By Jon Roe
<Jessica Zelinka named athlete of the year
Departing Dino, track and field super star Jessica Zelinka, picked up the BLG Award for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport athlete of the year. The BLG Award is given out every year to the top male and the top female athletes across all sports. Volleyball player Josh Howatson from Trinity Western University won the male award. Along with a sculptured fossil-stone trophy, Zelinka picks up a $10,000 scholarship to attend a Canadian graduate school of her choice.
The U of C has been awarded the most BLG Awards of any university in the country. Six Dinos have won the award, including volleyball player Andy Cameron in 1993, football player Don Blair in 1996, swimmer Curtis Myden in 1997, basketball player Leighann Doan in 2001, volleyball player Joanna Niemczewska in 2004 and Zelinka.
Zelinka’s BLG adds itself to an already full trophy case. During her time in the CIS, Zelinka won a rookie of the year award with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs in 2001, three CIS track and field athlete of the year awards with the Dinos, and an MVP award in all four of her CIS championship appearances. In total, she won seventeen medals, including six in her final CIS championship, this year in Montreal.
In other news, Zelinka is looking for an oak shelf to replace the shoddy Swedish handy-work on her old Ikea desk shelf which used to hold her athletic spoils.
Dinos QB takes two-year leave
Talented Peter Gorman Award winner for CIS rookie of the year, Dalin Tollestrup, is taking a two-year leave of absence to go on a mission for his church.
The Dinos knew there was a chance that Tollestrup, a Mormon, would go on a mission when recruiting him, and brought in several quarterbacks to try out at camp this year to replace him in his absence.
Tollestrup was a bright spot during a dull season for the Dinos last year. The team started off 0-6 before winning their last two games on the strength of Tollestrup’s arm. Tollestrup finished his rookie year with 1941 yards passing, good enough for fourth in Canada West. Reports of special superpower-inducing underwear aiding Tollestrup throughout his sensational rookie campaign have yet to be verified.
Canadian Olympian to coach Dinos
The Dinos women’s hockey team’s path back to the CIS got a little smoother, as they hired three-time Olympic medalist and eight-time world champion Danielle Goyette as their new head coach.
Goyette replaces Dean Holden, who took over the team two years ago and led the ladies to a 9-31-1-1 record in two seasons of play in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
The Dinos were moved to the ACAC in 2002 after several years of poor play in the CIS.
Athletic director Don Wilson said that the Dinos will play in the ACAC for the 2007/08 season, but noted the goal was to get them to the CIS within three years.
Despite the poor record over the last two years, the Dinos have made the playoffs in both seasons thanks to the ACAC’s everyone’s-a-winner, the-regular-season-is-happy-fun-time, no-one-misses-the-playoffs policy.