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Sumner in running for top university athletics honour

[Claire Sumner]
Queen’s Gaels cross country runner Claire Sumner is one of four finalists for Canada’s highest university athletics honour. (University Communications) 

Following a banner season, Queen’s Gaels cross country runner Claire Sumner is now a nominee for Canada’s highest university athletic honour.

The fourth-year life sciences student has already been named the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) female athlete of the year and is in the running for the Jim Thompson Trophy, awarded annually to the U Sports female athlete of the year.

“I was so excited to hear about the nomination. It is an incredible honour, considering the number of talented athletes in U Sports, and I am so proud to be able to represent Queen’s at this event," says Sumner.

Sumner was recently awarded the Queen’s Outstanding Performance of the Year after a remarkable season that included a win at the 8-km Queen's Invitational, a win at the OUA championship where she was also named an all-star and MVP, and a gold medal at the U Sports championship where she was also named an All-Canadian and the U Sports MVP.

“Claire had a season for the ages in 2016-17, and enjoyed a major personal performance breakthrough in the process,” says Gaels cross country coach Steve Boyd. “Always a steady performer, Claire simply went to another level this year, and her results clearly showed it.”

The winner will be announced Monday, May 1 at the U Sports annual awards banquet in Sumner’s hometown Calgary. The ceremony will air nationally later in May on Rogers Sportsnet.

“The event being held in Calgary is a huge bonus for me. It makes it extra special because it allows for my whole family to be there to support me,” says Sumner.

This is Queen’s second nomination since the awards were established in 1993. Each of the winners receives a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship to attend a Canadian graduate university and a trophy.

The Jim Thompson trophy is one of two awards handed out annually by Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) LLP in partnership with U Sports to honour the top university athletes in the country and promote post-graduate studies at Canadian universities. One male and one female nominee are chosen to represent Atlantic Canada, Canada West, Ontario and Quebec. These eight nominees are then considered for the U Sports Male and Female Athletes on the Year based on their athletic accomplishment, outstanding sportsmanship and demonstrated leadership.

Winners are selected by the Canadian Athletic Foundation, a non-profit board established to administer the awards and protect the integrity of the selection process. For more information about the awards, visit the U Sports website.