Friday, 31 March 2017

Huskie Salute honour caps Nyame’s golden season

Astrid Nyame, right, is named the Huskies top female athlete.
    Astrid Nyame graduated winning one final award she didn’t quite expect.
    On Friday night at the Huskie Salute at TCU Place, the fifth-year track and field standout with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies was named the program’s female athlete of the year. She becomes the first track athlete to have her name inscribed on the Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy since Sharai Siemens in 2012.
    “It is just really the cherry on top of my five years competing with the Huskies,” said Nyame. “It has just been a real blessing and an honour to wear the green and white for five years.”
    Nyame entered her final campaign looking to win U Sports gold. At last year’s U Sports nationals, she won a bronze medal in the pentathlon and a silver medal in the weight throw. She was focusing on the 60-metre hurdles and the 50 and 60-metre sprint races this season and expected to dabble in the long jump.
    She won gold in the 60-metre hurdles at this year’s Canada West championships in Regina. At the U Sports nationals in Edmonton that ran March 9-11, Nyame claimed gold again in the 60-metre hurdles clocking in at a time of 8.31 seconds. She also placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 5.73 metres.
    Those results marked a dream finish to her university career.
    “It is definitely the way I wanted to go out in my fifth year,” said Nyame. “It has been a long five years of hard work.
    “It is really awesome to be recognized for that.”
    While she enjoyed winning a gold medal, Nyame said her best memories will be the fun times she had with her track teammates both men and women.
Astrid Nyame speaks to the crowd at TCU Place.
    “I think my favourite memories with my teammates would be the road trips,” said Nyame. “Over the past five years we’ve really grown together, and we are like a family.
    “I’m really going to miss going on those road trips with them.”
    The Maidstone, Sask., product said she didn’t think about the finality of her university career, when nationals finished. She could feel a chapter closing in her life, when the Huskie Salute came to an end.
    “I think tonight was the night that it actually really sunk in,” said Nyame. “This is the last Huskie Athletics thing of the year.
    “I am just really going to miss it.”
    The Huskie Salute in the annual event, where the U of S athletics program hands out its major seven awards.
    Libby Epoch from the women’s basketball team captured the Patricia Lawson Trophy as the female rookie of the year, and fifth-year women’s soccer standout Meagan Manson won the Valerie Girsberger Trophy as the all-around female athlete of the year for leadership, sportsmanship, academic ability and athletic prowess.
    Star men’s hockey team netminder Jordon Cooke took home the E. Kent Phillips Trophy as the male athlete of the year for a second straight year. Derek Epp of the men’s volleyball team claimed the Howard Nixon Trophy as male rookie of the year, and Andrew Johnson, who is a fifth-year standout of the men’s wrestling team, captured the Rusty MacDonald Cup as the all-around male athlete of the year.
The Huskies major seven award winners.
    Dave Adolph, who is the head coach of the men’s hockey team, won the Colb McEwon Trophy as the coach of the year for Huskie Athletics.
    The Dr. Walter Hader Student Trainer of the Year Award went to Chelsey McEwen from women’s volleyball.
    During the Huskie Salute, the women’s basketball and women’s wrestling teams were recognized for their Canada West championship wins.
    A tribute video was also played for former Huskies football head coach Brian Towriss, who stepped down Dec. 19, 2016 and will be inducted to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on Sept. 15. Towriss wasn’t on hand for Friday’s Huskie Salute.

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