Sluys, Yassin named Athletes of the Year at 57th annual Warriors Athletics Banquet

Sluys, Yassin named Athletes of the Year at 57th annual Warriors Athletics Banquet

WATERLOO, Ont. - The Department of Athletics and Recreation handed out their year-end hardware at the 57th annual Athletics Banquet on Friday evening at the St. George Banquet Hall.  Mohamed Yassin (Waterloo) from track and field and Stephanie Sluys (Clinton) from women's hockey took home the top honours as athletes of the year. 

Sluys was awarded the Marsden Trophy as female athlete of the year after an outstanding season between the pipes for the women's hockey team leading the Warriors to their best finish in program history. 

Sluys finished seventh in the OUA with a 1.73 goals against average and 11th with a save percentage of .921 but saved her best goaltending for the playoffs.  In Waterloo's OUA quarter-final series win over Western, the third year kinesiology student made 99 saves in 3 games, including a 31-save shutout in Game 3 to send Waterloo to the OUA semifinals.  Overall, Sluys finished the playoffs with the third best save percentage in the OUA at .939. 

On top of her OUA success, Sluys was one of the two goalies selected to represent Canada at the World University Games in Almaty Kazakhstan, where she won the silver medal.

Yassin collected the Totzke Trophy as Waterloo's male athlete of the year having one of the best male track seasons of all-time.

Yassin won three medals at the OUA Championships; a gold in the 4x200m relay, bronze in the 4x400m relay and bronze in the 60m dash.  Yassin then went on to win bronze at the U SPORTS Championship in the 60m race, posting a varsity record time of 6.84 seconds.  He also led the 4x200m relay team to a fourth place finish and was involved in four events overall at the national event.   

The Mechanical Engineering Masters student is the UW varsity record holder in three events including the 60m, 200m and 4x400m relay race and he is the first Warrior male to ever win a national medal in the 60m race. 

Other hardware handed out included the annual Federation of Students Rookies of the Year, Imprint Coach of the Year, J.O. Hemphill Award/0Directors Plaque and the Brian Farrance Award. 

The FEDS male rookie of the year was collected by Nedim Hodzic from men's basketball while Taylor Reimer (Morden) of women's hockey was named the FEDS female rookie of the year

Hodzic had an incredible rookie campaign for the Warriors leading his team in points per game with 16.6 which was the 10th most in the province.  Hodzic was also huge on the boards with 8.3 rebounds per game, the second most on his team and eighth most in the OUA. 

For his efforts, the Biomedical Engineering student was named an OUA second-team all-star and was also a member of the all-rookie team.  Hodzic's best game came in the Battle of Waterloo School Day Game at Laurier where he put up 28 points in a 79-71 victory.

Reimer continued the trend of rookie goalies stealing the show for the Waterloo women's hockey team.  Reimer finished the season fifth in the OUA with a 1.54 goals against average and seventh with a save percentage of .937. 

The science student got hot in the second half of the season posting three shutouts in her final six starts and allowed two goals or more in just one game this season.  Reimer was named to the OUA all-rookie team, the third Warrior goalie to do so in the last six years.

The Imprint Coach of the Year award was handed out to the bench boss of the women's hockey program, Shaun Reagan

Reagan led the women's hockey team to a 17-11-2 regular season record and then past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in program history as the Warriors advanced to the OUA semifinals and came within a bounce or two of making the championship game. 

Reagan also led the team to their first national rankings ever and became the all-time leader in wins with 66 wins in his sixth season with the team.  Reagan was also selected to be an assistant coach of the Canadian women's hockey team at the World University games in Kazakhstan but stayed home to welcome his first born, Callie.

The J.O. Hemphill and Director's awards were won by Hussein Salemwalla and Madlynn Palmer.  The awards are presented annually in recognition of students who provide an outstanding administrative contribution to interuniversity athletics.

Salemwalla has played a key role on the squash team for organizing their tournaments, practices and other key administration tasks.  He was also a big part of Waterloo hosting a successful 2017 OUA Squash Championship at the Northfield Racquet Club.  Salemwalla is always going above and beyond to ensure the squash program runs smoothly and effectively.  He has also been a dedicated member of the IU Council and has been involved in the promotion of the annual Think Pink campaign. 

Palmer of the swim team has been an instrumental student-leader for the department in many capacities.  She has been the lead for the IU Council and has helped plan many student-athlete initiatives including; Varsity Olympics, Operation Christmas Child, Think Pink, Feds Food Bank and much more.  Palmer is always lending a helping hand, and takes great initiative to enhance the overall student-athlete experience at the University of Waterloo. 

The Warrior Campus Service Award presented to a member of the University of Waterloo campus community who has made a meaningful contribution to the advancement of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, was also handed out and Martin Timmerman was the recipient. 

Timmerman who retired as an assistant director of the IST department in 2014 has been (and continues to be) an integral part of the collection and archiving of men's basketball history.  The history of each Warrior to don the men's basketball jersey is available on the team website, created and maintained by Timmerman.  He also runs and maintains the U SPORTS hoops basketball (historical) site. 

Not surprisingly, Timmerman had a front row seat for Waterloo's thrilling 80-79 national championship victory in 1975 at the PAC and the campus service award winner continues to attend Warrior basketball games at the PAC today.

The final award was the Brian Farrance award presented to a student therapist who has demonstrated excellence, commitment and dedication throughout his/her service to varsity athletics.  The award was presented to Lauren Bott who has been a student therapist with the football team for the past two seasons and women's hockey for three.  Graduating from kinesiology this year, she is always someone who could be counted on to get the athletes back on the playing surface and does so in a professional and effective manner.

In addition to the awards, a long-serving member of the department, Ingird Schugardt was thanked and presented with a special framed 'W'.  Ingrid has been a staff member at UWaterloo for 47 years and 40 of them have been spent in Athletics.  She is an extremely hard working, dedicated employee who puts pride into her work, even to this day.  Ingrid has seen and done it all for the Warriors and can't be thanked enough for all she has done to make everyone's day-to-day operations so much easier.

Thank you to all who attended the banquet and to our dedicated student-athletes for wearing the Warrior shield with pride all season long.

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