By Christopher Thrall –
In a new twist on Augustana’s April 8th Colour Night, the individual student athletic awards were handed out before the formal session began. More than 200 extremely well-dressed young athletes, their guests, and a variety of Faculty, staff and community members gathered in groups to cheer on their sport’s award winners. The hockey players displayed the most team spirit!
Greg Ryan, Director of Athletics, welcomed everyone to the Norsemen Inn. He listed the outstanding accomplishments of our athletes this year and encouraged them to take pride in their achievements. He then thanked everyone – from the coaches and staff to the sponsors and the athletes themselves – before inviting Augustana’s Vice-Dean, Dr. Ric Johnson, to speak. Dr. Johnson thanked Greg himself for his tireless efforts to promote Vikings Athletics.
After grace invoked by basketball’s Natasha Nagy and a tasty buffet dinner, the audience was treated to some insights from legendary broadcaster and journalist John Short. He shared anecdotes about Jarome Iginla and Gordie Howe, but also suggested that the young athletes consider their momentum. “You are at a time of tremendous growth,” he said, “and the decisions you make will have enormous effects on your lives.” Short encouraged the athletes to stay invested in their future and not to lose the momentum that they have built here at Augustana.
Following Mr. Short, Alberta Colleges Athletic League and Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference award winners were recognized, as were Canadian Colleges Athletic Association awards winners. National medallists – in cross-country skiing and biathlon – were celebrated, followed by the graduating student-athletes.
After David Arial’s slideshow of photos from the past year, the Special Awards were presented. Volunteer of the Year Jared Leeb was followed by Male and Female Rookies of the Year, Scholar Athletes of the Year, coaching awards, the Dean’s Award and Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Each announcement was met with a wave of applause and cheers.
Carly Shiell, Female Athlete of the Year, was overwhelmed by the unexpected honour. She wanted to thank her biathlon coach for his guidance and for the really great year. David Arial, cross-country runner and Male Athlete of the Year, was both humbled and appreciative. “There are only three words that come to mind at a time like this,” said Arial as he stood holding the massive trophy, “and those are passion, power and precision.”
Colour Night was a celebration of an outstanding season for Augustana’s student athletes, and recognition of the coaches and head coaches who took them as far as they could. However, Colour Night is also for the people who help run every game, for the sponsors who support our teams and for the fans who come out to cheer us on. Thanks to you, too.
- Volunteer of the Year: Jared Leeb, Men’s Basketball Asst. Coach
- Female Rookie of the Year: Meredith Carlson, Volleyball
- Male Rookie of the Year: Torrie Dyck, Hockey
- Scholar Athletes of the Year: Kelsey Anderson (Curling) and Steve Gross (Volleyball)
- Community Coaching Recognition Award: Brent Anderson
- Campus Coaching Recognition: Blaine Gusdal, Men’s Hockey
- Dean’s Award: Alicia Hurley, Biathlon and Cross-Country Running
- Male Athlete of the Year: David Ariel, Cross-Country Running
- Female Athlete of the Year: Carly Shiell, Biathlon
- Most Valuable: Bryn Petch
- Most Improved: Jayton Paul
- Most Dedicated: Nathan Pederson
- Most Valuable: Meredith Carlson
- Most Improved: Mesha Hauck
- Most Dedicated: Tamara Armstrong
- Most Valuable, Most Improved: Andrew Brisbin
- Most Valuable, Most Improved: Maja Zimmerman
- Most Valuable: David Ness
- Most Improved: Shayn Bruney/David Shantz
- Most Dedicated: Simon Irving
- Best Defensive: David Ness
- Rookie of the Year: Tony Nguyen
- Most Valuable: Amy Tweedie
- Most Improved: Chantal Heier
- Most Dedicated: Genna Flinkman
- Best Defensive: Alison Lundall
- Most Valuable: Kendall Warawa, Bettina Alder
- Most Improved: Alex Baron, Alison Owens
- Charles Morter Award: Bettina Alder
- Most Valuable: Kathryn Stone, David Arial
- Most Improved: Shara Harke, Andrew Brisbin
- Most Valuable: Torrie Dyck
- Most Improved: Dean Prpick
- Most Persistent: Stephen Cavanagh
- Rookie of the Year: Torrie Dyck
- Most Valuable: Johnny Forward
- Most Improved: Ryan Burlingame
- Most Valuable: Carly Shiell
- Most Improved: Alison Bortolon
Augustana’s Coaching Staff, 2009-2010