KELOWNA, B.C. – The ninth annual Athletics Awards Banquet took place at the Coast Capri Hotel Tuesday night and four distinguished male athletes were the recipients of this year’s headline awards in the streamlined ceremony format that was debuted at last year’s banquet.
For a complete list of this year’s nominees and detailed descriptions for each award, see the banquet preview. For a list of all award winners and those otherwise recognized at the banquet, see the recap of the big night.
Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year – Mitch McCaw (Men’s Soccer)
Mitch was the backbone of the Heat men’s side this season, finishing with six wins, including five shutouts, in his 14 starts in net for UBCO. In his first season with the Heat after transferring from Concordia University in Portland, McCaw became the first Heat soccer team member to receive all star recognition when he was named to the Canada West First Team. He was also named a Canada West First Star of the Week after his performances in Kelowna against Lethbridge and Calgary.
The fourth year management student had a stat line of 66 saves (5th in Canada West), a .805 save percentage (also 5th in the conference), and a 1.14 goals against average.
Bornemann is in his fourth year of the engineering program here at UBCO, and has been named an academic All-Canadian the past three seasons. He is likely to earn a fourth such honour for his achievements this year.
On the court Lars led the Heat men in kills this season with 290, and also led in service aces with 22.
Graduating Player of the Year – Alex Swiatlowski (Volleyball)
The middle from Victoria finished off an impressive career this season, putting his numbers over five years up to 638 kills, 152 total blocks, and 42 service aces. Those statistics were earned in 313 sets played for the Heat, the second-most all time. He owns the school record for the most matches played, with 96. In each of the past four seasons Alex has finished with over 100 kills, and at last year’s banquet he was a finalist for Athlete of the Year as well as one of two masters of ceremonies for the event.
In his career with the Heat, Swiatlowski played his best in matches against the rival UBC Thunderbirds. His career-high of 23 kills came against the T-Birds on January 19, 2016, and his second- and third-highest totals of 20 and 19 kills were also against UBC.
Rookie of the Year – Kyle Hinchey (Volleyball)
The first year outside hitter was integral this season in his team’s setting a new program record for wins in a season, starting every match he played. He finished the season third on the team in kills, with 174, and third as well in total points with 211.5. That stat line and his other contributions were enough to earn him a spot on the Canada West All-Rookie team. He set a career high in kills at 15, which he managed twice this season, in matches against Saskatchewan and MacEwan.
Rugby Inspirational – Nathan Brown
The Inspirational Rugby Athlete of the Year Award, added this year, recognizes a rugby player in third year or higher who demonstrates commitment, leadership, and superior performance on the pitch and in the classroom. The inaugural winner was Nathan Brown, a 5’4″ back in the final year of his Bachelor’s degree in Science in Nursing.