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(Posted 7:30 a.m., Jan. 30)
Local athletes honoured at Ottawa Sports Awards banquet

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Former Cairine Wilson Secondary School student Rachal Homan was a double Ottawa Sports Award recipient Wednesday night, picking up an award for both Female Athlete of the Year and Female Team of the Year. File photo

Eight local athletes were honoured at the Ottawa Sports Awards banquet Wednesday night, along with the very best in 63 different categories.

Canadian curling champion and Orléans native Rachel Homan led the way, picking up the Female Athlete of the Year award. Then she and her teammates Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk and Lisa Weagle also won the Female Team of the Year award.

Homan won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the tender age of 23 last year. The foursome went on to take the bronze medal at their first World Championships and last month placed third at the Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifying tournament.

"I'm just really humbled to accept this award. There's so many amazing athletes here in this room tonight," Homan said to a packed crowd of 600 at Algonquin College. "My team's been together for 12 years, so I definitely couldn't have done it without them, and I'm really happy that they could be here to share this."

Other local recipients nclude Jérèmie Lortie in volleyball, Oluwasegun Makinde in track and field, Julia Francki in soccer, Grace St-Germain in golf, Jonah Shaffer in water skiing, Ivanie Blondin in long track speed skating, and Samantha Morrison in short track speed skating.

Lortie is a fourth-year student at the Université Laval where he was chosen as the MVP of the CIS men’s volleyball national university championship tournament for leading the Rouge et Or to a gold medal. This 6-foot-7 middle was named player of the game following a 9-kill, 4.5-block performance in a four-set quarter-final win over Alberta.

Makinde was chosen as the outstanding male athlete for the 2013 season by his track club, the Ottawa Lions. He was a member of Canada’s 4x100m relay team for the IAAF World Championships, which won a bronze medal. In addition, he won two gold medals in the 200m and 4x100m relay while competing for Canada at the Jeux de la Francophonie. He added a third major international event to his season by finishing 4th in the 200m at the FISU World University Games. His time of 20.62 seconds for the 200m was a new personal best and ranks him third on the Lions’ all-time best list, just behind his coach, Glenroy Gilbert.

The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees sprinter was also a bronze medallist in the 60m, a silver medallist in the 300m, and a gold medallist in the 4x200m relay at the CIS national university championships

Julia Francki was named the Ontario University Athletics eastern conference women’s soccer player of the year in 2013. The Orleans native plays for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees team that was ranked #1 in the nation for six weeks during their season. The midfielder was selected as an All-Canadian and represented Canada at the 2013 FISU Universiade Games in Russia.

Orléans resident Grace St-Germain is a member of the Hylands Golf Club. In 2013, the 15-year-old won the Golf Association of Ontario’s girls’ match play championships as well as the GAO’s under-17 juvenile girls’ championships.

A Grade 10 St. Peter Catholic High School student also won the Graham Cooke Junior Invitational by eight strokes over the rest of the field and was the only golfer who finished under par for the two-day event. She placed fourth at the Canadian Junior Golf Association’s national junior championship and was named to Team Ontario.

Jonah Shaffer is a young waterskier who had an exceptional 2013 season, highlighted by a bronze medal win in the slalom race at the U17 World Championships. The Cairine Wilson Secondary School student followed that performance up by winning the gold medal at the prestigious Junior Masters competition in Georgia. By the end of the year Shaffer's name was at the top of the International Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation rankings in the U17 men’s slalom category.

Ivanie Blondin had another exceptional year in 2013 highlighted by her making the 2014 Olympic team in long track speed skating. The former Garneau High School student won a World Cup gold, two silvers and a bronze as a member of the Canadian women’s team pursuit team and placed 8th in the 5000m at the 2013 World Championships. All of which added up to Blondin winning her eighth consecutive Ottawa Sports Award.

Short track speed skater Samantha Morrison continued her climb up the national rankings in 2013 by placing sixth at a national qualifier and 19th at the first national team selection event in Montreal.

Skating out of the Calgary national training centre, this Gloucester Concordes club athlete is now Ontario’s second-ranked short track speed skater, with the second half of the competitive season yet to come.

For a complete list of this year's Ottawa Sports Awards recipients visit https://www.ottawasportsawards.ca/content/2013-winners.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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