Lester finishes career in style

File photo by Kate Turner
File photo by Kate Turner

To finish off her career as a Laurier Golden Hawk, women’s hockey captain Fiona Lester added something else to her list of accomplishments.

Earlier in the month, Lester was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America College Division at-large first team for the second time in her tenure as a student athlete at Laurier.

Lester is only the second Laurier athlete to be named to an all-America team, following men’s football player Dillon Heap in 2010.

“Obviously it’s really exciting again,” Lester, a biology and mathematics graduate, said from her Peterborough home. “I definitely didn’t expect it for the second time. It’s just as exciting, really.”

Although Lester was awarded first-team honours last year as well, another Canadian-born athlete accompanied her. This year, she became the only one, and one of only two Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) athletes in the three academic all-America teams.

“I don’t know what really goes through my mind,” Lester said, trying to find words to explain her accomplishment. “I don’t know if there’s something that distinctly goes through my mind that I can put in words of some distinct feeling.”

The honour finishes off an impressive career for Lester at Laurier, which included two Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships, two OUA first team all-star honours and three CIS academic all-Canadian honours.

This past year, Lester was honoured with the Outstanding Women of Laurier Award (OWL) and named the women’s hockey team’s most valuable player. She helped the team to a 21-2-3 record and tallied a career-best seven goals and 12 assists, finishing third in the conference with 19 points.

“I thought OWL was a really nice way to wrap it all up, then along comes this and I’m like, ‘oh another. This is nice to wrap it up to,’” Lester laughed. “It was exciting for sure to finish this way as I was literally leaving Laurier.”

Academically, Lester excelled all four years while at WLU. In her final year, she held a 3.90 G.P.A on the American scale, equivalent to 11.65 on Laurier’s scale. She was awarded the Luke Fusco Academic Athletic Achievement award for the second year in a row from Laurier, as well as earning three CIS academic all-Canadian honours in her four-year tenure.

“[Academics have] always been important to me and I’ve always enjoyed excelling and being able to understand what I’m learning and really master it,” Lester said.

Lester’s plans now that she’s done at Laurier have not been finalized, but she mentioned she has plenty of ideas.

Her first goal is to mend a stress fracture in her foot, which started during the OUA playoffs, but Lester didn’t realize it was a stress fracture until halfway through April.

“After that, I’m not really sure,” she said. “I’m thinking about playing hockey in Europe next year, just for a season, but again, it depends on what happens with my foot and what happens with the team. I’ve talked to them, but I haven’t made any final commitments yet.”

The team is situated out of Belarus, but Lester doesn’t know 100 per cent what the plans are. If she doesn’t go, she plans to travel. Afterward, she’d like to attend grad school, but is unsure where.

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