2005-06 McGill Track & Cross Country awards announced

2005-06 McGill Track & Cross Country Awards Announced

Apr 29, 06 Track and Field (W)

By Earl Zukerman

Martlet Cross-country Rookie of the Year- Renee Weertman, Seattle, Washington, Science

An 18-year-old science freshman from Seattle, with roots in Quebec as her mother hails from la belle province, Renee Weertman was the top rookie of the Martlets cross-country team, posting solid performances throughout the season. On a tough, soggy 5 km course at the 2005 QSSF cross-country championships in Montreal's Parc de Maisonneuve, she finished 17th of 41 runners with a time of 20:37. She also finished 20th of 62 at the Laval Open, 11th of 41 at the Sherbrooke Invitational, 94th of 164 at the Western International meet, and 45th of 103 at the McGill Open.

Redmen Cross Country-Rookie of the Year- No eligible candidates this year

Martlet Track & Field-Rookie of the Year- Heather McCurdy, Belleville, ON, Physical Education

A highly-recruited athlete out of Bayside Secondary school in Belleville, Ont., Heather McCurdy performed superbly for the women's track team this season. The 19-year-old physical education freshman consistently reached the 11-metre mark in the triple jump during the season before winning gold at the QSSF track championships in Sherbrooke with a leap of 10.98m, to qualify for the CIS championships. Hampered by shin problems she finished 10th at Nationals but is expected to be back with a vengeance next year. She also ran on the 4x200 and the 4x400 relay teams.

Redmen Track & Field-Rookie of the Year- Andrew Roberts,

 Beaconsfield, QC, Physiotherapy

A key recruit out of John Abbott College, Andrew Roberts ran leadoff on the relay and was instrumental in helping the 4x800m squad win gold at the QSSF championships (8:03.94). The relay team also won an apparent silver medal at Nationals but that was later downgraded to a fourth-place finish after a disputed, unclean baton exchange. The 20-year-old occupational therapy freshman from Montreal showed versatility and speed by also running a leg on the 4x400m relay throughout the season. Roberts was hampered by injuries during the season but is expected to return healthy and help the relay team win gold next year.

Martlet Cross-country - Most Improved Athlete- Lauren Whyte,

 Belleville, ON, 2nd Year, Political Science

Lauren Whyte, a 19-year-old political science sophomore from Belleville, Ont., produced one of the most spectacular improvements that head coach Dennis Barrett had ever seen in his long coaching career. She went from 94th at the 2004 CIS Cross-country Nationals to seventh place at the 2005 CIS championships, a truly exceptional improvement. At the Nationals in Halifax last fall, she came-from-behind in a narrow passing lane to finish seventh in a field of 127 competitors and grab the final all-Canadian berth. She completed the five-kilometre course in 17 minutes, 30 seconds.

Redmen Cross-country - Most Improved Athlete- Adrian Walton,

 London, ON, 3rd Year, Science & Music

Adrian Walton, a 21-year-old science & music junior from London, Ont., wins the team's most improved athlete award for the second straight season. He showed consistent improvement over the year, capturing the Quebec conference individual title after finishing fifth the previous season. He also came up big at the CIS Nationals, with a personal best time of 32:00 over 10km and finishing as the top McGill runner at Halifax's Point Pleasant Park, where he was 31st of 114 entries.

Martlet Track & Field - Most Improved Athlete- Deborah Lightman,

 Toronto, ON, 2nd Year, Science

Deborah Lightman is a 19-year-old physiology and environmental science sophomore from Toronto, who posted some stellar performances. A holder of the prestigious Greville Smith scholarship, she won silver in the 600m at the conference championships and at one point was ranked sixth nationally in the 1000m, finishing ninth in that event at the CIS Nationals. She initially helped the 4x800m relay to a second place finish at the CIS championships, before the team was disqualified for a minor infraction. Lightman shaved 3.95 seconds off her 600m time (1:36.20) and 11.23 seconds off her personal best in the 1000m (2:54.31).

Redmen Track & Field - Most Improved Athlete- Stephen Douglas,

 Pictou, NS, 2nd Year Physiology

Stephen Douglas, a 19-year-old physiology sophomore from Pictou, N.S., showed considerable improvement in the 1000m and 1500m events. He was clocked in 2:27 for the 1000m, which ranked him ninth in the country and qualified for the Nationals, where he ran a very smart, tactical race to earn a bronze, the only individual CIS medal for McGill this season. He also ran a leg on the winning 4x800m relay team at the conference championships and helped the relay team earn a fourth-place finish at the Nationals. He shaved 3.29 seconds off his personal best in the 1000m (2:27.62) and also improved his personal best by 3.94 seconds in the 1500m (3:57.04).

Martlet Cross-country - MVP- Lauren Whyte,

 Belleville, Ont., 2nd Year, Political Science

Lauren Whyte, a 19-year-old political science sophomore from Belleville, Ont., was not only the cross-country team's most improved athlete but also earned league MVP honours as well as the team's MVP award. She began the season with a pair of fifth-place finishes at the McGill Open and the Western International but turned it a notch to win silver at the Sherbrooke meet, gold at the Laval Open and gold at the conference championship meet. At Nationals in Halifax, she placed seventh overall to earn All-Canadian status and qualify for a berth with Team Canada at the World university cross-country championships in Algeria, where she was clocked in 17 minutes, 30 seconds over 5 km for a personal best. She also won three McGill athlete-of-the-week awards.

Redmen Cross-country MVP- Jeff McCabe,

 Toronto, ON, 4th Year Chemistry - Captain (XC/Track)

Team captain Jeff McCabe, a 22-year-old chemistry senior from Toronto, was easily the team's most consistent runner during the cross-country season. After a strong, fourth-place finish at the McGill Open, he went on to place 19th at the Western International meet, win gold at the Sherbrooke Invitational (where he tied the course record) and silver at the Laval Open, where he had a fierce battle with David Gill and was nipped by half of a stride after 8 km, before missing the conference championship to injury. McCabe competed at the Nationals with a stress fracture, finished 43rd of 114 runners and managed to help the Redmen to an 8th place finish, the best result in years.

Martlet Track & Field MVP- C. Genevieve Jenkins,

 Mission Viejo, CA, 4th Year, English & History - Captain (XC/Track)

Team captain Genevieve Jenkins, a 22-year-old English & history senior from Mission Viejo, Calif., had an impressive season, earned meet MVP honours at the conference championships by winning three golds (1500m, 4x400m and 4x800m) and one silver (1000m). She qualified for Nationals in both the 1000m and 1500m, where she placed seventh and fifth, respectively. In the 1500m, Jenkins ran a personal best time of 4:38.33, the best clocking by a member of the Martlets since Sarah Ali-Khan in 2002-03. Jenkins also ran a brilliant leg on the 4x800m relay at the CIS championships, only to find out later that the squad was disqualified for a minor infraction. This is her second consecutive year winning Team MVP honours.

Redmen Track & Field - MVP- Aaron White,

 Trenton, ON, 2nd Year, Physical Education Captain (Track)

Co-captain Aaron White, a 22-year-old physical education sophomore from Trenton, Ont., was the fifth-ranked 300m runner in the country with a personal best time of 34.50 seconds. He had a spectacular season, running a number of individual events while also serving as a member of both the 4x200 and 4x400m relays. A fast finishing kick in the 4x400m relay provided a thriller at the QSSF championships, where he reduced a 15-metre gap to within a whisker of winning the race. White saved the best for the Nationals, where the Redmen stunned the crowd by anchoring McGill's gold-medal performance from the slower seeded section of the timed final race. It was McGill's first gold medal in three years at the CIS championships.

Andrea Taylor Memorial Award

This award is presented annually to a female member of the McGill track and field team who contributes something unique, promotes unity, and demonstrates the exceptional characteristics for which Andrea was renowned. The award is dedicated to the spirit of Andrea's character, which will remain with her family, friends and teammates forever.

- Eadaoin (Deenie) Quinn, West Field, NJ, 2nd Year, Arts

A 19-year-old arts sophomore from West Field, N.J., Deenie Quinn truly represents the attributes that the Andrea Taylor Memorial Award stands for. Her commitment to the cross country and track and field programs is second to none. A sincere and supportive teammate to all, she always has a smile on her face and a kind word for everybody. "Deenie is very respectful person," says head coach Dennis Barrett. "One who always takes the time to say hello, to even the bus driver on our road trips. She is always willing to lend a hand in any team event including volunteer work for various charities, a truly remarkable young woman."