Labach, Johnston named Huskie Athletics top athletes

Labach, Johnston named Huskie Athletics top athletes

 

University of Saskatchewan track & field athletes Julie Labach and Kieran Johnston have been named Huskie Athletics' female and male athletes of the year.

Johnston wins the E. Kent Phillips Trophy for Male Athlete of the Year, while Labach is the 17th track & field athlete to win the Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy for Female Athlete of the Year.

Labach claimed six medals at the Canada West and U SPORTS championship in 2017-18. Helping the Huskies to the conference title, the fourth-year Business student accumulated 21 of the team's 97 points with gold in the 1000-metres and 600-metres. She added silver medals in the 1500-metres and 4X400-metre relay. On the national stage, she added a gold in the 100-metres and a bronze in the 600-metres.

Second-year Arts & Science student, Johnston, won gold in the heptathlon at both the Canada West and U SPORTS championships. At the national championship, he scored 5,259 points – 208 ahead of the silver medalists – by finishing first in all but two of the seven events. He also won a silver at the Canada West Championship in the 60-metre hurdles.

Huskie Athletics handed out five other major awards at the annual Huskie Salute Friday night at TCU Place. The event also featured the achievements of the athletes of the University of Saskatchewan's 15 athletic teams. Canada West and U SPORTS All-Stars/All-Canadians and award winners, along with fifth-year athletes were also honoured at the celebration. 

Track & field added two more awards including the female rookie of the year and coach of the year.

Sprinter Kendra Farmer won the Patricia Lawson Trophy after winning a silver medal in the 4X400-metre relay and a bronze in the 4X200-metre relay at the Canada West Championship. She added a fourth-place finish in the 300-metre race. 

Head coach Jason Reindl won the Colb McEwon Trophy for Coach of the Year after guiding the women's team to the Canada West Championship in his first-year with the program. 

For the third straight season, the Howard Nixon Trophy for male rookie of the year is awarded to volleyball. Dylan Mortensen was named the Canada West and national rookie of the year after leading the Huskies in kills with 299. Playing in all 24 matches, the outside hitter added 116 digs, 24 service aces and 28.5 blocks.

A pair of hockey captains won the all-round athlete awards. Kaitlin Willoughby was the winner of the Valerie Girsberger Trophy. The men's version of the trophy – the Rusty MacDonald Cup – was given to Kendall McFaull.

A three-time Canada West all-star and the 2013-14 national rookie of the year Willoughby leaves the team second in all-time scoring with 111 points. The Prince Albert, Sask., product and nursing student competed with the 2017 Winter Universiade and the Hockey Canada U22 summer development camp as a member of the U SPORTS All-Star team. A two-time All-Academic, Kaitlin has represented Huskie Athletics in university initiatives including the REACT campaign and the Breaking the Silence Conference.

An all-star in all five seasons, McFaull finished his career winning the conference and U SPORTS Student-Athlete Community Award. The mechanical engineering student played in 111 regular season games for the Huskies and was twice named to the U SPORTS all-star hockey team that competes against the Canadian World Junior team. A four-year captain, he has volunteered for HAC, Huskie Homeroom, Saskatoon Minor Hockey and Recess Guardians.

Huskie Athletics also handed out the Dr. Walter Hader Student Trainer of the Year Award. The trophy given annually to a student trainer who displays dedicated volunteer service to Huskie Athletics and shows promise in the pursuit of a career in sports medicine was won by football's Rachel Mamer. 

More than 300 athletes, fans, sponsors, alumni and supporters gathered at TCU Place to celebrate the special event.

Major Award Winners:

Patricia Lawson Trophy Female Rookie of the Year – Kendra Farmer, track & field

Howard Nixon Trophy Male Rookie of the Year – Dylan Mortensen, volleyball

E. Kent Phillips Trophy Male Athlete of the Year – Kieran Johnston, track & field

Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy Female Athlete of the Year – Julie Labach, track & field

Rusty MacDonald Cup All-Round Male – Kendall McFaull, hockey

Valerie Girsberger All-Round Female – Kaitlin Willoughby, hockey

Colb McEwon Trophy Coach of the Year – Jason Reindl, track & field

Dr. Walter Hader Award Student Trainer of the Year – Rachel Mamer, football