Rookies of the Year
Affectionately nicknamed “Baby Kade” by his teammates, Kade Wist entered McGill at only 17 years old, making him the youngest swimmer on the McGill swim team and in the RSEQ. The 5’11, 160-pound native of Calgary managed to capture eight race victories over the course of four Quebec Cup meets, swimming butterfly and freestyle. Wist was also an invaluable member on relay squads, earning McGill several podium finishes.
Wist qualified for CIS Nationals in the 100m butterfly and 200m butterfly events, and while at Nationals broke his personal best in the 100m butterfly by 0.7 seconds to qualify for the B-final, ultimately placing 8th. He also qualified for the 200m butterfly final, placing 9th.
Wist is one of seven McGill qualifiers for the Canadian Olympic team trials in anticipation of the 2016 Rio summer Olympics. At qualifiers, he’ll be swimming the 100m butterfly and 200m butterfly. With the pedigree of former McGill and Olympic swimmer Andrea Nugent, a promising start to his McGill career, and three to four more years with the Redmen, Wist is positioned to become the backbone of the Redmen swim team.
Olivia Atkinson, a 19-year-old freshman from Toronto Ontario, has been a flash of bright young talent in the Martlet women’s hockey team this year. At 5’6”, Atkinson brought physical prowess to the forward unit and developed her scoring ability while playing on the same line as 2014 Olympic gold medalist, Melodie Daoust.
Atkinson’s versatility as a forward gives her a foundation to be a strong presence and leader on a Martlet hockey team that’s welcoming nine rookies next year.
Atkinson dressed in all but one of the Martlet’s 40 games this season, tallying seven goals and eight assists for a total of 15 points overall, including a valiant two goal effort against the Montreal Carabins in November. Her efforts helped lead the women’s hockey team to a second place finish in the RSEQ, and a berth to Nationals in Calgary.
Atkinson’s on-ice skill is compounded by her work ethic off the ice in the weight room and on the track. With an unrelenting desire for excellence and the breadth of skill she adds to the hockey team, Atkinson will continue to develop into a force over her next few years with Martlet hockey.
Athletes of the Year
Senior Redmen hockey defenceman Samuel Labrecque continued to impress in his second season at McGill since transferring from NCAA team Clarkson Golden Knights, earning his second consecutive McGill Tribune male Athlete-of-the-year. This season, the Granby, Quebec-native and CIS All-Canadian was the highest scoring rearguard in the CIS and came third among all players in goals. He also topped the CIS in power play goals and led the Redmen to a 25-16-0 record this season.
The left-handed economics student earned the title of OUA Defenceman-of-the-year and set a McGill single-season record for points scored by a blueliner with a massive 44 on the season—16 goals and 28 assists. Labrecque was truly vital to the Redmen’s offence this season, being involved in 37.9 per cent of the team’s 116 goals.
In her last year with the Martlet track and field team, pentathlete Helena Reinfels achieved personal goals and broke league records thanks to her dedication and training. The 5’10” senior won a silver medal in the pentathlon at the CIS Championships with a score of 3686 points. The previous year, Reinfels finished ninth in the pentathlon despite having no experience in the shot-put or high jump, which are elements integral to the event. She currently holds the RSEQ record score for the pentathlon. Reinfels also competes in sprinting events, hurdles, and long jump. In addition to the pentathlon, she also qualified for the CIS Championships in the 300m sprint, hurdles, and long jump–electing to compete in the pentathlon and 300m sprint.
Reinfels’ silver medal in the pentathlon was the highest podium finish by the track and field Martlets at a CIS meet since 2005 and the best finish of an individual McGill track athlete since 2003. She also broke the McGill record for the pentathlon twice over – the first time at the McGill Team Challenge in January, and then again, breaking her own record at the CIS meet.
Teams of the Year
The Redmen Lacrosse team had a season for the ages this year. Going undefeated in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) regular season and playoffs, the Redmen defeated the Western Mustangs 15-11 in the Baggataway Cup to win their first title since 2012 and the second in the program’s history. Five players earned All-Star status, with William Waesche named the league’s top goaltender, Connor Goodwin the top midfielder, and Paul Rakoczy the top defenceman. Long stick midfielder Quinton Bradley and defensive midfielder Bohe Hosking joined them as CUFLA All-Stars.
“It’s really exciting, mission accomplished,” said 13-year veteran Head Coach Tim Murdoch. “To go undefeated, now that I reflect on it, is almost more of a feat than winning the championship itself. Our theme developed by the captains this year was ‘As one’ and we literally took that to heart.”
This was the fourth season in a row that McGill reached the final and will see many seniors graduate who played a role in each of those campaigns. Overall, the Redmen will lose 12 players to graduation this year, including all four co-captains.
The Martlet Basketball team completed its fifth straight year of domination in the RSEQ, once again taking home the RSEQ Championship Trophy after going (22-2) in the regular season. Though the team entered the CIS National Championship as the No.1 seed and with the best defensive record of any team, they failed to place in the tournament.
Despite this loss in the CIS, the Martlets still proved throughout the regular season that they were the team to beat. This powerhouse has been dutifully developed by Head Coach Ryan Thorne, who has just completed his 13th year with the team, and was crowned the 2016 CIS Coach-of-the-Year.
Thorne’s skill as a coach is easily matched by his team’s prowess. In their final season, co-captains Mariam Sylla and Dianna Ros were excellent on court all season, supported by former NCAA player Alex Kiss-Rusk, who was awarded All-Canadian honours this year. Even with the loss of Sylla and Ros, fans should look forward to a sixth consecutive RSEQ victory next season given that the team is stacked with strong rookie players—including Gladys Hakizimana, who received CIS All-Rookie honours—prepared to take the team back to Nationals.