By Vern Christensen
Canadian athletes have won seven of the sixteen Athlete of the Year spots awarded by North, Central American and Caribbean Masters Athletics (NCCMA) for the year 2019, Canadian Masters Athletics (CMA) has announced. Based on nominations received from the countries in the Region, and voting by the NCCMA Board, awards were annoinced for Women and Men each in the categories of Sprints, Middle Distance, Long Distance, Throws, Jumps, Combined Events, Race Walks and the Overall Category.
The awards to Canadian athletes were led by W65 Karla Del Grande (Overall and Sprints winner) and M90 Earl Fee, the winner in the Overall category for the Men, who also placed second in the Sprints category. Other Canadian Women winners were W60 Liz Schad in Long Distance and W65 Kris Kozell in Race Walks, while M55 Paul Osland and M60 Jerry Kooymans won in Middle Distance and Long Distance, respectively.
In addition to the Canadian Regional winners in the 7 categories, the following Canadian athletes placed second in the voting in their categories: Women:- Jumps, W80 Christa Bortignon; and Combined Events, W50 Sunette Lessing. Men:- Sprints, W90 Earl Fee; Jumps and Combined Events, M45 Gezim Dimnaku; and Race Walks, M45 Dmitry Babenko.
Listed below are all of the Canadian winners, with the results of their events in 2019 for which they were nominated in their winning categories:
Women:- Overall and Sprints – Karla Del Grande – Indoor 200m WMA Championships, 29.73 WR; Indoor 400m WMA Championships, 68.39 WR; Outdoor 400m NCCMA Championships, 68.08 WR.
Long Distance – Liz Schad – 10K NCCMA Road Race, 45:13; Toronto 10K, 44:06; Run for the Toad 12.5K Trail Run, 1:10:22.
Race Walks – Kris Kozell – 5000m Track RW CMA Championships, 29:51.72; 10K Road Race Walk NCCMA Championships, 1:01:58; 1500m Track RW CMA Championships, 8:34.73.
Men:- Overall – Earl Fee – Indoor 400m Iowa Championships, 1:30.75 WR; Outdoor 400m NCCMA Championships, 1:29.15 WR; Outdoor 800m OMA Championships, 3:34.93 WR.
Middle Distance – Paul Osland – Indoor 800m WMA Championships, 2:08.12; Indoor 1500m WMA Championships, 4:27.19; Outdoor 800m AC Masters Event, 2:08.34.
Long Distance – Jerry Kooymans – Indoor 5000m OMA Mini Meet, 18:04.04; Outdoor 5000m NCCMA Championships, 18:47.56; Toronto 10K Road Race, 38:18.
The Regional winners in each of the 16 categories are entered into the competition with the winners from each of the other 5 Regions in the World for the World Masters Athletics (WMA) 2019 Best Athlete Awards, which will shortly result in the announcement by the WMA of World Bests in each of the categories.
The CMA wishes all of the Canadian winners good luck in the next level of these Annual Awards!