Rob Asselstine, the Canadian champion cross-country runner from St. Lawrence College, is this year’s winner of the Gus Marker Trophy as Kingston’s amateur athlete of 2015.
The award was presented at a banquet hosted by the Kiwanis Club Thursday night at the Ambassador Hotel.
A third-year civil engineering technology student, and a graduate of Sydenham High School, Asselstine won the St. Lawrence Invitational meet to start the college cross-country season in September.
He followed that by winning the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association men’s championship on the same course in Brockville and he captured the Canadian college championship in November, ending an undefeated college season.
Asselstine was named male athlete of the year at St. Lawrence College in March, for his fifth-place performance at the 2014 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association championship.
Asselstine was chosen from among 14 finalists who emerged from those who were considered by a committee of Kiwanians and local media representatives.
The other finalists:
• A graduate of Napanee Secondary School, who has played rugby internationally for Canada since 2013, Benn made her debut on Canada’s women’s sevens team at the world rugby series in Atlanta in March and she was a member of Canada’s gold-medal winning women’s sevens team at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July.
• After leading Bayridge to the Kingston Area high school baseball championship in May, in August Brash won a bronze medal with the Ontario team at the Canada Cup tournament in Saskatoon and then helped the Kingston Thunder win the bronze medal at the Ontario Baseball Association midget championship tournament in Stratford.
In regular season, tournament and playoff competition with the Thunder, he posted an earned-run average of 1.19, and in 77 innings he struck out 146, while allowing just 48 hits and 17 walks, which led to his being named Eastern Ontario Baseball Association senior rep player of the year.
At Bayridge, Brash was the captain of the senior volleyball, basketball and baseball teams, and he was presented with the RMC Club award, which is given to the student who, by successful involvement in athletics, academics and leadership, is judged to be the best all-round student in the Grade 11 class.
Brash signed a national letter of intent to play baseball and study sports management at Division 1 Niagara University commencing in the fall of 2016.
• A past winner of the Marker trophy and a graduate of Kingston Collegiate, Crothers has been a member of Canada’s national rowing team since 2004. In the summer of 2015, he was part of the Canadian men’s four crew that placed third at the World Rowing Cup in Varese, Italy. Crothers won two gold medals in the Pan American Games in St. Catharines in July, as part of the Canadian men’s four and men’s eight crews, and he finished fourth as part of the Canadian men’s four at the world championships in Aiguebelette, France, in September.
• A Grade 10 student at Frontenac Secondary School, Horsman was undefeated in his midget high school track season over 100 metres through three invitational meets and the Kingston Area, eastern Ontario and East region championships, breaking records at both the KASSAA and EOSSAA meets. Over 200 metres he won four consecutive meets, again breaking KASSAA and EOSSAA records.
At the OFSAA provincial championship meet, Horsman won a silver medal in the midget boys 100 metres (losing by just four one-thousandths of a second) and a bronze medal in the 200 metres.
He won both the 100 and 200 metres at the Royal Canadian Legion provincial youth championships in London in July and was named to the Ontario team for the national Legion meet in Sherbrooke, Que., where he won the silver medal in the 200 metres and was a member of Ontario’s gold-medal 1,600-metre relay team.
Frontenac’s junior male athlete of the year, Horsman was a member of the school’s silver-medal junior boys volleyball team, and he was invited to play in the KASSAA all-star game. He was also was a defenceman on Frontenac’s KASSAA-champion hockey team that went on to reach the quarter-finals at the OFSAA championship tournament.
• Knox was both the most valuable player of the women’s basketball team, and female athlete of the year at St. Lawrence College in 2015. A graduate of Frontenac Secondary School, she ended her career as the Vikings’ all-time leading scorer, with 1,069 points.
Knox was eighth in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association with 14.3 points per game, though she was excused early from many of the Vikings’ blowout victories. Her field goal percentage (.515) and three-point shooting percentage (.417) were both second best in the province as she led St. Lawrence to a first-place finish and a No. 3 national ranking during the regular season. Named to the OCAA East division all-star team, Knox scored 30 points in a game in January, when St. Lawrence defeated the three-time defending champion Algonquin, that team’s first loss in 67 games over a span of more than three years.
A student at Kingston Collegiate, Linscott missed the entire spring track season with a femoral stress fracture but he resumed running in late August and, after finishing second at both the Kingston Area and eastern Ontario high school meets, he won an OFSAA cross-country title for the second year in a row, this time in senior boys division
Linscott later placed second in junior men’s division at the Canadian cross-country championships in November, where he qualified to be part of Canada’s team at the 2016 Pan American championships in March.
• A graduate of Frontenac Secondary and now a senior on the Dean’s list at the University of Minnesota, Leveille had four shutouts in the first half of the college season, through December, giving her a career total of 29.
As a junior in 2014-15, she was 28-3-3 and helped Minnesota win the national championship with a .946 save percentage, second-best in the nation, and a 1.18 goals-against average, third-best in the nation, numbers that led to her being named a third-team U.S. college hockey all-star.
Leveille was selected to Canada’s national women’s development team for the 2016 Nations Cup tournament in Germany, and she blanked Hungary 8-0 in a pre-tournament game in December.
• Leyenhorst successfully defended his gold-medal championship in the mountain bike event at the World Police and Fire Games in Virginia. He did so despite a crash near the end of the first lap of the race, where he broke a bone in his hand that rendered it impossible for him to use his front brake or access his water bottle. The injury, which required surgery the next day, meant Ron had to withdraw from the road race later in the games.
Leyenhorst retired in October after a career of 32 years as a Kingston Police officer. He now teaches part-time in the police foundations program at St. Lawrence College and is also a personal trainer and cycling coach.
• MacDougall began a busy international cross-country running season by winning a bronze medal at the inaugural Pan American Cup cross-country meet in Barranquilla, Colombia, helping the Canadian junior women to the team championship. She was later a member of the Canadian team at the world cross-country championships in Buiyang, China in March. She was the top Canadian finisher and though she was the third-youngest competitor in the elite 100-runner field, she finished 42nd.
After rehabbing an injury over the summer, MacDougall returned to the cross country course, winning the Kingston Area and eastern Ontario high school cross-country championships in October. She then finished fifth at the OFSAA meet in November, and later again qualified for the Canadian team that will compete at an international meet in Venezuela in March.
MacDougall accepted a full-ride athletic scholarship in November to attend Iowa State University, where she will study engineering next fall.
• A Grade 10 student at Regiopolis Notre Dame, MacDougall was undefeated in her first high school track season in both the 800 and 1,500 metres through the Kingston Area, eastern Ontario and East region meets. In the 1,500, she established a new meet record at each step, and she won a silver medal in at the Ontario high school championship meet.
In the summer, MacDougall ran the fastest 3,000-metre time of any 14-year-old girl in Canadian history, 9 minutes, 36 seconds.
In the fall cross-country season, racing up an age category in senior division, where she competed with runners as many as three years older than she was, MacDougall won a silver medal at OFSAA. Later, at the Athletics Ontario championships, again racing up a division, she again won the silver medal. To complete the season she won the Canadian youth cross-country championship, the first time an athlete from Kingston has done so.
• A Grade 9 student at Holy Cross Secondary School and a bantam-age competitor representing the Kingston and Area Wrestling Club, Vecchio was 29-3 in his age group in 2015. He won tournament titles at the National Capital Wrestling Festival, the Brock Junior Badgers Tournament, and the Whitby Classic.
Vecchio was Kingston’s first bantam-age wrestler to win a gold medal at the Canada East Wrestling Festival in May at Niagara Falls.
A student at Our Lady of Lourdes elementary school and a member of the Kingston and Area Wrestling Club, Vecchio was a perfect 25-0 in her age group in 2015, and she won all seven tournaments in which she competed during the year.
Among those victories was a gold-medal performance at the Ontario championships, and she was Kingston’s first female wrestler to win a gold medal at the Canada East Wrestling Festival.
As a Grade 7 athlete she won all four matches against high school competition at the Bill MacLeod Memorial tournament at Regiopolis Notre Dame.
• Wright, a graduate of Regiopolis Notre Dame, led the Queen’s Golden Gaels in scoring with an average of 13.8 points per game in the 2014-15 season. She reached double figures in scoring in eight of 12 games in the second half of the 2014-15 Ontario University Athletics season, including a career-best 35 points versus Western on Jan. 31. She was a double-digit scorer in nine of 12 games in the first half of the current season.
The fifth-year nursing science student was named an OUA East division first-team all-star for the second year in a row.