Finalists for the 2018 UBC Okanagan Heat athletic awards

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Sara McCreary UBC Heat Volleyball. Photo GreyStoke Photography

On Tuesday, March 27th UBC Okanagan, for the tenth time as the Heat, will once honour its best and brightest student athletes along with the greats seasons and stories that have transpired since August, at the annual athletics awards banquet. Hosted once again at the Coast Capri Hotel.

Wrapping up the year with the annual banquet the nearly 200 student-athletes, who have invested their time, passion, sweat, brains and body are to be recognized by the UBC Okanagan athletic department, for their achievements both in athletic competition and in the classroom.

The awards will be familiar to those repeat attendees, two awards, the Graduating Player of the Year and the Student Athlete of the Year Award given based on combined athletic and academic performances.

Rookie of the Year and Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year will focus solely on athletic achievement and the winner’s value to their team.

In addition to these awards based on nominations from the student athlete’s respective coaches, the Heat will also hand out two non-nominated awards given based solely on academic performance.

For individual student athletes there is the Provost Award for Excellence (male and female recipients in both a one- and two- semester category), and a collective award will be given out as Team Excellence in Academics.

An external Athletics Awards Selection Committee (AASC) will decide the award recipients.

In the vein of the Academy Awards, from each nomination pool the AASC will narrow the field to as many as five finalists, with no minimum requirement, and of which more than one may come from the same team.

The finalists, announced today, introduced again as a group at the banquet, with the deserving winner finally revealed at the banquet on Tuesday.

Below are brief descriptions of the criteria of each of the awards as well as brief highlight points for each of the finalists.

Awards’ Descriptions and Criteria

Provost Award for Excellence

This award will be presented to a returning varsity student athlete with the highest academic average over the past three terms fall/winter/fall.

Excellence in Academics | Team award

This recognition of academic achievement will be all varsity teams which have a cumulative collective GPA of 75% or higher based on the fall semester of the current year.

Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year is awarded based on superior athletic achievement for a player in his or her first year of post-secondary competition with weighted preference given to those with conference or national recognition. Each team may nominate their maximum roster of rookie students. Rookie candidates must also demonstrate good academic standing.

Graduating Player of the Year

This award will be given to a student who has competed for the Heat for a minimum of three years, and is in his or her fourth or fifth year of athletics eligibility, and graduating. The winner will have demonstrated superior athletic achievements, leadership on and off the competitive surface and academic good-standing over the course of their career.

Student Athlete of the Year

This award’s criteria will focus on a combination of athletic and academic achievement. Candidates must have competed in a minimum of 75% of league competitions and demonstrated superior athletic achievement in the current season while maintaining a strong GPA. Preference will be given to those that displayed leadership qualities on and off the field/court.

Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year

The Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year is awarded to a student athlete who is an exceptional team player and/or team MVP. He or she will have superior athletic achievements, particularly those recognized by a respective athletics association (Canada West/USPORTS, Pacwest/CCAA, etc.). National recognition will be weighted more heavily than conference recognition. Leadership on and off the competitive surface and academic good-standing are also criteria. Coaches can nominate more than one student athlete for the award.

Finalists – Men’s Sports

Caleb Funk (Men’s Volleyball)

  • Played in every match this year, and in 81 of 85 possible sets
  • Led the Heat in all blocking categories, vastly improved as an attacker throughout the season, and proved himself a versatile asset all over the court
  • Named to this year’s Canada West All-Rookie Team

Owen Harris (Men’s Cross Country)

  • Finished 2nd on the Heat team at both the Provincial and National Championships
  •  Helped the Heat men’s cross country team to a 10th place National finish with his 34th individual finish

Sam McDonald (Men’s Soccer)

  • Started 12 of 15 games this season, missing two due to injury
  • Integral part of a group that set a conference record for most minutes in consecutive games without allowing a goal
  • Contributing in a number of areas, he earned a spot on the Canada West All-Rookie Team

Kyle Tremblay (Men’s Rugby)

  • Started every game he played this year, and scored 20% of the team’s points during the season
  • Represented British Columbia on the Provincial U18 side, and represented Canada on the national U19 side

Lars Bornemann (Men’s Volleyball)

  • Finished near the top of Canada West statistically: 2nd in kills per set, 3rd in total kills, 4th in total points per set, 10th in attack efficiency, 18th in total digs, 20th in digs per set
  • Led the Heat in all of the above categories
  • Named a Canada West 2nd Team All-Star
  •  Volunteered as a club coach during time off, worked with Volleyball BC on youth events, and was a leader on the team and within the campus community
  • Consistently led by example, working diligently despite a limiting knee injury and was a model teammate

James Casorso (Men’s Golf)

  • A leader on and off the course, he has been one of, if not the, strongest player on the team each year, with his scores being used towards the team score in every tournament
  • His Capstone project was designed to make the Heat golf program more sustainable in the long term, and he will remain involved with the team after graduation
  • Has amassed an extensive collection of individual and team medals, including National and Conference team Silvers, individual silver and gold medals at the Conference and National levels, and 3 Conference and one National All-Star Team awards, and 14 PacWest Top 10 finishes in 20 tournaments
  • Had a collegiate scoring average of 71.75 in 2017

Bryce Stirling  (Men’s Rugby)

  • Playing in every game for which he was available, he earned the respect of coaches and teammates as a major physical force on the team
  • Placed 5th with the National Sevens Team, and was a major link to the community team

Trevor Yip  (Men’s Rugby)

  • A major part of the program for four years, he has been dedicated both on the pitch and in the classroom,
  • Scored 35% of the team’s total points this season, starting in all games, and earned an Dean’s list level academic average
  • Represented both BC and Canada on the field
  • Was a student trainer for Heat varsity home games for basketball and volleyball

Lars Bornemann (Men’s Volleyball)

  • A thoughtful and insightful member of the Heat program, Lars was relied upon heavily for his leadership in all areas
  • Had an Dean’s list academic average
  • On top of establishing himself as one of the best to every play the game at UBC Okanagan, he has consistently been a pillar of the UBCO community within and outside of his commitments to the volleyball program

 James Casorso (Men’s Golf)

  • A role model for his teammates on and off the course, he was a leader in scoring and a helpful teacher to younger players
  • On top of a long list of accomplishments on the course, James earned a strong academic average of while leading the Heat to a silver medal in their first team medal at the National tournament

Bret Depner (Men’s Soccer)

  • A model of what an elite student athlete is, he earned a Dean’s list level  first term average in his applied science program while starting in 14 of 15 games
  • A consummate team player, he is respectful all around and always looking to improve and help others to do the same, on and off the pitch
  • His academic and athletic achievements are just two of the many ways in which he has managed to lead by example
  • Bret started 14 out of 15 games for us as a fullback and was part of the group that set a record for longest time with out a goal being scored against this while holding a first rate first term in applied science.

Trevor Yip (Men’s Rugby)

  • A major part of the program for four years, he has been dedicated both on the pitch and in the classroom,
  • Scored 35% of the team’s total points this season, starting in all games, and earned an Dean’s list level academic average
  • Represented both BC and Canada on the field

Lars Bornemann ( Men’s Volleyball)

  • Finished near the top of Canada West statistically: 2nd in kills per set, 3rd in total kills, 4th in total points per set, 10th in attack efficiency, 18th in total digs, 20th in digs per set
  • Led the Heat in all of the above categories
  • Named a Canada West 2nd Team All-Star
  • Volunteered as a club coach during time off, worked with Volleyball BC on youth events, and was a leader on the team and within the campus community
  • Consistently led by example, working diligently as a team Captain despite a limiting knee injury and was a model teammate
  • Played in 83 of 85 total sets for the Heat this season

Aldrich Berrios (Men’s Basketball)

  • Men’s basketball leading scorer and team captain, started all 20 games for the Heat.
  • Averaged 15.1 points per game, 18th in the conference, led the conference in minutes played (744 minutes) and minutes per game (37.2 min/game).
  • A leader in the community as well as his team, involved with Pacific Sport, Kid Sport and other charitable organizations in the community.
  • Surpassed 1000 career points this season, only third player to top that mark at UBCO. Fifth best three point shooter in conference with 55 makes from downtown.

James Casorso (Men’s Golf)

  • A leader on and off the course, he has been one of, if not the, strongest player on the team each year, with his scores being used towards the team score in every tournament
  • His Capstone project was designed to make the Heat golf program more sustainable in the long term, and he will remain involved with the team after graduation
  • Has amassed an extensive collection of individual and team medals, including National and Conference team Silvers, individual silver and gold medals at the Conference and National levels, and 3 Conference and one National All-Star Team awards, and 14 PacWest Top 10 finishes in 20 tournaments

Mitch McCaw (Men’s Soccer)

  • Started 14 of 15 games, missing one only because of a suspension
  • Led the conference in save percentage with a .877, finished second in goals against average with .64, and set a conference record for most consecutive minutes played without a goal allowed on the way to a seven-shutout season
  • After two seasons with the Heat he holds all goalkeeping records for the program, he has earned a number of conference awards including being named a Canada West 2nd Team All-Star and three straight conference star of the week awards.
  • He demonstrated his abilities as a goalkeeper and a leader, playing the field general during games and leading by example off the pitch

Finalists – Women’s Sports

Lizzie Gotuaco (Women’s Rugby)

  • Led the Heat women’s team in points and tries this season
  • Represented BC on the U18 side during the summer of 2017
  • An early leader on the team, she demonstrated a superior knowledge of the game and the team dynamic

Kate Johnson (Women’s Basketball)

  • Led the team in assists, averaging 2.1 per game
  • Tied for 2nd on the team in steals per game
  • Was a focus for other teams defensive schemes, e

Erica Lampert (Women’s Soccer)

  • Started all 14 games during the season
  • Pillar of the team’s midfield defensive presence, regularly shutting down would-be breaks and stepping up against opponents’ leading attackers

Sadie Taylor-Parks (Women’s Volleyball)

  • Played in 10 of 24 matches at various positions, wherever needed.
  • Exceptional athlete and trainer, understudy and likely heir to graduating star Erin Drew

Erin Drew (Women’s Volleyball)

  • Having developed into one of the premier middle blockers in the country, she finished this season as a force for the Heat once again with top-five stats in all blocking categories
  • Also finished second-best in Canada West for hitting percentage
  • Erin has been a force for the Heat again this season. She is in the top 5 in Canada West for all the categories for a middle.
  • A dedicated student athlete, she also earned Academic All Canadian status

Siobhan Fitzpatrick (Women’s Volleyball)

  • A full-time starter for the Heat, she was a top producer and major offensive asset
  • She was named an Academic All Canadian four times, and had a numbers better then several conference All-Stars
  • Has been a significant part of the Heat’s success every year she’s played, and has developed into one of the most successful hitters on the team in recent years

Michelle Jakszuk (Women’s Volleyball)

  • Playing a major role with the Heat since her arrival at UBC Okanagan, she has seen significant court time ever since her freshman season
  • Has become one of the best outside hitters in Canada West the past few seasons, and finished this season in the top 15 in Canada West for all attacking categories
  • Earned Canada West 2nd Team All-Star recognition this year

Andrea Stinson (Women’s Soccer)

  • Having become a major part of the Heat program, Stinson missed just a game and a half over the past two seasons, and earned designation as a leading offensive midfielder both by her own success and her helping of teammates
  • A captain the past two seasons, she has led by example with her focus on teamwork, self-discipline, respect, and hard work. Both on and off the pitch she has been consistently improving and striving to set a higher standard
  • Her preparation, performance, and consistent effort has been a respected and reliable inspiration to teammates

Siobhan Fitzpatrick (Women’s Volleyball)

  • A CIS Academic All-Canadian in four consecutive years, she had a Dean’s list academic average last year and has improved that mark for the fall 2017 semester
  • Leading by example in every aspect of being a student athlete, her character and sportsmanship along with consistent hard work and an extreme competitive streak have made her a respected member in all areas of the Heat program
  • She leads UBC O’s SAMHI chapter (Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative). This was an amazing amount of work on behalf of all Heat student athletes.

Sara McCreary (Women’s Volleyball)

  • As a second year she started every match for a volleyball team ranked as high as No. 1 in the country and went to a national championship.
  • Averaged 10.22 assists per set in the regular season which was the best mark in all of U SPORTS.
  • Was named the Canada West Female First Star of the Week near the end of October thanks to back-to-back fantastic performances against the UBC Thunderbirds.
  • She earned a top rank academic average of while balancing a full course load and her volleyball obligations

Julianna Neudorf (Women’s Cross Country)

  • Neudorf was a huge factor in the team’s National Bronze Medal run this year, elevating her performance in a major way this season
  • She placed 32nd individually at the National Cross Country Championships, while maintaining an top academic average in Applied Science
  • She showed up for every volunteer day that the team participated in, and would often cover for those teammates who were unable to make it

Shenelle Tamminen (Women’s Basketball)

  • Shenelle finished this season with the second-best scoring average for the Heat, at 6.6 points per game, while maintaining a strong academic average and completing practicum work in the Education program
  • In the final game of this season, she set a new personal best against Winnipeg with 19 points that included five made three-pointers
  • Her career numbers include more than 500 points in 100 conference games, the second-highest total amassed at UBC Okanagan
  • Shenelle is genuinely passionate about people and helping others. The epitome of a student-athlete, she is currently finishing up her final practicum in education to become an elementary school teacher. On campus, she is involved with SAMHI (the student-athlete mental health initiative) and is also serving as a co-captain for our team this year.
  • Shenelle will graduate this spring from UBC Okanagan with her degree in education and during her time here she twice earned a U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian award excelling in the education program.

Veronika Fagan (Women’s Cross Country)

  • Winning three of her four races this season, she set a course record in all three wins
  • At the National Cross Country Championships, she led the UBC Okanagan women’s team to a Bronze Medal team finish and won the individual race with a course record time
  • As team captain she led by example, topping off her individual wins by inspiring her teammates to achieve their best times
  • Earning All-Canadian status for the season overall, she was also named CCAA Women’s Runner of the Week for November 8th and November 15th

Aidan Lea (Women’s Volleyball)

  • Aidan finished 2nd in Canada West for both solo blocks and hitting percentage this season
  • Named a Canada West 1st Team All-Star and a 2nd Team All-Canadian this year, the third year Heat middle has established herself as one of the best in the country
  • A feared presence across the net and the player Heat opponents look to stop first when playing UBCO.

Emma Nelsen (Women’s Soccer)

  • Playing every minute of every game, Nelsen was the heart of the Heat’s central defense and proved herself capable of handling immense pressure and extensive time on the pitch
  • A unanimously accepted leader on the team, her in-game abilities were bested only by her hard work, communication, and professionalism
  • She works with the Student Athlete for Mental Health Initiative committee while off the pitch, yet another example of her determination to lead by example in every area of being a UBC Okanagan student athlete

Ann Richards (Women’s Volleyball)

  • Starting every match for the Heat this season, she finished in the top 15 in Canada West in the statistical categories for kills, kills per set, hitting percentage
  • Described as one of the most mature student athletes around, she has become a significant member of the team while still finding her stride
  • A leader despite being a recent transfer, Ann has proven herself to be an exceptional teammate, a dominant hitter, a respected member of the Heat program, and a likely captain next season

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