Sport BC uvic

By Ali Lee, with files from Sport BC

VICTORIA – The University of Victoria have one current and two former Vikes athletes named as finalists for the Sport BC 50th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards presented by Canadian Direct Insurance. Recent graduate Chris McLaughlin, the 2014-15 Canada West MVP and UVic Male Athlete of the Year, as well as swimmer and two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane are up for University Athlete of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year, respectively. First-year Vikes men’s basketball player Graeme Hyde-Laye, a stand out on last year’s St. Michael’s University School (SMUS) basketball team, is a finalist for Male High School Athlete of the Year.


The 50th Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner is set for Thursday, March 10th, 2016 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. The ceremonies will recognize BC’s best in amateur sport including athletes, coaches, and officials for outstanding performances in their sport over the 2015 season. Each finalist was nominated by their Provincial or Multi-Sport Organization, High School, College or University. The Selection Committee, chaired by Bernie Pascall, included 20 highly regarded sportswriters, broadcasters, and amateur sport leaders in British Columbia.

Six-foot-ten centre McLaughlin finished his fifth and final season with the Vikes, helping the team capture the program’s first Canada West Championship title since 2006 and leading the team to finish fourth in the CIS Final 8 national championship for the second consecutive year. The Oakville, Ontario-native finished second in the conference in scoring with 19.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. Nationally, he was ranked the ninth in points per game, seventh in field game percentage and fifth in rebounds. For his achievements, McLaughlin received a CIS First Team All-Canadian nod and was named Canada West Outstanding Player of the Year as well as Basketball British Columbia University Male Athlete of the Year. McLaughlin represented Canada at the FISU World University Games in Gwangju, Korea as a member of the Canadian Development National Team. He averaged 9.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 60.0 percent from the two-point field goal range and 79.2 percent from the free throw line over eight games. McLaughlin has spent the past year in Austria after signing a professional contract in the Austria A Bundesliga league with the Basket Swans Gmunden team.

Two-time Olympian Cochrane became the most decorated Canadian swimmer last year after his performance at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazaan, Russia. Cochrane swam to two bronze medals to bring his all-time total to eight, a Canadian record. His first medal came in the 400-m, where he touched the wall in 3:44.59 to finish in third behind China’s Sun Yang and Great Britain’s James Guy. It was his first ever 400-m medal at the world championships.
Cochrane then wrapped up the competition with another bronze medal in the 1500-m freestyle. He finished the race in a time of 14:51.08 behind Italian swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri and Connor Jaeger of USA. Managing to capture a medal for the fourth straight time in the 1500-m event at the Worlds, Cochrane joins Australia Grant Hackett in becoming one of only two athletes to accomplish this feat.

Current rookie Hyde-Laye came to the Vikes men’s basketball program after an outstanding Grade 12 year of high school basketball. The six-foot-one Victoria native helped SMUS capture the B.C. Provincial AA championship for the first time since 1992 and was the championship’s MVP. The two-time Island First team All-Star is also the son of former Vike and SMUS head coach Ian Hyde-Laye.

Finalists for the 2016 Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards represent 23 sports from 22 various cities and are noted below. An additional four awards will be presented at the ceremony including the Best of BC, KidSport BC Community Champion, Harry Jerome Comeback and the Daryl Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Athlete with a Disability
Darren Douma (Creston) – Blind Golf
Trevor Hirschfield (Vancouver) – Wheelchair Rugby
Nathan Stein (Maple Ridge) – Swimming

College Athlete of the Year
Justin King (Kamloops) – Basketball
Graydon Robb (Nanaimo) – Badminton
Shayna Cameron (Chilliwack) – Basketball

Female Coach of the Year
Ariana Van Der Starre (Burnaby) – Speed-Skating
Brit Townsend (Coquitlam) – Athletics
Carolyn Murray (Victoria) – Triathlon

Male Coach of the Year
Gerry Dragomir (Vancouver) – Athletics
Bob Heyes (Shawnigan Lake) – Lacrosse
Randy Bennett (Victoria) – Swimming

Female High School Athlete of the Year
Alexia Seal (Mission) – Wrestling
Callum Pilgrim (Abbotsford) – Athletics/Volleyball/Basketball/Soccer/Softball
Emma Johnson (Kelowna) – Basketball/Soccer/Volleyball

Male High School Athlete of the Year
Chase Claypool (Abbotsford) – Football
Torrey Toribio (Vancouver) – Wrestling
Graeme Hyde-Lay (Victoria) – Soccer/Basketball/Rugby

Female Junior Athlete of the Year
Michelle Kim (Surrey) – Golf
Emily Overholt (West Vancouver) – Swimming
Raquel Tjernagel (New Westminster) – Athletics

Male Junior Athlete of the Year
Khyber Barnett (Vancouver) – Karate
Michael Milic (Delta) – Triathlon
Markus Thormeyer (Delta) – Swimming

Master Athlete of the Year
Lenore Montgomery (North Vancouver) – Athletics
Allan Campsall (Williams Lake) – Archery
Siew Har Hong (North Vancouver) – Badminton

Official of the Year
Louise Kennedy (Brentwood Bay) – Synchronized Swimming
Howard Hum (Burnaby) – Volleyball
Michelle Pye (North Vancouver) – Soccer

Female Senior Athlete of the Year
Kim Gaucher (Mission) – Basketball
Sophie Schmidt (Vancouver) – Soccer
Christabel Nettey (Surrey) – Athletics

Male Senior Athlete of the Year
Benjamin Thorne (Kitimat) – Athletics
Denny Morrison (Speed-Skating) – Fort St. John
Ryan Cochrane (Swimming) – Victoria

Team of the Year
Victoria Shamrocks (Victoria) – Lacrosse
UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver) – Men’s Football
UBC Thunderbirds (Vancouver) – Women’s Cross-Country

University Athlete of the Year
Chris McLaughlin (Victoria) – Basketball
Quinn van Gylswyk (Vancouver) – Football
Maria Barnard (Vancouver) – Athletics