(ISN) – Kamloops, BC—A baseball player who’s astronomical stats set a number of club and league records and a volleyball player who spearheaded the program’s march up the Canada West standings were recognized as the “Athletes of the Year” by the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack.
Alex Reid (Kamloops, BC), a fifth year pitcher and Iuliia Pakhomenko (Donetsk, Ukraine), a third year outside hitter were named the Sports Task Force Athletes of the Year at the Division of Athletics and Recreation banquet held tonight (Apr 2) at the Grand Hall at the Campus Activity Centre.
Reid was a leader in 12 Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference statistical categories. It included a stingy 0.65 Earned Run Average. He was named the CCBC’s top pitcher and a first team all-star. He was 4-1 last spring with five complete games, 41.2 innings pitched and 29 strike outs.
“Alex has taken the leadership role of our team to a higher level,” said WolfPack baseball coach Ray Chadwick. “His success on the field has made believers and listeners out of his teammates as well as other varsity athletes and peers. He was a great contributor on the field and I think he will do the same moving forward with whatever he gets involved with. A few words do not express what he has meant to and done for the WolfPack baseball program.”
Pakhomenko came to TRU after attending NCAA Division II Northwood University the past two years. She was a CIS Second team “All Canadian”—the first in WolfPack history. She missed the end of the first half and beginning of the second half of the season due to injury. Yet, she was second in the CIS and Canada West in kills (405), kills per set (4.60), points (465), points per set (5.3)service aces (41) and service aces per set (0.47).
Says women’s volleyball head coach Chad Grimm: “Iuliia meant a lot to the program this year in regards to helping bring back some legitimacy to the women’s volleyball program. I think that it is easy to look at the stats and see how much she helped our team on the court but I think that even more important is how she has helped raise the level of competition and expectations in our training environment. Anytime you get to compete against a player like Iuliia every day I think it makes it easier to face your opponents from around the league on a weekly basis. Our group gets to practice against the best offensive player in the league every day and I have seen a positive change in our team because of it. At the beginning of the year I think we got caught watching Iuliia a bit too much, both at practice and during games. After eight months of training our group is no longer surprised at the things Iuliia is able to do and have gotten over the tendency to sometimes watch what she is doing instead of competing against her. “
The previously 0-44 WolfPack women’s volleyball program won 10 matches this season based largely on Pakhomenko’s individual performance but also her leadership qualities.
Other nominees for the Sports Task Force female athlete of the year were: Emily Edmundson (keeper, Kamloops, BC-Soccer), Jorri Duxbury (guard, Salmon Arm, BC-Basketball) and Alexis Gosselin (Cheerleading).
Nominees for the Sports Task Force Male Athlete of the Year besides Reid were: Brad Gunter (outside hitter, Courtenay, BC- Volleyball), Travis Froehlich (keeper, Revelstoke, BC— Soccer) and Josh Wolfram (forward, Kamloops, BC- Basketball).
For the second year in a row: basketball players Duxbury and Brett Rouault (guard, Vernon, BC) were named the Dr. Roger H. Barnsley Scholar Athletes of the Year. This award goes to athletes who best combine academics and athletic performance. All nominees earned the title “TRU Scholar Athletes.”
Duxbury had a fall G.P.A. (Grade Point Average) of 3.91 and has been an Academic All-Canadian every one of her previous four years at TRU. She is the only female in the TRU Physics Degree program and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree this spring.
Rouault will also graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Science degree and look to enter medical school in 2016-17. He, too was an Academic All-Canadian every one of his previous four years at TRU. He had a fall G.P.A. of 4.16.
Other nominees for the Barnsley Scholar Athletes were: Graham Stoliker (setter, Surrey, BC-Volleyball), Corey Wallis (defender, Enderby, BC-Soccer), Jagdeesh Uppal (Kamloops, BC-Swimming), Jay Huggins (first base, Nanaimo, BC-baseball), Emily Atherton (Victoria, BC-Cheerleading), Emily Oliver (midfield, Kamloops, BC-Soccer), Katie Woo (setter, Surrey, BC-volleyball) and Melissa Ryeo (Chilliwack, BC-Cross Country running).
The Cliff Neufeld Leadership Athletes of the Year were Luc Simpson (outfield, Aldergrove, BC-baseball) and Taiysa Worsfold (guard, Kamloops, BC-basketball). The award goes to athletes who not only excel in their sport but also lead by example with their teammates and the community.
Simpson’s coach Ray Chadwick said about his captain: “As a coach, you hope your athletes are talented enough to continue their sport of choice at the highest level possible. If not, you hope that the athlete you’ve watched grow over the course of his time with you has shown that he has matured and will be an asset to our society. Both he and Alex both definitely have done that. If Luc isn’t fortunate enough to play at the next level, whatever he chooses as his profession or career there is no doubt that the work ethic and attitude toward life he has shown will be very successful.”
Simpson spearheaded all of the baseball team’s community work along with encouraging other varsity athletes at TRU to do the same. He was also involved with promoting the TRU athletic program and their activities on social media.
Worsfold is a “Big Sister” through the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program in Kamloops. She coordinated an ‘organ donation’ awareness night at one of the WolfPack basketball games this year and helped volunteer at the New Life Mission. She also coaches young basketball players individually and worked at a number of local skills clinics throughout the year.
“Taiysa is a model student athlete,” says her head coach Scott Reeves. ” She leads our team in scoring, maintains a straight A average and is our leader in the community. We are very proud of Taiysa and her many accomplishments.”
Other nominees were: Sydney Goward (Williams Lake, BC-cheerleading), Brett Parker (Langley, BC-basketball), Logan Geisbrecht (Williams Lake, BC-cheerleading), Ryan Pidhirniak (Coquitlam, BC-Cross Country), Alesha Miller (Vernon, BC-cross country), and Brianne Rauch (Kimberley, BC-volleyball).
Other awards handed out were the “Director’s Award” which goes to an athlete for outstanding contributions to Athletics and Recreation during their time at TRU. The 2014-15 award winner was Brett Parker of men’s basketball.
” “Brett has really left his mark on TRU athletics and the men’s basketball program over his five years here,” said Olynyk. ” He not only spearheaded all the team’s community efforts but his performance on the court improved each year. By his fifth year, he was a key member of the men’s basketball team on the court and an outstanding representative of TRU off the court. His commitment, leadership, presence and embodiment of a WolfPack student athlete will be missed.”
The “Newcomer of the Year” award was given to Michelle Bos (guard, Surrey, BC) of TRU Women’s basketball. Bos was a Canada West and CIS Rookie team member and started every regular season game for the ‘Pack.
Women’s basketball coach Reeves stated: “Michelle has had a terrific rookie campaign. She is incredibly hard working, a great teammate and as talented a freshman as we have ever had. Her IQ is a tremendous asset to our team.”
Other nominees for the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ award were Josh Mayorga (Langley, BC-basketball), Uppal (swimming) and Pakhomenko (volleyball).
The TRU Community recognition award was awarded posthumously to Colin H. Day. Day was one of the original members of the TRU Sports Task Force.