Stefanie Smith and Corey Bellemore of the Lancer track and cross country teams were multiple winners at the Evening of Excellence awards banquet, Wednesday at the St. Clair Centre of the Arts, including the Banner and Olympic shields, respectively, as University of Windsor athletes of the year.
Bellemore established himself as one of the elite university runners in Canada this year, helping the men’s cross country team to a silver medal at the Ontario championships, finishing seventh overall to earn provincial all-conference honours. He also finished in the top 10 individually at the national championships while guiding Windsor to a silver-medal team finish.
On the inside track, Bellemore brought home four medals from the Ontario University Athletics championship meet, earning the track MVP title and leading the Blue and Gold to re-capture the OUA title. At nationals, he won gold in the men’s 600m and 4x800m relay, added a third medal in the 1000m and was named the outstanding performer of the meet to help the Lancers bring home their second-straight Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship.
Smith cruised through the cross country season in preparation for the OUA and CIS championship meets; she took bronze medals at both. Her all-Canadian status in cross country qualified her for a spot on the team representing Canada at the FISU World meet, in March in Italy.
Moving into the track and field season, Smith continued to gain momentum and turned in one of the most impressive three-week performances in school history. She broke three separate long-time school records in the 3000m, the mile and 1500m, including two held by Lancer legend Missy McCleary. She capped off her year at the OUA championship meet, where she earned another bronze medal in the women’s 3000m just prior to leaving for Italy.
The DeMarco Awards, presented annually to the female and male students that best combine academic achievement with athletic prowess, went to Akbal Gill of men’s soccer and Shannon Dean of women’s volleyball.
The Gino Fracas Coach of the Year Award was presented to Brett Lumley, who led the men’s track and field team to its 21st national team title.
Rookie of the year awards went to two basketball players: Kaylee Anagnostopoulos, earlier named to the national all-rookie team, and Isiah Osborne, CIS rookie of the year.
“A” Awards, marking major contributions to Lancer Athletics, went to Richard Mallat and Kathy Harvie. Both will retire in just over a week—Mallat after 43 years as lead equipment technician, and Harvie following 26 years as a Lancer athletic therapist.