Awards night brings metal, wood, marble

By Jon Roe

The Dinos 40th anniversary season is over, and there were plenty of team and individual performances to celebrate at the 40th annual Night of the Dino.

The Dinos won four Canada West titles and two Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships, all in individual sports. The women’s teams were particularly successful­–the lady Dinos took away Canada West title wins in track and field, wrestling and cross country and both of this season’s Dino CIS championships in track and field and wrestling. The men’s team won the Canada West swimming title for the first time since 2003.

With such a successful year for individual sports, it was no surprise to see players from the wrestling and track and field teams take three-quarters of the major awards. Both athletes of the year, Geoff Kerr on the men’s side and Jessica Zelinka on the women’s, came from the track team, and the women’s rookie of the year, Gen Haley, came from the wrestling team. Rookie quarterback Dalin Tollestrup won the men’s rookie-of-the-year award.

Kerr took home the Dr. Dennis Kadatz award as the Dinos male athlete of the year after topping off an amazing distance-running season at the 300 track and field championships in Montreal by taking away the 1,500 and 3,000 metre gold medals and the track athlete-of-the-year award. He also won male cross country athlete of the year award after winning the men’s individual race in Quebec City in November. Chad Hankewich of the men’s swimming team was also nominated for the award. Kerr also took home the Calgary Booster Club scholar-athlete award for maintaining a 3.0 GPA in the Haskayne School of Business.

Zelinka won the Dr. Dennis Kadatz award as Dinos female athlete of the year after rounding out her fifth year of eligibility and final season as a Dino by leading the women’s track and field team to Canada West and CIS titles. She set a CIS record by winning five gold medals at the CIS championships, and set the CIS pentathlon record with a 4,380 point performance. Zelinka was named both field athlete of the year and CIS track and field athlete of the year for her accomplishments. Her track and field achievements this year have earned her a nomination for a BLG award for CIS athlete of the year. The winner of the BLG awards will be named Mon., April 30 in a gala at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary. Holly Ratzlaff, also from the track and field team, and women’s wrestler Andrea Ross were nominated for the award.

Tollestrup won the Bill Popplewell award as male Dino rookie of the year after being one of the few bright spots on a Dinos football team that finished 2-6. He made the team as a freshman and started every game for the Dinos this year, finishing fourth in Canada West in yards passed with 1,941. Tollestrup rushed for 258 yards, racking up a Canada West second highest offence total with 2,199 yards. He won the Peter Gorman Trophy as freshman of the year in Canadian college football. Track and field athlete Sam Effah was also nominated for the award after winning a CIS medal and three Canada West medals.

Haley won her weight class in both the Canada West and CIS championships, earning her the Bill Popplewell award for female rookie of the year. Her two golds helped the women’s wrestling team take home the Canada West and the CIS championships, the first CIS title for the U of C since 2001. Basketball player Ashley Hill and swimmer Kevyn Peterson were also nominated for the award.

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