(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2015-16 AUS swimming major award winners as selected by the conference's six head coaches.
Third-year Mount Pearl, N.L. native Gavin Dyke and second-year Newcastle, England native Phoebe Lenderyou, both of the Dalhousie Tigers, were named the male and female AUS swimmers of the year Friday afternoon.
All of this season's AUS major award winners were announced during today's awards luncheon hosted by Dalhousie University and held at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax, N.S.
Dalhousie's Morrgan Payne of Dartmouth, N.S. and Lise Cinq-Mars of Newmarket, Ont. were named male and female AUS rookies of the year.
Jeremy Ryant of Winnipeg, Man., also from the Dalhousie Tigers squad, received the male student-athlete community service award. UPEI's Katie VanLeeuwen of Hunter River, P.E.I. was the recipient of the female student-athlete community service award.
In his fourth season as head coach of the Dalhousie Tigers, Lance Cansdale once again earned AUS coach of the year honours.
SWIMMER OF THE YEAR (Men's Swimming): Gavin Dyke, Dalhousie
Gavin Dyke, a third-year arts student from Mount Pearl, N.L., had an exceptional season in the pool for the defending AUS champion Dalhousie Tigers and has been named the AUS male swimmer of the year.
This is Dyke's second career AUS major award. He was named AUS rookie of the year following his freshman season during which he swam for the Memorial Sea-Hawks in 2013-14.
This season, with the Dalhousie Tigers, Dyke has earned a medal in all 14 races he has entered, capturing gold in 10 of these.
Specializing in freestyle events, Dyke set two new AUS records this season at the Kemp-Fry Invitational Meet at Dalhousie. His record setting times were 49.74 in the 100m freestyle event and 1:49.27 in the 200m freestyle event. He is now ranked sixth and fourth, respectively, in the CIS in these events.
Heading into the Subway AUS Swimming Championship this weekend, he also boasts a CIS ranking of 14th in the 400m freestyle and 15th in the 50m freestyle.
"A very dedicated athlete, Gavin has really seen a large improvement bump in his second season with the Tigers," said head coach Lance Cansdale. "To set records in-season is a testament to his hard work as well as his talent. The sky is the limit for this swimmer who seems to continue to get better each and every season."
SWIMMER OF THE YEAR (Women's Swimming): Phoebe Lenderyou, Dalhousie
Phoebe Lenderyou, a second-year management student from Newcastle, England is the 2015-16 AUS female swimmer of the year.
Lenderyou was named the 2014-15 AUS rookie of the year following her impressive freshman season, and helped the Tigers women's squad to their 17th consecutive AUS championship banner.
This season, she set three new AUS records at the Kemp-Fry Invitational Meet hosted by Dalhousie. Her record-setting times were 28.22 in the 50m backstroke, 59.93 in the 100m backstroke and 2:11.05 in the 200m backstroke.
Lenderyou is ranked third in the CIS in the 50m and 100m backstroke events and a fourth in the 100m backstroke and 100m butterfly events heading into this weekend's AUS championship.
She boasts a perfect record this regular season, having won gold in all 16 events she has entered and having been a part of the first-place team in all eight relay races she has taken part in.
Lenderyou currently holds or shares eight AUS conference records.
"Phoebe is always consistent and is the consummate teammate," said head coach Lance Cansdale. "She approaches all her races with a winning determination which spills over to her teammates on relay teams and to those cheering on the bench. She is truly a world-class talent and leader that continues to strive for improvement."
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Men's Swimming): Morrgan Payne, Dalhousie
The 2015-16 AUS male rookie of the year is Morrgan Payne from Dalhousie University.
The first-year science student from Dartmouth, N.S. had a solid freshman season for the Tigers, earning five first-place finishes during regular season events.
Payne top finishes included placing first in both the 100m and 200m backstroke events at the Kemp-Fry Invitational Meet in November as well as another first-place finish in the 50m backstroke event at the Dave Mills Memorial Invitational Meet hosted by UPEI in January.
In addition to his five first-place finishes, he also placed in the top three in seven other event this regular season.
Payne is currently ranked second in the CIS in the 200m backstroke event, third in the 100m backstroke event and ninth in the 50m backstroke event heading into the Subway AUS Swimming Championships this weekend.
"From purely a feel point of view, Morrgan is one of the best athletes I have had the opportunity to coach," said head coach Lance Cansdale. "He is already very fast, but by gathering more experience nationally and continuing to improve on his technique, I think that this will not be the only time we see Morrgan garnering year-end awards."
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Women's Swimming): Lise Cinq-Mars, Dalhousie
The AUS female rookie of the year for 2015-16 is Lise Cinq-Mars from the Dalhousie Tigers.
A first-year biology student from Newmarket, Ont., Cinq-Mars had an impressive freshman season with the Tigers, winning six events in AUS competition and finishing in the top three in eight other events.
Her top finishes included earning first-place finishes in both the 100m and 200m butterfly events at the Kemp-Fry Invitational Meet and placing first in the 100m backstroke at the Dave Mills Memorial Invitational Meet.
Cinq-Mars holds CIS rankings of fifth in the 100m butterfly, sixth in the 200m butterfly and 14th in the 50m butterfly heading into this weekend's AUS championship.
"Lise has displayed huge improvements in all strokes that have ranked her nationally beyond her specialty of butterfly," said head coach Lance Cansdale. "she has also added a well-needed quality to our sprint butterfly ranks that will allow our relay to place high on the national level—which is not to diminish her opportunity to score at the CIS championships in individual events. She is very coachable and will continue to improve as she gains more experience at the national level."
COACH OF THE YEAR (Men's and Women's Swimming): Lance Cansdale, Dalhousie
Dalhousie Tigers head coach Lance Cansdale has been selected by his peers as the 2015-16 AUS men's and women's swimming coach of the year.
In his fourth year at the helm of the Tigers' programs, Cansdale enters the Subway AUS Swimming Championships with an unblemished record, having led both the men's and women's Tigers teams to AUS championships banner wins in each of his four seasons.
At the CIS level, last year's Tigers women's team placed fifth, while the men's team placed 10th at the national championship.
Coach Cansdale is a former four-time NAIA all-American with over forty years' experience as a competitive swimming professional and athlete. This is the fourth consecutive season he has taken home AUS coach of the year honours on the women's side, and the second time in his career he has earned the honour on the men's side.
Prior to joining AUS, Cansdale was honoured with several other swimming accolades, including being named the British Columbia Swim Coaches Association coach of the year twice and also earning the Canadian Swimming Coaches Association coaching recognition award.
This weekend, Cansdale will look to coach his Tigers men's and women's teams to their 18th and 15th consecutive AUS championship banners, respectively.
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (Men's Swimming): Jeremy Ryant, Dalhousie
Jeremy Ryant of the Dalhousie Tigers is the 2015-16 AUS male student-athlete community service award recipient.
Ryant is a fourth-year arts and social science student from Winnipeg, Man. He had a strong regular season for the Tigers, posting multiple top three finishes in various invitational meets around the conference.
Ryant earned a third-place finish in the 200m individual medley at the Amby Legere AUS Invitational meet hosted by UNB. At the Jack Scholz Invitiational meet at Acadia, he placed third in the 400m individual medley. He then placed first in the 400m indivual medley at the Dave Mills Memorial Invitational at UPEI.
Heading into this year's Subway AUS Swimming Championship, Ryant is a six-time AUS medalist.
Outside of the pool, he is also a three-time academic all-Canadian boasting a 4.3 GPA at present and a 4.12 cumulative GPA.
Ryant is heavily involved in the community and holds numerous volunteer positions. He is the swimmer's representative for the Swim Nova Scotia strategic planning committee, the president of the Dalhousie University Varsity Council and the vice president of finance for Dalhousie's Special Tigers Society.
Ryant currently volunteers his time with such initiatives as the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser for Halifax's ARK homeless shelter, the White Ribbon campaign to end violence against women, the Healthy Tigers nutrition initiative, the Get REAL campaign to stand up against discrimination and bullying of the LGBTQ community and many others.
"Since his first days on campus, Jeremy has strived for improvement," said head coach Lance Cansdale. "Improvement in his academics, improvement in his swimming and improvement in his person. And as we stand at the end of his fourth year, Jeremy has not only improved, but excelled and become a leader in all three aspects of his life."
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (Women's Swimming): Katie VanLeeuwen, UPEI
The 2015-16 recipient of the AUS female student-athlete community service award is Katie VanLeeuwen of the UPEI Panthers.
VanLeeuwen is a third-year science student from Hunter River, P.E.I. majoring in biology with a minor in psychology. She boasts a current and cumulative 4.3 GPA.
In addition to working hard in the pool and in the classroom, VanLeeuwen is heavily involved in her local community. She volunteers for the UPEI Chaplaincy Center coordinating fundraising for the 2016 Relay for Life initiative. As a member of the UPEI Pre-Med Society, she also fundraises for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
VanLeeuwen serves as the chair of UPEI's World University Service of Canada committee, running the Student Refugee Program. She is a swimming coach for the Miniphins program and the Transfer to Competition group for the Charlottetown Bluephins.
Her volunteer activities also include transporting food donations to the UPEI food bank and serving as a reader and musician for St. Ann's Church, St. Pius X Church and the UPEI Chaplaincy Centre.
The 2016 Subway AUS Swimming Championships are being hosted this weekend, Feb. 12-14, by Dalhousie University at the Dalplex.
For the complete event schedule, click here.