The Gee-Gees announced the winners of the Competitive Sport Clubs Awards for the 2019-2020 season today, with water polo player Raphaël Siegel and fencer Naomi Moindrot-Zilliox named as the club Athletes of the Year. The team MVPs, Award of Merit, Leadership and Engagement, and True Sport Award winners were also announced today.
Raphaël Siegel is a fourth-year and captain of the water polo team. A biology student from Châteauguay, Que., he is a key player in all matches and situations for the Gee-Gees and led the squad in scoring at the OUA Championship with 10 goals. Siegel also plays for Ottawa United alongside current and former national team members, Olympians and professional water polo players from around the world in the highest level of competition in Canada.
Naomi Moindrot-Zilliox captured the OUA individual gold medal in foil by going 15-0 at the 2020 Championship. Her performance also lifted the Gee-Gees to team gold in the foil. A third-year International Development and Globalization student from Montreal, she has also won a silver medal at the 2019 CFF National Championships in senior women's foil and two golds at the Quebec senior level. She has competed internationally, including World Cup and World championship events.
The Award of Merit is presented to those who best combine academics and athletics on a competitive sports club team. This year's winners are Connor McFaul from baseball and Kaitlyn Flear from fastball.
McFaul is a fifth-year Human Kinetics student involved in research working with Dr. Robidoux and Dr. Hoshizaki to identify head contact events in youth hockey at the bantam level. The research hopes to help develop age appropriate helmets for different levels based on the type of head contacts they are receiving. Connor has also dedicated time to help undergraduate students learn about research, explaining to them how a research project works and what they should be looking to do over the next couple of years if they are interested in academia. On the diamond, the Ottawa product is an experienced and knowledgeable veteran who shows extreme dedication and a willingness to work to improve both himself and help his teammates.
Flear is a second-year Biology student who is already making waves with her research work. She has completed the Undergraduate Research Scholarship the last two summers and is currentlyinvolved in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Flear has conducted a variety of experiments researching the effects of HIF-1alpha on the hypoxia response of adult and larval zebrafish. She was invited to present her data set at the Canadian Society of Zoology conference, and is an author on an abstract submitted by Carol Best for the 10th International Congress of Comparative Physiology and Biochemisty. Named the 2019 Clubs Athlete of the Year for her outstanding play on the field, Flear had another great season this year with a .370 batting average and eight stolen bases. Hailing from Sydenham, Ont., she also volunteers as an assistant coach both in Napanee and in Sydenham.
Nailah Taylor of the cheerleading team and Taylor McRae from equestrian were named co-winners of the Leadership and Engagement Award which recognizes excellence in team administration and contributions to the wider sport and student experience.
A two-year captain and team president, Taylor McRae serves as Vice-President of the Ontario Collegiate Equestrian Association and has been voted President for 2020-21. On event days, she coordinates with horse donors and sponsors to put on the best run competition possible, works with warm up riders and the governing organization to ensure that competitions are run safely and smoothly, connects with athletes and coaches from other schools to ensure the best day for everyone involved.
Nailah Taylor was an athlete on the team during her time as a student at the University and has now transitioned into the Director of the program and a Coach. She pushes boundaries within the sport and pushes her athletes to be the best versions of themselves in and out of cheer. She has truly shifted the way those within the University view cheerleading and was instrumental in the exposure Gee-Gees Cheer has across campus. From doing administrative work, planning practices, choreography, creating itineraries, designing clothing and uniforms, and organizing competitions and gamedays, Nailah does it all. Her impact will be long lasting for years to come.
Finally, Tegan Brolsma from the Nordic Skiing Team was voted as the True Sport Award winner. Tegan is a key member of the uOttawa Nordiq executive, providing valuable input into all team decisions and has greatly helped shape the role and values of the team. Often found teaching technique to newer skiers, advocating for the Ski Through School program to reduce female athlete dropout rates, or cooking team meals, Tegan's True Sport Award was cemented when she acted unselfishly during the OUA Championships. During the 15 kilometre classic event, Tegan saw an injured Carleton athlete on the race course and abandoned her own race to help the athlete out. A Biotechnology student from Calgary, Brolsma showed professionalism and poise in addition to compassion, and was applauded by the doctors who arrived on the scene for her good work.
The Gee-Gees would like to thank all those who took time to nominate student-athletes and coaches for this year's awards. The sport community at uOttawa reflected in all nominees and winners is thriving due to the efforts and passion of so many. For past winners of Competitive Sports Clubs Major Awards, click here.
The 2019-2020 Competitive Sports Club MVPs are:
Artistic Swimming: Gillian King – Pscyhology, Newmarket Ont.
Badminton: Cedric Hupé-Pageau – Mechanical Engineering, Gatineau Que.
Baseball: Matthew Brown – Marketing, Kitchener Ont.
Cheerleading: Sam Northcut – Biomedical Sciences, Newmarket Ont.
Dance: Caitlin Ennis – Health Sciences, Caledon Ont.
Equestrian: Taylor McRae – Politcal Science, London Ont.
Fastball: Camille Dubé - Lettres Francaises, Barrie Ont.
Fencing (m): Luis Acosta – Information Technology, Querétaro Mexico
Fencing (f): Stephanie Prystupa-Maule – Health Sciences, Ottawa Ont.
Golf (f): Maddie MacMillan – Communications and Sociology, Waterloo Ont.
Lacrosse: Evan Fox – Psychology, Saskatoon Sask.
Nordic Skiing (f): Katherine Denis – Human Kinetics, Temiskaming Shores Ont.
Nordic Skiing (m): Frederick Serratore – Human Kinetics, Thunder Bay Ont.
Ringette: Mariève Vandervoort – Health Sciences, Ottawa Ont.
Soccer: Nicholas Aramouni – Communications, Ottawa Ont.
Ultimate (m): Ben Willemsen – Mechanical Engineering, Moncton NB
Ultimate (f): Cassandra Jaffray – Criminology, Ottawa Ont.
Volleyball: Daniel Proteau – Accounting, Ottawa Ont.
Water Polo (f): Tara Hristov - English Common Law - Juris Doctor, Ottawa Ont.
Water Polo (m): Raphaël Siegel – Biology, Châteauguay Que.