More than 150 athletes, coaches, parents and supporters gathered Saturday night at the RA Centre to celebrate a true year of excellence for the Ottawa Lions. A year which included the club’s 11th consecutive provinical team championship, world championship silver for Melissa Bishop and a further 14 international medals won by Lions athletes also included an outstanding 21 athletes asked to don the red and white around the globe.
Few will forget the lasting images of Melissa Bishop throwing her arms in the air in pure exhilaration while claiming Pan Am Gold, or standing on the medal podium in Beijing. When you add in a new Canadian record of 1:57.52, makin her the second fastest women in the world over 800m in 2015, it’s no surprise the Eganville native claimed her fourth straight Gilbert Award as top female track athlete.
Garning the Gilbert Award for top male track athlete was fellow world championship competitor, Sekou Kaba. The Sir Robert Borden grad had a breakout season in 2015 which saw him lower his personal best in the 110m hurdles to 13.43 seconds, which also bested the club record of Olympic finalist Charles Allen set in 2006. In addition to his club record and nineth place finish at the Pan Am Games, Kaba was also a semi-finalist at the World Championships in Bejing. This was Sekou’s first Gilbert award.
In the field, the Gilbert awards were presented to a pair of world class throwers. On the women’s side, hammer thrower Sultana Frizell captured her 11th straight award. Frizell’s season included her sixth Canadian title, Pan Am bronze, a 13th place finish at the World Championships and the 10th longest throw in the world. Shot putter Tim Nedow was equally impressive in 2015 winning both the shot put and discus at the Canadian championships. The Brockville native would follow that up with Pan Am silver in the shot put and a sixth place finish in the discus. Tim also finished 20th place overall at the World Championships.
Other winners on the evening include:
Most Outstanding Athlete: uOttawa X-Country / Track & Field
· Devyani Biswal
Most Outstanding Junior Athlete
· Male: Steve Nkusi & Matt Bedard
· Female: Erinn Stenman-Fahey
Most Outstanding Youth Athlete
· Male: Austin White
· Female: Shona McCulloch & Keira Christie-Galloway
Most Outstanding Midget Athlete
· Male: Ford Cashman
· Female: Lauren Gale
Most Outstanding Bantam Athlete
· Male: Joe Fast
· Female: Katie Newlove
Most Outstanding Para-Athlete
· Jason Dunkerley
Most Outstanding XC
· Claire Smith
Most Outstanding Combined Events Athlete
· Patrick Arbour
Most Outstanding Masters Athlete
· Wendy Alexis
Most Outstanding Athlete: Road Racer
· Tommy Des Brisay
Sean Cole: Dedication to Club Service
· Ken Porter
For photos of the night, please check out our Facebook page.