Brown and Laurie each honoured with the President’s Award after historic seasons

The Laurier Golden Hawks honoured their student-athletes, supporting staff and department members as they announced major award winners through an online banquet near the end of last month.

Laurier’s annual athletic banquet honouring the accomplishments of the best student-athletes was scheduled to be held on April 6. This year, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event was forced to be cancelled and moved online. Peter Baxter, Laurier’s director of athletics and recreation was amazed by the contingency plans that the department worked on and the eventual plan that was put in place.

Baxter mentioned that the department of athletics-given the circumstances, worked hard and moved diligently to make sure that the student-athletes were honoured after a fantastic sports year.

“While this has been a challenging time for our department and for all students. I am thrilled that we will be able to recognize the exceptional accomplishments of our student-athletes and support staff this year,” said Baxter of his team’s efforts.

Over the course of the last week of April, Laurier published their major award nominees and winners through their social media channels, as they were able to hold the banquet and recognize their athletes with a successful alternative.

The 2019-2020 Laurier athletic season was a great one as it saw the school add three more provincial championships and one more national title to their trophy case. It had been five years since the Golden Hawks had won a national title (2015) and the last program to have won one was able to break that drought by capturing it again this year off the success of an astonishing season.

The year which featured so many fantastic individual performances also saw some long-time Laurier records fall. Many programs made history for the school by winning their “firsts,” while other teams were involved in some of the best games in Canadian University Sports over the past two terms.

The men’s baseball team were able to win their second consecutive OUA Championship, while the men’s golf team won their first ever after 35 years of competition.

Both Sydney Pattison and Lizzy Laurie made history for Laurier on a national stage by medalling at the track championships, while men’s curling added to their legacy, putting together a near perfect season to win their fourth provincial title and second national title in the past six years.

Laurier’s department honoured their student-athletes by handing out 11 major awards as well as several community service and staff awards. In addition, each varsity team, both male and female announced their team MVP’s and rookies of the year.

Jaron Brown and Lizzy Laurie highlighted the award winners this year as they were the recipients of the 2019-2020 President’s Award. The President’s Award is a distinguished honour as it is given to the student-athlete who had the most outstanding athletic performance. The award honours both the top male and the top female Golden Hawk and their athletic contributions over the past year.

Fourth-year golfer and Thornhill, Ontario native, Jaron Brown was rewarded for his outstanding year by receiving this award. Brown was nominated alongside football running back Levondre Gordon and star pitcher Christian Hauck, who both had great seasons with their respective teams.

Gordon had finished second in the country with 1,016 total rushing yards to go along with four touchdowns. He was also named a USPORTS First Team All-Canadian. Hauck, now in his fifth year had yet another dominant season as he won the OUA top pitcher award and posted a 0.00 Earned Run Average in the playoffs, a perfect postseason which lead his team to their second consecutive provincial championship.

Both Gordon and Hauck were well deserving of the award, however it was the contributions that Brown had made this past year and the historic run that he went on, which propelled him to come out on top, and win the biggest award of the banquet.

Laurier golf had a remarkable season this past year, as they were able to win their first OUA Championship in the programs 35 years history. Brown led the charge as he won three individual medals in four invitational events that he participated in and was also the winner of the Len Shore Trophy as the individual OUA Champion golfer.

The communication studies major shot a two-day total of one over par at the OUA Championships back in October and was able to lead a big comeback on the final two days, to climb to the top of the leaderboard. The Hawks led by Brown won the tournament by five shots over the Ottawa Gee-Gees.

Brown was the second men’s Golden Hawk golfer to earn the President’s award. On the women’s side, Laurie made history yet again by becoming the first ever cross country or indoor distance runner to receive the President’s award.

Laurie was nominated alongside her friend and teammate Sydney Pattison as well as Jasmine Raines who is no stranger to the award season, as she is already a two-time recipient of the President’s Award, winning in both 2017 and 2019.

Pattison was an all-star in her own sense this year, while Jasmine Raines won multiple medals for the third consecutive year. The three athletes exemplify the best of Laurier’s student-athletes and were all well deserving of the recognition.

Laurie was able to win this award after she had an unforgettable year. In each of her races, Laurie put together amazing performances and shined on some of the biggest stages. The hometown native, from Kitchener, Ontario had a historic season alongside teammate and fellow nominee Sydney Pattison.

The fourth-year communication studies major was able to earn a string of accomplishments this year, which has fully cemented her legacy with the Laurier track teams. Laurie finished 12th place at the Cross-Country National Championship and was named as a Second Team All-Canadian in the fall, becoming the first Laurier runner to earn that recognition.

Laurie continued her season in the winter term with the indoor distance team and made Laurier history in the progress. Her silver medal at the USPORTS Track Championships is the first ever national medal from a Golden Hawk track athlete. Laurie was also able to make it as a Second Team All-Canadian for indoor middle distance, being honoured in February.

While Brown and Laurie each made history individually for Laurier, the Laurier men’s curling team put forth one of the best lineups in program history and were the recipients of the Glenn Carroll Team of the Year Award.

After one of the most dominant seasons in Laurier history, Coach Wilkinson’s curling team was able to win the OUA Championship and captured another national title after being the last team to have won a national championship for Laurier back in 2015.

Some of the other award winners include men’s hockey forward, Jeremy Pullara and swimmer, Jasmine Raines who were recipients of the academic achievement awards. Both of these student-athletes display the best of Laurier sports as they were rewarded for their extraordinary hard work not only athletically but also academically.

Men’s hockey goaltender Matt Williams and Women’s basketball forward Kate Moran respectively were the male and female recipients of the Rich Newbrough Rookie of the Year Award.

Williams surprisingly was able to grab the starting role from veteran netminder Tyler Fassl early in the year and put together an excellent season. Moran on the other hand, started 14 of the teams’ last 15 games and proved she is an all-around asset with tremendous potential.

Moran has an outstanding story as well as she has battled through serious injuries which ended her high school career and went through extensive rehab to earn her minutes back. It was on the defensive side where Moran was ultra productive. She broke the Laurier record for blocks in a season, while also leading USPORTS with 53 total blocks- nearly three per game.

In addition to the athletic awards, Laurier also handed out awards for community service and awarded other contributors who help towards the operation of Laurier sports and recreation.

Women’s cheerleader Erin Bailey and men’s baseball outfielder, Kai Harris were the female and male recipients of the Fred Nichols Community Service Leadership Award, for the work that they did in supporting and giving back to the community.

It was a memorable 2019-2020 season for Laurier sports. The banquet was forced to be different this year, however, Laurier did a great job in honouring their student-athletes. The awards showcased some of the best members that are within the Golden Hawk community and were a major success in putting an end to the winter term.

To see the complete list of the student-athlete nominees and award winners, as well as the team-by-team awards, click here.

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