The night of April 2 was the 95th Annual McMaster Athletic Awards Ceremony to celebrate Marauder excellence. The ceremony celebrated McMaster athletes and staff contributions on and off the court over the past year.
The highest honour, the McMaster Athletes of the Year, was awarded to Max Turek (Ivor Wynne Award) of the cross country team, and Linnaea Harper (Therese Quigley Award) of the women’s basketball team. Both led their team to Ontario University Athletics titles, and Harper went one step further, helping bring home the U Sports title for her team.
Graduating seniors Hilary Hanaka, starting guard of the women’s basketball team, and Andrew Richards, men's volleyball’s starting left side, took home the outstanding graduating student-athlete awards, the Dr. Edna Guest and Dr. Ray Johnson Awards, respectively.
Both athletes have displayed outstanding on- and off-court excellence. Richards and Hanaka had already been recognized by U Sports for their community work this season, so it was only fitting that they took home this honour as well.
McMaster's Rookies of the Year award the Mel and Marilyn Hawkrigg Award, was given to lacrosse player Mitch Pellarin and wrestler Ligaya Stinellis. Stinellis captured a silver medal in the 48kg weight class in her first trip to the OUA Championships, and made McMaster history by becoming the first Marauder woman to win the conference’s Rookie of the Year award.
Pellarin ended the season as McMaster’s leading scorer with 19 goals and 11 assists, which was the highest scoring total among rookies in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association.
Claudia Continenza, of the women’s soccer team, took home the Les Prince Award for her community service work, and women's hockey president and student therapist Laura Gelowitz won the Bruce Cochrane award for her service to the Athletics Department.
The Joyce Wignall Award, given to a team in recognition of their charitable contributions as a group, was given to the McMaster men’s rugby team for their various charitable efforts throughout the year.
Last night #MarauderNation gathered to celebrate a fantastic year full of great accomplishments by our student-athletes, both on and off the field. Here’s a recap of how the night went down! Thanks to all that attended! 🎉
— McMaster Marauders (@McMasterSports) April 3, 2019
The night of celebrating excellence was capped off by awarding 51 team MVPs from McMaster's sport teams at the varsity and club level, student-athletes who have competed for four seasons while maintaining good academic standing and coaches who have reached benchmarks in their years of service.
All in all, whether athletes had their their season cut short, or managed to come out on top as provincial or national champions, the annual Awards Ceremony once again rightfully honoured the hard work put in by all the various members of the Marauders athletic community over the past year.
The McMaster swimming team will be heading to the University of British Columbia for the U Sports Swimming Championships on Thursday, Feb. 21 through Saturday, Feb. 23. After competing at the Ontario University Athletic Championships this past weekend, the women’s team finished with 545 points as a group, beating out Western University for second place for the first time since 2007. A large part of the team’s success is thanks to Isabelle Lei’s silver medal in the 200m individual medley and bronze in the 400m freestyle. Lei also helped win three medals in team relays. On the men’s side, Mitch Muizelaar took home the team’s only gold medal, repeating as OUA champion in the 1500m freestyle. The qualified Marauders will be competing during nationals this weekend.
The McMaster wrestling team will be heading to Calgary for the U Sports Wrestling Championships, hosted by the University of Calgary on Feb. 22-23, 2019. The Marauders, who medaled during the OUA championships, will be attending the national competition. On the men’s side, Ameen Aghamirian, who was previously named U Sports Athlete of the Week, was named the OUA's Most Outstanding Male Wrestler, and first-year Trystan Kato took home the men's Rookie of the Year award. While for the women, Ligaya Stinellis and Joelle Vanderslagt each took home a silver medal.
The cross-country team will take their talents indoors this reading week for the OUA Track and Field Championships, which will take place at the Toronto Track & Field Centre on Feb. 22-23. The team completed their outdoor season with great success, and have been competing in indoor meets ever since in preparation for these championships. The medalists of the meet will move on to compete at the national level for the U Sports Championships at the University of Manitoba on March 7-9.