Although Terry White spent the most time at the podium, last Thursday night belonged to the Dinos athletes. It was, after all, the Night of the Dino.
In a quicker ceremony than previous years, the University of Calgary Athletic Department handed out its annual hardware, cumulating with the Dr. Dennis Kadatz Athlete of the Year awards.
I handed out the Gauntlet Extra Effort Awards (which go to a male and female athlete in recognition of their dedication, hard work and perseverance in Dino athletics) to Janet Bang (see profile on page 25) and P.J. Shea. Fourth-year Dino Bang was the senior member of a rebuilding volleyball team that started four rookies, and put forth some great defensive and offensive efforts. First-year Dino Shea came to the football team as a walk-on and wound up finishing seventh in the country with 51 unassisted tackles.
"This means I can get a lot better," said Shea, "if I put in more effort, with another year under my belt."
The first-ever Bill Popplewell Rookie of the Year awards were handed out to Amanda Moppett and Trevor Phillips. Moppett, also from the women’s volleyball team, led the team statistically and captured the national Rookie of the Year Award. Phillips won a gold medal for the Dinos at the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union track and field championships and set a new CIAU meet record in the pentathlon.
The Booster Club Scholar Athlete Awards went to last year’s Gauntlet award winner Kelly Matheson and D.J. LeDrew. (Not "J.D.," Peter Watts. You watch too much baseball.) A fifth-year midfielder on the women’s soccer team, Matheson played much of the year injured and was named a Canada West all-star in addition to picking up a 3.87 GPA and being an Alberta finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. LeDrew, a fourth-year wrestler, won gold medals in the 76kg class at the Canada West and CIAU championships while achieving a 3.7 GPA
The athletes of the year, as expected, were Leighann Doan and Andy Hutchinson (see profile on page 25). Doan, the CIAU’s women’s basketball player of the year and scoring leader led her team to a second-place finish at the national championship. Hutchinson captured gold medals in the 57kg division at the Canada West and CIAU championships, and also led his team to a second-place finish at the national championships.
"I felt very honoured," said Doan, "to be recognized with all the athletes that have won it before; there are some big names."
Keeping with the modesty that has carried her all season, Doan acknowledged her teammates upon winning.
"It speaks for the team, not just for me personally."