Queen’s athletes given accolades

Miller, Dayboll take top honours for graduating athletes in annual Colour Awards showcasing top Golden Gaels

Some of Queen’s Athletics’ best and brightest were recognized for their efforts at the 72nd annual Colour Awards Tuesday night at the Ambassador Conference Resort. In addition to the awards given out by each team to their most valuable and most improved players, eight major awards were handed out to athletes, one to a student-trainer, and one to a long-time supporter of Queen’s Athletics.

Jenkins Trophy—top male athlete, awarded for excellence in academics and athletics Devon Miller, volleyball

Setter Devon Miller’s win gave the men’s volleyball team the trophy for the second straight year—graduating libero Steve Willis won in 2007. Miller finished his five-year career in style this season, leading the OUA in assists for the third straight season and taking the Gaels to their third straight Ontario final. He was named an OUA First-Team All-Star and All-Canadian for the third straight season.

“I really could not be here without all my coaches, assistant coaches and teammates,” Miller said.

PHE ’55 Trophy—top female athlete Connie Dayboll, rowing

Rower Connie Dayboll was a key member of this year’s provincial and national champion women’s rowing team. She won two gold medals at the OUA championships and another gold at the nationals.

Over the course of her four-year career, she went undefeated at the OUA championships, collecting eight gold medals and leading Queen’s to three championships and one silver medal.

Dayboll said she was surprised to receive the award.

“It makes the four years worthwhile,” she said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to leave Queen’s.”

Jim Tait Memorial Award—outstanding male athlete, team sport Mike Giffin, football

Football running back Mike Giffin’s list of accolades continues to grow. After breaking several Queen’s records this fall, he was named an OUA First-Team All-Star and a First-Team All-Canadian. He recently attended the CFL’s prospect evaluation camp.

Award of Merit—outstanding female athlete, team sport Kirsten Jewell, field hockey

Field hockey midfielder Kirsten Jewell led the OUA with five goals from penalty corners and was selected as an OUA First Team All-Star and a second-team All-Canadian.

Jack Jarvis Trophy—outstanding male athlete, individual sport: Braden Novakowski, track and field and cross-country

Distance runner Braden Novakowski had an outstanding career in both track and field and cross-country. This year he won gold at the Ontario cross-country championships and claimed a silver medal in the 1,000-metre race at the national track and field championships, recording the fourth-best time in Queen’s history. Novakowski said he hopes to return next year and improve on his performance in the 1,500-metre race at nationals. He battled illness and finished eighth this year. “If I had my way, I’d like to come back and run the 15 [hundred] again,” he said. “It wasn’t fun, but that’s racing. You get sick, and you just have to deal with it.”

Marion Ross Trophy— outstanding female athlete, individual sport Joanne Ko, fencing

Épéeist Joanne Ko led the fencing team to another successful season. She claimed the gold medal in the individual épée event at the Ontario championships and led the épée team to an OUA bronze medal. She was also named an OUA First Team All-Star.

Alfie Pierce Trophy (male)—outstanding rookie Joren Zeeman, volleyball

Outside hitter Joren Zeeman finished second on the team and fourth in the OUA in points per set this year with a 3.87 average. He won the OUA Rookie of the Year award and was named to the OUA and CIS All-Rookie Teams.

Alfie Pierce Trophy (female)— outstanding rookie Elyssa Heller, volleyball

Outside hitter Elyssa Heller led the Gaels in kills, kills per set, points and points per set this year. She was named the OUA East Rookie of the Year, and was selected to the OUA and CIS All-Rookie Teams. Heller, who comes from Highland Park, Illinois, said it was a tough decision to come to Canada to play volleyball, but she’s glad she decided to attend Queen’s.

“This season was amazing,” she said. “We didn’t get the outcome we’d expected, but we achieved all our goals along the way.”

Hal Dunlop Shield—outstanding student-trainer: Peter Vooys, men’s rugby

Peter Vooys spent one year working with the men’s hockey team and served with the men’s rugby team for the last two years.

Vooys said he was thrilled to receive the award, especially because his father had been a student-trainer at Queen’s and encouraged him to join the program.

“It’s a pretty big honour,” he said. “My dad won it, so twenty years later I feel pretty proud to have my name on the same shield as he did.”

—With files from Mike Woods

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