Kathryn Pistor named one of OUA’s Women of Influence

Kathryn Pistor

Ontario University Athletics (OUA) recognized the top female scholar-athletes from across the province at a luncheon on Tuesday at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville.

The event honoured female student-athletes who have excelled in their chosen sports, fields of study and community involvement. This year’s guest speaker was the dual-sport national athlete, Olympic gold medallist and OUA alumnus Heather Moyse.

Kathryn PistorYork’s representative was cross-country and track & field athlete Kathryn Pistor (right), who is also a graduate student in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science at York. She has been a key contributor to the Lions in her four years as a varsity student-athlete.

Pistor came to York with no intentions of joining a varsity team, but was spotted in a practicum class by assistant coach Richard Parkinson and began running as a way to cope with the stress of having a family member with cancer. For someone with no formal training prior to joining the varsity team, she has come a long way in her four years with the program and has balanced being a team captain, a sport council member and a volunteer outside of school with the demands of running a graduate lab in physiology.

She was continually the Lions’ top finisher at cross-country meets throughout the regular season and championships in her time with the program and last year was named the team’s most valuable runner. She is also a distance runner on the track & field team in the winter.

This season, she capped off her interuniversity career by winning the Bryce M. Taylor Award, which is the highest attainable award given by York Sport & Recreation and is presented to a graduating female student who has, throughout the undergraduate years, made outstanding contributions to sport at York through leadership, dedication, enthusiasm and participation.

Pistor graduated with her undergraduate degree in kinesiology and health science last year and this year began a master’s degree in the same field, with a focus on adipose tissue metabolism and endurance exercise training. As an undergraduate student she earned academic all-Canadian honours three times, a testament to her success in the classroom.

In addition to serving as a team captain and on the sport council, she has sat on various committees within the Sport & Recreation department as the varsity student representative, and this year she served as a student mentor as part of York’s academic excellence program.

Pistor is also a dedicated volunteer away from York and in the fall was awarded the OUA Cross-Country Student-Athlete Community Service Award. This past September, she organized the varsity track & field team to officiate an event held by the local Special Olympics group, and she is currently volunteering with the North York Jets of the Special Olympics. She also volunteers weekly at Toronto Grace Hospital in the palliative care unit and goes back to her high school in Tottenham to lead aerobics classes and assist with a leadership program for high school students.

Previously, she was an in-school mentor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters and served as an assistant coach with the high school basketball team in Tottenham.

“Kathryn has been a true leader for our team over the past two years as team captain,” said head coach Colin Inglis. “We have had a very young team, but she has been a calming voice of reason with her younger peer captains and her influence has been profound. Not only is the team spirit better, but their improvement overall is a direct reflection of her leadership.”