On Tuesday, the McMaster Marauders Athletics Department handed out their year end awards at the 95th Annual McMaster Athletics Awards Ceremony.

Taking home top honours for leading their teams to landmark titles this past year were women’s basketball forward Linnaea Harper and men’s cross country runner Max Turek who were named the McMaster Athletes of the Year.

Harper picked up the Therese Quigley Award for the women’s basketball team for the fourth time in the past six seasons, while Turek became just the second consecutive cross country winner of the Ivor Wynne Award.

Harper concluded her Marauder career in fairy-tale form, helping her Marauders squad to their fifth OUA title before capturing the school’s first ever U Sports Championship in women’s basketball. At the national tournament she was named as the MVP of the entire event.

She was named an OUA All-Star for the third consecutive season, making a return to the OUA’s first team after being named to the squad in 2017. She became just the seventh Marauder to pass the 1,000 points mark, achieving the milestone on the final day of the regular season, finishing with 1,003 career points. She sits third in career rebounds (621), tied for fifth in career steals (130) and seventh in career assists (236).

Harper would defeat Hilary Hanaka (basketball), Stephanie Roberts (soccer) and Sara Svoboda (rugby) for the Therese Quigley Award.

During the 2017-18 season, Turek would become the first Marauder to win the OUA Rookie of the Year award in men’s cross country, and he continued to set the pace in 2018.

The second-year student from Whitby, Ontario led the McMaster men’s squad to just their fourth conference title in the 117-year history of the H.R. Little Cup, and the first since 1964, while becoming just the third Marauder to win the individual title.

Even though he suffered an injury leading into the U Sports Championship meet in Kingston, Turek managed to finish 11th in the national field and was named as a Second Team All-Canadian and helped the Marauders men break a six-year curse that saw them finish fourth at the national event and missing the podium. This time they were able to claim the team bronze.

Turek would edge out Connor Quinton (wrestling), Andrew Richards (volleyball) and Mitch Richardson (rugby) for the Ivor Wynne Award.

The outstanding graduating student-athlete awards were handed out to women’s basketball guard Hilary Hanaka and men’s volleyball left side Richards.

Also honoured on Tuesday were lacrosse player Mitch Pellarin and wrestler Ligaya Sinellis who were named Rookies of the Year, while women’s soccer defender Claudia Continenza earned honours for her community service work and women’s hockey president and student therapist Laura Gelowitz picked up an award for her service to the Department. The men’s rugby team also picked up the award for team community service.

The athletes weren’t the only ones honoured at the ceremony. Six coaches were also recognized for reaching benchmarks for their years of service, including baseball’s Adam Strongman (five seasons), men’s rugby’s Dan Pletch (five seasons), cross country and track’s Paula Schnurr (15 seasons), men’s tennis’ Rasim Sehovic (20 seasons), water polo’s Quinn Fairley (20 seasons) and women’s volleyball’s Tim Louks (30 seasons). Each received gifts in recognition of their contributions to McMaster.

Below are the remaining award winners provided by McMaster’s Athletics Communication Department.

Dr. Edna Guest Award (Graduating Female Athlete)
Hilary Hanaka, Basketball

The local Hamilton product finished her Marauders career by being named as Second Team All-Canadian in 2019, while winning the U SPORTS Sylvia Sweeney Award for her extensive community service work, before helping her team to the first national title of its history. She earned OUA All-Star status for a third time and returned to the conference’s First Team for a second consecutive season.

Enjoying the most complete season of her career by starting 22 games and featuring in 23 total, Hanaka matched her shooting percentages of a year ago in hitting 46 per cent of her shots from the field and 41 from three-point range in 2018-19. That three-point efficiency ranked second in the conference. The Marauders on-court general, Hanaka posted a total of 90 assists that ranked fifth in the OUA, and was second among Marauders and sixth in the conference with an average of 14.6 points per game.

Becoming the sixth player in Marauders history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark this season, Hanaka finished her career with 1,136 points and sits sixth on McMaster's career scoring list. Her 286 career assists rank Hanaka fourth on Mac's career list, while her 109 steals rank 10th.

Finalists: Mackenzie Wiens (Rugby), Katie Zutautas (Volleyball)

Dr. Ray Johnson Award (Graduating Male Athlete)
Andrew Richards, Volleyball

The 2018 OUA West Player of the Year completed his Marauders career in emphatic fashion in 2019, returning to the OUA West First Team and earning his second consecutive All-Canadian nod while claiming the U SPORTS Dale Iwanoczko Award for his combination of athletic and academic excellence and community service. He was the first Marauder to win that honour at the national level.

Richards capped his Marauders career as a three-time OUA First Team All-Star and was an All-Rookie Team member in 2015. Taking on the role of McMaster's high-usage player on the left, Richards tallied a team high 185 kills over 16 matches in 2018-19 and enjoyed a .312 hitting percentage that ranked third in the conference.

A member of McMaster's leadership council and designated captain during matches, Richards' well-developed leadership abilities were recognized when he became an inaugural recipient of the Wilson Leadership Scholar Award at McMaster. He is a two-time Academic All-Canadian, and volunteers his time to outreach initiatives like the Dress for Success campaign, which recycles business wear for underprivileged men looking to re-enter the work force, and motionball, which raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Finalists: Callum MacLeay (Rugby), David McCulloch (Basketball)

Mel and Marilyn Hawkrigg Award (Rookies of the Year)
Ligaya Stinellis, Wrestling

Making the transition from her decorated high school career at Hamilton’s Bishop Ryan look seamless, Stinellis captured a silver medal in the 48kg weight class in her first trip to the OUA Championships and made McMaster history by becoming the first Marauder woman to win the conference’s Rookie of the Year award. A silver medalist at the Ontario junior provincial championships, Stinellis finished fifth at the national event in Saskatoon in March, and has been named as her team’s MVP.

Finalists: Maya Emerson (Tennis), Katie MacLeod (Rugby)

Winner: Mitch Pellarin, Men’s Lacrosse

Pellarin ended the season as McMaster’s leading scorer with 19 goals and 11 assists, which was the highest scoring total among rookies in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association. Named as an All-Canadian at the midfielder position in the West Division, Mitch was also the runner-up for CUFLA Rookie of the Year.

Finalists: Trystan Kato (Wrestling), Jordan Henry (Basketball)

Les Prince Award (Community Service)
Claudia Continenza, Soccer

A team captain and defensive stalwart on the OUA bronze medal winners, Continenza is a terrific leader in the McMaster community, acting as both a team representative and executive member for McMaster Athletes Care, serving on the Women’s Athletic Leadership Council, volunteering for the Marauders in the Classroom mentorship program, and serving as a volunteer soccer coach at both the high school and club levels in the community.

Finalists: Sabrina Schindel (Lacrosse), Alissa Zhang (Rugby)

Bruce Cochrane Award (Service to the Department)
Laura Gelowitz, Hockey & Strength & Conditioning

A captain of the McMaster women’s hockey club since 2015, Gelowitz has since taken on the role of club president and the project of growing the club and its activities, while maintaining the academic standard of a Marauder Scholar since 2016. She does double duty as a placement student with both the sport medicine and performance programs, operating as a field therapist with the McMaster football team and a three-year member of the McMaster Performance training staff.

Finalists: Kailyn Jones (Rugby), Elias Srouji (Volleyball/Department)

Wignall Award (Team Community Service)
Men’s Rugby

Along with supporting McMaster Athletes Care through the weekly visits in support of Hamilton youth, the men’s rugby team has taken the initiative to run some of its own outreach events, which includes a special training camp day for the Hamilton Boys and Girls Clubs to expose the sport of rugby, and a Christmas event at the McMaster Children’s Hospital. The team has also adopted the annual Movember campaign in a big way and has raised thousands of dollars to promote awareness about men’s health issues.

Finalists: Women’s Hockey, Women’s Lacrosse