Top 8 Academic All-Canadians announced for 2018-19 season
TORONTO (U SPORTS) – U SPORTS proudly announced Thursday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2018-19 season.
The elite group will be honoured at a later date at Rideau Hall, the official residence of workplace of the Governor General of Canada, in the nation's capital.
The Governor General's Academic All-Canadian Commendation was founded by the Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada, who first honoured Canada's Top 8 student-athletes in 2013.
U SPORTS student-athletes achieve Academic All-Canadian status 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.
Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences are selected annually to make up the Top 8.
"The list of Academic All-Canadians continues to grow each year," said Graham Brown, President and CEO of U SPORTS. "The success of the Top 8 is a testament to the dedication of our student-athletes on the field of play, in the classroom and as leaders in their communities across the country."
As the official supporter of the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians, Sherrard Kuzz LLP will continue to support the travel, accommodation and hospitality of the group in the lead-up to the Commendation at Rideau Hall. All eight student-athletes will also receive a customized ring from Baron, the Exclusive Provider of championship rings and recognition jewelry for U SPORTS.
Profiles of each member of the 2018-19 Top 8 are available below.
CANADA WEST (CW)
Name: Seth Friesen
Hometown: Brandon, Man.
School: Brandon University
Eligibility in 2018-19: 4th
Seth Friesen enjoyed an all-star season and graduated as a decorated honours student in June of 2019 after leading the Brandon Bobcats to the best season in program history. The Bobcats spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation before winning the team's first Canada West championship on home court. After the competitive season, Friesen graduated with a double-major in math and chemistry, earning the 2019 Governor's General Award for the highest academic standing of all Brandon University students, having maintained a perfect 4.3 GPA.
Friesen ranked among the nation's best in multiple statistical categories, earning his second Canada West all-star award and was named the conference's Student-Athlete Community Service award winner. For his efforts in helping the Bobcats to a silver medal at nationals, Friesen was named a tournament all-star.
Friesen's athletic accomplishments are nearly surpassed by his academic accolades. He's maintained a perfect grade point average through-out his time at Brandon University and taken on additional responsibilities including an honours thesis and peer tutoring.
For his efforts on the court and in the classroom, Friesen was named BU's male Athlete of the Year for the 2018-19 season.
Friesen has been an Academic All-Canadian in every season of his eligibility. Friesen credits much of his success to his previous education at Brandon's Vincent Massey High School, where he excelled in the Advanced Placement program, as well as his parents and immediate family and supporting friends. On top of being an outstanding student-athlete, Friesen has been a community volunteer by coaching youth volleyball, supervising and supporting at risk student-athletes in multiple study hall sessions per week, as well as giving his time at a local thrift store.
"During his time with the Bobcats, Seth has shone on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Seth's commitment to his studies, our team and the community goes well beyond what the average player does in their university career," said Bobcats head coach Grant Wilson. "The demands of being a university student-athlete are extremely arduous. Seth has met these demands head on and excelled in every aspect. Academically, I can honestly say I have not met a more intelligent and driven student in all my years of teaching and coaching. Seth maintains an extremely high academic standard at Brandon University. This is evidence of his exceptional time management skills and commitment to excellence. He has now achieved Academic All-Canadian status for each of his four years here at Brandon University. Seth Friesen is more than deserving of this recognition."
"In mathematical ability, Seth Friesen equals or surpasses any student I have known over many years, in fact decades, of teaching—a fact that is doubly remarkable, given that mathematics is not his chosen career," said Dr. Doug Pickering of BU's department of Mathematics and Computer Science, who supervised Friesen's honours thesis. "Seth is one of those rare individuals who can focus his talents in several directions at once and achieve excellence in all of them."
Name: Anna Mollenhauer
Hometown: Victoria, B.C.
School: University of Victoria
Program: Recreation and Health
Sport: Field Hockey
Eligibility in 2018-19: 2nd
In just three years of play, Anna Mollenhauer has won nearly all that there is to win in U SPORTS women's field hockey.
In 2017, she was the Canada West Rookie of the Year and a finalist for UVic Rookie of the Year across all sports. Then in 2018, Mollenhauer returned to lead a senior-heavy class to the program's first national title in 10 years, capturing CW and U SPORTS Player of the Year honours, U SPORTS All-Canadian honours and was a finalist for UVic Female Athlete of the Year. It was also just the second time in program history a Vikes player had won the conference Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year nod in back-to-back seasons.
In the 2019 season, the Vikes squad had just two fourth-year players as senior leadership, with Mollenhauer, part of that captains squad for the second season in a row. The three-time Canada West All-star stepped up big at the U SPORTS National Championship on home turf, seting up the first game's opening goal in a 3-0 win before burying two goals to secure a 3-1 victory and sweep of the best-of-three championship over Guelph. Mollenhauer hoisted the McCrae Cup with the Vikes for back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1995, taking home Championship MVP honours.
Entering the 2019 season Mollenhauer was fresh off Canadian senior national team exposure. She represented Canada with ample playing time at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru, where Canada earned a historic silver medal, their best performance since 1991. In June, Mollenhauer was a part of the Canadian senior team that finished second at the FIH Hockey Series Final in Valencia, Spain. As a midfielder, Mollenhauer was named the Best Junior Player of the tournament stacking her up against some of the world's best Under 21 competitors in an eight-team tournament that included world No. 7 Spain and No. 17 Italy, both ranked higher than Canada at the time. She chose to compete at UVic for the 2019 Fall season instead of competing with Canada at their Olympic Qualifier, where No. 15 Canada lost their Tokyo 2020 berth in a shootout to No. 8 Ireland.
"We moved Anna up for hits from the outside to generate more offence and she create more chances for herself and she is also very good on the penalty corners," said Vikes Head Coach Lynne Beecroft. "We're lucky to have her. She could have decided to go try out for the national team this year, but she wanted to get her studies done and play with this group."
A humble, modest and lead-by-example type of teammate, Mollenhauer is well respected amongst her team and a charismatic and joyful player to coach. In addition, her efforts and achievements on the field are matched in her success in the classroom as she boasted an incredible 8.13 GPA (out of 9.0) through the 2018-19 school year in the Faculty of Education – seeing her name make the Vikes Honour Roll – while also earning an academic entrance scholarship in her first year.
In the community, Mollenhauer has helped coach the Rising Stars Field Hockey program for the past three years. She also serves as a coach In the Victoria Junior Field Hockey League.
For most of her field hockey career, the 20-year-old has been prefaced as the daughter of two-time Olympian and former Vikes women's field hockey standout Nancy Mollenhauer (neé Charlton), but for the past three seasons it is Anna Mollenhauer who was proven her own name for herself. She writes her own story that seems to be just starting.
"Anna is a world-class individual. An exceptionally talented international calibre field hockey player, Anna demonstrates a commitment to excellence in all that she undertakes-from her academic pursuits through to providing leadership to her teammates and community," said Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. "Anna is role model for our Vikes student-athletes teammates and we congratulate her on receiving this most important, and well deserved, accolade."
ONTARIO UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS (OUA)
Name: Slater Doggett
Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
School: Queen's University
Faculty: Arts and Science
Program: Applied Economics
Eligibility in 2018-19: 4th
The 2018-19 season was a historic one for the Queen's Gaels men's hockey program and star forward Slater Doggett.
Last year, Doggett once again showed why he is one of the best to sport the Tricolour on the ice, claiming the OUA East MVP and being named a U SPORTS All-Canadian. Doggett, who moved into the program's Top 10 in all-time scoring to close his career, ranked third in the nation with 21 goals and tied for ninth in the conference with 34 points – anchoring the Gaels' OUA Queen's Cup championship squad with his leadership both on and off the ice as well.
The graduating forward has also played amongst the best and brightest of Canadian university hockey over his career – winning a bronze medal for Canada at the 2017 FISU Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan, and competing for the 2018 U SPORTS All-Stars against Hockey Canada's World Junior Prospects. In 2018-19, the first-team all-star was held off the scoresheet only three times, thanks in large part to a six-game goal-scoring streak and nine multi-point efforts for the Kingston squad. But while his accolades on the ice can go on and on, his work off of it is just as celebratory.
Doggett's overall portfolio of contributions as a student-athlete also helped garner him the OUA East Division Randy Gregg Award. Among his many initiatives is involvement in the Autism Mentorship Program (AMP), which pairs autistic youth and adults in meaningful, one-on-one mentoring relationships designed to provide support for the present and future. Doggett has also contributed to Nightlight Kingston throughout his university career, volunteering his time with those who are less fortunate. He has also spent time with the Running and Reading Program during his time at Queen's, volunteering once a week at the Molly Brant Public School to support the initiative.
After Queen's, he quickly signed a professional contract with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL and currently plays professionally for the Vipiteno Sterzing Broncos in the Alps Hockey League, which features teams based in Austria, Italy and Slovenia.
"Slater optimized what it meant to be a student-athlete. His commitment to the game and his studies were the standard for what we look for in a player at Queen's," said head coach Brett Gibson. "We looked most nights for Slater to lead the way and most nights he did not disappoint."
"Slater Doggett is one of the most dynamic men's hockey student-athletes to ever step on the ice at Queen's. He is an outstanding leader, role model and ambassador for hockey and the University," said Queen's Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation Leslie Dal Cin. "Slater successfully combines the demanding rigours of being both a student and athlete, while leading the men's hockey team to their first Queen's Cup championship since 1981. An Academic All-Canadian, as well as U SPORTS All-Canadian and the top forward in the OUA since his arrival on Queen's campus, he has helped elevate the men's hockey program to a perennial national contender."
Name: Zoe Sherar
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
School: University of Guelph
Sport: Track and Field
Eligibility in 2018-19: 2nd
Zoe Sherar entered a new stratosphere as a student-athlete during the 2018-19 varsity track and field season.
At just 19 years of age, Sherar stole the spotlight in what proved to be an unforgettable sophomore campaign.
Over the course of two days in late February at the 2019 OUA Track and Field Championships in Toronto, Sherar earned three separate trips to the top of the podium while helping lead the Gryphon women's team to their fourth straight conference banner. Sherar took home an OUA gold medal in the women's 300m, and followed that up with two more gold medals in the relays where she helped the Guelph Gryphons establish new OUA meet records in both the women's 4x200m and 4x400m relays.
Two weeks later, Sherar would somehow take her performances to an even higher level, with an exceptional showing on the national stage. At the 2019 U SPORTS Track and Field Championships in Winnipeg, Sherar once again took home three gold medals, this time, helping her 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams establish new U SPORTS record times, while also setting a Gryphons record time in her gold medal-winning performance in the women's 300m.
Sherar's time of 37.79 seconds in the 300m was the fifth-fastest ever recorded at the national meet. Sherar's 4x200m relay team broke the Canadian senior and U23 records, thanks in part to her incredible splits. Sherar's outstanding performance at the U SPORTS Track and Field Championships helped the Gryphons women's team capture their second consecutive national title, and fourth in school history.
Throughout her sensational 2018-19 track season, Sherar was equally adept in the classroom, where she maintained an impressive 85.7 per cent average while successfully navigating a change in her academic major. In mid-September of 2018, Sherar shifted her academic focus away from statistics and began to pursue a pair of new disciplines, with the Toronto native minoring in economics as well as geographic information systems. Drawn to the University of Guelph's arts and sciences program because of the wide range of unique specializations offered, Sherar excelled in both disciplines throughout her sophomore season, honing a variety of skills, ranging from the use of mapping software, to long-form written essays analyzing a variety of current social and scientific issues. Sherar also proved to be a valuable resource for her fellow students, as she spent a second consecutive year volunteering as part of U of G's "Peer Helper Program." As a peer helper, Sherar worked at the info desk on the third floor of the University Centre where she helped answer academic-related questions from fellow students as well as provide information regarding resources available to students on campus.
In the Guelph community, Sherar's impact was also widespread, with the All-Canadian track athlete taking part in the Start2Finish Running & Reading Club. This after-school program saw Sherar regularly visit Brant Avenue Public School in Guelph, where she volunteered with elementary school children (Grades 3-6) to address the need for enhanced literacy and physical activity among children experiencing poverty and deprivation in their communities. The program culminates in the Start2Finish 5K running and reading challenge and an awards ceremony recognizing each child's achievement at the end of the school year.
Sherar also spent the summer of 2018 interacting with local children (ages 7-14) as a camp counselor with the Gryphon Track & Field summer camps. Sherar also represented the Gryphon Track and Field team at the "Bowl for Kids Sake" event in March. The annual fundraising event from the University of Guelph's Department of Athletics has raised over $100,000 over the past decade-plus in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph.
Following her exceptional collegiate season, Sherar would trade in her Gryphon colours for a Team Canada crest, as she went on to represent her country on multiple occasions during the spring and summer of 2019. In May, Sherar took home Canada's lone medal from the 2019 IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan after teaming alongside fellow Gryphon Philip Osei to help Canada capture silver in the mixed 4x400m relay. In the process, Sherar was part of a mixed 4x400m relay team that established a new national record with a time of 3:16.78. Sherar also narrowly missed reaching the podium in Japan in the women's 4x400m relay team.
Two months after her standout performance at the World Relays in Japan, Sherar once took her talents overseas, this time as a member of Canada's delegation for the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy. There, Sherar finished fifth in the women's 4x400m relays, running alongside another fellow Gryphon Jenna Westaway. Sherar also competed in the women's 400m, where she ran to a 10th-place finish.
"Zoe is an extremely well-focused and disciplined student," said Guelph Director of Athletics Scott McRoberts. "She is an outstanding student and athlete. She is loyal to her team and has a willingness to work hard and make herself and everyone around her better."
RÉSEAU DU SPORT ÉTUDIANT DU QUÉBEC (RSEQ)
Name: Grayg Noireault
Hometown: Rambouillet, France
University: Université de Montréal
Faculty: Arts and sciences
Eligibility in 2018-2019: 3
Grayg Noireault was a centrepiece of the Carabins men's soccer team that earned the first-ever U SPORTS title in its history in 2018.
During the regular season, he was part of the team's excellent defensive lineup that conceded only nine goals in 12 games – an RSEQ record.
In the conference playoffs, Noireault continued his excellent performance by only conceding one goal to McGill in the semifinal. In the championship match, the UQAM Citadins were unable to score a single goal, allowing the Carabins to book their ticket to the national championship.
Ultimately, Noireault's performances earned him a place on the RSEQ Second All-Star Team and on the U SPORTS Championship All-Star Team.
Like his performance on the field, the cinema major is also a standout in the classroom. During the 2018-19 season, Noireault maintained a 3.87 GPA out of 4.3 with 24 credits. Since the beginning of his studies, he has kept an average of 3.77 out of 4.3 in 51 credits. His academic performances have also earned him U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian honours. At the Carabins Athletic Banquet, Noireault was named Student Athlete of the Year.
In the community, Noireault served as a volunteer firefighter in his home country of France for two years prior to coming to Montreal.
"Grayg has brought a lot to our team," said Carabins head coach Pat Raimondo. "Whether in concrete terms with his playing on the field or his leadership in the locker room, he was a very important part of our national championship title obtained in 2018. We hold our history and alumni to heart and Grayg undoubtedly deserves a place in all of this."
"Grayg is a true role model, both as an athlete and student," said Carabins athletic director Manon Simard, "His performances on the field have greatly helped the team to reach the highest peaks. He has also set incredible standards in his studies with outstanding results and commitment."
Name: Frédérique Beauchamp
Hometown: Quebec City
University: Université Laval
Program: D. Médecine
Eligibility in 2018-2019: 2nd
Frédérique Beauchamp is a student-athlete in medicine in her third season with the Rouge et Or basketball team. A Quebec City native, the path that led her to the red and gold jersey seems to have been laid out from a young age.
Beauchamp started basketball in Grade 4. As a child, she played several different sports but she decided to focus on basketball in high school and joined the sport studies program at Séminaire Saint-François. She began making regular appearances on the provincial basketball team and won the gold medal at the cadet level. She participated in the Canadian team selection when she was only 15 years old.
Looking for a change of environment and wanting to be surrounded by talented coaches and student-athletes, she chose Collège Montmorency for her Cegep years, where her team won two provincial championships and a national title during her Cegep career. She then joined the Laval's Rouge et Or, where she won a silver medal at the U SPORTS Women's Basketball Final 8.
Her head coach, Guillaume Giroux, says that she stands out for her attitude and the level of excellence with which she approaches everything.
"Frédérique always shows up to training in a good mood. She never complains about the busy schedule and never misses any practice or class. She is a role model for her teammates as she manages to juggle two very demanding schedules and excels in each of them."
Beauchamp also excels at the academic level with an impressive cumulative average of 4.12 since the start of her studies. For last fall alone, her average approached perfection, with 4.30 out of 4.33, which earned her the Jean-Marie de Koninck Award for academic merit at the last Rouge et Or Banquet. Since the start of her university studies, she has only obtained As. Needless to say, this is impressive given the challenge of studying medicine.
Beauchamp was the recipient of a research grant awarded by Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine as part of her research project entitled The evolution of post-concussion symptoms in a population of patients who have suffered a light traumatic brain injury in a sports context.) The research team she joined for the writing of this article is part of the Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Université Laval (Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus).
In addition to her excellent academic record, Beauchamp has been actively involved in the community for several years. In high school and Cegep, Beauchamp was a tutor of young students with certain learning difficulties (ADHD, dyslexia, foreign language, etc.) as well as students from the Inuit community who were continuing their studies at Collège Montmorency.
Just recently, Beauchamp became a member of the Centre Action Bénévole de Québec, an organization that acts as an intermediary between member organizations and individuals interested in volunteering. She is currently in the recruitment process to join a community organization. Two types of volunteering are of particular interest to her: visits offered to seniors in social isolation, as well as homework assistance for children from newly immigrant families. She hopes to be able to start her involvement in the coming weeks.
Last spring, she participated in the Mini-École des Sciences de la Santé à Pessamit. The goal was to educate Indigenous youth about the importance of staying in school and introduce them to various health professions.
"Frédérique is an exceptional student," said Charles Fortier, President of the Board of the Rouge et Or basketball clubs. "Combining her studies in medicine and varsity basketball is a major endeavour that she is thriving at."
ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (AUS)
Name: Liam Elbourne
Hometown: Halifax, N.S.
School: St. Francis Xavier University
Faculty: Business Administration
Program: Business / Economics
Eligibility in 2018-19: 5th
A five-year member of the StFX men's soccer team, Liam Elbourne led the team in scoring his first two seasons and was the captain in his last three years. A starter at midfield, he helped lead the team to an AUS second-place regular season finish in both 2017 and 2018.
A former AUS Rookie of the Year and AUS all-star, Elbourne was honoured as the 2018 AUS men's soccer community service award winner for his extensive contributions off the field of play. The Halifax, N.S., native became an advocate for the prevention of sexualized violence in the StFX and Antigonish communities, taking a leading role in various workshops, panels and initiatives. Through his involvement as President of the German Society, Liam led the opening of a pair of year-long exhibitions of Indigenous art at the university.
The vice-president of the StFX Economics Society, he partnered with his faculty advisor to attract renowned business leaders to give keynote lectures at the university. He also offers tutoring courses to fellow students and was a teaching assistant. A Leader of Distinction with the StFX Athletics Leadership Academy, Elbourne was the 2018 StFX male community excellence award winner, and was twice honoured with the Athletic Director's award for academic excellence as the top male academic student-athlete.
In the classroom, to say that the five-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian excelled is an understatement. A business/economics honours student, Elbourne received the 2019 ONEX Corporation gold medal as the top business administration student at StFX University, as well as the Frank H. Sobey Award for excellence in business studies.
"As an undergraduate student, Liam managed to receive more exposure for his published research than most professors would receive over their entire careers," said Dr. Greg Tkacz, Chair of the StFX Department of Economics, in reference to Elbourne's work appearing in The Economist, the Smithsonian Magazine and The Telegraph, whose combined print circulation tallies almost four million.
Elbourne's academic career at StFX culminated with his selection as a prestigious Rhodes Scholar, the oldest and perhaps most prestigious international scholarship program, currently awarded to only 101 students globally. He is now pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Economics degree at the University of Oxford in England.
"In my 15 years at StFX University, Liam Elbourne is arguably the most compelling student-athlete I have had the pleasure of knowing, and his future is incredibly bright," said StFX Director of Athletics and Recreation Leo MacPherson. "He has all the qualities of a most exceptional U SPORTS student-athlete and is a young man of outstanding intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service."
Name: Ciera Disipio
Hometown: Ottawa, Ont.
School: Cape Breton University
Faculty: Arts, Social Sciences & Culture
Program: Arts – Community Studies
Eligibility in 2018-19: 4th
Growing up Ciera Disipio always knew there was no option for her, soccer would ultimately guide her through young adulthood. Thus, naturally, when a calling from Cape Breton University came, she knew it was meant to be and has been very thankful for her time at CBU.
Disipio won the AUS Rookie of the Year in her first season as a Caper in 2015. She is also the first player to win the AUS Player of the Year three consecutive seasons in women's soccer, capturing the award in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Disipio led the AUS is scoring for the second consecutive season in 2018-19 with 10 goals and 15 points, earning her second of three straight U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian honours. She was also named the 2018 Cape Breton University Athlete of the Year for the second time. During her Capers career, the team has also won four AUS titles, along with U SPORTS silver and bronze medals.
Academically, Disipio has been a Dean's List student in her Bachelor of Arts Community Studies degree and is a member of the Honour's Society. A three-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian and an AUS James Bayer Memorial Scholarship nominee on the Sydney, N.S., campus, Disipio was also named a Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2017-18 season.
"Ciera is a model student," said Professor Bettina Callary. Not only does she submit quality work and get excellent grades, but her attendance in classes, and her participation in group work and discussions adds value to the class and demonstrates critical thinking."
In the community, the 22-year-old is involved with the Undercurrent Youth Centre, Fanatics in Training, Youth in Motion, Shoot for the Cure and the Student Advisory Council, to name just a few organizations. She is also a volunteer soccer coach with Soccer Cape Breton Under 17 team and in her hometown of Ottawa with the sports camp program called Game On.
"Ciera is a true pleasure to coach. During my association with her, I have come to know her as a fine young lady, who is admired by everyone who knows her," said Capers head coach Ness Timmons. "Terrific as a player on the field, but her contribution as a team leader stands out even more. As a team captain, she shows great leadership skills, and is considered a role model for all our players. She is a confident, caring individual who has great organizational skills and energy. She is an excellent teammate, and is always willing to go the extra mile. Her honesty, integrity, and unselfishness are second to none."