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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
ALPINE SKIING – Diana Norton, Pakenham – Strong performances at the Quebec and Canadian juvenile ski championships put Diana on Team Canada for the world juvenile championships in Whistler, B.C. At the worlds, Diana ranked 23rd after four races. Skiing for Edelweiss Valley, she was also named the best juvenile racer in the Outaouais Ski Zone.
ARCHERY – Diane Wicks, South Mountain – Diane broke all Ontario records in her age group and won her class at the United States junior archery championships. She also became the youngest Canadian woman ever to earn the 1,000 FITA award pin from the International Archery Federation.
BADMINTON – Andrew Dabeka, Ottawa – Ranked No. 2 in Canada in the mens’ under-19 singles, Andrew won the open grand prix tournaments in Toronto, Winnipeg, and the prestigious Wilson Summer Grand Prix. He became a senior late in the year and is already ranked No. 1 in Canada.
BALL HOCKEY – Pierre Caron, Aylmer – This high scoring defenceman with the Doobie Blues in the West Ottawa Masters Ball Hockey League and the Jamie Patrick League has made All Star 12 years in a row. He as MVP in both leagues in the playoffs last year and led his team to 42 straight wins in a two year period.
BASEBALL – Steven Walsh, Ottawa – A graduate of the Ottawa Nationals baseball program, the 6-6 right-hander pitched Triton College to the north-east regional junior college championships. He signed with the Kansas City Royals and today is in Orlando at extended spring training.
BASKETBALL – Ognjen Kapetanovic, Ottawa – Named to the Ontario team for the 1997 Canada Summer Games, Oggie helped the provincial team reach the final and earn the silver medal in Brandon, Manitoba. He also won the Robert Wyatt Award for dedication to the men’s basketball program at Brown University.
BIATHLON – Chris Lindsay, Kanata – The top qualifier at the Canadian trials for the world junior biathlon championships, Chris finished 40th in the sprint race in Italy. He also was second overall on the Canada Cup junior circuit. Racing as a senior in the summer, Chris won 11 medals in 13 races on the United States summer biathlon circuit and attended the world championships, where he was 49th in one race.
BOBSLEIGH – Sheridon Baptiste, Ottawa – A gold and silver medallist at the Canadian bobsleigh championships, Sheridon was part of Chris Lori’s sled which won a World Cup bronze medal in Winterburg, Germany. At the worlds, he pushed his way to a sixth-place finish in the two-man competition.
BODY BUILDING – Johanna Dejager, Kanata – Johanna proved she is one of the best, winning the gold medal in the middleweight class and the silver medal in the heavyweight division at the provincial championships. Her next goal is the Canadian championships.
BOWLING (5-PIN) – Shawn Haley, Gloucester; Alan Azar, Gloucester; Stephen McNamara, Ottawa; David Stevenson, Gloucester – This group of Ottawa Valley youth five-pin bowlers won the Ontario under-19 championship and went to the national championships where they earned the bronze medal.
BOWLING (10-PIN) – Aaron Guertin, Gloucester – Last April, Aaron set three junior records in the Capital district – highest average, 202; highest three-game series, 720; and highest single game, 290 out of 300. Thirteen times last season his three-game total exceeded 700. Aaron also won all three challenge tournaments in Kingston last summer.
BOXING – Andre Brooks, Nepean – Fighting for the Beaver Boxing Club, Andre won five of his six fights last year in the 75-kilogram class. His only setback was to Canadian champion Trevor Stewardson at the Ontario boxing championships.
BROOMBALL – Stephane Gilbert, Gloucester – Stephane certainly knows how to score goals. The right-winger for the Embrun Sports broomball team was the top scorer in the Winchester Broomball League and counted the most goals at the national championship. His goal scoring ability led Embrun Sports to its 11th title at the national championships, where he was named tournament MVP and given the title of Mr. Broomball.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING – Karl Saidla, Ottawa – In his final year of junior competition, Karl finished third overall at the Canadian Championships. He also picked up silver and bronze medals at the Ontario championships. Karl was honoured for his skiing and scholastic achievements by earning the national Ski to School Scholarship.
CURLING – John Morris, Craig Savill, Matt St Louis, Mark Homan, Ottawa – The Ottawa Curling Club rink won the Ontario championship and came close to winning the 1997 world junior championship in Selkirk, Manitoba. Morris took his rink to the final of the national junior men’s championship but lost 6-5 to Alberta in 11 ends. Morris started this season by winning the Ottawa Valley Curling Association Junior Superspiel and ended it 10 days ago capturing the 1998 world Junior championship in Thunder Bay with Craig Savill, Andy Ormsby and Brent Laing.
CYCLING – Linda Jackson, Nepean – On the international road race circuit, Linda won the Tour de l’Aude in France, the Redlands Tour in California, and me Killington Stage Race in Vermont. More importantly she was second in the Hewlett Packard international women’s challenge and the Giro d’Italia, and was third in the women’s Tour de France. Linda also was voted the top female road racer in North America and Canada.
DIVING – Andrew Osborne, Nepean – A two-time provincial springboard champion, Andrew represented Ontario at the 1997 Canada Summer Games in Brandon, where he was fifth in both the one-metre and three-metre competitions and eighth in tower. At the national age group championships, he was fourth in both springboard meets.
EQUESTRIAN – Simone Williams, Navan – Named to one of the three national teams for the North American dressage championships, her team was seventh overall, while she was 23rd in a Grand Prix special. In the Eastern division of the Canadian dressage championships, Simone was eighth in Grand Prix and sixth in Grand Prix special.
FIELD HOCKEY – Hari Kant, Gloucester – As a starting goalkeeper for the national men’s field hockey team, Hari won three of his four games at a tournament where Canada qualified for the next month’s World Cup in The Netherlands. He recorded the team’s only shutout in a crucial 2-0 playoff win over Argentina. Hari has represented Canada in 71 international matches.
FIGURE SKATING – Michel Brunet, Gatineau – For the second straight year, Michel and partner Chantal Lefebvre of LaSalle, Quebec, placed second in the senior ice dance at the Canadian figure skating championships. At their second world championships, they placed 20th. Michel and Chantal also placed fifth at Skate Canada, which earned them a berth at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
FOOTBALL – Ousmane Tounkara, Ottawa – A slotback for the U of O football team, Ousmane was one of the key reasons why the Gee-Gees reached the Canadian University football final and the Vanier Cup. He was named an All-Canadian and an Ontario-Quebec Interuniversity Football Conference all-star for the second straight year. He led his league in receiving yardage at 616 with 30 receptions and 7 touchdowns.
FREESTYLE SKIING – Darcy Downs, Manotick – The highlight of Darcy’s season came at the world championships, when he won the gold medal in the combined event. He is one of the few freestyle skiers in the world who does all three events, moguls, acro and aerials. Darcy also picked up an aerials silver medal in Breckenridge, Colorado, and was in the running for a berth on the 1998 Olympic team.
GOLF – Bob Fugere, Hull – The Quebec Golf Association honored Bob by naming him its senior golfer of the year. A member of the Quebec team at the Canadian seniors, Bob placed second in the individual medal play. Bob also finished third at the Quebec senior championships.
HOCKEY – Alyn McCauley, Ottawa – Alyn graduated to NHL Toronto Maple Leafs right from junior hockey in 1997. The Ottawa 67’s centre was the Canadian Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League player of the year. For the 67’s, Alyn led the OHL with 56 goals in 50 games, including 18 power-play markers. He finished with 112 points, which left him third in the OHL. He also helped Canada win the world junior title.
JUDO – Michelle Buckingham, Nepean – At 29, Michelle had a banner year. Leading up to her fifth-place finish in the women’s 61-kilogram class at the world judo championships in Paris, Michelle won the national title in Lethbridge and the Pan-American championships in Guadalahara.
KARATE – Christina Alt, Carlsbad Springs – The 1997 season was twice as sweet for Christina, winning two world championships. She captured the WKA women’s lightweight semi-contact title in Birmingham, England, and picked up the IAKSA lightweight semi-contact crown in Ireland.
KICKBOXING – Mario Cleroux, Vanier – A member of the Therien Jiu-Jitsu Dojo, Mario went to the world amateur kickboxing championships in England and placed fourth in his weight class last September. In December, he won the welterweight division at the Canadian Championships.
ORIENTEERING – Brian Graham, Ottawa – Brian had two reasons to smile last year. He won the Canadian short course orienteering championship for the second consecutive year and also earned the gold medal in the two-day national classic. Brian’s double gold in Manitoba also earned him a berth on Canada’s team to the world championships in Norway.
PADDLING – Andrew Willow’s, Carleton Place – The move to Carleton Place to train under Ontario coach Graham Barton paid off last season for Andrew. He picked up six medals in the juvenile division of the Canadian paddling championships, including gold in the kayak single races over 200, 500 and 1,000 metres and kayak tandem over 200 metres with Ryan Cuthbert. Andrew also attended the world junior championships,
RACQUETBALL – Guy Lapierre, Stittsville – With 18 competitive years in the sport Pierre has won several OAC Championships in singles and doubles in the seniors and masters class. Last year was his best when he won the Canadian National Masters Championship in his very first try.
RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS – Melanie Mastronardi, Kanata – Everything seemed to be golden for 12-year-old Melanie last season. At the Ontario championships on her home floor, she won the overall novice II title, giving gold medal performances in hoop, ball and group with her Kanata Rhythmic Gymnastics Club teammates. She also was the all-round champion at an invitational meet in Toronto.
RINGETTE – Renée Virc, Vanier – A forward for Gloucester intermediate AA team, Renée was one of only two Eastern Ontario players selected to the national team last October for a European tour against Finland. She also won her third silver medal with Gloucester at the Canadian championships and became a certified coach with the Gloucester Belle AA team.
ROAD RACING – Alain Boucher, Kanata – Alain won 10 races last year, ranging from five kilometres to a half marathon, bringing his total number of victories to 63 in the past four years. He also won the Timex Ontario Road Race Series for the second time and was named the runner of the year by the National Capital Runners’ Association.
ROWING – Alison Korn, Ottawa – After winning a silver medal in women’s eights at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Alison had an even better season in 1997. She won the world championships in the straight pairs with Emma Robinson of Winnipeg and earned a silver medal in the eights.
RUGBY – Brodie Diotte, Ottawa – Brodie had a busy year in 1997 playing for Ontario under-23 team, the Ontario senior all-stars and Bytown Blues. It was with the Blues that this back row led the team to its third straight title at the Can-Am competition in Saranac, New York. This tournament attracts 90 teams. Described as a leader by example, this year’s winner for Rugby is Brodie Diotte.
SAILING – Monica Dingle, Ottawa – In her final year as a junior sailer, Monica placed seventh at the world youth sailing championships in Laser Radial class. She also placed second in the North American Grand Prix Series and at the Canadian youth championships. Monica will compete in the world senior championships this year in The Netherlands.
SHOOTING – Alain Marion, Hull – Alain is off to the Commonwealth Games in September in Malaysia after winning the national trials. He also picked up a bronze medal at the commonwealth championships and placed fourth in the Governor Generals’ competition.
SNOWBOARDING – David Steinberg, Ottawa – In two events on the Canadian snowboard series, David was first in youth half-pipe as well as slope style. He also was the Canadian open youth half-pipe champion. David was 10th in half-pipe at the Canadian championships and finished ninth overall in youth at the world junior championships.
SOCCER – Noel Trepanier, Chelsea – As a defender, Noel helped the Ottawa Spirits win the Canadian senior women’s soccer title. While playing for the national silver-medal winning University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, she was named the team’s most valuable player, an Ontario league all-star, a first team all-Canadian and a member of the Canadian tournament all-star team.
SOFTBALL – Derrick Byrd, Kemptville – Captain of the Kemptville Thunder senior men’s softball team, Derrick helped his club win the Ontario senior men’s title and participated in his second national championship.
SPEED SKATING (Long Track) – Ingrid Liepa, Ottawa – Ingrid finished third at the Olympic trials in the 1,500 metres to qualify for the Winter Games in Japan. During the Canadian single distance championships, she was fifth in the 1,000 metres. At the world championships, Ingrid was 25th over 3,000 metres, and 26th over 1,500 metres.
SPEED SKATING (Short Track) – Valerie Cavar, Nepean – At the Canadian open short-track speed skating championships, Valerie Placed seventh overall. She made the Winter Olympic team as a spare for the relay team by placing sixth in the 500 metres and seventh in the 1,000 metres.
SQUASH – Runa Reta, Gloucester – Playing in her first world junior women’s championships, Runa helped Canada to a best-ever fifth-place finish in the team competition in Brazil. At the Canadian junior open tournament and the Junior Olympics in the United States, she won the gold medal. She also placed fourth in the girls’ under-19 class at the Canadian and Ontario championships.
SWIMMING – Yannick Lupien, Aylmer – A member of Canada’s national team, Yannick won a bronze medal in the 50-metre freestyle at the United States Open short-course swim meet. Yannick also is the national short-course champion in the 100- and 200-metre freestyle races. He also broke the national age group record in the 100-metre freestyle.
TABLE TENNIS – Lijuan Geng, Ottawa – A former Olympian, Lijuan placed fourth in women’s singles at the World Cup last September. A triple gold medalist at the Canadian table tennis championships, Lijuan was ninth in women’s singles at the world championships and also reached the quarter-finals Of the Japan Open.
TAEKWONDO – Joel Denis, Gloucester – Joel had a career season on the taekwondo mats. At the International Taekwondo Federation world championships in St Petersburg, Russia, Joel won the Canadian team’s only gold medal in the second degree black belt class. Joe also picked up gold medals at the Pan-American and Canadian championships.
TENNIS – Evelyn Hustwit, Ottawa – Co-ranked No. 1 in Canada in the women’s over-60 singles, Evelyn was the finalist in both the over-60 and over-55 divisions at the Canadian Outdoor championships. But in doubles, Evelyn and partner Inge Weber won both titles, which gave them a No. 1 ranking. She is ranked No. 15 in world in women’s over-60 play.
TOUCH FOOTBALL – Donna Hobin, Ottawa – Named the most valuable senior women’s player in the Ottawa-Nepean Touch Football League, Donna quarterbacked the Ottawa Vipers into the women’s championship game. At the nationals she helped the Vipers reach the quarter-finals.
TRACK & FIELD – Glenroy Gilbert, Ottawa – Glenroy collected his third major international gold medal in sprinting, when he teamed with Donovan Bailey, Robert Esmie and Bruny Surin to repeat as champions in the men’s 4×100-metre relay at the world track and field championships. The 1996 A.C.T. athlete of year and 1996 Olympic relay champion was fifth in the 100 metres at the Canadian Championships.
TRIATHLON – Sharon Donnelly, Gloucester – A regular finisher in the top 10 on the World Cup triathlon circuit, Sharon’s best result was a fourth in Japan. At the world championships, she placed 15th, and was second at the world military meet. In Canada, the national member won the Canadian women’s title and was Triathlon Canada’s female World Cup athlete of the year.
VISUALLY IMPAIRED – Stuart McGregor, Ottawa – Stuart was the hottest runner at the European track and field championships for blind athletes. He won three gold medals, including two on the same day, which came an hour apart. His victories were in the 400-, 800-, and 1,500-metre races. He also holds three world records.
VOLLEYBALL – Pat Thomas, Ottawa – The captain of Kangaroo Volleyball Club’s juvenile boys’ team was the youngest player at age 17 to be named to the Ontario team for the 1997 Canada Summer Games. He played a significant role in helping Ontario win the bronze medal. Pat also played for Brookfield, which took a bronze at the Ontario high school AAA championship. Pat was recognized for his determination, leadership, skill, sportsmanship and fair play and earned the Ken Davies Award in Ontario.
WATER POLO – Margaret Nelson, Ottawa – A regular goal scorer for the national junior women’s water polo team, Margaret helped Canada place fifth at the second world junior championship in Prague. With the Ottawa-Carleton Titans she made the all-star teams in juvenile and junior at the Canadian championships in Vancouver and at the NOR-AM International tournament. Margaret led her Nepean high school to their championship and was a CJOH athlete of the week.
WATER SKIING – Dan Anderson, Greely – One of the best in the country in men’s 3 division slalom, Dan won Eastern Canadian championship, was second at the national competition and finished third on the Canadian ranking list.
WEIGHTLIFTING – Brian Thom, Gloucester – Early last year Brian won the Ontario Open championship 59-kilogram class for the 8th time in his 19 year weightlifting career. He won Ontario Masters (over 35) in Orillia in May and also won the Worlds Masters Games in the 62-kilogram class. Just this past weekend in St. Catherines he won the Ontario Senior and Masters titles again.
WHEELCHAIR SPORTS – Linda Kutrowski, Ottawa – Linda, who has helped Canada win gold medals at two Paralympics and one world championships, won a bronze medal with her Jazz teammates at the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League final tournament for women. At the national championships, Linda was selected to the all-star team for the second straight year.
WRESTLING – Issam Mroue, Ottawa – A member of the National Capital Wrestling Club, Issam won Canadian juvenile Greco Roman wrestling title in the 81-kilogram class and placed fourth in freestyle. In Ottawa and Kingston he scored first-place finishes in six freestyle tournaments.
EMBRUN SPORT BROOMBALL TEAM – Came second in the Winchester Broomball League but won their League Championship and the right to represent Eastern Ontario in the Provincial championship. They lost the Provincials for the first time in 12 years but went to the Canadian Championship in Chilliwack B.C. as 1996 Canadian Champions to defend their title. Their only loss was to Barrie in overtime in the round robin, but went on to defeat them in the semi-final. They won over Quebec in the final to become Canadian champions for the 11th time in 12 years.
HULL OLYMPIQUES HOCKEY CLUB – Won Quebec Major Junior Hockey regular season with 48 wins, 19 losses and 3 ties. They won the 1997 QMJHL playoff winning 12 of the 14 games played to qualify for the Memorial Cup. The Olympiques capped it off for Head Coach, Claude Julien, winning the Memorial Cup Championship at the Robert Guertin Arena beating Oshawa, losing to Lethbridge in overtime, and winning over Chicoutimi and then Lethbridge in the final. This was their first national title.
NEPEAN UNITED SPIRITS WOMENS’ SENIOR SOCCER TEAM – This team of women 18 and over won the Ontario and Canadian senior womens’ championships allowing only two goals against. They were unbeaten in league play, playoffs, the Lake Placid indoor international tournament, the Pat O’Kane Cup, the National Capitol international invitational, the Ontario Cup and the National championships. The Spirits, coached by Andy Nera, went 42 games without a loss and had many of their players chosen to the all-star team in every tournament.
OTTAWA SOONERS JUNIOR FOOTBALL TEAM – In their second year in the Quebec Major Football League the Sooners won the championship in a close game with the Ottawa Junior Rough Riders. They revenged their two point loss to Montreal South Shore in the 1996 championship game by beating them 24 to 4 in the semi-final. The defence led the way in 1997 allowing an average of only 8.6 points per game and with nine wins and only one loss, Head Coach Frank Farranaccio was named QMJFL Coach of the Year.
OTTAWA WEST CRUSADERS BASEBALL CLUB – Made up of 16, 17 and 18 year old all-stars from west Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley, the Crusaders went undefeated to win the Big League baseball provincials. They also went undefeated at the Canadians with pitcher Matt Beelen throwing a no-hitter and winning the final over British Columbia. Manager Terry Glaven and coaches Fred Perry and Bill Beelen took their team to the Big League World Series in Florida where they won their first two games against Mexico and Taipan but lost their next two to Venezuela and Puerto Rico. First baseman Shaun Devereau, who hit over 400 and played errorless ball, was chosen to the Big League All-World team.