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Genevieve Lacasse is Kingston's athlete of the year
Posted: February 13th, 2014 @ 10:53pm
Genevieve Lacasse was named Thursday night as the 34th winner of the Gus Marker Trophy as Kingston's amateur athlete of the year.
The announcement was made at a banquet at the Ambassador Hotel, where the Kiwanis Club honoured 11 finalists and three builders.
Lacasse, who was not present - since she's with Canada's women's hockey team at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi - was the outstanding goaltender in the Canadian Women's Hockey League in 2012-13. With the Boston Blades she was 13-1 with a 1.26 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. She won both her starts in the Clarkson Cup championship tournament, with a shutout win over Brampton in the semifinals and a 5-2 win over Montreal in the championship game, a contest where she made 40 saves.
A member of Canada's team at the world championship tournament in Ottawa in April, Lacasse defeated the U.S. 4-2 at the Four Nations Cup tournament in November.
The other finalists recognized Thursday were:
* Kyle Aylesworth, a lacrosse player with the junior Kingston Kings and the Ohio Valley University Fighting Scots, who had the best year of his junior career with 32 goals and 58 points in 16 games for the Kings. In his freshman college season led his team with 46 goals and 54 points and was twice named conference rookie of the week.
* Isiah Higgs, a paddler with the Gananoque Canoe Club, who won a gold medal at the national championships in the men's under-16 200 metres.
* Kerr Hutchinson, a fencer who won the gold medal in junior men's epee at the national championships in Gatineau, Que., in May and represented Canada at the World Student Games in Russia.
* Austin James, a golfer who won the Quebec Junior Open and Eastern Canadian junior championship, among several Top 10 finishes in tournaments across the country. James was also a member of the Ontario team that won the silver medal at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke in August.
* Owen Klassen, a basketball player at Acadia University who was a member of the Canadian team that finished fourth at the World Student Games in Russia last July. Klassen averaged 17.8 points per game in the playoffs as Acadia won the Atlantic conference championship.
* Evan McNeely, a mountain biker who was second at the national championship and was a member of the Canadian team at the world championship in South Africa. McNeely, who couldn't attend Thursday's gala because he's at a national team training camp in California, was named Ontario cyclocross athlete of the year in 2013.
* Conor Rodrigues, a golfer bound for a scholarship at East Tennessee State University after he won an American Junior Golf Association tournament in Massachusetts and was second at the CJGA championship in London in August. Rodrigues also won the men's and junior men's titles at Cataraqui Golf and Country Club.
* Ali Rosen, a boxer who won the Ontario Golden Gloves women's light welterweight championship and, after an undefeated season, was named the Ontario Boxing Association's female boxer of the year.
* T.J. Taylor, a wrestler who defended his Ontario bantam championship by not only going undefeated at the provincial tournament but doing so without surrendering a point.
* Natalie Vecchio, a wrestler who enjoyed an undefeated - 21-0 - season, though at the age of nine was competing against opponents a year older than she was. She was also a member of the Kingston Elite All-Star team that won a provincial championship in the 11-14 age group.
The three builders who were recognized by the Kiwanis Club were Sandy Han, whose name has come to be synonymous with competitive cheerleading for her efforts as an organizer and coach; Doug Jeffries, for almost 40 years a supporter of local athletics as a broadcast journalist, and Jamie Turcotte, who Thursday night paid tribute to Knights of Columbus Basketball League founder Pete Peterson as the inspiration for 40 years of involvement in coaching, organizing and officiating various youth sports.
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