Canadian Masters Athletics has announced the winners of its annual awards, including the 2017 Athletes of the Year and the 2018 inductees into the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame
2017 ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Based on nominations received and votes cast by the CMA Board, the 2017 Athletes of the Year have been named in four categories of athletics, each of which has been named after a masters athlete who was prominent in the appropriate discipline, and is either still active or was active in the past, as identified below.
The following are the recipients of the 2017 Canadian Masters Athletes of the Year Awards:
Carol LaFayette-Boyd from Regina, Saskatchewan is the winner of the Earl Fee Award. In 2017, before turning 75, Carol set a W70 Canadian record twice in the 60m Indoors and won three W70 Gold Medals in the CMA Indoor Championships. After turning 75, Carol set Canadian and World W75 Outdoor records twice each in the 100m and 200m, while winning 3 Gold Medals in the combined CMA/NCCWMA Outdoor Championships in Toronto. NCCWMA named Carol Overall Female Best Master of 2017, as well as best in the Sprints category, and the WMA named her the World best in the category of Sprints.
Runners-up for this award were Dmitry Babenko, M40 BC; Yvan Bechard, M55 QC; Christa Bortignon, W80 BC; Karla Del Grande, W60 ON; and Paul Osland, M50 ON.
This award is named after Earl Fee, the great masters middle distance track athlete who, at age 89, is still active and still holds many Canadian and World records, and continues to inspire others.
In addition to winning the award for Track Events, Carol LaFayette-Boyd has been chosen as the winner of the Field Events Award. At the CMA Indoor Championships in March, Carol won W70 Gold Medals in the high Jump, Long Jump and Triple Jump. In the Outdoor season, she set Canadian and World W75 records in all three jumps, including winning Gold Medals in the three events at the combined CMA/NCCWMA Championships. NCCWMA named Carol 2017 Female Best Master in the Jumps category.
Runners-up in this category were Christa Bortignon, W80 BC; Gezim Dimnaku, M45 AB; and Hardeep Kaur, W40 BC.
This award is named after the late Olga Kotelko, who set more age group World records than any other athlete, in all age groups from 80 to 95 years of age, and has been an inspiration to many people Worldwide, and a great ambassador for Masters track and field.
Reidar Zapf-Gilje from Vancouver is the repeat winner of the Ian Hume Award. In 2017, Reidar won Gold medals in each of the three Pentathlons and the three Throws Pentathlons in which he competed. These included wins in the Pentathlon and Throws Pentathlon in the BC 55+ Games, the Pentathlon and the Throws Pentathlon at Norwegian meets, the Throws Pentathlon at the BC Ultra Throws Meet and the Pentathlon at the combined CMA/NCCWMA Outdoor Championships in Toronto, in which he won Gold, set a Canadian record and recorded the best M65 Pentathlon in the World in 2017.
Runners-up to Reidar for this award were Yannick Le Mouël, M45 QC; Doug Renwick, M75 SK; and Peter Zowkewych, M65 ON.
This award is named after the late Ian Hume who, beginning with the first World Masters Championships in Toronto in 1975 and for a period of 25 years, won 29 World Championship medals and set 40 World records in 9 events, including the Pentathlon and the Decathlon.
Louise Voghel, from St-Armand, Quebec, is the winner of the Ed Whitlock Award. In 2017, Louise placed first in the W60-64 age group in the Boston Marathon, with an excellent time of 3:18.53, which she surpassed in winning her age group in the Marathon de Québec in August in 3:18.11, one of the best marathon times recorded in her age group in 2017. Louise also competed in eight 10K races in Quebec in 2017, placing first in her age group in seven and third in one, as well as placing first in her age group in the other races in which she competed, a 5K, a Half Marathon and another Marathon.
Runners-up in this category were Jillian Fong, W50 BC; Paula James, W40 NS; Morag McDonah, W60 NS; Kevin O’Connor, M50 BC; and Elizabeth Waywell, W55 ON.
This award is named after the late Ed Whitlock, the road racing legend who, at age 69, became the oldest man to run a marathon in under 3 hours, and today still holds dozens of Canadian Road records, as well as World records in the Marathon for M70, M75, M80 and M85.
2018 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Based on recommendations made by the Hall of Fame Committee, the CMA Board inducts into the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame individuals who are judged to have made significant contributions to masters athletics in Canada, in either of two categories – as Athletes or as Executives/Administrators.
For the year 2018, two individuals will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, in the category of Athletes, Christa Bortignon from West Vancouver, BC, and Maureen de St Croix from Surrey, BC.
Since joining the CMA in 2009, at the age of 72, Christa Bortignon has won 61 Canadian Championship medals over ten Championships, five indoor and five outdoor, and has won thirty-four WMA Championship medals as well. She has also won medals at NCCWMA, US Masters Championships and World Masters Games. She has set forty-seven individual CMA records and four relay records. She has also broken nineteen WMA records in the W75 and W80 age groups. In honour of the eight gold medals which she won at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Brazil in 2013, Christa was chosen by World Masters Athletics as the female Best Athlete of the Year for 2013.
Maureen de St Croix represented Canada as a senior athlete in the Commonwealth Games, World Cross Country Championships and Ekiden relays. She has competed as a master for twenty years, retiring in 2013. During that time, she competed in eight WAVA/WMA Championships, six Outdoor, one Indoor and one Non-Stadia, in which she won seventeen WAVA/WMA medals, twelve Gold, four Silver and one Bronze. She has set eleven Canadian masters records, four of which were World records. Seven of her Canadian records still stand, two of them for seventeen years – W45 800m and 1 Mile, from 2001.
PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
The Athlete of the Year and the Hall of Fame awards will be presented at the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame and Awards Gala, being held in Ottawa in July, in conjunction with AC’s 2018 Canadian Track & Field Championships. Additionally, the recipients will be invited to receive their awards at the CMA Awards Event, to be held in conjunction with the CMA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, on Saturday, August 4, 2018 in South Surrey, BC, or at other suitable occasions chosen by the winners.
For information, please contact:
Vern Christensen Paul Osland
(photo of Carol in the LJ courtesy Rob Jerome)