Nearly 150 athletes, coaches, parents and supporters gathered Saturday night at the RA Centre to celebrate a year of excellence for the Ottawa Lions as well as induct three new members into the Hall of Fame.
Long time coach Lorraine McKenzie, Canadian High School record holder Cheryl Coker and 1988 Olympian Brian Marshall were all inducted into the club Hall of Fame Saturday night, joining 16 previous honourees.
McKenzie was honoured for her more than two decades of coaching at the club, helping to develop some of the Canada’s best young distance running talent. Recent athletes include Erinn Stenman-Fahey, Claire Smith, and Shona McCulloch – all of whom have earned full athletic scholarships to compete in the NCAA.
In the athletes category, former javelin thrower Cheryl Coker was honoured for a career that included four national team appointments, including a bronze at the 1984 Pan Am Junior Championships. Coker still holds the Canadian Interscholastic record at 51.94m and sits second on the club all-time list with a best of 57.64m set in 1992.
Brian Marshall was a very talented athlete for the club in the 1980’s, winning national medals in multiple disciplines as a youth athlete before focusing on the high jump where he was a two time Canadian Junior Champion. Following high school, Marshall moved to Palo Alto, California where he would compete for the Stanford Cardinal and set the still standing school record of 2.28m while winning the Pac-10 conference championship. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Marshall finished in 17th place with a clearance of 2.22m.
Highlighting the many memorable moments from 2016 was undoubtedly Melissa Bishop’s Canadian record performance in the Olympic 800m final. Bishop’s fourth place finish was the highest individual placing at the Olympic Games in club history. In recognition of her outstanding body of work, the Eganville native captured her fifth straight Gilbert Award as top female track athlete.
In the field, the Gilbert awards were presented to a pair of world class throwers for the second year in a row. On the women’s side, hammer thrower Sultana Frizell captured her 12th straight award after her silver medal performance at the Olympic Trials. For the men, shot putter Tim Nedow improved upon his club record in 2016, launching the 16 pound ball out to an astounding 21.33 metres indoors enroute to winning the inaugural IAAF World Indoor Tour. The Brockville native would go on to place 7th at the World Indoor Championships before finishing 16th at the Rio Olympics.
On the track, Oluwasegun Makinde picked up his forth Gilbert award in six years following his second straight Olympic team assignment. Among his top performances in 2016, Makinde posted the third fastest 100m time in club history, running 10.24 seconds at the Ontario Championships. The performance also made him the seventh fastest man in Canada for the year.
Other winners on the evening include:
Most Outstanding Athlete: uOttawa X-Country / Track & Field
· Devyani Biswal
Most Outstanding Athlete: Carleton University X-Country / Track & Field
· Telvin Tavernier
Most Outstanding Junior Athlete
· Male: Austin White
· Female: Shona McCulloch
Most Outstanding Youth Athlete
· Male: Wariso Dullo
· Female: Keira Christie-Galloway
Most Outstanding Midget Athlete
· Male: Joe Fast
· Female: Katie Newlove
Most Outstanding Bantam Athlete
· Ben Walrond
Most Outstanding Para-Athlete
· Jason Dunkerley
Most Outstanding XC
· Male – Jonathan Rioux
· Female – Jordan Weston
Most Outstanding Combined Events Athlete
· Patrick Arbour
Most Outstanding Masters Athlete
· Kim Ethier
Most Outstanding Athlete: Road Racer
· Tommy Des Brisay
Sean Cole: Dedication to Club Service
· Marla McInnis
For photos of the night, please check out our Facebook page.