Two McGill athletes among CIS Top 8 Academic All-Canadians


Hockey’s Cedric McNicoll (left) and Basketball’s Mariam Sylla (right)

MONTREAL – Two student-athletes from McGill University are among the CIS Top Eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2013-14 season announced Tuesday by Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Representing the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec conference are McGill standouts Mariam Sylla, a basketball player and pharmacology student, as well as Cedric McNicoll, a hockey player and accounting major.
The elite group will be honoured at Rideau Hall in Ottawa later on November 17.
Every year, a growing number of CIS student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians, having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one – or more – of their university’s varsity teams.
In 2013-14, a record 2,863 students achieved the prestigious status, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,695 set a year ago.
Five of the largest CIS member universities had over 100 Academic All-Canadians last year, including Western (140), Alberta (123), Waterloo (120), Laval (115) and Queen’s (111). Rounding out the national top 10 were Toronto (99), Acadia (95), Calgary (91), McGill (90) and UNB (90).
Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four CIS regional associations are selected annually to make up the Top Eight.
McGill leads all universities with 20 honorees since the CIS Top Eight award was initiated  in 1993. Rounding out the top producing institutions is Alberta with 12, followed by Manitoba (12), Dalhousie (11), UBC (10), Laval (9), Montreal (7), UNB (7) and Toronto (7).

Joining Sylla and McNicoll among the 2013-14 recipients are AUS honorees Michelle Pryde, a soccer player and chemistry major from Acadia, and Adrian Robertson, a hockey player and business administration student from UNB. The OUA winners are Western’s Caroline Ehrhardt, a track and field athlete and health sciences student, as well as Carleton’s Tyson Hinz, a basketball player and commerce student. Last but not least, the CWUAA recipients from Canada West are Manitoba volleyball player Brittany Habing, a science student, and Alberta basketball player Jordan Baker, who is currently working towards his master’s degree in coaching.
“The record number of Academic All-Canadians once again this year speaks volume about the quality of our student-athletes, but also our coaches, support staff and our universities,” said CIS chief executive officer, Pierre Lafontaine. “The Top Eight represents the very best of what university sport is all about. To be selected among 11,500 of their peers is an achievement these exceptional student-athletes should be extremely proud of.”

Sylla, a native of Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, has been nothing short of phenomenal in her first two seasons with the McGill women’s basketball program. After being voted CIS rookie of the year in 2012-13, the 6-foot-1 centre was named MVP of the RSEQ conference and a first-team all-Canadian in her sophomore campaign thanks to her Quebec-leading 9.4 rebounds per game and her 13.1 points per contest, good for second in the league. She has led the Martlets to back-to-back RSEQ titles and a pair of CIS championship appearances.
A two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian, Sylla has a cumulative GPA of 3.63 out of 4.0 in pharmacology, including a stellar 3.77 last winter. At McGill’s athletic banquet last April, she merited the Uldis Auders Memorial Trophy as most outstanding sophomore student-athlete.
A co-captain of the Martlets, Sylla helps to coordinate the team’s annual wheelchair basketball game with the Montreal Action Centre as part of the “Chaire Aware” campaign to promote awareness about those with physical disabilities. She will be participating for the third straight year in the Varsity Council’s annual Christmas food drive and is also coordinating the team’s upcoming visit the Montreal Children’s Hospital, to hand out Halloween treats to the young patients who are unable to leave the hospital.
“Mariam brings great raw athleticism and toughness to our team,” says McGill head coach Ryan Thorne. “She is a great competitor who will sacrifice her body for the ball, which makes her a force on the boards. Her ability to knock down the 15-footer, makes her a threat both inside and out, which I believe has contributed largely to our team’s success over the past two seasons.”
McNicoll, a native of Boucherville, Que., made his debut with the Redmen a year ago after three seasons at the professional level in the American Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League, which followed a stellar junior career that saw him average over one point per game in the QMJHL. The 5-foot-10, 174-pound centre excelled in his first season with McGill earning OUA all-conference honours and finishing second on the team in scoring with 15-25-35 in only 23 contests. He then claimed the OUA playoff scoring title with 16 points in eight games and guided the Redmen to an appearance in the University Cup national tournament.
McNicoll, who enrolled at McGill in the fall of 2012 but was redshirted in his first year after coming back from the pros, merited CIS Academic All-Canadian status in his management program, where he is majoring in accounting. He was the 2014 recipient of the Guy Lafleur Award of Excellence as the Quebec university player who best combines hockey excellence with academic success and citizenship.
In the community, he has volunteered for numerous school and hospital visits during his time in the QMJHL, the ECHL and AHL.
“Cédric was a key contributor to our success last season. He is dynamic offensively and plays well in all three zones,” says McGill head coach Kelly Nobes. “He is a great leader for our team as he is very serious and conscientious with regards to his approach to games and practices. His work habits are outstanding. Not only is he an elite player, he is also an elite student as evidenced by his GPA in the demanding faculty of management.”
AUS: Michelle Pryde, Acadia (soccer) / Adrian Robertson, UNB (hockey)
RSEQ: Mariam Sylla, McGill (basketball) / Cedric McNicoll, McGill (hockey)
Caroline Ehrhardt, Western (track & field) / Tyson Hinz, Carleton (basketball)
CWUAA: Brittany Habing, Manitoba (volleyball) / Jordan Baker, Alberta (basketball)
AUS: Monica MacDonald, UNB (swimming) / Travis Gibbons, Acadia (hockey)
RSEQ: Émilie Chamard, Montreal (soccer) / Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill (football)
OUA: Alicia Brown, Toronto (track & field) / Steven Takahashi, Western (wrestling)
CWUAA: Jaki Ellis, Alberta (volleyball) / Paul Clerc, UBC (soccer)
AUS: Miranda McMillan, Dalhousie (hockey) / Nathan Musoke, Dalhousie (track & field)
RSEQ: Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, Laval (rugby) / Marc-André Dorion, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Nicole Sassine, Windsor (track & field) / Darragh McGee, Toronto (soccer)
CWUAA: Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary (hockey) / Kyle Ross, Saskatchewan (hockey)
AUS: Heather Ambery, UNB (soccer) / Daniel You, Dalhousie (volleyball)
RSEQ: Alexandra Lojen, Montreal (volleyball) / Marc-André Dorion, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Erika Reiser, Windsor (track & field) / Shujon Mazumber, Toronto (wrestling)
CWUAA: Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary (hockey) / Darren Mazzei, Victoria (cross country – T&F)
AUS: Alex Legge, Dalhousie (basketball) / Jacob Kilpatrick, UNB (volleyball)
QSSF: Marie-Michelle Genois, Laval (basketball) / Steven Bielby, McGill (swimming)
OUA: Megan Brown, Toronto (cross country – T&F) / Dillon Heap, Wilfrid Laurier (football)
CWUAA: Jennifer Hinze, UBC (volleyball) / Thomas Hall, Manitoba (football)
AUS: Isabelle Miles, UNB (soccer) / Christopher Morrison, Saint Mary’s (hockey)
QSSF: Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux, Laval (swimming) / Emmanuel André-Morin, Montreal (volleyball)
OUA: Noelle Montcalm, Windsor (track & field) / Keith Beavers, Waterloo (swimming)
CWUAA: Kayla Dykstra, Victoria (basketball) / Kyle Ross, Regina (hockey)
AUS: Justine McMillan, Acadia (cross country) / Niklas Rademacher, Dalhousie (volleyball)
QSSF: Jennifer Thomson, McGill (volleyball) / Tyler Marghetis, Concordia (wrestling)
OUA: Brae Anne McArthur, Guelph (track & field) / Brad Rootes, Brock (basketball)
CWUAA: Adrianne Vangool, Saskatchewan (track & field) / Benjamin Schellenberg, Winnipeg (volleyball)
AUS: Katie Hollinshead, Dalhousie (soccer) / Colin Sinclair, UNB (hockey)
QSSF: Audrey Lacroix, Montreal (swimming) / David Foley, Sherbrooke (track & field)
OUA: Jackie Malette, Windsor (cross country – T&F) / Justin Hall, Queen’s (cross country – T&F)
CWUAA: Katie Davidson, Manitoba (volleyball) / Jay Langager, Lethbridge (hockey)
AUS: Christine Terese Chislom, StFX (cross country) / Jeff Weiler, Dalhousie (volleyball)
QSSF: Marylène Laplante, Laval (volleyball) / Nicolas Murray, Laval (swimming)
OUA: Jackie Malette, Windsor (cross country – T&F) / Joel Scherban, Lakehead (hockey)
CWUAA: Kristen Hagg, Alberta (hockey) / Chris Meehan, Trinity Western (volleyball)
AUS: Hilary Burn, Dalhousie (cross country – T&F) / Tyler Dyck, StFX (hockey)
QSSF: Danielle Day, McGill (soccer) / Tyler Marghetis, Concordia (wrestling)
OUA: Allison Oosterhuis, Western Ontario (soccer) / Ian MacLeod, Toronto (swimming)
CWUAA: Danielle Bourgeois, Alberta (hockey) / Paul Deniset, Manitoba (hockey)
AUS: Natalie Oake, St. Thomas (hockey) / Daniel Hudgin, Moncton (hockey)
QSSF: Carolyn McCabe, McGill (swimming) / Simon Therrien, UQTR (soccer)        
OUA: Lulu Bursztyn, McMaster (wrestling) / Sagar Desai, Western Ontario (basketball)       
CWUAA: Danielle Bourgeois, Alberta (hockey) / Adam Ens, Saskatchewan (volleyball)      
AUS: Marieke Gardner, Dalhousie (soccer) / Kjetil Vaage, UNB (soccer)
QSSF: Marie-Hélène Giasson, Laval (swimming) / Alexandre Pichette, McGill (swimming)
OUA: Alison Mills, McMaster (volleyball) / Robert Smart, Carleton (basketball)
CWUAA: Maria Gallo, Alberta (rugby) / Blair St. Martin, Alberta (hockey)
AUS: Andrea Faryniuk, Dalhousie (track & field) / Tim Mullen, Saint Mary’s (soccer)
QSSF: Sarah Ali-Khan, McGill (cross country & T&F) / Strachan Hartley, McGill (football)
OUA: Lauren Fratesi, Ottawa (swimming) / Alexandre Hayes, Ottawa (swimming)
CWUAA: Jacqueline Lavallee, Saskatchewan (basketball) / Jeff Zorn, Alberta (hockey)
AUAA: Kate Ellis, UPEI (basketball) / Steve Gallace, Saint Mary’s (hockey)
QSSF: Catherine Foley, Sherbrooke (track & field) / Strachan Hartley, McGill (football)
OUA: Karina Verdon, Ottawa (hockey) / Andrew Kwiatkowski, Western Ontario (basketball)
GPAC: Brandy West, Regina (hockey) / Joey Mikawoz, Manitoba (football)
CWUAA: Jen Dowdeswell, UBC (field hockey) / Mark Versfeld, UBC (swimming)
AUAA: Kate Ellis, UPEI (basketball) / Aaron Barkhouse, Dalhousie (soccer)
QSSF: Sara Russo-Garrido, Laval (soccer) / Yannick Demers, Montreal (swimming)
OUA: Kristine Spekkens, Queen’s (volleyball) / Alex Hayes, Ottawa (swimming)
GPAC: Erin Soroko, Winnipeg (basketball) / Shawn Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Kelly Matheson, Calgary (soccer) / Spencer Holt, Lethbridge (basketball)
AUAA: Jolene Bourgeois, UNB (field hockey) / Jan Trojanowski, Acadia (basketball)
QSSF: Stephanie Welsh, McGill (track & field) / David Dufresne, UQTR (soccer)
OUA: Nathalie Côté, Ottawa (cross country – T&F) / Bob McGill, Queen’s (cross country – T&F)
GPAC: Nadia Melon, Manitoba (volleyball) / Shawn Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Jessica Mills, UBC (basketball) / Curtis Myden, Calgary (swimming)
AUAA: Tracy McGee, UPEI (field hockey) / Peter Benoite, Memorial (basketball)
QSSF: Wendy Whelan, McGill (volleyball) / Alexandre Émond, Montreal (volleyball)
OUA: Rebecca Chambers, Toronto (track & field) / Tim Cowan, McMaster (swimming)
GPAC: Kathy Hrehirchuk, Manitoba (volleyball) / Darreb Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Sarah Joly, Alberta (soccer) / Mike Dalziel, UBC (volleyball)
AUAA: Rachelle Beaton, Dalhousie (track & field) / Chris Diamond, UPEI (soccer)
QSSF: Andrea Bacsfalusi, McGill (swimming) / Pierre Hudon, Laval (football)
OWIAA / OUAA: Laurie Halfpenny, Guelph (soccer) / Russell Jones, Toronto (swimming)
GPAC: Amanda Mlodzinski, Manitoba (swimming) / Phil Peters, Winnipeg (volleyball)
CWUAA: Sarah Joly, Alberta (soccer) / Mike Sieben, Alberta (volleyball)
AUAA: Carla Edwards, Mount Allison (volleyball) / Chris Diamond, UPEI (soccer)
QSSF: Anna Leong, McGill (swimming) / Alex Hutchinson, McGill (track & field)
OWIAA / OUAA: Vicki White, Ottawa (soccer) / David Kantor, Queen’s (volleyball)
GPAC: Jackie Honey, Manitoba (track & field) / Mel McManus, Manitoba (track & field)
CWUAA: Liz Smith, Alberta (soccer) / John McArthur, UBC (swimming)
AUAA: Jill Lawless, Acadia (volleyball) / Vojtech Kucera, St. Thomas (hockey)
QSSF: Caroline Vachon, Laval (track & field) / David O’Hara, McGill (cross country)
OWIAA / OUAA: Karen Jackson, York (basketball) / David Kantor, Queen’s (volleyball)
GPAC: Renelda Friessen, Manitoba (volleyball) / Wayne Weathers, Manitoba (football & wrestling)
CWUAA: Adair Duncan, UBC (basketball) / Todd Langley, Victoria (basketball)
AUAA: Kathy McNally, UPEI (field hockey) / Ron Whelan, StFX (soccer)
QSSF: Julia Maughan, McGill (soccer) / Jason Della Rocca, Concordia (wrestling)
OWIAA / OUAA: Karen Jackson, York (basketball) / Craig Donaldson, Western Ontario (hockey)
GPAC: Sandra Carroll, Winnipeg (basketball) / Scott Koskie, Winnipeg (volleyball)
CWUAA: Erika Forster, UBC (track & field) / Curtis Myden, Calgary (swimming)
For more information:
Earl Zukerman
Communications Officer
Athletics & Recreation
McGill University
514-398-7012 (Tel.)

Michel Bélanger        
Manager, Communications & Media Relations
Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Off: (613) 562-5670 ext. 25
Cell: (613) 447-6334