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ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
ALPINE SKIING – Ryan Semple, Ottawa – Racing for the Laurentian Division ski team out of Mont Tremblant, Ryan earned an invitation to join the Quebec team by placing 20th in slalom and 42nd in giant slalom at the Canadian junior championships. Despite breaking his collarbone in the middle of the season, he finished strong in the cadet class during the Spring Series of races.
ARCHERY – Patrick Prégent, Gloucester – At only 15 years old, Patrick was the best archer on the indoor target range in the Americas. Not only did he win the Ontario and Canadian titles in his cadet class, but also he was named the best in North and South America. When he moved outdoors, he was the youngest competitor while representing Canada at the world junior championships in Sweden and the Championship of the Americas in Cuba.
BADMINTON – Andrew Dabeka, Ottawa – In his first year as a senior competitor, Andrew was briefly ranked No. 1 in Canada. Last fall, he reached the men’s singles quarter-finals at the Scottish and Spanish open tournaments. At the start of this year’s Yonex Open circuit, Andrew won in Calgary and was third in Winnipeg.
BALL HOCKEY – Perry Spano, Rockland – As captain of the Moscow Selects of the Westend Ball Hockey League, Perry was named the league’s sportsman of the year and the top defenceman. At age 36, the energetic defenceman scored six goals and had six assists in 18 games.
BASEBALL – Luke Carlin, Aylmer – An outstanding year with the Ottawa Nationals club helped Luke earn a three-week tour with Team Canada. The switch-hitting catcher and shortstop produced great numbers for the Nationals in 39 games: a 398 batting average, six home runs, five triples, and 13 doubles. Luke is considering scholarship offers from various American universities.
BASKETBALL – Brian Leonard, Ottawa – One of the top university basketball players in Canada, Brian was the fifth-leading scorer in the nation with a 22.3-point-per-game average and was an All-Canadian honourable mention. As Carleton University’s leading scorer with 301 points, Brian was named a first team Ontario University Athletic east all-star, and the Ravens’ male athlete of the year.
BOBSLEIGH – Ken Leblanc, Ottawa – After a four-year retirement, Ken caught the bug to return to bobsleigh and competed at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano. His best result was a victory in the two-man World Cup in Calgary with Pierre Lueders of Edmonton, who is one of the top drivers in the world.
BODY BUILDING – Ron Pierre, Ottawa – A security guard for Governor-General Romeo Leblanc, Ron finished third at the Canadian bodybuilding championships and qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
BOWLING (5-PIN) – Patrick St. Martin, Gatineau – A senior youth bowler, Patrick won the gold medal at the Canadian 5-pin championships. He was also victorious on the youth bowling side of the TSN Pins Game and picked up a $1,000 scholarship.
BOWLING (10-PIN) – Bahjat Zoorob, Ottawa – A member of the Capital District Ten-pin Bowling Association, Bahjat rolled a perfect 300 game last year and used that game to help him role an enviable 806 series for three games. He is the only local bowler to score 800 or more pins in three games. He also won the Canadian Tire title on RDS by winning nine straight TV matches and rolling a record 279 high single.
BOXING – Ken Dostaler, Sarsfield – As a heavyweight boxer, Ken won all 17 of his bouts last season, including three when the referee had to stop the contest because of significant head blows. He also won the Brampton Cup and was named the tournament’s best prospect.
BROOMBALL – Suzanne Hayes, Masson – Playing for the McMillan Sand and Gravel team of the Pakenham League, Suzanne helped her club win its fourth championship. She was selected to the first all-star team at the Ontario championships in Regina, where she won a silver medal. Suzanne also is recognized as one of the top defensive players in the country.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING – Marie-Odile Raymond, Aylmer – Although she didn’t start skiing until she was about 16 years old, Marie-Odile has made rapid progress. Last season, she found herself in Nagano, Japan for the Winter Olympics, where she placed 56th in the 30-kilometre free technique race, and 62nd in the 15-kilometre classic.
CURLING – John Morris, Craig Savill, Andy Ormsby, Brent Laing, Brad Gushe, Ottawa – Under the guidance of John Morris, this Ottawa Curling Club junior rink had a perfect season. After winning the Ontario and Canadian junior titles, the Morris team went undefeated and won the gold medal at the world junior championship. Just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, the Morris rink defended its title last month.
CYCLING – Linda Jackson, Nepean – As Linda approaches retirement in 2000, she’ll look back on 1998 as a highly successful year. Winning a silver medal in the time trial at the Commonwealth Games was a highlight as well as winning the multi-day Hewlett Packard tour in Idaho. Canada’s female road cyclist of the year, Linda was second at the Tour of Italy, sixth at the Tour de France for women, and ninth in the time trial at the world championships.
DIVING – Laura Knowles, Ottawa – At the Canadian age group diving championships in Winnipeg, Laura placed fourth in the three-metre springboard competition and was a finalist in the 10-metre tower. Laura, however, reached the medal podium at the Ontario championships, winning a gold in three-metre and a bronze on one-metre.
EQUESTRIAN – Simone Williams, Navan – Riding either Marco or Einstein, Simone could often be found in the medals at most of her dressage competitions. She had three silver-medal efforts with Einstein at the Eastern Canadian championships, and posted second-and third-place results on Marco at the Eastern nationals. A marathon runner, Simone has qualified for the 1999 Pan-American Games trials.
FASTBALL – Jamie Carruthers, Kanata and Amie Talbot, Kanata – Jamie and Amie helped the Kanata Pirates midget girls’ team win the R.A. Centre senior women’s fastball championship. They also have been invited to try out next month for Canada’s national junior team, which will compete at the world championships in Chinese Taipei in June.
FENCING – Dave Waller, Ottawa – A member of the Excalibur Fencing Club, David is the defending champion in senior men’s individual foil. He also placed third in the men’s foil team competition at the national championships.
FIELD HOCKEY – Hari Kant, Gloucester – As goalie of the national men’s field hockey team, Hari helped Canada to a personal best showing of eighth place at the World Cup competition. Hari is currently playing club field hockey in England.
FIGURE SKATING – Angela Derochie, Ottawa – In a breakthrough year, Angela joined the long list of Ottawa figure skaters to win the Canadian senior womens’ singles title. At her first world championship, she placed 20th. She also was ninth at Cup of Russia last December.
FOOTBALL – Phillipe Côté, Ottawa – Phil was a man in perpetual motion during the Ontario-Quebec Interuniversity Football Conference season. And by the time he stopped, there were plenty of awards to collect. On the field, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees quarterback passed for 2,079 yards, including a conference record 18 touchdowns, and rushed for 478 yards. He was the conference nominee for the Hec Creighton Trophy as Canada’s top university player, and was named first team all-Canadian.
FREESTYLE SKIING – Jeff Bean, Ottawa – A third-year member of Canada’s national senior team in aerials, Jeff had five Top 15 results on the World Cup circuit, including his first medal. He picked up a bronze medal at a meet in Mount Buller. Jeff also made Canada’s 1998 Winter Olympic team and placed 11th overall.
GOLF – Robert Fugére, Hull – Bob played in many of the top national tournaments last year, including representing Quebec in the Willingdon Cup team competition during the Canadian amateur championships. He finished third in the Quebec Golf Association’s Order of Merit, finishing fourth in the Alexander of Tunis, tied for sixth at the Duke of Kent and tied for seventh at the Quebec Amateur.
HOCKEY – Troy Stonier, Ottawa – In his graduating season with the Ottawa 67’s, Troy led the major junior team in scoring with 28 goals and 51 assists for 79 points. His consistent play helped the 67’s win their third straight division title in the Ontario Hockey League. Troy played for the Canadian national hockey team last fall and is in Calgary trying out for the National team with hopes to play in the World Championships.
JUDO – Evan O’Leary, Kanata – At the end of many youth judo tournaments, Evan could often be found on the medal podium. The member of the Takahashi Judo Club was second in his weight class at the Canadian junior championships. He also was first at the Ontario open championships as well as the Quebec provincial meet.
LACROSSE – Jeff Zywicki, Nepean – In his first year in the Ontario Lacrosse Association Junior B league, Jeff was named the top rookie for his strong offensive play for the rejuvenated Nepean Knights. After a 2-20 season in 1997, Zywicki came aboard to lead the Knights to a 16-4 mark and a first place in the eastern division. He had a league-leading 57 goals and was second in league scoring with 96 points.
PADDLING – Janet Finlay, Carleton Place – A former national team member in the 1970’s, Janet churned up a storm at the World Masters Games. She won 10 gold medals in women’s kayak singles, women’s and mixed tandem and mixed fours. Janet picked up individual golds in K-1 races over 500, 1,000, and 5,000 metres.
RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS – Melanie Mastronardi, Kanata – Competing in the open level 3 category, Melanie won the Ontario all-around title with first in hoop and clubs, and a fifth in ribbon. She also won a provincial gold medal in team ribbon.
RINGETTE – Renée Virc, Clarence Creek – Renée was a key member of the Gloucester intermediate AA team which won a gold medal at the Canadian championships. She also was one of two Eastern Ontario players on the Canadian team, which played a five-game European Summit against Finland. Renée also is an assistant coach and assists with developmental programs in Gloucester.
ROAD RACING – Larry McCloskey, Ottawa – A masters runner at the age of 43, Larry was the best on and around the block in the men’s open category on the inaugural National Capital Running Series. He entered only eight races, but won six of the final seven on the schedule. Larry also was first at the Carleton Place Heritage Run and the Father’s Day Run.
ROWING – Alison Korn, Nepean – For the second straight year, Alison and partner Emma Robinson of Winnipeg won the women’s pairs title at the world rowing championships. Alison also was part of the Canadian women’s eights team, which earned a bronze medal.
RUGBY – Sean Keenan, Nepean – Sean played a lot of rugby in a lot of different places last year. A member of the Ottawa Irish and Eastern Ontario first teams, he toured through Ireland last September with the Canadian under-20 team. Sean also played for Ontario, which placed fourth at the national under-20 championship.
SAILING – Monica Dingle, Ottawa – A student at Queen’s University, Monica established herself as one of the top single-handed sailors on the American Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association. She won the Canadian Flyer junior class championship, was fifth at the United States nationals and also won the mid-Atlantic intercollegiate title. Last summer, she represented Canada in the Laser radial division at the world championships in the Netherlands.
SHOOTING – Christina Ashcroft, Navan – At the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, Christina excelled in three rifle shooting pairs events. She picked up gold medals in the pairs sport rifle and air rifle with Sharon Bowes of Waterloo. Teamed with Maureen Spinney of Toronto, Christina earned a silver in pairs smallbore sport rifle.
SKI JUMPING – Marie-Pierre Morin, Rockland – One of Canada’s top female jumpers, Marie-Pierre was 12th at a World Cup competition in Switzerland. At her training site in Lake Placid, New York, she had several top-3 finishes including one victory.
SOCCER – Deanna Saracino, Nepean – Deanna was the leading scorer for Nepean United women’s under-19 team, which lost in the final of the Ontario Cup final and placed first in the National Capital tournament. She also led Hillcrest to the provincial high school championship tournament last spring and helped University of Ottawa win a bronze medal at the Ontario university championship last fall. She had 12 goals for Ottawa.
SPEED SKATING (Long Track) – Kristina Groves, Ottawa – In her first season with Canada’s all-round team, Kristina won the Canada Cup series for up and coming skaters and was sixth overall in the Canadian all-round rankings.
SPEED SKATING (Short Track) – Andrew Lahey, Ottawa – In his first trip to the world junior short-track speed skating championships in St. Louis, Andrew won a full set of medals. He grabbed gold in the 1,500 metres, silver in the 500 metres and used a fourth-place result in the 1,000 metres for a bronze in the overall standings. In the first senior national team trial, he ranked sixth.
SQUASH – Runa Reta, Gloucester – Runa played a large role in helping Canada to its best-ever fifth place finish at the world junior women’s squash championships. She was the best in North America in the under-19 class, having won the Canadian Open and United States Open titles. As a warmup, Runa captured the Ontario and Ottawa District championships.
SWIMMING – Lisa Blackburn, Kanata – Making a comeback after a three-year retirement, Lisa qualified for the Commonwealth Games, she reached the 100-metre breaststroke final, fied for fifth, and just missed beating her personal record time. But at the World Cup short-course meet in Edmonton, Lisa set three personal best times in the 50-, 100- and 200-metre breaststrokes.
TABLE TENNIS – Faazil Kassam, Ottawa – Selected as the Canadian Table Tennis Association’s junior male athlete of the year, Faazil won six gold and one bronze medals at the national junior championships. He won the United States Open boys’ under-14 title and earned a bronze medal in boys’ under-12 singles at the Belgian international youth cup.
TAEKWONDO – Marc Andre Picknell, Gloucester – A successful 1998 season has Marc-Andre thinking of going to the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He was a silver medallist at the Canadian championships and won two gold medals at the Ontario championships.
TENNIS – Tomasz Grzyb, Nepean – Tomasz was hard to beat in the boys’ under-14 class, winning the Ontario outdoor and Canadian indoor singles and doubles championships. He also captured all four Nike circuit tournaments as well as the Ottawa Athletic Club under-18 junior open. His results earned him a spot on Canada’s junior under-14 team for many international tournaments.
TOUCH FOOTBALL – Nancy Mantha, Vanier – As quarterback of the Ottawa Devils in the Ottawa-Nepean Touch Football League, Nancy led her team to tournament championships in Kingston, Montreal and Unionville. Nancy celebrated a victory in the Ontario championship and came within two points of winning the national women’s title.
TRACK & FIELD – Lesley Tashlin, Ottawa – Lesley finished fourth in the women’s 100-metre hurdles at the Commonwealth Games. In the lead up to the Games in Malaysia, she was second at the Canadian championships, ran in a Grand Prix race in Qatar and had a season-best time of 13.03 seconds in Arizona.
TRAP & SKEET – Linda Conley, Stittsville – Linda was a member of the national shooting team last season. In two Grand Prix meets, she was fifth in Atlanta, and seventh in Fort Benning.
TRIATHLON – Sharon Donnelly, Gloucester – After a season which saw her ranked 16th overall on the International Triathlon Union World Cup circuit, Sharon was named the female Olympic distance triathlete of the year by Triathlon Canada. Her best World Cup results were a fifth and sixth in two meets in Australia and an 11th in New Zealand. A silver medallist at the Canadian championships, Sharon also was 11th at the Goodwill Games.
VISUALLY IMPAIRED – Stuart McGregor, Ottawa – At the world blind track and field championships, Stuart proved he was one of the best in the world in the men’s B-3 class. He won bronze medals in the 800 and 1,500 metres and was fourth in the 400 metres.
VOLLEYBALL – Patrick Thomas, Ottawa – As the youngest player on Canada’s junior men’s volleyball team, he played a new and key role in helping his squad win the North and Central America championship to qualify for the 1999 world junior championship. At the North and Central America tournament, he had a hand injury and played the new libero position, which was a specific defensive spot.
WATER POLO – Andras Szeri, Nepean – Andras was the key reason behind Carleton University Ravens’ success in the pool. He was the Ontario University Athletic scoring champion with a Carleton record 52 goals in 12 regular season games, which earned him team MVP honours and a berth on the first provincial all-star team.
WATER SKIING – Tony Boswell, Arnprior – A medallist at the 1997 Canada Summer Games in Brandon, Tony was impressive at the Canadian senior water ski championships last year. He was second in jumps and third in slalom in the men’s open class. In the men’s one age group, Tony was first in tricks and third in jumps.
WEIGHTLIFTING – Brian Thom, Gloucester – Competing as a masters athlete in the 62-kilogram class, Brian was tops at the World Master Winter Games, and the Northern Ontario, Ontario and Canadian championships. At the World Masters, he set season-best marks of 82.5 kilograms in the snatch and 112.5 kilograms in the clean and jerk.
WHEELCHAIR SPORTS – Chantal Benoit, Gloucester – The world women’s wheelchair basketball championships were the high point of Chantal’s extensive cage career. Not only did she help Canada to the world title, but also she was named the most valuable player and the top female wheelchair basketball player on the globe.
WRESTLING – Laura Jones, Ashton – A member of the National Capital Wrestling Club, Laura was second at the Ontario championships in the 75-kilogram class. She also was third at the national junior meet in the 68-kilogram division and third at the Ontario high school 69-kilogram class.
GLOUCESTER RINGETTE INTERMEDIATE AA – Gloucester won five tournaments, including the Ontario title, before going to Edmonton to beat the host team in the final for the Canadian championship. It was Gloucester’s first national intermediate title after placing second the last three years.
KANATA RHYTHMIC SPORTIVE GYMNASTICS CLUB – The team of Melanie Mastronardi, Kieva Hranchuk, Alison Haines, Sabrina Yong-Yow and Sarah Papousek under coach Dasa Lelli won gold in the group ribbon competition at the Ontario Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships.
NEPEAN UNITED SPIRITS WOMEN’S SENIOR SOCCER TEAM – Coached to another undefeated season by Andy Nera in league and tournament play. They won the Ontario and Canadian senior women’s titles for the second straight year.
OTTAWA JUNIOR RIDERS FOOTBALL TEAM – In their second year in the Quebec Major Junior Football League the Riders improved to a record of 8 wins and 2 losses. They won the league championship over Chateauguay under Head Coach Dean Dorsey.