In honour of the beloved Colour Awards put on by Queen’s Athletics and Recreation each year, The Journal has delivered its own best—and worst—sports picks of the year.
Team of the Year: Women’s Basketball
This was a no-brainer with Women’s Basketball achieving the best record in the history of the program and a second consecutive appearance at nationals.
More than just being historic, Women’s Basketball created some exceptional experiences on campus this season. The team continued to support and spearhead EDII initiatives, and continued to play their land acknowledgement at games instead of the national anthem.
The environment they fostered for students and fans at the Critelli Cup OUA final game will also not soon be forgotten. Their success continues to create opportunities for student engagement and the entire community has bought in.
Coach of the Year: Claire Meadows, Women’s Basketball
Women’s Basketball cannot be celebrated without specifically recognizing Head Coach Claire Meadows. What she’s done with the program in just her two years here should’ve been impossible, yet it’s been done. Meadows has started her team on a path which only goes up, and at this rate, they’re sure to reach the summit in no time.
Most unexpected result: Baseball and Fastpitch
Queen’s made magic on the diamond this year as both Men’s Baseball and Women’s Fastpitch unexpectedly brought home provincial championship titles.
Baseball had two challenging and unlikely wins to cap off their playoff run and snag the title from the U of T, the then defending champions. In one of the closest games all season, they took out the Guelph Gryphons with a 1-0 OUA semi-final victory. Then they played the Varsity Blues for the championship and overcame an early 5-0 deficit.
Fastpitch pulled off a similar feat during their playoff weekend. After winning their first two matches of the championship, they met Western—the only other undefeated team and 11-time defending champions—in a match to send the winner to the finals.
While Queen’s lost 9-2, they punched their ticket to the finals after beating Guelph, setting the stage for a rematch and a chance to redeem themselves. They did just that, defeating Western 3-2 and bringing home the gold medal and a banner.
Most disappointing season: Men’s Rugby
Men’s Rugby went undefeated in the regular season and earned a first-round playoff bye. However, when they welcomed Laurier to Nixon field for the OUA semi-finals match, things didn’t go as planned as the Golden Hawks pulled off a 34-27 upset win.
Understandably, the Gaels were upset with their performance. They refused to make a statement after the game, tore jerseys, and embodied devastation.
Their excellent regular season shouldn’t be overlooked, though. The Gaels have what it takes to win a provincial championship and should now be even more motivated to make it happen. It will be exciting to see how they turn it around next year.
Best game: Baseball OUA final
Men’s Baseball hit it out of the park this season, but their best game was undeniably their OUA finals match against U of T. Facing the defending champions and starting the game in a 5-0 deficit didn’t curb their ambition.
The Gaels wanted gold, so the whole team—and one lone pumpkin—made it happen.
The Gaels responded to the Varsity Blues’ early lead with a few runs of their own, but it barely made a dent as both teams kept up the scoring with some back-and-forth action until Queen’s made some drastic headway in the top of the seventh.
They further cut into U of T’s lead, and then, with bases loaded in the eighth, Evan Bertoia’s hit brought three runners home. The Gaels plated three additional runs that inning before holding off the Mustangs for a well deserved—and historic—13-11 victory.
Colour Awards, Queen's Journal awards, Sports
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