2019-20 ‘Tribune’ end-of-year athletics awards

Team of the year: Men’s swimming

McGill Swimming excelled this year, with both the men’s and women’s teams finishing in first place at the RSEQ Championships. At the National Championships, the men’s side placed fourth overall and earned four medals for the first time since 2009. Second-year Clement Secchi stood out, winning two gold medals and one bronze, as well as setting a blazing-fast Nationals record of 25.82 seconds in the 50 metre backstroke. Secchi has driven McGill’s turnaround in men’s swimming in the last two seasons, pushing them higher in the rankings than they have been in years past.

Coach of the year: Peter Carpenter (Men’s swimming)

Much of McGill Swimming’s success this season can be attributed to Head Coach Peter Carpenter. In 2020, Carpenter was awarded Fox 40 Men’s Coach of the Year and RSEQ Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year

“[Carpenter] has definitely changed me as an athlete,” RSEQ Rookie of the Year Daphne Danyluk said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “I used to be very anxious about my [performance], which obviously did not lead to the […] results that I wanted. He helped me to have fun and enjoy the sport once again.” 

Female athlete of the year: Maria Gheta (Artistic swimming)

Second-year Maria Gheta led the women’s artistic swimming team to their second consecutive—and 16th overall—national championship title. Gheta’s season featured several remarkable performances, including a duet with her sister Ioana Gheta that earned them first place in the Canadian University Artistic Swimming Finals. She was named Athlete of the Week by McGill Athletics on several occasions. Gheta is leading McGill Athletics in perhaps its most dominant stretch in any sport and will continue to do so in the years to come.

Male athlete of the year: Jamal Mayali (Men’s basketball)

Averaging 17.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in league play during the 2019-2020 season, third-year shooting guard Jamal Mayali led the McGill men’s basketball team to a conference record of 12–4. This was enough to secure the number-one seed in the RSEQ postseason tournament. Mayali’s crafty shooting and foul-drawing style of offence allowed the team to work like a well-oiled machine, with wide floor spacing that kept the lane clear. Mayali’s efforts this season earned him a First Team All-star selection from the RSEQ. 

Female rookie of the year: Ariel Carignan (Women’s soccer)

First-year centre back Ariel Carignan came in blazing for the Martlets. Fresh off a promising season at Collège de Sherbrooke, Carignan did not want for highlights this season, ending a six-year losing streak to the Université de Montréal Carabins in October with a curling free kick to win 1–0. This performance earned her an Athlete of the Week from McGill Athletics and RSEQ All-Rookie Team merits. Carignan’s performance helped the Martlets finish the season with an impressive record of 9–4–1. With three years of eligibility left, it is safe to say that we can expect more highlights from Carignan in the years to come. 

Male rookie of the year: Cameron Elliot (Men’s basketball)

First-year guard Cameron Elliot had an outstanding season with McGill men’s basketball: He led the team in assists with 93 on the season, almost 30 more than second-place teammate Quarry Whynne, and was third in minutes played for McGill. This well-rounded performance earned Elliot a spot on the RSEQ All-Rookie Team. As well, the guard’s proficiency as an unselfish playmaker bodes well to the future of McGill basketball.

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