Saler and Post win Athlete of the Year Awards

    Vanessa Jarman, Austin Cole, and Shelaine Kozakavich also earned major awards on Thursday

    By Connor Hood on April 7, 2017

    Fifth-year University of Alberta Pandas goalie Lindsey Post has been named the winner of The Bakewell Trophy as the U of A’s 2016-17 Female Athlete of the Year, while fifth-year Golden Bears soccer defender Niko Saler has been awarded 2016-17 Wilson Challenge Trophy as the Male Athlete of the Year. The honours were bestowed at the annual Green and Gold Athletic Awards which were held on April 6th at the University of Alberta’s Myer Horowitz Theatre.

    Other Green and Gold winners include: Vanessa Jarman (Pandas Volleyball) as the Female Rookie of the Year, Austin Cole (Golden Bears Track & Field) as the Male Rookie of the Year, Shelaine Kozakavich (Pandas Basketball and Rugby) as the winner of the R.G. Glassford Award in coaching, while Fallon Dickie (Pandas Soccer) and Ed Ilnicki (Golden Bears Football) earned Block ‘A’ Rings.

    Morgan Patzelt (Pandas Rugby), Beatrice Morison (Pandas Volleyball Therapist), Nicole Poirier (Pandas Rugby), and Sarah Smyth (Pandas Soccer) were recipients of the Green and Gold Athletic Society (GGAS) awards as well.

    The Wilson Challenge Trophy, which has been awarded to the top male student-athlete at the U of A since 1934-35, went to Golden Bears soccer captain Niko Saler. This was the first time Saler has won the award, and comes off the heels of both a Canada West and CIS National Championship in 2016. Saler led all Canada West defenders with four goals and 11 points, being named a conference all-star for the fourth time, and a U SPORTS All-Canadian for the second-straight season. The Lethbridge, Alberta product finishes his Bears career as the highest scoring defender in program history, and a two-time program MVP.

    The Bakewell Trophy, awarded to the top female student-athlete who exhibits athletic prowess, leadership, character, and academic ability at the University of Alberta since its inception in 1948, went to Pandas veteran goalie Lindsey Post. Post, who hails from Chelsea, QC, capped her U SPORTS career by setting numerous school and conference records.

    Post ends her Pandas career as the program’s all-time leader in games played (92), wins (62), and minutes played (5,537). Her 1.21 career goals against average was a Pandas and Canada West record, while her 31 career shutouts are a Pandas, Canada West, and U SPORTS record.

    In her final tournament as a Panda, Post stopped 72 of 76 shots, being named the tournament MVP of the 2017 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship. In her final career game, which was arguably her best ever, Post stopped an incredible 40 shots as Alberta defeated McGill 2-1 in double overtime to win her first, and the Pandas eighth national championship.

    Vanessa Jarman, a rookie middle for the Canada West Champion Pandas Volleyball team, was named the U of A Female Rookie of the Year. Jarman played in 66 of the Pandas 82 sets in her freshman season, playing in every set in the Canada West playoffs and at the U SPORTS Championship. The Edmonton product averaged 1.00 blocks per set in 2016/17, the sixth-highest mark in Canada West, and was named to both the Canada West and U SPORTS All-Rookie team.

    The Male Rookie of the Year award went to Golden Bears Track and Field sprinter Austin Cole. Cole, a Sherwood Park native, earned two Canada West, and three U SPORTS medals in his freshman season for the Bears.

    In his first Canada West Championship, Cole earned a gold medal in the 4x400m relay, and a silver in the 300m dash, earning the conference’s Rookie of the Year award. He backed up that performance with an even better one at the 2017 U SPORTS Track & Field Championships in Edmonton. Cole earned a gold in the 300m, breaking a 25-year old program record in the process, adding another silver (4x400m) and a bronze medal (4x200m).

    Fallon Dickie (Pandas Soccer), and Ed Ilnicki (Golden Bears Football), received the Block ‘A’ Ring for their superior demonstration of exceptional contribution to university sport in the areas of athletics, academics, community support, and leadership.

    The R.G. Glassford Award went to former Pandas Basketball and Rugby coach Shelaine Kozakavich. The award is given annually to a coach who has demonstrated long-standing coaching excellence in teaching ability, knowledge of sport, and the ability to motivate the athletes he/she coaches.  The award, named after former Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, Dr. Gerry Glassford, is presented to either an assistant coach of a Golden Bears or Pandas team or to a coach outside of the University of Alberta system that has contributed significantly to the U of A programs.

    The GGAS is proud to celebrate its outstanding Golden Bears and Pandas alumni and supporters. Each year the Green and Gold Athletic Society will award members of the alumni community to celebrate the diverse ways in which they give back to their associations and the greater green and gold community.

    The inaugural recipient of the Honorary Alumni Award, which is awarded to an individual who supports any one of the Bears or Pandas athletic program(s), and/or an alumni association, was given to Beatrice Morison.

    Morison spent more than a decade as a student trainer, and later a Physiotherapist for the Pandas Volleyball team. 

    The winner of the Professional Alumnus Award, which is presented to the alumnus who demonstrates excellence, achievement and/or initiative in their chosen profession, was Nicole Poirier, from the Pandas soccer alumni.

    Nicole was a member of the Pandas soccer program from 1984-1989, and has been involved with event planning and coordination level for the City of Edmonton and the local sport community for over 10 years. She has been the Supervisor of Sport & Partnership Development, Park and Facility Development, and is now the Director of Civic Events & Partnership. Nicole has also been the Edmonton Bid Director for the 2015 Universiade Games, and Sport Director for the 2005 World Masters Games.

    The Community Service Award, which recognizes an alumnus that is or has provided leadership and or philanthropy within the community, was presented to Sarah Smyth.  

    Sarah is a graduate of the Pandas Soccer program, and earned a combined Physical Education and Recreation and Education degree in 2012. She has been involved in various community soccer programs since her graduation, including the Edmonton Strikers, the St. Albert Impact, and the Sherwood Park Phoenix. Sarah is also an advocate for developing physical literacy in young children as is demonstrated in her work running ‘Happy Feet Alberta’, a program for children aged 2-5 which focuses on the development of physical literacy, movement patterns, and a love for being active through games and soccer based activities.

    The Young Alumnus Award was awarded to Morgan Patzelt, as an alumnus who has been active and invested in her alumni association, and graduated as a student-athlete no more than five-years ago. Since graduating in 2014, Patzelt has been heavily involved in the Pandas Rugby Alumni Association, recently taking over as the associations President.

    The final Green and Gold Athletic Society Award was the Outstanding Contributor Scholarship Award, which is presented to a member of the University Athletics Board (UAB) who has contributed significant time and energy to the UAB and has displayed outstanding commitment and service to the Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics program. This year’s recipient was UAB President and member of Pandas Soccer, Fallon Dickie.