Ryan MacKinnon, Alysha Corrigan, and Bailey Smith named UPEI Athletes of the Year

UPEI Athletics and Recreation holds annual awards gala to celebrate its outstanding student athletes
Monday, April 9, 2018
UPEI's Kiera Rigby is awarded the James Bayer Scholarship by Atlantic University Sport executive director Phil Currie and special guest Marg Bayer

UPEI’s Department of Athletics and Recreation celebrated the 2017–18 season at the 49th annual UPEI Athletic Awards Gala on Friday, April 6, recognizing outstanding student athletes who have excelled in sport, the classroom, and serving the community. This year, the UPEI Alumni Association’s Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year award will be shared by Alysha Corrigan, of the UPEI Women’s Rugby team, and Bailey Smith, a sprinter on the UPEI Track and Field Team. The Male Athlete of the Year is Ryan MacKinnon of the UPEI Men’s Hockey team.

The event, held at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, included student-athletes, coaches, staff, along with members of the university community, alumni, donors, sponsors, and booster club supporters.

In addition to the Athlete of the Year awards, club and varsity team awards were presented. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Rookie of the Year award winners from each team include (note that the MVP is listed first followed by Rookie of the Year):

Men’s Soccer: Sam Smiley, Neil Harte
Women’s Soccer: Jen Balderson, Kami Chaisson
Women’s Rugby: Alysha Corrigan, Sophie Carragher
Women’s Field Hockey: Hannah Gormley, Abby MacDonald
Men’s Hockey: Ryan MacKinnon, Kam Kielly
Women’s Hockey: Rachel Colle, Leah Byrne
Men’s Basketball: Milorad Sedlarevic, Moshe Wadley
Women’s Basketball: Kiera Rigby, Reese Baxendale
Swimming (women): Kelsey Bolivar, Julianna Doitte
Swimming (men): Kris Smith, Kris Smith
Cross Country (women): Emma Moore
Cross Country (men): Lee Wesselius, Ryan Merrett
Women’s Volleyball: Laura Ready
Men’s Rugby: Mark Lloyd, Ben Whalen
Track and Field (women): Bailey Smith, Danika Atchia
Track and Field (men): Damon MacDonald

Atlantic University Sport executive director Phil Currie and special guest Marg Bayer were also on hand to present the 32nd AUS James Bayer Memorial Scholarship Award to Kiera Rigby of the UPEI Women’s Basketball team. Rigby is UPEI’s fourth recipient of the award, and the first Panther to receive it in 21 years.

The award was established in 1985 and is awarded annually to an outstanding student-athlete in Atlantic University Sport for excellence in academics, athletics, leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship. Each of the eleven AUS-member schools nominates one student-athlete for this prestigious award. This year’s recipient receives a $1,000 scholarship.

James Bayer taught education and physical education at both high school and university levels. He served as supervisor and consultant for the Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Recreation and Fitness. At Acadia University, he served as dean of recreation and physical education and as director of athletics from 1978–85. As an administrator in the AUAA and the CIAU, he was a key player in the establishment of intercollegiate athletic policy.

Kiera Rigby was also the recipient of the W.A. Ledwell Award, presented to the student who has demonstrated outstanding athletic ability in the intercollegiate program, academic excellence, and also demonstrates the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, and citizenship.

The Gordon and Muriel Bennett Award goes to the male or female student-athlete who, over four years, best combines athletic achievement and academic excellence. This year’s award went to Emma Martin of the UPEI Women’s Hockey team.

About the UPEI Athletes of the Year

Ryan MacKinnon, a defenceman on the UPEI Men’s Hockey team, is a graduating business student from Summerside, PEI. He was named an AUS first-team All-Star and is currently playing in the AHL with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Alysha Corrigan, a fullback on the UPEI Women’s Rugby team, is a fourth-year business student from Charlottetown, PEI. She was named an AUS All-Star at the wing position and was a runner-up for the AUS MVP of the Year. She was also voted to the U SPORTS All-Canadian second team.

Bailey Smith, a sprinter on the UPEI Track and Field team, is a second-year nursing student from Mount Stewart, PEI. She was named the AUS Female Track Athlete of the year for 2017–18.

Ron Annear
Athletics and Recreation
(902) 566-0991
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