With the school year coming to a close, it’s time to reflect on the year that has come and gone. If you’re in first-year, you don’t want the year to end. Second-years are slowly realizing half their university time has passed. Third-years are not ready for fourth, and the fourth-years are asking, “where did the time go?”
However, our Brock athletes are still in work mode. The seasons have concluded, but the off-season is one in itself.
After a very successful year in sports for the University, it’s time to reflect on the highs and work on the lows. On Mar. 25 all athletes, coaches and community members will gather for the annual Athletic Banquet. Teams will have time to bond and reflect, and awards will be handed out while speeches are made.
The final two awards of the night will be given out to the female and male Athletes of the year. This will go to two individuals whose dedication, work ethic, and success have all led them to deserving this honour.
Awaiting the final two awards which highlights the success of many of our individual athletes, there are four very deserving women who have been nominated for the award; Carlene Sluberski (wrestling), Katherine Walker (rowing), Erin Macaulay (curling) and Lauren Stirling (volleyball). They have had successful years individually, but have also really been huge contributors to their teams.
The women’s wrestling team was crowned CIS Champions a few weeks ago, with Sluberski earning a gold in the 55kg weight class. It was a dominating year for Sluberski, who captured gold at every tournament this year for her weight class. Walker and the rowing team finished with a bronze medal at the 2014 OUA Championships. In her second year, Walker won bronze in both Lightweight 1x and Women’s Lightweight 4. As a veteran of the curling team, Macaulay helped lead the team to an OUA silver medal. While Stirling and the volleyball team finished 8-11, ultimately losing to Guelph in the OUA quarter-finals, Stirling earned a First-Team All-Star for the OUA West Division as she led the way in service aces with 39.
Over on the men’s side, Connor Fitzsimmons (rugby), Nick Rowe (wrestling) and Justin Gideon (baseball) are up for Male Athlete of the Year. Fitzsimmons and the men captured an OUA bronze medal this season. Fitzsimmons had another great season, but his career overall has been fantastic. He is the second Brock player to reach 100 career points in a single season.
Nick Rowe was part of another CIS wrestling Championship as he added a gold medal around his neck. Rowe went undefeated this year at the OUA and CIS Championships going 8-0. Gideon helped the baseball team to an OUA title with his .470 batting average, 34-runs batted in and 28-steals. It is tough deciding who should win the awards as all seven athletes are deserving. Making predictions, Sluberski should be crowned Female Athlete of the Year. Not only did her team win a CIS Championship, she dominated her field. While on the men’s side it is tough to turndown Gideon’s batting average, but another strong year out of Rowe makes him the clear cut favourite for this award. As the wrestling team did at the CIS Championship, they will likely sweep the Athlete of the Year awards.