15-metre mark at the nationals (he did it four times), switched to triple jump last year after specializing in long jump and the pentathlon.

Gumiela, another fifth-year athlete, was named a first-team CIS all-Canadian after leading the Lions to a school-best second-place finish at the national women’s soccer championship. Gumiela had 10 shutouts in 14 regular season games and helped the Lions finish 18-2 on the season. In second semester, Gumiela joined the women’s hockey team and helped the Lions advance to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs for the first time since 2003. The Lions track and field team won four awards at the banquet.

Left: Aurelea Gumiela

Sprinter Tyrone Halstead was named male rookie of the year after winning a silver medal in the 60 metres at the CIS championships.

Meanwhile, Kaitlin Coopman of the track/cross-country team earned the Bryce Taylor Award, presented to female athlete who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for life and the consideration of others.

Right: Kaitlin Coopman

A team captain for the track and cross country teams for the past three years, Coopman joined both squads as a walk-on athlete and went on to win two CIS bronze medals in relays. She helped with managerial duties at the 2008 CIS championships and has taken on the task of setting up an alumni booster program for the track and cross-country teams.

Stefania Morra of the women’s soccer team won the female rookie of the year award. She was named CIS women’s soccer rookie of the year after leading the country with 19 goals.

Right: Stefania Morra

The Lions men’s soccer team was named the most improved team at York. A .500 team in 2006, the Lions went 11-1-2 in 2007 en route to their first OUA title since 1977. The Lions went on to finish fourth at the CIS national championship in Vancouver.

Sport York Award Winners

  • Spirit Cup Award – Brad Girardo & Rob Dyba
  • Sport Council Award – Daniel Smikle-Peters
  • Most Improved Team – Men’s soccer
  • Female Rookie of the Year – Stefania Morra (Soccer)
  • Male Rookie of the Year – Tyrone Halstead (Track & Field)
  • Bryce Taylor Award – Kaitlin Coopman ( XC/Track & Field)
  • Charles Saundercook Award – David St. Bernard (Track & Field)
  • Female Athlete of the Year – Aurelea Gumiela (Soccer/Hockey)
  • Male Athlete of the Year – David St. Bernard (Track and Field)