Toronto’s Lucia Stafford and Windsor’s Sarah Mitton were honoured Thursday morning as the U SPORTS Track and Field Athletes of the Year on the women’s side, as the national season award winners were celebrated at the annual awards luncheon.
Stafford was named the outstanding performer in track events, Mitton captured field MVP honours, Montreal’s Audrey Jackson earned the Rookie of the Year and StFX’s Beth Lawrence took home the Student-Athlete Community Service Award.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (TRACK EVENTS): Lucia Stafford, Toronto
Second-year standout Lucia Stafford earned the Dr. Wendy Jerome Trophy as OUA’s most valuable performer in women’s track and field following a dominant performance at the conference championships two weeks ago.
Stafford was nothing short of golden over the two-day OUA championships. On Day 1, the Toronto native took home the 1000m title, leading the race right from the gun en route to running an impressive 2:45.48.
Later that evening, she anchored her team to a 4
x800m gold medal, where her relay ran a nation’s best time of 8:52.23. Stafford then came back the next day to finish the job in the 1500m, where she crossed the line first in a time of 4:28.73.
Lucia is one of the most selfless young women I have had the privilege of coaching in our program. She is bright, talented and she is the ultimate teammate. Lucia has clearly demonstrated that she is and will be one of the very best middle distance athletes in the country.
Carl Georgevski – Varsity Blues head coach
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (FIELD EVENTS): Sarah Mitton, Windsor
Entering the OUA Championships as the defending champ and No. 1 nationally ranked thrower in the shot put event, Mitton beat out the competition on Day 1 by almost three meters, throwing an impressive 16.82m for her efforts, to not only set a new personal best but also set a new Lancer record. This was the second time the Brooklyn, N.S. native broke the Lancer record in the event this year, after setting a new marker in her first meet of the year at Windsor’s Blue & Gold meet.
She followed that up with a throw of 16.47m in the weight throw competition the very next morning, which also helped her capture gold in the event and becoming No. 2 in the national rankings.
Sarah has been a key member in the success of our women’s team this year through her leadership both at practice and outside. Sarah’s ability to be successful as a student-athlete is a reflection of her ability to be organized and her strong work ethic.
Colin Inglis –
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Audrey Jackson, Montreal
Audrey Jackson had a sensational start on the university scene with the Carabins. In her first season, the medical student established herself as one of the most dominant athletes in Quebec.
At the RSEQ championships, the 19-year-old won the 300m, in addition to helping the Carabins capture gold in the 4x200m relay. Finally, she added two bronze medals to her collection in the 60m and in the 4x400m relay.
“Audrey is a medical student who wholeheartedly wanted to join the Carabins. She’s truly a high-level athlete who is with us by choice,” said Carabins head coach Éric Janvier. “She’s an outstanding ambassador. She sets the bar for our team and she’s the perfect example that it’s possible to excel in school and in sport. People around her want to be better because they want to support her.”
Éric Janvier – Carabins head coach
STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Beth Lawrence, StFX
Beth Lawrence, a sprinter from Ardoise, N.S. is in her fourth year in the Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics program at StFX University and has extensive community service involvement. This year she was the co-founder/coordinator of the newly established SAMHI (Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative) Campus Team at StFX where she helped organize and lead several events for student-athletes to promote wellness and mental health. Beth volunteered with the MAX program at the university which is an inclusive recreation program featuring sledge hockey, skating and aquatics for children and adults with varying disabilities.
Through various service learning programs she has designed and lead physical activity sessions for elementary special education students, provided inclusive physical activity opportunities for members of the local CACL community, focused on one-one settings with AHDA children and adults with special needs pertaining to mental health and obesity, and lent her time to the Fit 4 Tots and Fit for Life programs promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles for both toddlers and school aged children.
A member of the StFX Leadership Academy, Beth has volunteered at a local nursing home alongside an occupational therapist in the rehabilitation facility, with the Antigonish Multisport Program teaching basic fundamental motor skills in various sports, and with the Halloween Safe Crossing program. Trained through the safeTALK program for suicide awareness, and the Bringing in the Bystander program for the prevention of violence against women, Beth also volunteered her time with Bell Let’s Talk Day and the StFX Student-Athletes for Charity multisport event. Rounding out her time she also volunteered at a physiotherapy clinic and helped coach high school track and field in her hometown in the off-season.