Bielby and Daoust named McGill athletes of the year at awards gala

(Left to Right) Melodie Daoust, Ali Hendren, Simon Bibeau, Mariam Sylla, Sarah McCuaig, Shaquille Johnson, Steven Bielby

(Left to Right) Melodie Daoust, Ali Hendren, Simon Bibeau, Mariam Sylla, Sarah McCuaig, Shaquille Johnson, Steven Bielby

MONTREAL – Swimmer Steven Bielby of Pointe Claire, Que., and hockey player Melodie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que., were named male and female athletes of the year, respectively, at the 36th annual McGill varsity sports awards gala, held at the Holiday Inn Midtown, Thursday evening.

Bielby, a fifth-year engineering senior, and Daoust, a physical education sophomore, received the Stuart Forbes and Gladys Bean trophies, respectively, as the student-athletes who brought the most credit to the University by reason of their athletic achievements. Both were also announced as their respective Team MVPs.

Bielby, an Academic All-Canadian who became the most decorated swimmer in school history, also took home the Richard Pound Trophy, awarded to a graduating male athlete for proficiency and leadership in athletics. A two-time winner of the Forbes, he becomes only the second athlete in school history to capture both the Forbes and Pound trophies in the same season, joining Ryan Tomicic, another swimmer from Pte. Claire, who accomplished the feat in 2006-07.

Sarah McCuaig of Waterloo, Ont., an all-conference track and cross-country runner who will be heading overseas to the University of Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship next fall, captured the Muriel V. Roscoe Trophy, awarded to a graduating female athlete for proficiency and leadership.

Simon Bibeau, an all-star guard on the men’s basketball team from St. Bruno, Que., received the Dr. Mac Teskey trophy, presented when warranted, to an individual who has overcome significant adversity to serve as an inspiration to others.

Alexander Rohrbach, an attacker on the men’s national champion lacrosse team who hails from West Windsor, N.J., was awarded the Uldis Auders memorial trophy as the top sophomore in any sport, who best combines academics with athletics.

A pair of all-Canadian freshmen – football receiver Shaquille Johnson of Brampton, Ont., and basketball forward Mariam Sylla, a native of Conakry, Guinea – were named as the McGill rookies of the year.

The basketball Redmen, which finished fifth at nationals and posted a 24-10 record overall, received the Martlet Foundation trophy as the varsity team of the year in a CIS-sanctioned sport.

The lacrosse Redmen, who registered a 12-2-1 overall record and captured their first-ever national championship, took home the Harry Griffiths trophy, awarded to the top team in a non-CIS sport.

Ali Hendren, a member of the women’s basketball team support staff, was presented with the Teddy Award, which goes to a student volunteer who contributes significantly to the success and support of McGill varsity athletics.

Andre Corbeil, a CTV Montreal reporter and anchor who hails from Timmins, Ont., was presented with the McGill-Concordia Media Award for his wide-spread coverage of local university sports.

Finally, tribute was also paid to McGill’s 72 league all-stars, 10 CIS all-Canadians and seven conference championships won during the 2012-13 intercollegiate season. In addition, commemorative plaques were presented to the MVPs of 28 varsity teams (see list below).



Badminton: Aatman Ajmera (Mumbai, India) and Charlotte Freiin Harsdorf Von (Toronto, Ont.)
Baseball: Tyler Welence (Ridgewood, N.J.)
Basketball: Vincent Dufort (Smiths Falls, Ont.) and Francoise Charest (Quebec City, Que.)
Cross-Country Running: Jessica Porfilio (2nd consec. year; Longueuil, Que.) and Benjamin Raymond (Laval, Que.)
Field Hockey: Marianne Emler (Geneva, Switzerland)
Football: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (St. Hilaire, Que.)
Golf: Benoit Miquel (Bugueles, France) and Dayvi Khanna (2nd consec. year; Montreal, Que.)
Hockey: Ryan McKiernan (White Plains, N.Y.) and Melodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que.)
Lacrosse: Kyle Robinson (New Westminster, B.C.)
Rowing: Lucas de Gelder (Vancouver, B.C.) and (tie) Kalyna Franko (Toronto, Ont.) & Luce Bourbeau (Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Que.)
Rugby: Quentin Pradere (London, England) and Brianna Miller (2nd consec. year; Pointe Claire, Que.)
Skiing (alpine): David Apap (Gap, France) and Allene Kennedy (Truckee, Calif.)
Soccer: Alexis Pradie (2nd consecutive year; Marseille, France) and Hannah Rivkin (St. John’s, Nfld.)
Swimming: Steven Bielby (5th consec. year; Pte. Claire Que.) and Katie Caldwell (White Rock, B.C.)
Synchronized Swimming: Carrie Mouck (2nd consecutive year; Toronto, Ont.)
Track & Field: Vincent Parent-Pichette (St. Paul de Joliette, Que.) and Alana Battiston (Toronto, Ont.)
Volleyball: Marcela Mansure (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)


D. STUART FORBES TROPHY (male athlete of the year):
Steven Bielby, Swimming (M), Pointe Claire, Que.

Bielby became the sixth athlete (and the third swimmer) since 1948 to win the Forbes Trophy twice. The award is named after the distinguished McGill Sports Hall of Fame athlete who was decorated in both world wars and served 17 years as director of athletics.

Bielby, a native of Pointe Claire, Que., who previously won the Forbes during his freshman year, also becomes the second athlete in school history to win both the Forbes and Pound trophies in the same year.

This season, he captured a pair of gold medals at the CIS swim championships in Calgary, upping his McGill record to 13 career CIS medals, which includes a school record eight golds, to go along with one silver and four bronzes. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound individual medley specialist, won the 200-metre IM in two minutes flat, breaking both his own school and RSEQ conference record of 2:00.24, which he set in 2011. He also took the 400 IM in a winning time of 4:15.14. The five-time conference all-star merited CIS all-Canadian status for the fourth time and earned a berth to represent Canada for the FISU world university summer games, slated to be held in Russia this summer. He previously competed for Canada at the FISU Games in Serbia (2009) and China (2011) and finished third in the 400 individual medley at the 2012 Canadian Olympic trials for the London Summer Games.

(See more details on Bielby in Richard Pound Award profile below)


GLADYS BEAN TROPHY (female athlete of the year):
Melodie Daoust, Hockey (W), Valleyfield, Que.

Daoust, a5-foot-6 centre from Valleyfield, Que., becomes the seventh consecutive hockey player and the eighth overall, to receive the Bean trophy since its inception in 1992.

The two-time all-Canadian became the first player in CIS women’s hockey history to be named the nation’s top rookie and player of the year in back-to-back seasons, claiming the CIS Brodrick Trophy. A physical and health education sophomore, she captured the CIS scoring crown with a Quebec conference record 54 points in 20 games, guiding the Martlets to a perfect 20-0 mark in league play. She scored 21 goals and a conference record 33 assists. In 32 games overall, she compiled a 29-46-75 record for the Martlets. Daoust also played for the Canadian national under-22 squad for the second straight season.


RICHARD W. POUND AWARD (graduating male for proficiency & leadership):
Steven Bielby, Swimming (M), Pointe Claire, Que.

(See more details about his current season in the Stuart Forbes Trophy profile above)

Bielby becomes only the second swimmer to capture the Pound trophy since it was introduced in 1992.

A 23-year-old master’s student in electrical engineering, he previously graduated from McGill with honours in engineering in 2012, achieving a lofty cumulative grade-point average of 3.90 out of 4. A team MVP in each of his five seasons, the Redmen team captain was twice-named as the RSEQ conference’s male swimmer of the year (2010-11 and 2011-12). In 2009, at the age of 19, he became only the third freshman ever to earn the Forbes trophy as male athlete of the year at McGill. Academically, he has won dozens of awards and scholarships. He is five-time Academic All-Canadian honoree on the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll. Among the prestigious academic awards won at McGill are the J.W. McConnell Entrance Scholarship, the Faculty of Engineering Scholarship, the Clifford Wong Scholarship, the J.W. Woodyatt Scholarship and the T. Palmer Howard Award.


MURIEL V. ROSCOE AWARD (graduating female for proficiency & leadership):
Sarah McCuaig, Track & Cross-country Running (W), Waterloo, Ont.

McCuaig, 22-year old science senior from Waterloo, Ont., is the third distance runner to capture the Roscoe trophy since it was introduced in 1949.

Last December, she became the 13th varsity athlete from McGill to win a prestigious Rhodes scholarship. She is one of the most decorated student-athletes in McGill’s sporting history, in both the classroom and on the track. A multiple conference all-star runner, she earned Academic All-Canadian status five times, while making the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll and qualifying for the Dean’s List. McCuaig, who received a Greville Smith entrance scholarship to McGill in 2009, has also won a plethora of athletic awards. In her sophomore season, she was voted 2010-11 conference athlete of the year, en route to helping the Martlets capture their first of three straight Quebec university titles in cross-country. In a number of years, she was named Team MVP of both the track and cross-country squads. She also received the University’s Uldis Auders Award as the top sophomore who best combines academic success with athletic performance. She was twice honored as the RSEQ athlete who best combines academics with athletics and community service, for her volunteer work in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital and with the Student Athletic Council at McGill. McCuaig was hobbled by injuries and illness over her last two years but has continued to add to her trophy case. She received the 1938 Champions Award for leadership and the Andrea Taylor Memorial Award, presented to a female who contributes something unique to the team, while promoting unity and leadership.


DR. MAC TESKEY TROPHY (overcoming adversity and serving as inspiration to others):
Simon Bibeau, Basketball (M), St. Bruno, Que.

Bibeau, a 21-year-old finance junior, is the first Redmen basketball player to capture the Teskey trophy since it was introduced in 1986. The award is named in honour of a McGill swimmer who overcame the loss of a lung to cancer, yet still managed to qualify for the CIS championships. This award is presented only on special occasions, to any present or former McGill varsity athlete who, within the current academic year, has demonstrated courage and morale worthy of honorable mention.

Bibeau, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard from St. Bruno, Que., made a solid comeback after missing all of the 2011-12 season recovering fromsurgery following a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee on the first day of training camp in 2011. After embarking on an intense rehab program, he finally returned in time to start the 2012-13 season, then suffered another minor setback after contracting a serious infection in his elbow, which forced him to be hospitalized for almost a week. But with his determination, perseverance and unwavering spirit, he made it back and helped the team clinch first place in the league, was voted to the conference first all-star team and guided the Redmen to the league championship and a berth at the CIS national tournament, for the first time in 34 years. He suited up for 12 regular season games, started in five of them and averaged 10.4 points per game. He led the league with a stellar 96.3 per cent efficiency from the free-throw line (34/42) and ranked second in three-point shooting at 43.8, making 21 of 48 attempts. He shot 43.3 from the field (39/90) and was also credited with 23 rebounds, 16 assists and 15 steals.


ULDIS AUDERS TROPHY (most outstanding sophomore student-athlete):
Alexander Rohrbach, Lacrosse (M), West Windsor, N.J.

Rohrbach, a 20-year-old native of West Windsor, N.J., is the first lacrosse player to win the Auders trophy since it was introduced in 1982, in memory of Uldis Auders, a former quarterback with the Redmen, who did in a tragic mountain-climbing accident in Nepal.

Rohrbach is finance major who made the Principal’s Student-athlete Honour Roll with a 3.93 grade-point average (out of 4). The speedy 5-foot-11, 155-pound attacker scored 16 goals and added 20 assists for 36 points in 14 games overall. He earned honorable mention in the league’s all-star voting and his efforts played a key role in helping the Redmen capture their first-ever national lacrosse championship.


Shaquille Johnson, Football (M), Brampton, Ont.

Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound wide receiver from Brampton, Ont., is the second football player to claim this award, joining Jonathan Collin, who won in 2009-10.

Johnson led the RSEQ conference in both receptions (61) and receiving yardage (792), achieving the fourth-highest single-season catch total in Quebec university history. His 61 receptions established a CIS record for a rookie and the 19-year-old certificate student in management was voted both RSEQ and CIS rookie of the year. He also made the conference all-star team and earned CIS second-team all-Canadian status.


Mariam Sylla, Basketball (W), Conakry, Guinea

Sylla, 6-foot-1 power forward from Conakry, Guinea, is the first basketball player to win this award. She also received the RSEQ conference and the CIS rookie of the year honours (Kathy Shields Award) in women’s basketball, becoming the second McGill player in school history to receive the CIS award and the first in 20 years since Vicky Tessier in 1992-93.

A 20-year-old pharmacology freshman who was also named to the CIS all-rookie team, Sylla registered nine “double-doubles” in 16 regular-season games en route to meriting all-conference first-team status. She was third among the league’s scoring leaders and second in rebounding, averaging 14.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, respectively. She ranked fifth in field-goal shooting (39.6 %), seventh in free-throw shooting (71.7 %), second in blocked shots (17 in 16 games), first in offensive rebounds (4.4 rpg), and second in defensive rebounds (5.4 rpg).


MARTLET FOUNDATION TROPHY (CIS varsity team of the year):
Basketball Redmen

The basketball Redmen, guided by third-year head coach David DeAveiro, earned the Martlet Foundation trophy for the first time since the award was initiated in 1985-86.

They finished atop the RSEQ standings with an 11-5 record, won the conference title for the first time since 1986 and returned to the Nationals after a 33-year absence, ended up fifth of eight teams. They posted a 24-10 record overall, registering their second-highest single-season win total in school history, falling four victories shy of the 1976-77 Redmen squad which set the benchmark at 28-5.


HARRY GRIFFITHS TROPHY (non-CIS varsity team of the year):
Lacrosse Redmen

The men’s lacrosse team, guided by 10-year head coach Tim Murdoch, earned the Harry Griffiths trophy for the third time since the award was inaugurated in 1995-96.

They finished first of six teams in the East Division of the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association standings, with a 9-1-0 record, outscoring opponents 143-73. They went 3-0 in post-season play to claim their first-ever Baggataway Cup as national champions, coming from behind to win both the CUFLA semifinal and final in dramatic fashion to finish with a 12-2-1 record overall. They had six conference all-stars and three major award winners, including the league MVP, the most outstanding defensive player and the rookie of the year. Two players were subsequently invited to play for the Canadian national team.


TEDDY AWARD (presented to a student volunteer who contributes significantly to the success and support of McGill varsity athletics)

Ali Hendren has volunteered with the basketball Martlets faithfully for a number of years. She serves as the technological expert for home games, working with the game operations set-up crew and the stats table staff during practices and games. She also helps out as the booking agent to schedule practice times in the gym, team departures for road trips and team meals at restaurants.


McGILL-CONCORDIA MEDIA AWARD (outstanding university sports coverage):
Andre Corbeil, CTV Montreal

Corbeil, a native of Timmins, Ont., moved to CTV Montreal in February, 2007 — as both a sports anchor and reporter — and immediately filled a void for coverage of collegiate sports in Montreal. During the 2012-13 school year, he produced over two dozen features on university sports in Montreal and conducted about 75 interviews with athletes and coaches – more than double the amount produced by any other mainstream reporter in the city. When not on the beat, he anchors the sports desk at CTV and always goes out of his way to report university scores. He is one of very few media members to make an honest effort to look for university scores online and usually follows up with a phone call to get more details on key games. Corbeil, who also volunteers his time to sit on a CIS Top 10 rankings committee, studied business administration and television broadcasting at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Upon graduation in 2001, he spent a year at Rogers Television, then returned to northern Ontario where he became a reporter with CTV Sudbury before moving to Montreal.



Earl Zukerman
Communications Officer
Athletics & Recreation
McGill University
514-398-7012 (Tel.) (mobile website)