(OTTAWA, ONT.) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport proudly announced Tuesday the student-athletes selected as Top Eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2013-2014 season.
The elite group will be honoured at Rideau Hall in Ottawa later this fall, on November 17.
Every year, a growing number of CIS student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians, having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one - or more - of their university's varsity teams.
In 2013-14, a record 2,861 students achieved the prestigious status, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,695 set a year ago.
Five of the largest CIS member universities had over 100 Academic All-Canadians last year, including Western (140), Alberta (123), Waterloo (120), Laval (115) and Queen's (111). Rounding out the national top 10 were Toronto (99), Acadia (95), Calgary (91), McGill (90) and UNB (90).
Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four CIS regional associations are selected annually to make up the Top Eight.
The 2013-14 recipients from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) are Michelle Pryde, a soccer player and chemistry student from Acadia, and Adrian Robertson, a hockey player and business administration student from UNB.
Representing the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) are McGill standouts Mariam Sylla, a basketball player and pharmacology student, as well as Cédric McNicoll, a hockey player and accounting major.
The winners from Ontario University Athletics (OUA) are Western's Caroline Ehrhardt, a track and field athlete and health sciences student, as well as Carleton'sTyson Hinz, a basketball player and commerce student.
Last but not least, the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) recipients are Manitoba volleyball player Brittany Habing, a science student, and Alberta basketball player Jordan Baker, who is currently working towards his master's degree in coaching.
"The record number of Academic All-Canadians once again this year speaks volume about the quality of our student-athletes, but also our coaches, support staff and our universities," said CIS chief executive officer, Pierre Lafontaine. "The Top Eight represents the very best of what university sport is all about. To be selected among 11,500 of their peers is an achievement these exceptional student-athletes should be extremely proud of."
Following is a profile of each member of the 2013-2014 Top Eight, as well as a list of all-time winners.
ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (AUS)
Name: Adrian Robertson
Hometown: Mississauga, Ont.
School: University of New Brunswick
Faculty: Business Administration
Program: Business Administration
Eligibility in 2013-14: 2nd year
Adrian Robertson, who hails from Mississauga, Ont., joined the Varsity Reds in the fall of 2012 following a five-year career in the Ontario Hockey League with Peterborough, Windsor and Sudbury. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound rearguard had an immediate impact as a freshman as he helped the V-Reds capture the University Cup national championship. In his sophomore season last year, he received the Michael Cavanagh Memorial Award in recognition of his excellence on and off the ice.
In the classroom, the two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian has a cumulative GPA of 4.2 after two years in UNB's business administration program, including five perfect A+ grades in the winter of 2014. In addition to the Cavanagh Award, the list of academic awards he has accumulated since he arrived on the Fredericton campus includes the George & Elaine Andrews Memorial Scholarship in Athletics, the John F. Bassett Memorial Scholarship and the Helen Neill Campbell Merit Award.
While at UNB, Robertson has been a volunteer coach with the V-Reds Prospects camps, working with young hockey players between the ages of 6 and 14. He had previously volunteered with the Windsor Spitfires Foundation in his OHL days and, more recently, worked with the RBC Blue Water Project in Toronto.
"Adrian was a high-performance achiever and top quality leader for our hockey program both on and off the ice last season," says UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall. "He was our team leader in academics with a 4.2 GPA and was one of our top defencemen, winning the prestigious UNB Michael Cavanagh Award which recognizes top performance on the ice, in the classroom and in the community."
Name: Michelle Pryde
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
School: Acadia University
Eligibility in 2013-14: 2nd year
Born and raised in Calgary, Michelle Pryde moved to the East Coast two years ago to attend Acadia University and join the Axewomen soccer program. After being named the team's rookie of the year in 2012, the centre-midfielder helped the Axewomen reach the AUS championship final for the first time in over a decade last fall.
On the academic front, Pryde has maintained an exceptional cumulative grade point average of 3.98 over her first two years in Acadia's challenging chemistry program. A two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian and member of the Dean's List, she has received numerous academic awards since her arrival on the Wolfville, N.S. campus, including the David Ryan Memorial Scholarship and C.W. Small Scholarship.
Pryde's volunteer work in the community and on campus includes her involvement with the S.M.I.L.E. program (Sensory Motor Instructional Leadership Experience), the RCMP Anti-Bullying WITS Campaign, the Wolfville Children's Centre, L.E. Shaw Elementary School, the Relay for Life, as well as CIBC Run for the Cure.
"Michelle is respected by her peers within the team to such a degree for her academics, ability on the field and commitment to the community that she was named to our leadership group in only her second year," says Acadia head coach Amit Batra. "I believe she exemplifies exactly what ultimately all student athletes can aspire to achieve: Excellence in the classroom, leadership on her team, and caring in her community."
Source: CIS Communications