Taylor Brock female athlete of year: Team awards list
Hannah Taylor’s fourth year of varsity wrestling at Brock University was a roller coaster ride culminating Wednesday in the 21-year-old Summerside, PEI, native being named the school’s female athlete of the year.
The award was part of the Badgers’ awards ceremony that was live streamed on the Brock Badgers’ Instagram account.
The three-time defending U SPORTS champion in the 63-kilogram division didn’t follow the event live because she was working on an essay. She was inundated with social media congratulations from her friends and teammates after the award was announced.
“It was cool,” she said. “I didn’t even know I was up for an award. Although there wasn’t an awards ceremony and stuff, it is still an honour to be named that out of all the Brock athletes.”
The First Team All-Canadian’s up and down year started with winning a bronze medal at the world under-23 championships.
“That was the highlight of my entire wrestling, not just this year.”
In December, she lost in the finals of the Olympic trials.
“That was obviously a low because I had worked so hard these past four years at Brock to win that match.”
The pendulum then swung up again by winning Ontario University Athletics’ and U SPORTS’ individual titles and helping her team capture the provincial and national team titles. Taylor didn’t allow a point at either championship.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
“Having my season cut short and the national championships being cancelled was another blow,” she said. “But at least I am ending the season on a high by winning this award.”
The national championships were supposed to be held this weekend in London.
Taylor went back home to Prince Edward Island and has obviously has to shut down her wrestling training.
“The province of Prince Edward Island is really practising social distancing so we are not allowed to be within two metres of someone and you’re not allowed to go meet with people.”
She is trying hard to work out at home, get outside and stay active.
“It’s still winter here and it’s a little difficult to go for a run. We are confined inside and I am trying to make it work.”
She admits to going through training withdrawal.
“What am I supposed to be doing with all these hours of the day?” the sport management student said. “I am used to waking up, having a two-hour practice, then going to classes, doing homework in between classes and then having another two-hour practice. And then there’s additional cardio and workouts on our own.
“It is a completely different lifestyle right now and I am trying to enjoy it, but I also have a lot of pent-up energy.”
She is dissipating that energy by taking her dog Nelson, a French bulldog, for a lot of walks and spending time with her family.
And while her training is on hold, she is still living and breathing wrestling.
“I am into journalling about wrestling and I look at my journals about how I felt after a match versus how I felt after a tournament and how I felt after a week of training,” she said. “I’m looking at those aspects of my game and watching a lot of film, not only of myself but my competitors and my teammates.
“It kind of brings my mind back into that competitive place and I get a little bit nervous even when I am sitting in the comfort of my bed.”
It is all about getting better in any way possible.
“Cleary, I have a lot of time to do that right now.”
She also has plenty of time to reflect on the season past.
“I learned that you don’t have to be super nervous to compete and you don’t have to be super chill to compete,” she said. “Finding a good arousal level is something that I have been working on for the last while and I am still working on it today.”
She is also trying to put her wrestling in context with all the other parts of her life.
“It’s understanding that, in the grand scheme of life, it doesn’t matter if I win or lose on the wrestling mat,” she said. “My family, my friends and my teammates are still going to love and support me and I can still grow from it.
“It’s also understanding when I step out on the mat, it’s an opportunity to be my best.”
Following is the complete list of varsity team awards:
Brock sports medicine (athletic therapy): Damian Ksenych and Sean Sabbatini, Joseph P. Kenny Awards; Caroline Casey-Hicks, Brock Sports Medicine Outstanding Achievement Award
Brock Sports Performance Centre: James Watt, student intern of the year; Abby Bolton, impact award.
Baseball: Connor Humphrey, MVP; Ashton Feijo, top rookie.
Men’s basketball: Daniel Cayer, MVP.
Women’s basketball: Melissa Tatti, T. J. Kearney MVP Award; Kyanna Thompson, top rookie.
Cheerleading: Sabrina Trolio, most valuable; Sabrina Trolio, Isabella Pucci-Schaefer, Alexis Sykes and Shannan Hickey, most improved; Natasha Fortuna, Brianne Arnold and Vanessa Grassa, most spirited; Sally Bellevue, top rookie.
Cross country: Jeremy Mol, men’s runner of the year; Paulina Sergnese, women’s runner of the year; Nikhil Lew, top rookie.
Men’s curling: Nicholas Lemieux, curler of the year; John McCutcheon, top rookie; Dylan Sipura, Spirit of Curling.
Women’s curling: Marcia Richardson, curler of the year; Grace Cave, top rookie; Cassandra Barnard, Spirit of Curling.
Women’s fencing: Glena Hussein, Douglas Trophy; Sara Fellman and Amber Briar, top rookies.
Men’s fencing: Logan Wilford, Douglas Trophy; Mark Montesino and Gregory Landry, top rookies.
Men’s golf: Nolan Vonkalckreuth, golfer of the year; Mitchell Beaubien, top rookie.
Women’s golf: Lauren Hines, golfer of the year; Ava Iannou, top rookie.
Men’s hockey: Skylar Pacheco; Ed Davis MVP; Jordan Sambrook, Denholm top rookie.
Women’s hockey: Jensen Murphy, MVP; Emma Irwin, top rookie.
Men’s lacrosse: Kurtis Woodland, MVP; Nathan Braniff, top rookie.
Rowing: Thomas Markewich, oarsman of the year; Erin Corkery, oarswoman of the Year.
Men’s rugby: Adam Melia, clubman of the year; Myles Maloney, top rookie; Mitch Wilson, most improved.
Women’s rugby: Sara Shaw, MVP: Daniella Michaud, top rookie; Niamh Haughey, character award.
Men’s soccer: Jared Agyemang, MVP; Eric Robinson, top rookie.
Women’s soccer: Samantha Bayer, MVP; Ivana Kanisek, top rookie.
Men’s squash: Vincenzo Prior, MVP: Cory Monterosso, top rookie.
Women’s squash: Andrea Chaves, MVP; Valerie Pagnotta, top rookie.
Men’s swimming: Gokhan Bozyigit Joe Kerkhoven MVP; Julien Legault, Herb deBray progressive.
Women’s swimming: Maggie May Smith, Joe Kerkhoven MVP; Ashley Falconer, Herb deBray progressive.
Women’s volleyball: Laura Condotta, MVP; Samantha Casey, top rookie.
Men’s volleyball: Logan House, MVP: Sauli Lianga, top rookie.
Men’s wrestling: Ligrit Sadiku and Clayton Pye, wrestler of the year; Qasim Khan, top rookie.
Women’s wrestling: Hannah Taylor, wrestler of the year; Leigha Smith, top rookie.