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Sumner, Abraham, Lloyd honoured as top varsity team athletes

[Spencer Abraham, Claire Sumner, Kainoa Lloyd]
Spencer Abraham, Claire Sumner, and Kainoa Lloyd, were named the top student-athletes at the 82nd annual Colour Awards Varsity Team athletic banquet on Wednesday. (Photo by Ian MacAlpine)

Claire Sumner of the women's cross country team and both Spencer Abraham of the men's hockey team and Kainoa Lloyd were named Queen’s University’s top student-athletes for the 2017-18 season. The three athletes were announced winners at the 82nd annual Colour Awards Varsity Team athletic banquet Wednesday night at the ARC Main Gym.

Sumner, this year's PHE '55 Alumnae Award winner, finished her cross country career at Queen's as a four-time U SPORTS All-Canadian and was also a BLG finalist in 2017.

The fifth-year life sciences student was the U SPORTS MVP in 2016 and individually raced to gold and silver at nationals. At the OUA level, she is a four-time All-Star and was the 2016 MVP and gold medalist. Last season she was named the OUA’s top female athlete across all sports and claimed the Gaels Oustanding Performance of the Year award. For her team, she helped the Gaels break the Guelph Gryphons’ OUA podium streak, capturing gold this past fall. In her four years as a Gael, she has two U SPORTS team silvers, one bronze and two OUA silvers and a bronze to go along with this year's gold. Sumner also claimed the 2017 Athletics Canada Cross Country Championship in a race at Fort Henry.

For the first time since 1992-93, the Jenkins Trophy for the top male senior student-athlete saw a tie. Both Abraham and Lloyd were announced as this year's recipients.

Abraham was an All-Canadian this past season and has represented U SPORTS in an All-Star competition versus the Canadian World Juniors team for three straight years. In his first season with the Gaels he was named the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year and to the All-Rookie team. At the OUA level, Abraham is a four-time All-Star and has received four major awards including top defenceman twice and most sportsmanlike.

The first-year law student was the team captain this past season and helped to lead the Gaels to a program record 19 wins. He has been an academic All-Canadian every year and has completed a pair of National Hockey League tryouts with the Florida Panthers. A year ago he suited up for Canada at the FISU games in Kazakhstan and skated away with a bronze medal for his country.

Lloyd has been a dominant force on the rugby pitch for the Gaels in his time at Queen’s. A three-time OUA All-Star, Lloyd was named the man of the match in the gold medal game this past year where the Gaels re-claimed the Turner Trophy as Ontario champions. With Queen’s Lloyd has been a member of four OUA championship teams and also added a silver medal.

The computing student has excelled at the national and international levels representing Canada throughout his time at Queen's. He currently competes with the national senior men's program as they prepare for World Cup qualifier matches and has seen time in previous seasons with the National A team. Lloyd also finds time to give back having been active in the team's Run for the Cure, Gaels Care and other Varsity Leadership Council initiatives.

[Zane Grossinger and Sophie de Goede]
Zane Grossinger and Sophie de Goede received the Alfie Pierce Trophy as the top first-year student-athletes at Queen's University. (Photo by Ian MacAlpine)

The Alfie Pierce Trophy recipients for top male and female rookie of the year were Sophie de Goede from women's rugby/basketball and Zane Grossinger from men's volleyball.

A two-sport athlete in rugby and basketball, de Goede took the rugby scene by storm earning the U SPORTS and OUA rookie of the year honours. She performed so well at the national championships that she was named to the U SPORTS championship all-star team and also earned an OUA All-Star honour. On the hardcourt, de Goede quickly picked up the pace and finished as the Gaels leading rebounder. She led all OUA rookies in rebounding and was second in steals for OUA rookies.

Grossinger saw a tremendous season where he was honoured with a spot on the U SPORTS all-rookie team while also being named the OUA rookie of the year. Grossinger had such a strong season with the Gaels marshalling the offence from the setter position that he was also named an OUA All-Star. Statistically, he finished third in the OUA in assists per set and was fifth in digs. He helped the Gaels get to the OUA finals and U SPORTS national championship.

With many standout performances by individual athletes in 2017-18, the Outstanding Performance of the Year (OPY) honour was awarded to McKinley Hunt of women's rugby. 

Hunt had a truly remarkable year at many different levels of competition. With the Gaels, she was named a first-team U SPORTS All-Canadian and OUA All-Star helping the Tricolour get to the national championship as the OUA silver medalists. Her accolades didn't stop there however as she captained the Canadian U20 team to a pair of victories in a series against the United States then was named to the Canadian Senior women’s team where she donned the maple leaf to face off against England in a three-game series in Wickenham.

The Jim Tait Trophy, presented to the top performing Varsity Team, went to the OUA champion men's rugby team.

It was a dominant performance by the Gaels from start to finish under the leadership of first-year head coach David Butcher. 

The Gaels completed a season that was about as close to perfect as a team could get. Not only did they run the table to go 10-0, at no point during the year did the team trail on the scoreboard. They hosted the reigning champions Guelph at Nixon Field and easily defeated the Gryphons to claim the Turner Trophy. Queen's finished with six OUA All-Stars and two major award winners.

Not only did they Gaels find success on the field of play but they continue to be a program that leads the way in the community. The rugby team raised an astounding $24,200 in the Run for the Cure and also contributed to other charitable initiatives such as Soul Foods, Martha's Table, Movember, Extra Awesome/Happy Soul and various rugby outreach programs in the Kingston community.

The Micahel J. Rodden Award, which recognizes an individual generous support and goodwill towards the Queen's University Athletic Programs, was presented to the Office of Advancement’s Chief Development Officer Tom Hewitt.

[Men's Rugby Team]
The OUA champion Gaels men's rugby team received the Jim Tait Trophy as the top performing varsity team. (Photo by Ian MacAlpine)