By Earl Zukerman
Hockey players Samuel Labrecque of Granby, Que., and Mélodie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que., were named male and female athletes of the year, respectively, at the 39th annual McGill varsity sports awards gala, held at La Plaza in the EVO Montreal student residence on Sherbrooke Street, Wednesday evening.
Labrecque, a second-year economics student in his final year of eligibility after transferring from Clarkson University, and Daoust, a physical education senior, received the Stuart Forbes and Gladys Bean trophies, respectively, as the student-athletes who brought most credit to the University by reason of their athletic achievements.
Basketball team captain Vincent Dufort, a fifth-year guard from Smiths Falls, Ont., and hockey forward Olivia Sutter of Red Deer, Alta., took home the Richard Pound and Muriel Roscoe trophies, respectively, awarded to the graduating male and female athletes for proficiency and leadership in athletics over their university career.
Casey Auerbach of Westmount, Que., a former player and current associate head coach on McGill’s national champion baseball team who has battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma since last April, received the Dr. Mac Teskey Trophy, presented to an individual who has overcome significant adversity to serve as an inspiration to others.
Ryan McClelland, a middle-distance runner from Toronto and a civil engineering major with a 3.51 grade-point average and was awarded the Uldis Auders Memorial Trophy as the top sophomore, in any sport, who best combines academic excellence with athletic prowess.
Hockey defenceman Dominic Talbot-Tassi of Mascouche, Que., and basketball guard Gladys Hakizimana of Montreal, were named as the McGill rookies of the year.
The women’s basketball squad received the Martlet Foundation Trophy as the varsity team of the year, in a CIS-sanctioned sport, for the second straight season. They registered a 24-4 record overall against CIS opponents, won the RSEQ conference championship and posted a fourth-place finish at the CIS Final Eight tournament.
The lacrosse Redmen, who finished with a perfect 15-0 record against league opponents and captured the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association’s national championship, took home the Harry Griffiths Trophy, awarded to the top team in a non-CIS sport.
Tribute was also paid to McGill’s 72 league all-stars, eight CIS all-Canadians and five conference championships won during the 2015-16 intercollegiate season. League banners were captured by both basketball teams (RSEQ), the lacrosse Redmen (CUFLA East), baseball Redmen (CCBA Northern Conference) and rugby Redmen (RSEQ), in addition to national titles in baseball (CCBA), lacrosse (CUFLA) and women’s synchronized swimming (CUSSL).
Finally, commemorative plaques were presented to the MVPs of 28 varsity teams (see list below).
2015-16 Most Valuable Player awards for McGill varsity teams
BADMINTON: Alan Shekhtman (2nd consec. year; Newton, Mass.) and Anne Ying Wu (2nd consec. year; Kanata, Ont.)
BASEBALL: Robert Sedin (Sunnyvale, CA, USA)
BASKETBALL: Vincent Dufort (Smiths Falls, Ont.) and Alex Kiss-Rusk (Beaconsfield, Que.)
CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNING: François Jarry (Lachine, Que.) and Mélodie Myrand (Lachine, Que.)
FIELD HOCKEY: Kylie Nabata (North Vancouver, B.C.)
FOOTBALL: Yannick Langelier-Vanasse (Lachine, Que.)
GOLF: Will Eberlee (Caledon, Ont.) and Alisha Corringham (Pickering, Ont.)
HOCKEY: Samuel Labrecque (Granby, Que.) and Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que.)
LACROSSE: Anders Bjella (Milwaukee, WI, USA)
ROWING: Tom Portsmouth (Marly-le-Roi, FRANCE) and Esther Jamieson (Aurora, Ont.)
RUGBY: Tommie Larochelle (Bromont, Que.) and Audrey Marcotte (Chateauguay, Que.)
SKIING (alpine): Cole Rosenberg (2nd consec. year; Toronto, Ont.) and Allene Kennedy (4th consec. year; Truckee, Calif.)
SOCCER: Roberto Bonalumi (Credaro, Italy) and Zoe Fasoulakis (Vancouver, B.C.)
SWIMMING: Jean-Daniel Vallieres (Longueuil, Que.) and Simone Cseplo (Toronto, Ont.)
SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: Mara Bender (Waterloo, Ont.)
TRACK & FIELD: Helena Reinfels (2nd consec. year; Puslinch, Ont.) and Riley van Ryswyk (2nd consec. year; Surrey, B.C.)
VOLLEYBALL: Yasmeen Dawoodjee (2nd consec. year; Ottawa, Ont.)