Canada West Athlete of the Year field complete

Canada West Athlete of the Year field complete

Evan Daum, Canada West Communications


  • Regina’s Atlee Simon and Kyanna Giles were named the final CW member athletes of the year last Thursday night
  • CW member winners are now vying to become CW Athlete of the Year, and the conference nominees for the BLG Awards as U SPORTS’ top athletes
  • The CW winners will be named in conjunction with U SPORTS at a later date, while the national winners will be named Monday, June 4 in Vancouver 

EDMONTON – When Regina’s Atlee Simon and Kyanna Giles claimed their school’s athlete of the year honours last Thursday night, the Canada West member awards season officially ended.

Simon and Giles were honoured by the Rams and Cougars after their tremendous football and basketball seasons respectively, completing the CW list of top athletes from the 2017-18 season.

Now the focus shifts to the conference athlete of the year awards, which will be announced in conjunction with U SPORTS at a later date, and then the national stage. The BLG Awards, which honour the top athletes in U SPORTS, will be handed out Monday, June 4 in Vancouver as part of the U SPORTS annual general meeting. 


In terms of sports, volleyball led the way in producing CW athletes of the year with eight winners (four men and four women). Included among the volleyball winners is Trinity Western’s Adam Schriemer, who was the U SPORTS Player of the Year in his fifth and final season. 

While there are plenty of strong candidates worthy of the CW Athlete of the Year honours, two of the strongest resumes belong to Alberta’s Ed Ilnicki and Calgary’s Temitope Ogunjimi respectively.

Ilnicki completed one of the best seasons in Golden Bears and Canada West football history in 2017, winning both the conference and national player of the year awards. The fifth-year running back set a new single-season Canada West rushing record with 1,468 rushing yards, while also leading the country with 11 rushing touchdowns. On top of his athletic accomplishments, Ilnicki also spent the year as the President of the University Athletics Board, winning the Canada West Football Student-Athlete Community Service Award.

Meanwhile, Ogunjimi was a two-sport standout with the Dinos, wrapping up her career as one of the most decorated athletes in Calgary history, winning five Canada West wrestling gold medals and adding a pair of rugby conference championships. 

On the pitch this season, she helped lead the Dinos to a second straight CW rugby championship. As a wrestler, Ogunjimi was the conference champion at 67 kilograms and then captured a national gold medal in her final university bout, while claiming U SPORTS outstanding wrestler honours in addition to the national student-athlete community service award. 

Conference members will now vote for the CW Athletes of the Year, who will look to claim the national honours in June. The CW BLG nominees will be joined by the nominees from the three other U SPORTS conferences – Atlantic University Sport (AUS), Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), and Ontario University Athletics (OUA).

The eight nominees are considered for the BLG Awards based on their athletic accomplishment, outstanding sportsmanship and demonstrated leadership. The Canadian Athletic Foundation – a non-profit board established to administer the Awards – serves to protect the integrity of the selection process, and select winners. 







Ed Ilnicki (football)

Kristina Sanjevic (tennis)

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Elliott Viles (volleyball)

Mary Thomson (volleyball)

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Byron Keturakis (VB) / John Gay (XC)

Kat Kennedy (golf)

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UBC Okanagan

Mitch McCaw (soccer) & James Casorso (golf)

Veronika Fagan (XC)

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Mambi Diawara & David Kapinga (basketball)

Temitope Ogunjimi (rugby & wrestling)

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Fraser Valley

Brad Hildenbrandt (wrestling) & Dan Campbell (golf)

Karla Godinez Gonzalez (wrestling)

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Aaron Hernandez (track & field)

Sandra Latrace (track & field)

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Justus Alleyn (basketball)

Venla Hovi (hockey)

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Brett Njaa (hockey)

Cassidy Kinsella (volleyball)

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Mount Royal

Jesse Lees (hockey)

Alex Donaghy (volleyball)

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Gordon Hall (soccer)

Vasiliki Louka (basketball)

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Atlee Simon (football)

Kyanna Giles (basketball

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Kieran Johnston (track & field)

Julie Labach (track & field)

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Thompson Rivers

Mitchell Popadynetz (soccer)

Rachel Windhorst (volleyball)

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Trinity Western

Adam Schriemer (volleyball)

Regan Yee (XC / track & field)

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Patrick Keane (rowing)

Puck Louwes (soccer) & Caileigh Filmer (rowing)

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Logan Brennan (volleyball)

Antoinette Miller (basketball)

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NOTES: Winners in programs that did not compete in CW during the 2017-18 season are denoted in italics. Members with winners from non-CW programs will select an alternate athlete from a U SPORTS sanctioned sport to be their nominee for the conference athlete of the year voting process. 

*Saskatchewan’s male BLG nominee is Kendall McFaull from men’s hockey.