Last night, for the third time in four years, Glenroy Gilbert was called before the Ottawa sporting community to be honoured as the Male Coach of the Year. Gilbert was once again acknowledged for his work guiding Lions athletes but also leading Canada’s relay team to international success.
Glenroy served as the national team coach for Canada’s three Olympic relay entries in Rio. After a heartbreaking disqualification kept his men’s 4×100 m team off the podium at the London 2012 Olympics, Glenroy’s crew of Akeem Haynes, Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse experienced the reverse fate in Rio, when USA was disqualified to elevate them into the bronze medal position. One of Gilbert’s star pupils, Oluwasegun Makinde was an alternate on the team.
One the women’s side, the 4x100m team including Lion Farah Jacques produced a 7th place finish in the Olympic final. In the 4x400m, the 13th-seeded Canadians not only reached the final unexpectedly, but came within 0.55 seconds of winning a medal, finishing in fourth place.
In addition to Gilbert’s recognition, Lions athletes took home awards in four other categories. Melissa Bishop was recognized for the third time as the Most Outstanding Track and Field athlete in Ottawa. The World Championship medalist had previously won in 2015 and 2012.
In the parasport category, Jason Dunkerley was once again recognized as Ottawa’s top athlete. Dunkerley and his guide Joshua Karanja were fifth place finishers at the Rio Games in the T11 1500m. This was Jason’s fourth win since 2011.
For the third year in a row, Tommy Des Brisay was named the top road racer in the nation’s capital. Des Brisay was the winner of four local road races in 2016 including the Nine Run Run and Army Run half marathons.
Finally, Shona McCulloch was recognized for her excellence in cross country. The Longfields Davidson senior was a bronze medalist at the OFSAA championships last November and finished seventh at the Canadian Junior Championships. Her national result qualified her to compete at the upcoming Pan Am and World Junior Cross Country Championships.