2007 McGill track & cross-country awards announced

2007 McGill track & cross-country awards announced

Apr 29, 07 Track and Field (W)
By Earl Zukerman

MONTREAL - Distance runner Jessica Warren of Oakville, Ont., and sprinter David Faille of St. Hilaire, Que., were announced as most valuable athletes in track and field at the McGill University track and cross-country running awards gala at La Brasserie Molson, Saturday.

Lauren Whyte of Belleville, Ont., and Adrian Walton of London, Ont., were named their respective team MVPs in cross-country.

For the second consecutive year, Deenie Quinn of Westfield, N.J., was a recipient of the Andrea Taylor memorial award, presented to a member of the track team who contributes something unique, promotes unity and demonstrates energy, vitality and inspiration.

Most improved athlete awards were handed out to Elspeth McGregor of Vernon, B.C., and Patrick McAuliffe of Seattle, Wash., in cross-country, plus Esther Usborne of Calgary and Maxime Beaumont-Courteau of Montreal, in track and field.

Rookie of the year honours went to cross-country's Stephanie Magrath from Johannesburg, South Africa and Ken Douglas of Los Gatos, Calif., as well as track and field's Hilary Kellar-Parsons of London, Ont., and Maxime Beaumont-Courteau of Montreal.

More detailed profiles of each award winner is posted below:

Martlet Cross-Country - Team MVP- Lauren Whyte, Arts junior, Belleville, On.

After being plagued by injuries last summer Lauren Whyte missed the opening meet of the season but rehabbed in time to start at the second meet, the Western Invitational, where she placed eighth overall and helped the Martlets stun the 13-team field with McGill's first-ever victory at this highly-competitive meet. The following week, she earned bronze at the Sherbrooke Open, followed by another bronze at the Laval Open and gold at the Quebec championships for the second consecutive year. At the Nationals in Quebec City, she finished fourth overall, moving up three spots from the previous year, and came away with All-Canadian honours.

Redmen Cross Country - Team MVP- Adrian Walton, Science & Music senior, London, ON.

Walton started off the season by becoming the first member of the men's team in almost two decades to win the McGill Open. He went on place 10th at the Western Invitational and third at the Sherbrooke Open. After missing the Laval Open due to illness, he bounced back from that to win bronze at the conference championships in Sherbrooke. He had a tough time at the Nationals but was easily the Redmen's most consistent runner over the season and the team will be looking for him to pave the way to success in his fifth year.

Martlet Track & Field - Team MVP- Jessica Warren, Marketing & Strategy (5th year senior), Oakville, ON.

After a two-year break from school, Warren returned to continue her education while competing in her fifth year of eligibility (including three years with the swim team). She helped the Martlets win the Quebec cross-country crown and earn silver at Nationals.

In track, she scored huge points for McGill at the Quebec championships,, helping the Martlets win the provincial crown with gold in the 1500m, gold in the 4x800m relay and silver in the 1000m At the Nationals, she set personal bests in both the 1000m and 1500m races and accounted for eight of the 13 points scored by the Martlets.

Redmen Track & Field - Team MVP- David Faille, Physical & Health Education junior, St. Hilaire, QC.

Faille had a major breakthrough this past season with a scintillating run at the Sherbrooke Open track meet, smashing an 18-year-old McGill record in the 60m. He destroyed the old mark of 6.96 seconds by an impressive 6.83. He also served as a co-captain on the team, with Aaron White, was a catalyst on the 4x200m and 4x400m relays and won gold in the 300m at the Quebec championships.

Andrea Taylor Memorial Award- Eadaoin (Deenie) Quinn, Arts junior, Westfield, NJ.

This special honor is presented annually to a female member of the McGill track and field team who contributes something unique, promotes unity and demonstrates energy, vitality and inspiration. These were the qualities portrayed by Taylor, a former McGill track star, who died of brain cancer on March 8, 1997 at the tender age of 21. This award is dedicated to the spirit of Andrea's character, which will remain with her family, friends and teammates forever.

Deenie Quinn wins this award for the second consecutive year as her commitment to both, the cross country and track programs, are second to none. A sincere and supportive teammate, she always has a smile and a kind word to say. A very respectful woman with a truly remarkable character, she was always the first person to volunteer her time for various team functions and charities.

Martlet Cross-Country Most Improved Athlete- Elspeth McGregor, Bachelor of Arts & Science junior, Vernon, BC.

McGregor was a much more seasoned runner in only her second year of competing in cross-country and overcame a serious injury that plagued her during her rookie year. She was 11th at the McGill Open, fifth at the Western International, won silver at the Sherbrooke Open, placed fifth at the Laval Open, captured bronze at the Quebec university championships in Sherbrooke and surprised everyone with a 7th place finish at the CIS cross country championship in Quebec City, an improvement of 30 spots from the 2005 Nationals in Halifax. The results earned her All-Canadian honors.

Redmen Cross Country Most Improved Athlete- Patrick McAuliffe, Commerce senior, Seattle, WA

McAuliffe is in his fifth year after switching academic programs to finish his degree and had his best season in both cross country and track. He placed 12th at the McGill Open, 10th at the Western International, fourth at the Sherbrooke Open, ninth at the Laval Open fourth at the Quebec championships and was the top Redmen finisher at the CIS cross country championship in Quebec City, placing 37th overall and improving his finish by 18 positions from the previous year in Halifax.

Martlet Track & Field, Most Improved Athlete- Esther Usborne, Philosophy (2nd year PhD), Calgary, AB

Usborne started off her pole vaulting career here three years ago and through dedication and determination, has made tremendous gains. She improved her personal best every year and won gold at the Quebec university championships, qualifying for the CIS championships. At the Nationals, she finished in a three-way tie for seventh place.

Redmen Track & Field, Most Improved Athlete & Rookie of the Year- Maxime Beaumont-Courteau, Pre-Medicine freshman, Montreal, QC.

Beaumont-Courteau broke an 18-year old McGill record with a height of 4.61 metres in the pole vault, a dramatic personal best by 31 centimetres. He won gold at the Vermont Tri-meet, silver at the McGill Team Challenge, gold at the second McGill Open meet, silver at the Quebec conference championships and went on to place sixth at the CIS championships.

Martlet Cross-Country Rookie of the Year- Stephanie Magrath, Science sophomore, Johannesburg, South Africa

Magrath finished third - behind two NCAA runners - at the McGill Open, was ninth at the Western International, won gold at the Sherbrooke Open, won silver at the Laval Open, followed by another silver at the Quebec championships and was McGill's second-best finisher at the CIS Nationals, where she was 31st overall. She earned all-star status and conference rookie of the year honors.

Redmen Cross-Country Rookie of the Year- Kenneth Douglas, Electrical Engineering freshman, Los Gatos, CA

Douglas had to make the difficult adaptation of shorter distances in the US high school system, where 5k races are the norm to the Canadian university system where 10k races are common. He battled through and helped the Redmen to an upset win over Sherbrooke at the Quebec conference championships, where he finished 17th overall in rugged and terrible weather conditions to qualify for the Nationals.

Martlet Track & Field Rookie of the Year- Hilary Kellar-Parsons, Bachelor of Arts & Science freshman, London, ON

Kellar-Parsons had some outstanding performances in both the 4x200m and 4x400m relays and picked up a silver medal in the 300m at the Quebec conference championship in Quebec City, to qualify for the CIS championship meet.