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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Martin Wostenholme, Tennis
Horace Greely’s advice was to move west, young man, move west. Martin Wostenholme moved south.
Wostenholme, the youngest ever to win the ACT athlete of the year title at 13, was even plotting his course to crack pro tennis’ high society, at that age.
His first move after his Ashbury graduation was to move as far south as Yale University where he graduated with a degree in economics and political science in May of 1984.
The next stop was pro tennis and he’s been at the job about 20 months and he’s played well enough to earn 90th spot in world rankings, a breakthrough. The 90th slot permits him to enter the majors, Wimbledon, the French Open, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open to mention four.
The 23 year old Canadian, who has training quarters set up in Delray Beach, was also named to Canada’s Davis Cup a squad for the fifth year. The Canadians escaped the first round gaining a bye but will face Chile in the second go-round.
He still calls his athlete of the year recognition “an incredible thrill. With all those athletes around, I couldn’t believe I had won.”
He emerged from a field of 44 athletes from 42 sports. They included football star Mike Murphy and previous winners Sue Holloway from paddling and Lynn Nightingale from figure skating.
His comment about his athlete of the year honour recalls a question he asked 10 years back: “I’m overwhelmed,” said Canada’s No. 1 player under 14, “It’s a great thing for me personally, but it’s a great thing for tennis, too. Don’t you think?”
From here, they are coming out even.
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (GORD TRIVETT MEMORIAL TROPHY)
Doug McDonald, rugby
Doug McDonald, rugby’s incumbent on the sportsman of the year honor list, says he’s taking a long sabbatical from his favorite sport’s inner circle for two reasons – his family which includes a 22-month-old son and his property management post with External Affairs which takes the time remaining.
He has not given up on the game. What Scotsman does that?
He’s still a rugby fan taking in games whenever they fit into his schedule. And if his priorities should change and permit him to become involved again, “the game will be there”.
It’s unlikely he’ll be available for this year’s dinner which has a common bond with his sport. Rugby’s modern day (post Second World War) revival and the ACT dinner both began in 1953. The Ottawa — the Bytown Beavers — won that first game 8-6 over Toronto Barbarians. The dinner began Dec. l, 1953, under the banner of an Eastview Lions Club sports night.
Since that victory over Toronto Barbarians, rugby has proved itself a welcome addition to the Ottawa community. Beaver zealots got the game into the schools and a number of clubs have sprung up.
And they have Twin Elm, a rugby plant that needs take a back seat to none. And they christened the field (one of four) with a spontaneous pickup contest after a spring “rock picking” session. “Someone had a ball” recalled John Russell, “and we started to play, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, everyone. Twenty minutes each way”.
That pick-up contest at the plant near Richmond, came in the spring of 1976, five years after the initial feasibility study undertaking.
The true heroes in this modern day adventure were the eight founding members, who signed their lives away in order to make their dream come true. The eight were Andy Stanton, Mike Hogg, Doug MacDonald, John Russell, Jim Lohoar, Bob Gardiner, Fred Cayer and Mike Tunney.
Doug McDonald replaced Doug MacDonald and straightway became involved both on and off the field going as high as the eastern assistant to the National team coach and extolling the virtues of Ottawa Valley to anyone who was willing to listen.
Maybe he saw the Irish machine run off with three consecutive titles, Mississauga preventing a fourth but still the club was 25-5-1 record.
Archery — Roy Sunstrum
Basketball — Jon Love
Badminton — Colin Dobell
Boxing — Tom Mundell
Bowling — Jim Hartley
Baseball — Marc Aubry
Cricket — John Vaughan
Curling — Dawn Ventura, Cathy Craig, Rhea Pilon, Lori Mackie
Darts — Duke Astra, Robert Dupuis
Equestrian — Ian Millar
Field Hockey — Reg Plummer
Figure Skating — Lynn Nightingale
Fencing — Marc Lavoie
Football — Mike Murphy
Touch Football — Armand (Butch) Parent
Golf — Eric Kaufmanis
Gymnastics — Peter Cobb
Hockey — Peter Lee
Handicap — Jacques Pilon
Judo — Tina Takahashi
Motorcycling — Dan Lurtz
Motorsport — Bob Armstrong
Orienteering — Gord Hunter
Paddling — Sue Holloway
Rugby — Jamie Hooper
Rowing — Bev Cameron
Ringette — Paula Trumpler
Skiing — Stephan Sander
Shooting — Steve Kelly
Squash — Vic Wagner
Speed Skating — Suzanne Dionne
Swimming — Chris Hodson
Softball — Bill Coveny
Track — Penny Werthner
Tennis — Martin Wostenholme
Table Tennis — Barry Butler
Trap and Skeet — Eric Dagenais
Weightlifting — Russ Prior
Wrestling — Ray Takahashi
Water Skiing — Pat Messner
They said filling Neil Lumsden’s big brogans with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gee football machine would be a gargantuan task… But the Gee-Gee’s had a man for all seasons, Mike Murphy to fill the bill which he did well enough to draw a starting assignment with the Rough Riders… Injuries cut his career short… Carleton Ravens got a new all-time scoring leader in Jon Love who passed Glebe graduate Tom Gorman… Gorman in three seasons scored 1,020 against scheduled opponents and 1,698 against all-comers… The ACT dinner committee accepted the addition of a handicap category and first to be picked was blind runner Jacques Pilon, who was to gain considerable travelling experience in the next few years… There was a second handicapped athlete on the amateur list, Barry Butler, who posted an open table tennis performance worthy of the ACT Trophy…
Ottawa track and field fans at the Montreal Olympics had to suffer through another version of the Budd-Decker fiasco with the 1,500 metre race victim, Penny Werthner… Making a comeback to running and doing extremely well, Werthner made the mistake of being caught in a box that she couldn’t escape and went sprawling coming off the third bend… Out of contention, she still finished the race.