Derek Drouin takes top honours; Athletics Canada reveals 2013 annual award winners

December 10, 2013

OTTAWA - Athletics Canada unveiled today its 2013 annual award winners with Derek Drouin of Corunna, Ont., leading the charge with a trio of awards. IPC World Championships quadruple gold medalist Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., picked up a pair of awards. Lexi Aitken of London, Ont., Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, Ont., Alicia Brown of Ottawa, Ont., Gerry Dragomir of Vancouver, B.C., Paul Galas of Mississauga, Ont., Inaki Gomez of Vancouver, B.C., Virginia McLachlan of Windsor, Ont., and Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt, Sask., were also named winners.

Following a record breaking season Derek Drouin wins three awards including the F.N.A. Rowell Trophy for athlete of the year in field events, the Cal D. Bricker Memorial Trophy for outstanding performance of the year and the Jack W. Davies Trophy as outstanding overall athlete of the year. The Corunna, Ont., native had a remarkable season punctuated with a Canadian record of 2.38-metres and a bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships. Drouin's dominance extended to the indoor season winning the NCAA Division 1 title in a new Canadian record of 2.35-metres. 

Winning an astounding five medals at the IPC World Championships, Dorval, Que.'s Brent Lakatos is named the Phil A. Edwards Memorial Trophy recipient as the athlete of the year in track events, and also wins the Para-Athlete of the Year Award in Wheelchair events.  It was three gold for Brent in the T53 wheelchair classification 100, 200 and 400-metres at IPC Worlds along with a 4x400-metres relay gold and 800-metres silver. Brent set four Canadian and four IPC World Championship records to go with his podiums. Later at the Sainsbury Games he broke the World Record in the T53 wheelchair 100-metres. He finished the season ranked first in the World in three events (T53 100m, 200m, 400m).

Humboldt, Sask.'s Brianne Theisen-Eaton is the winner of the Combined Events Athlete of the Year. Brianne's year started off with a win at the prestigious Gotzis Hypo-Meeting. She followed that up with a silver medal performance and personal best at the IAAF World Championships. She also won bronze at the Decaster, the final event in the 2013 IAAF World Combined Events Challenge.

The Dr. Fred Tees Memorial Trophy for the top Canadian university athlete of the year is won by Ottawa, Ont.'s Alicia Brown. It was a breakthrough season for the University of Toronto athlete as she won titles in the 300-metres at the OUA and CIS Championships. She was also named as an Academic All Canadian by CIS. Alicia also won her first Canadian Championship title, placed fourth at the Francophone Games, fifth at Summer Universiade, and represented Canada at the IAAF World Championships in the 400-metres. She won silver medals as part of the 4x400-metres relay at both the Francophone Games and Summer Universiade.

Shawnacy Barber of Toronto, Ont., had a remarkable start to the season breaking the Canadian Junior Indoor record in the Pole Vault by 50-centimeters. Shawnacy also broke the Canadian Senior outdoor record when he cleared 5.71-metres, still as a junior aged athlete. He represented Canada at four international events highlighted with a gold medal at the Pan American Junior Championships and silver at the Francophone Games. He was also a member of Team Canada at Summer Universiade and at the IAAF World Championships. Shawnacy is the recipient of the Eric E. Coy Trophy as the outstanding junior athlete of the year.

Inaki Gomez of Vancouver, B.C., wins the Fred Begley Memorial Trophy as the top off-track athlete of the year.  Gomez finished eighth at the IAAF World Championships in the 20-kilometre race walk and placed fifth at Summer Universiade. At the Canadian Championships Inaki raced to a new Canadian record of 40 minutes and one second in the 10-kilometre race walk.

Joining Inaki among the list of 2013 award recipients is his coach Gerry Dragomir who wins Coach of the Year. Gerry is the coach to a trio of athletes who competed at the 2013 IAAF World Championships; Inaki Gomez, Evan Dunfee and Benjamin Thorne. Evan Dunfee won silver at the Francophone Games (20km race walk) and set a personal best in the 50-kilometre race walk at the IAAF World Championships. Ben Thorne was fourth at the Francophone Games, 16th at Summer Universiade, and 20th at the IAAF World Championships.

Virginia McLachlan of Windsor, Ont., wins the Para-Athlete of the Year Award in Ambulatory events. Virginia's season was highlighted by two silver medal performances at the IPC World Championships in the T35 cerebral palsy classification 100 and 200-metres. In just two rounds of each race (four total races), McLachlan broke three Canadian and two area records.

Voting for the Myrtle Cook Trophy for outstanding youth athlete of the year ended in a tie between Lexi Aitken of London, Ont., and Paul Galas of Mississauga, Ont. Paul was the top individual Canadian finisher at the IAAF World Youth Championships placing 7th in the high jump with personal bests in both qualification and in the final. Lexi was a teammate to Paul at the IAAF World Youth Championships competing in the 400-metre hurdles. Earlier in the season she set a Canadian Youth record of 58.89 in the 400-metre hurdles.

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The winners are chosen by Athletics Canada's Awards Committee from the nominee pool put forth by the athletics community from performances registered between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013.

The Annual Awards Gala will be held in Moncton, New Brunswick during the 2014 Canadian Championships and will also honour the Official of the Year, as chosen by the National Officials Committee (NOC), and the Master's Athletics Athletes of the Year, awarded by Canadian Masters Athletics (CMA). Nominations are currently being sought for the Master's Athletics Athletes of the Year; more here

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Emily Hooper
Athletics Canada Awards Liaison
Coordinator, Marketing & Communications
(613) 260-5580 x.3332