Pierse and Russell honoured as CIS Athlete of the Week

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OTTAWA – Swimmers Annamay Pierse of UBC and Colin Russell of Toronto are the Canadian Interuniversity Sport female and male athletes of the week for the period ending February 22, 2009.

Pierse, a fifth-year student from Edmonton, was named CIS female swimmer of the year for the second straight season after she set three championship marks, including two in Canadian record time, and collected five medals – three golds and two silvers – at last weekend’s CIS championships in Vancouver.

The national team member swept the breaststroke events for the second consecutive year at the CIS meet, setting Canadian short-course records in the 200 (2:18.59) and 100-metre races (1:05.16) and a championship mark on 50 metres (30.71). Her time in the 200 was just 0.84 seconds off the world short-course record held by Australian Olympic gold medallist Leisel Jones (2:17.75). Pierse finished fifth in the 200 breast and seventh with the Canadian 4 x 100 medley relay at last summer’s Olympics in Beijing.

StFX basketball player Ashley Stephen, Laval swimmer Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux, York volleyball player Nadia Reider and Calgary swimmer Erica Morningstar (Canada West co-nominee) were also nominated for the women’s award.

Russell, a fourth-year arts and science student from Burlington, Ont., was named CIS male swimmer of the year after he shattered three meet marks, including a pair in national record time, and racked up seven medals in as many races – three golds, two silvers, two bronzes – at the CIS championships. The 2008 Olympian swept the 50 (22.03), 100 (47.23) and 200-metre (1:43.31) freestyle events, setting Canadian short-course records on the two longer distances, and became the first male swimmer since 2003 to capture the Sprinter’s Cup for winning both the 50 and 100 free. Russell helped Canada to a fifth-place finish in the 4 x 200 free relay and to sixth place in the 4 x 100 free relay at the Beijing Games.

UPEI basketball player Nick Toews, McGill swimmer Steven Bielby and UBC swimmer Scott Dickens were the other male nominees.

Female nominees:
AUS: Ashley Stephen, basketball, StFX
QSSF: Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux, swimming, Laval
OUA: Nadia Reider, volleyball, York
Canada West: Annamay Pierse, swimming, UBC (recipient) *
Canada West: Erica Morningstar, swimming, Calgary *

* Co-nominees
Male nominees:
AUS: Nick Toews, basketball, UPEI
QSSF: Steven Bielby, swimming, McGill
OUA: Colin Russell, swimming, Toronto (recipient)
Canada West: Scott Dickens, swimming, UBC

Courtesy of CIS

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