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Brennan, Miller up for top conference award

Logan Brennan and Antoinette Miller were named the Wesmen athletes of the year and will now be up for the Canada West awards. (Kelly Morton photo)
Logan Brennan and Antoinette Miller were named the Wesmen athletes of the year and will now be up for the Canada West awards. (Kelly Morton photo)

BY CANADA WEST STAFF, with files from Wesmen Athletics

EDMONTON – When Regina's Atlee Simon and Kyanna Giles claimed their school's athlete of the year honours last Thursday night, the Canada West member awards season officially ended.

Simon and Giles were honoured by the Rams and Cougars after their tremendous football and basketball seasons respectively, completing the CW list of top athletes from the 2017-18 season.

Now the focus shifts to the conference athlete of the year awards, which will be announced in conjunction with U SPORTS at a later date, and then the national stage. The BLG Awards, which honour the top athletes in U SPORTS, will be handed out Monday, June 4 in Vancouver as part of the U SPORTS annual general meeting.

Two Wesmen athletes will have their names forwarded for consideration to the conference athlete of the year awards. Logan Brennan, the fifth-year men's volleyball libero, and Antoinette Miller, a fifth-year point guard with the Wesmen women's basketball team, were named the U of W's athletes of the year at a banquet last month.

Miller, who played two seasons with the Wesmen and was a first-team all-Canadian both years, capped her eligibility by being named the Canada West outstanding player of the year and defensive player of the year. She became the first woman in Canada West history to win both of those awards in back-to-back years.

Brennan, a native of Bragg Creek, Alta., was a second-team all-Canada West selection and won the Dale Iwanoczko Award nationally for his academics and community service.

On the court, Brennan was one of the top defensive presences in Canada, notching 219 digs to finish third in the nation in that category. He was fourth in digs per set (2.31) in Canada West and 10th in Canada. Brennan showed his versatility and importance late in the season when two of U of W's top attackers, David Bommersbach and Taylor Howe, went down to lengthy injuries. In their absence, the 5-foot-11 Brennan stepped into a vacated left-side position and played an attacking role for the first time in his university career.

PREVIOUS CW ATHLETES OF THE YEAR / BLG NOMINEES

In terms of sports, volleyball led the way in producing CW athletes of the year with eight winners (four men and four women). Included among the volleyball winners is Trinity Western's Adam Schriemer, who was the U SPORTS Player of the Year in his fifth and final season.

While there are plenty of strong candidates worthy of the CW Athlete of the Year honours, two of the strongest resumes belong to Alberta's Ed Ilnicki and Calgary's Temitope Ogunjimi respectively.

Ilnicki completed one of the best seasons in Golden Bears and Canada West football history in 2017, winning both the conference and national player of the year awards. The fifth-year running back set a new single-season Canada West rushing record with 1,468 rushing yards, while also leading the country with 11 rushing touchdowns. On top of his athletic accomplishments, Ilnicki also spent the year as the President of the University Athletics Board, winning the Canada West Football Student-Athlete Community Service Award.

Meanwhile, Ogunjimi was a two-sport standout with the Dinos, wrapping up her career as one of the most decorated athletes in Calgary history, winning five Canada West wrestling gold medals and adding a pair of rugby conference championships.

On the pitch this season, she helped lead the Dinos to a second straight CW rugby championship. As a wrestler, Ogunjimi was the conference champion at 67 kilograms and then captured a national gold medal in her final university bout, while claiming U SPORTS outstanding wrestler honours in addition to the national student-athlete community service award.

Conference members will now vote for the CW Athletes of the Year, who will look to claim the national honours in June. The CW BLG nominees will be joined by the nominees from the three other U SPORTS conferences – Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), and Ontario University Athletics (OUA).

The eight nominees are considered for the BLG Awards based on their athletic accomplishment, outstanding sportsmanship and demonstrated leadership. The Canadian Athletic Foundation – a non-profit board established to administer the Awards – serves to protect the integrity of the selection process and select winners.

2017-18 CANADA WEST MEMBER ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

 

MEMBER

MALE ATHLETE

FEMALE ATHLETE

STORY LINK

Alberta

Ed Ilnicki (football)

Kristina Sanjevic (tennis)

Click here

Brandon

Elliott Viles (volleyball)

Mary Thomson (volleyball)

Click here

UBC

Byron Keturakis (VB) / John Gay (XC)

Kat Kennedy (golf)

Click here

UBC Okanagan

Mitch McCaw (soccer) & James Casorso (golf)

Veronika Fagan (XC)

Click here / here

Calgary

Mambi Diawara & David Kapinga (basketball)

Temitope Ogunjimi (rugby & wrestling)

Click here

Fraser Valley

Brad Hildenbrandt (wrestling) &Dan Campbell (golf)

Karla Godinez Gonzalez (wrestling)

Click here

Lethbridge

Aaron Hernandez (track & field)

Sandra Latrace (track & field)

Click here

Manitoba

Justus Alleyn (basketball)

Venla Hovi (hockey)

Click here

MacEwan

Brett Njaa (hockey)

Cassidy Kinsella (volleyball)

Click here

Mount Royal

Jesse Lees (hockey)

Alex Donaghy (volleyball)

Click here

UNBC

Gordon Hall (soccer)

Vasiliki Louka (basketball)

Click here

Regina

Atlee Simon (football)

Kyanna Giles (basketball

Click here

Saskatchewan*

Kieran Johnston (track & field)

Julie Labach (track & field)

Click here

Thompson Rivers

Mitchell Popadynetz (soccer)

Rachel Windhorst (volleyball)

Click here

Trinity Western

Adam Schriemer (volleyball)

Regan Yee (XC / track & field)

Click here

Victoria

Patrick Keane (rowing)

Puck Louwes (soccer) & Caileigh Filmer (rowing)

Click here

Winnipeg

Logan Brennan (volleyball)

Antoinette Miller (basketball)

Click here

 

NOTES: Winners in programs that did not compete in CW during the 2017-18 season are denoted in italics. Members with winners from non-CW programs will select an alternate athlete from a U SPORTS sanctioned sport to be their nominee for the conference athlete of the year voting process.

*Saskatchewan's male BLG nominee is Kendall McFaull from men's hockey.

About Canada West:

Canada West (CW) is the leading university athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel in the classroom and their communities. Canada West and our 17 members from across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba collectively carry on a legacy of competitive excellence, as our champions proudly go on to represent the conference at U SPORTS national championships.