On Tuesday night, varsity athletes congregated at the ARC to celebrate their athletic feats for the 83rd Colour Awards ceremony.
The annual banquet commemorated those who stood out from the rest during the 2018-19 season. Totalling five, awards were given for top team, top male and female student-athletes, and top male and female rookies of the year.
This year’s Award of Merit was given to women’s lacrosse, who went undefeated in all their regular season games en route to their first Patterson Cup since 1999.
Alongside their OUA Championship banner, the team further swept every major individual award category available in the conference.
Offensive Player of the Year was awarded to senior Annie Lloyd, while team-leader in forced-turnovers Amelia Piccone was named Defensive Player of the Year. The Gaels’ second-leading scorer, Jordan Kummer, was dubbed Rookie of the Year, and third-year Head Coach Mike Watson was named Coach of the Year.
Six Gaels featured as OUA All-Stars to put the cherry on top of their brilliant season. Both Piccone and Lloyd were also named First-Team All Stars, along with second-year Kiah Shanks and defender Rachel Mochulla. Second-team All Star was awarded to offense Brittany Schwende and Kummer.
Jack Jarvis Trophy for Male Athlete of the Year: Mike Mackenzie, Ultimate
In four years at Queen’s, Mike Mackenzie carved out his place as a leader on the field. Serving as captain for the Ultimate Frisbee team since 2016, Mackenzie’s a three-time Canadian Ultimate University Championships (CUUC) winner and was named a CUUC starting-seven All-Canadian twice.
When they called his name for the award, Mackenzie said he couldn’t believe it.
“I’m honoured—I’m truly, truly honoured by this,” he said. “Thinking about the athletes that pass through Queen’s [that are] being considered […] It’s amazing.”
After going undefeated in the CUUC national tournament, the Gaels brought home their third banner in four years.
Alongside his CUUC victories, Mackenzie’s been a two-time academic all-star. He’s also currently a member of the under-24 national team and plays with the semi-pro team Toronto Rush.
“I’m never going to forget the times I had here with this group of guys,” Mackenzie said. “The ability to have that outlet to stay active and grow this whole other family in sport is something that I would never trade for anything else.”
Marion Ross Trophy for Female Athlete of the Year: Amanda Thoo, Field Hockey
In her fifth and final year playing for Queen’s field hockey, Amanda Thoo was awarded the Marion Ross trophy for Female Athlete of the Year.
After the awards ceremony, Thoo told The Journal that the honour hadn’t sunk in yet.
“Every year, it’s always just been field hockey, and then school, and then field hockey, and then school,” she said. “Always trying to do a little better, get that extra little bit of strength training, or speed training.”
She called the end of her Queen’s career “nice, but bittersweet. […] I don’t want to leave the girls. They’ve been a second family since I’ve been here.”
Thoo was named the 2018 OUA Goalie of the Year and awarded OUA All-Star for this past season, and served as team captain in both 2017 and 2018. She’s also a two-time Academic All-Canadian and won team OUA Bronze in her rookie year of 2014.
Outside of Queen’s, she’s a volunteer coach with local field hockey schools and clubs.
This year, she said the team was closer than any previous year.
“We’ve had some crushing losses, we’ve had some amazing wins, and throughout all that, the only thing that’s been constant is our teammate bond,” she said.
“We want to be the best that we can be for each other.”
Alfie Pierce Trophy, Female Rookie of the Year: Sydney Maxwell, Squash
Coming into her first year at Queen’s, Sydney Maxwell was able to help propel the Queen’s squash team to their fifth straight OUA title.
She was named the women’s OUA MVP and OUA Rookie of the Year after going undefeated at the tournament.
Alongside her OUA accolades, Maxwell won the Canadian University and College Squash Championships in early March.
For her, the biggest difference in playing at Queen’s was that the team aspect adds a different type of pressure. “It’s a lot more fun, a lot less pressure,” she said. “You want to win for your team, but its just so much more fun and they’re so supportive.”
“That helped me be successful this year and helped me improve.”
Alfie Pierce Trophy, Male Rookie of the Year: Zachary Greifenberger, Golf
First-year Zachary Greifenberger was supposed to start his varsity golf career in the NCAA with Gardner-Webb University, but a wrist injury kept him from playing and brought him to Queen’s.
Greifenberger said his injury was serious for a golfer. “It took me about six months before I could play again and I didn’t know if I’d be able to play at close to the same level that I used to,” he said.
But Greifenberger came in hot to tee-off his Queen’s career—starting with a pair of individual victories this season at the Carleton and Queen’s invitational tournaments. At the OUA Championships, he finished 25th overall, helping the Gaels secure a spot at nationals this coming May.
“It was a pretty long season at the start, and it was interesting coming in as a rookie,” Greifenberger said.
For Greifenberger, the important thing this season was the team he found himself to be a part of.
“Even though I’ve met quite a few other people [at Queen’s], it was a good group of friends that I could interact with at the start,” he said.
“It’s just made the experience that much better.”
Amanda Thoo, Colour Awards, Mike Mackenzie, Sydney Maxwell, Women's lacrosse, Zachary Greifenberger
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