(ANTIGONISH, N.S.) - The StFX Athletic Department honored the athletic accomplishments of their varsity athletes Monday evening at their annual awards gala at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
X-Men cross country/track and field distance runner Connor McGuire was named the StFX Male Student-Athlete of the Year, while X-Women rugby athlete Tyson Beukeboom was awarded StFX Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors for the second consecutive year.
The StFX Female Community X-Cellence award was presented to co-winners Katie Greenway from the X-Women hockey team and Catherine Thornton from X-Women volleyball, while X-Men hockey athlete Murdock MacLellan was the winner of the StFX Male Community X-Cellence award.
Connor McGuire is a fourth year science student from Summerside, P.E.I. A three-time consecutive X-Men cross country and X-Men track and field most valuable runner, McGuire racked up the AUS and CIS accolades in his final season at StFX. He was the AUS cross country individual champion and AUS most valuable athlete for the second consecutive year, and was also honored for his efforts off the running trails as the 2012 AUS and CIS student-athlete community service award winner. McGuire helped lead the X-Men to their second consecutive AUS championship title.
In track and field competition, McGuire won three AUS gold medals, claiming top honors in both the 1500m and 3000m races, as well as being a member of the AUS champion 4x800m relay team. He was also named the AUS male track athlete of the year. At the CIS national championship, Connor placed fourth in the 1500m and narrowly missed a bronze medal in the 3000m. A three-time AUS cross country and AUS track and field all-star, McGuire becomes the third X-Men cross country/track runner to be named the StFX Male Athlete of the Year and first since David Gerych in 2008. StFX Olympian Eric Gillis also received the honor in 2004 and 2002.
Tyson Beukeboom is a fourth year human kinetics student from Uxbridge, Ont. Playing in the number eight position on the rugby pitch, Tyson was honored as the AUS Most Valuable Player for the third consecutive season, helping to lead the X-Women to their 15th consecutive AUS title and a CIS national championship banner won on home turf. Beukeboom was named the most valuable player of the CIS tournament, in addition to receiving her third CIS championship all-star award of her career.
A three-time AUS all-star, Tyson also earned recognition as a three-time consecutive CIS all-Canadian. Her X-Women team has appeared in the CIS championship final all four years she has played at StFX, taking home two gold and two silver medals. Beukeboom wraps up her career with 165 career points, fifth on the AUS career scoring list. She becomes the fourth X-Women rugby player to win the StFX Female Student-Athlete of the Year award amidst nine distinctions, following up on her win in 2012. Other former X-Women rugby athletes of the year include four-time winner Ghislaine Landry (2007-2010), along with Michelle Tremere (2004) and Danielle Goulet (2003 and 2002).
Murdock MacLellan is a fourth year science student from Mabou, N.S. A forward and two-time captain of the X-Men, he was a leader on the StFX squad both on and off the ice. A participant in the StFX Athletics Leadership Academy, MacLellan volunteered his time weekly to Antigonish minor hockey's initiation program for young minor hockey players, in addition to his coaching duties at various X-Men hockey camps. MacLellan has been a key member of the StFX Student-Athlete Leadership Team for the past two years, overseeing the organization of his X-Men teammates' involvement in several community service events including the X Athletes for Charity event, community and minor hockey skates, and this year's CACL fundraiser hockey game. MacLellan was also a key member in delivering the X-Out Bullying program during the X-Men's 2012 hockey school.
Katie Greenway is a fourth year human kinetics student from Guelph, Ont., who platooned the StFX net as goalkeeper for the CIS bronze medalist and AUS champion X-Women hockey team. Another StFX Athletics Leadership Academy and member of the Student-Athlete Leadership Team, Katie volunteered her coaching services to two Antigonish minor hockey programs this year. She was an assistant coach with the local midget girls team, and also helped out at the weekly novice girls skills sessions. She was also involved with the X-Out Bullying program, X Athletes for Charity event, volunteered at the Tim Horton's Cupful of Care event, and assisted with the breakfast program at the local high school. A key student leader with the StFX 'Fit for Tots' program, Greenway also lent her time volunteering at minor girls hockey tournaments and helped organize various community service opportunities for her X-Women teammates.
Catherine Thornton is a second year education student from Kobe, Japan. Already with an Arts degree from StFX, Thornton wrapped up a stellar five-year AUS volleyball career this season and joins Greenway as the co-winner of the StFX Female Community X-Cellence award. The co-president of the Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT), Thornton was also involved with the StFX Leadership Academy and the X-Out Bullying program. The X-Women volleyball captain was the co-organizer of this year's X Athletes for Charity event. Catherine assisted with the coordination of numerous community service volunteer opportunities on behalf of SALT, volunteering herself with the Halloween Safe Crossing program, literacy day at the local high school and tutoring students in Gaelic. She gave hours of her time as the head coach of the Stoirm U14 Tier 1 volleyball team, in addition to assisting with the Dr. J. H. Gillis high school team and making guest coach appearances at the local junior high school.
Father Stanley MacDonald and Mary Lillian MacDonald were honored as the co-recipients of the StFX Athletics 'X-Ceptional Award,' which recognizes individuals who go above and beyond their responsibilities and contribute in a positive manner to StFX Athletics. Well known amongst university circles, both Father Stanley and Mary Lillian are loyal StFX Athletics supporters and fans. Combined, they have attended hundreds of X-Men and X-Women games over the years, and continue to be fixtures in the stands today. Their spirit, enthusiasm, unwavering support, and loyal dedication to the blue and white does not go unnoticed by the X athletes, coaches and staff, and they serve as inspirational StFX ambassadors.
Mike Cavanagh was named the inaugural winner of the StFX Coach of the Year award. The AUS and CIS women's rugby coach of the year, Cavanagh led his X-Women to a perfect season in 2012, going 8-0 in regular season play, 10-0 in exhibition matches and 5-0 in playoff action en route to their 15th consecutive AUS championship and third CIS national championship in team history. Coach Cavanagh has an overall coaching record of 66-1-2 in regular season play and 84-17-5 overall (regular season, AUS & CIS playoffs). The popular StFX coach, who has guided the X-Women to three CIS national titles (2012, 2010 and 2006) was the surprise recipient of an honorary X-ring, presented by StFX Vice President, Advancement Mr. Tim Lang.
Four StFX varsity teams, three track and field relay team, five individual track and field athletes and one X-Men cross country athlete received their traditional varsity 'X's in honor of their AUS championships from this past season. AUS championship teams included the X-Women rugby, X-Women cross country, X-Men cross country and X-Women hockey teams, while the AUS champion track and field relay teams including the X-Women 4x400m, X-Men 4x400m and X-Men 4x800m teams were also honored. Individual AUS champions included track and field athletes Eilish MacQuarrie (300m), Melissa Hardy (1500m and 3000m), Demetrius Ferguson (60m), Mackenzie Munroe (300m and 600m), and Connor McGuire (1500m and 3000m).
The 2012 CIS champion X-Women rugby team received their national championship rings, and were honored in a video tribute for their accomplishment on the rugby pitch as they thrilled a hometown crowd of over 5000 fans last November with a national title at StFX Oland Stadium. Mayor of the Town of Antigonish Carl Chisholm accepted a championship ring on behalf of the Town, the presenting sponsor of the CIS national event.
X-Men and X-Women student-athletes who received AUS and CIS accolades were recognized for their achievements as StFX Athletics produced 40 AUS all-stars, four AUS all-rookies, 11 AUS major awards winners, five CIS all-Canadians, eight CIS tournament all-stars, one CIS tournament MVP, and two CIS major award winners this past varsity season. All eligible first year student-athletes received their traditional StFX varsity pins.
Student therapists and student managers from all StFX varsity teams were presented with plaques of appreciation for their contributions to the 2012-13 varsity season, with X-Men soccer manager Drew MacQuarrie and X-Men football manager Janelle Day receiving the male and female student-manager of the year awards. Individual awards for each varsity team were handed out by StFX coaches to the athletes in the categories as listed below.
2013 StFX Athletic Awards Gala - Individual Award Winners:
Rookie of the Year - Lindsay Lessard
Coach's Award - Rebecca Sheehan
Most Valuable Player - Lia St. Pierre
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
Rookie of the Year - Lynette Manuel
Coach's Award - Natalie Kannenberg
Runner of the Year - Melissa Hardy
Rookie of the Year - Taylor Dale
Coach's Award - Katie Greenway
Most Valuable Player (co-awarded) - Alex Normore and Jenna Pitts
Duffley Rookie of the Year (co-awarded) - Natalie Lesco and Catharine MacKeigan
Birks Coaches Award - Olivia DeMerchant
Most Valuable Player - Tyson Beukeboom
Rookie of the Year - Danielle Aucoin
Coaches Award - Bobbie Martin
Most Valuable Player (co-awarded) - Meaghan Ramsden and Rachel Dragan
WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Rookie of the Year - Nadine Otten
Coach's Award (co-awarded) - Heidi Stirling and Melissa Hardy
Track Athlete of the Year - Eilish MacQuarrie
Rookie of the Year - Olivia Rooyakkers
Most Improved Player - Melissa Landry
Most Valuable Player - Catherine Thornton
Rookie of the Year - Jordan Tyrrell
Most Improved Player - Rodrigo Madera
Most Valuable Player - Jeremy Dunn
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
Rookie of the Year (co-awarded) - Scott Donald and Lee Wesselius
Coach's Award - Bryden Tate
Runner of the Year - Connor McGuire
Rookie of the Year - Hayden Peters
Best Defensive Player - Brett Hubbeard
Best Offensive Player - Ashton Dickson
Most Valuable Player - Brett Hubbeard
Rookie of the Year - Drew Owsley
Melanson Top Scorer Award - Jason Bast
Unsung Hero Award - Murdock MacLellan
Most Valuable Player - Josh Day
Rookie of the Year - Michael Al-Assadi
Coaches Award - Josh MacIntyre
Most Valuable Player - Max Maund
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Rookie of the Year - Mackenzie Munroe
Coach's Award - Devon Martell
Track Athlete of the Year - Connor McGuire
Source: StFX Sports Information