Staehli, Bailie honoured as Queen's top Varsity Team athletes

Staehli, Bailie honoured as Queen's top Varsity Team athletes

KINGSTON, Ont. (April 5, 2017) – Julie-Anne Staehli (Lucknow, Ont.) of the women's cross country team and Kevin Bailie (Belleville, Ont.) of the men's hockey team were named the top student-athletes for the 2016-17 season. The two athletes were announced winners at the 81st annual Colour Awards Varsity Team athletic banquet Wednesday night at the ARC Main Gym.

Staehli, this year's PHE '55 Alumnae Award winner, finished her cross country career at Queen's with an unprecedented fifth straight All-Canadian honour becoming the first Queen's athlete to achieve the accomplishment.

The fifth year masters of science student helped the Gaels to second place finishes at both the U SPORTS and OUA championships this year. She was named an OUA All-Star in 2016 also for the fifth time. Over her career, Staehli has helped Queen's achieve two national team bronze medals to go along with this year's silver along with an additional silver and bronze at the OUA level. As an individual, Staehli was the 2013 U SPORTS MVP and gold medalist and also added a national silver in 2014. At the OUA level, she claimed a pair of both silver and bronze medals. Staehli has also had success at the international level representing Canada nationally four times.

Bailie was awarded the Jenkins Trophy as the top male senior student-athlete. An All-Canadian in his third year and a two-time OUA All-Star Bailie took the league by storm in his first season at Queen's. In 2013-14 he was named OUA MVP, Top goalie and rookie of the year followed by being named the U SPORTS rookie of the year and named to the U SPORTS All-Rookie team.

The first-year law student, Bailie added another top goalie honour last season and was a member of the U SPORTS All-Stars squad that challenged the Canadian national junior team twice. This past season he helped lead the Gaels to a franchise best 18 wins and program best No.3 national ranking. The Gaels finished with an OUA silver after earning their way back to the Queen's Cup and University Cup for the first time since 1981. Bailie was a member of team Canada at this year's FISU games in Kazakhstan where he won a bronze medal.

With many standout performances by individual athletes in 2016-17, the Outstanding Performance of the Year (OPY) honour was awarded to Claire Sumner (Calgary) of women's cross country. 

Sumner was utterly dominant as a runner for the Gaels this season. She took first in an 8km race, the first of its kind for the women, at the Queen's Invitational. From there, Sumner won the OUA Championship where she was named an All-Star and the MVP. She doubled down that effort at the U SPORTS national championship winning gold once again and was named an All-Canadian and the U SPORTS MVP. Sumner finished her season representing Canada at the world cross country championships in Uganda just a few weeks ago.

The Alfie Pierce Trophy recipients for top male and female rookie of the year were Bridget Mulholland (Kingston, Ont.) from women's basketball and Lukas Kaufman (Stratford, Ont.) from men's volleyball.

Mulholland was a key player in a historic season for the women's basketball team that finished with a program-best 18-1 record and reached their highest national ranking at No.3. Mulholland and the Gaels finished fourth nationally, and the rookie led the team in steals at the national championship. Mulholland was named to the OUA All-Rookie team, and the Gaels took an OUA silver as a team on home court. Mulholland was extremely proficient from beyond the arc where she led the Gaels and was 18th in the OUA in three-point percentage.

Kaufman, one of three Gaels named to the OUA All-Rookie team, posted 118 digs on the season which was good for 8th in the OUA while averaging 2.0 per set. Kaufman started the season as a reserve for the Gaels but soon made his way into the lineup as a regular. He helped the Gaels reach the playoffs and was named the team's rookie of the year by his peers.

The future is bright for Mulholland, Kaufman and the Gaels.

The Jim Tait Trophy is presented annually to the top performing Varsity Team. The award was presented Wednesday night to the U SPORTS and OUA silver medalist women's cross country team. 

The Gaels owned the podium at the OUA Championship fresh off a Queen's Invitational victory. Queen's finished in second overall for an OUA silver while Sumner finished first and Staehli took third individually. Sumner was also named the OUA MVP. At the U SPORTS nationals, Sumner and the Gaels found the podium once again. As a team the Gaels nearly broke the dominance from Guelph, finishing with a U SPORTS silver. Individually, Sumner once again was the overall winner and MVP. 

Sumner and Staehli both received All-Canadian status at the U SPORTS Championship. For Staehli, she finishes her career having been an All-Canadian every season as a Gael. She is the first Queen's student to achieve All-Canadian status five times. Sumner and Staehli also represented Canada in March at the world cross country championships in Uganda.

In addition to their success on the field, the women's cross country team excels off the field as well. The Gaels were once again active in fundraising for Martha's Table and continued their carolling tradition to fundraise during the holiday season.

The Queen's Special Recognition Award was given out during the event Wednesday. This year's recipients, Shoalts and Zaback Architects, Queen's Physical Plant Services, M. Sullivan and Son Limited, were key players in the revitalization of Richardson Stadium which opened on time and on budget for the Queen's football home opener last September.

On Tuesday, Queen's Athletics and Recreation honoured its top athletes in the Varsity Club stream. Lily Jiang (Edmonton) from Women's Fencing and Ian Pinchin (Kingston, Ont.) from Men's Water Polo, claimed the top senior student-athlete awards while Sailing earned Varsity Club of the Year.  Jenna Dhanani (North Vancouver, B.C.) from Women's Squash and Ryan Jonker (Brockville, Ont.) from Cycling claimed rookie of the year awards. 

Jenkins Trophy: Kevin Bailie (Men's Hockey)
PHE '55 Alumnae Award: Julie-Anne Staehli (Women's Cross Country)
Outstanding Performer of the Year: Claire Sumner (Women's Cross Country)
Jim Tait Trophy: Women's Cross Country
Alfie Pierce Trophy (Male): Lukas Kaufman
Alfie Pierce Trophy (Female): Bridget Mulholland
Queen's Special Recognition Award: Shoalts and Zaback Architects, Queen's Physical Plant Services, M. Sullivan and Son Limited
Support Services Awards:  Chris Brooker (Athletic Therapy), Nicole Morse (Athlete Services), Sadie Vanier (Home Events) and Steph Edmunds (Strength and Conditioning)

Marion Ross Trophy: Lily Jiang (Women's Fencing)
Jack Jarvis Trophy: Ian Pinchin (Men's Water Polo)
Award of Merit Trophy: Sailing
Alfie Pierce Trophy (Female): Jenna Dhanani (Women's Squash)
Alfie Pierce Trophy (Male): Ryan Jonker (Cycling)
Varsity Club Support Service Award: Victoria Restivo (Sailing)