Four members of SwimBC were recently announced as finalists for the 2014 Sport BC Athlete of the Year awards.
With three of them being members of the Victoria Academy of Swimming, it was no surprise that Head Coach, Randy Bennett was named as one of the finalists for Coach of the Year.
Similarly, it followed logically his two most successful swimmers at least year's FINA World Aquatics Championships would be recognized in their respective Athlete of the Year categories.
Ryan Cochrane, who won silver medals in both the 800 and 1500 Free at 2013 FINA World Championships is one of the three finalists for Senior Male Athlete of the Year, while one of his training partners, Hilary Caldwell, who represents her home club of the Pacific Sea Wolves in White Rock, is one of the finalists for Senior Female Athlete of the Year. Hilary won her first major international medal last year, taking the bronze in the women's 200 back at the FINA World Championships.
Also making the cut as one of the finalists was Brianna Nelson, who represents Island Swimming (as does Ryan Cochrane). Brianna was recognized in the "Athlete with a Disability" category, based on her gold- and silver-medal-winning performances at the 2013 IPC World Championships.
Below is the full list of finalists in all eighteen awards categories.
The awards will be presented in a ceremony on March 5, 2014, at the Fairmont Vancouver downtown.
Male Coach of the Year
- Randy Bennett (Victoria) – Swimming
- Victor Gantsevich (Richmond) – Fencing
- Graham Thomas (Vancouver) – Hockey
Female Senior Athlete of the Year
- Stacie Anaka (Burnaby) – Wrestling
- Hilary Caldwell (White Rock) – Swimming
- Kim Gaucher (Mission) – Basketball
Male Senior Athlete of the Year
- Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops) – Athletics - track and field
- Ryan Cochrane (Victoria) – Swimming
- Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops) – Basketball
Athlete with a Disability
- Sonja Gaudet (Vernon) – Wheelchair curling
- Brianna Nelson (North Saanich) – Swimming
- Michelle Stilwell (Parksville) – Wheelchair athletics
College Athlete of the Year
- Alanna Bekkering (Kamloops) – Soccer
- RuiLin Huang (Burnaby) – Badminton
- Kayla Unger (Abbotsford) – Volleyball
Female Coach of the Year
- Kim Chapdelaine (Abbotsford) – Athletics - track and field
- Tracy David (Victoria) – Soccer
- Jen Ross (Abbotsford) – Rugby
Female High School Athlete of the Year
- Asianna Covington (Surrey) – Athletics - track and field
- Emma Entzminger (Victoria) – Volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer
- Emma Wolfram (Kamloops) – Basketball
Male High School Athlete of the Year
- Lars Bornemann (Victoria) – Volleyball, basketball and track and field
- Marcus Davis (Saanichton) – Football
- Amarveer Dhesi (Surrey) – Wrestling
Female Junior Athlete of the Year
- Georgia Ellenwood (Langley) – Athletics - track and field
- Taylor Kim (Surrey) – Golf
- Emma von Dadelszen (Vancouver) – Fencing
Male Junior Athlete of the Year
- Kyle Carragher (Port Coquitlam) – Gymnastics
- Dylan French (Richmond) – Fencing
- Kevin Kwon (Maple Ridge) – Golf
Master Athlete of the Year
- Christa Bortignon (West Vancouver) – Athletics
- Gerry Poulton (Victoria) – Squash
- Dr. Cathryn Zeglinski (Vancouver) – Cross-country mountain bike
Official of the Year
- Len Apedaile (Black Creek) – Cross-country skiing
- Dale Jackson (Victoria) – Golf
- Steve Papp (Saanichton) – Hockey
Team of the Year?
- Team McNamara (Delta) – Beach volleyball
- Trinity Western University women's soccer (Langley)
- University of British Columbia men's soccer (Vancouver)
University Athlete of the Year
- Maxwell Lattimer (Delta) – Rowing
- Shanice Marcelle (Victoria) – Volleyball
- Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (Vernon) – Basketball
An additional four awards will be presented at the ceremony including Best of B.C., Community champion, Harry Jerome comeback and the Daryl Thompson lifetime achievement award.
About the Athlete of the Year Awards
The Athlete of the Year Awards, founded by Sport B.C., is the longest standing sport recognition event in Canada. Awards in 17 different categories are given each year to athletes, coaches, and officials on their performance and contribution to sport in our province. The awards play a valuable role in nurturing athletic success and recognizing some of BC's growing talents.
Also included as part of the evening's celebration of sport is the presentation of the annual President's awards. Now in its 20th year, the President's awards are presented to volunteers from Sport B.C. member organizations who represent the spirit of volunteerism, and whose dedication, energy, and commitment contribute to development of their respective sport or organization.