Varsity clubs celebrate season

The Gaels club teams handed out awards to their top student-athletes

Liam and Pat Twomey of cycling were recognized as the top male varsity club athletes.
Liam and Pat Twomey of cycling were recognized as the top male varsity club athletes.
Lisa McLaughlin of women’s lacrosse was awarded top female varsity club athlete.
Lisa McLaughlin of women’s lacrosse was awarded top female varsity club athlete.

The Gaels Varsity Club team members hung up their jerseys and donned suits and dresses for the 75th annual Colour Awards Varsity Club athletic banquet on Monday. It was a night of giving accolades for 2010-11 as each team’s coaches and players gave words about the successes of their season.

There were five awards given out for individuals whose achievements stood out from the pack. These awards were for top team, top male and female student-athletes and top male and female rookies of the year.

The Alfie Pierce Trophy, awarded to the male and female rookies of the year, was the first major award to be given out on the evening.

Alfie Pierce Trophy for top male rookie: Etienne Moreau, cycling

Moreau jumped right into university racing in his first year at Queen’s by leading the cycling team to a University Cup championship by winning the Men’s ‘A’ Division. Moreau was not in attendance at the ceremonies and was unable to comment on the award.

Alfie Pierce Trophy for top female rookie: Renee Tse, figure skating

Renee Tse earned the female selection as one of the top performers on the Gaels figure skating team. She earned a gold medal finish in the Senior Silver Singles and a bronze medal in the Intermediate Similar Pairs event at the OUA Championships, finishing second in points on the Queen’s team.

Tse was all smiles when she heard that she had been chosen as the trophy winner.

“I have absolutely no words,” she said. “Skating was just for me. I never get awards for skating, for something I love. Getting this feels really good.”

Tse’s great season was particularly impressive because she took all of last year off at the Herstmonceux Castle. She said she had no expectations coming into the season.

“It was purely to get exercise and meet new people,” she said. “Just to see how it goes. I didn’t think I‘d actually do all right out there.”

Award of Merit for top team: Men’s fencing

The top team award, the Award of Merit Trophy, went to the OUA champion men’s fencing team. The team returned to the top of the podium after a few years of falling short.

The group took down the defending Carleton Ravens by winning gold medals in the epee, the sabre, the epee team relay and the sabre team relay. This was the team’s first banner since the 2003-04 season. Fifth-year fencer Scott Bowman said it was important that the team won this season.

“More than half the team is graduating so this was really our year,” he said. “It’s exciting to say that more than half of us, eight of the 12 had never fenced before coming to Queen’s, so that’s kind of exciting for our team of the year.”

Despite the team’s many graduating athletes, Bowman added that there are still seasoned fencers remaining.

“The ones that are sticking around are very experienced; they’ve fenced before [university],” he said. “We’ve got a good coaching staff and we’ve got a good program.”

Marion Ross Trophy for top female athlete: Lisa McLaughlin, women’s lacrosse

The top female student-athlete and recipient of the Marion Ross Trophy was Lisa McLaughlin of the women’s lacrosse team. In her career playing for Queen’s McLaughlin was named a First Team All-Star three times in four years, awarded the club Rookie of the Year, and named the OUA Most Valuable Offensive Player.

The team also collected two OUA silver medals and one bronze medal during her tenure. While not on the field, McLaughlin helped coach the team for the past two years.

McLaughlin said the award was the result of a team effort.

“It means a lot to me,” she said. “I’ve definitely put a lot of time in with the team and we’ve all worked hard together. It’s more a reflection of the whole team. It’s a nice way to finish my time here at Queen’s.”

Jack Jarvis Trophy for top male athlete: Liam and Pat Twomey, cycling

Not every award had an outright winner though; the honour of top male student-athlete fell to a tie between twins Liam and Pat Twomey of the cycling team. They were chosen as co-winners of the Jack Jarvis Trophy after the team captured a University Cup championship.

The brothers were a key component of the team for their four years at Queen’s. In their first year they were named the cycling team’s Rookies of the Year as they helped the team to a championship. They have won a total of three championships.

But the Twomeys’ merits surpassed just cycling ability as they both played a large leadership role on the team, ranging from organizing club activities to race preparation.

Liam and Pat Twomey said they were both surprised and elated to receive the award. “It’s huge; the cycling team has been our life for the past five years,” Liam Twomey said. “We came to Queen’s because of the cycling team. We are from outside of Boston, it’s initially how we found the school to begin with.”

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