Ryerson Athletics capped off a record-breaking year by honouring its athletes at its annual awards banquet on April 2.
Basketball stars Aaron Best and Keneca Pingue-Giles were named male and female athletes of the year.
Best, a fifth-year basketball senior, helped his team to its first Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship and second consecutive Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) bronze medal. He averaged a career high of 17.8 points and 7.4 rebounds this season. In turn, he was named an OUA first-team all-star and CIS second-team all-Canadian. Best retires third all-time in scoring and sixth all-time in rebounding at Ryerson.
Pingue-Giles, a fifth-year basketball veteran, received the H.H. Kerr trophy for the second consecutive season. This season she was also awarded the CIS player of the year, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA player of the year and defensive player of the year and OUA first-team all-star. Pingue-Giles led the nation with 79 steals and averaged 17.6 points per game, ranking eighth in Canada.
She led her team to its first ever OUA championship title and helped Ryerson earn its first CIS silver medal.
While Pingue-Giles and Best are both veterans on their teams, there were many Rams rookies who stepped up as well. Two in particular were Taylor Smith and Brandon Devlin, who were named male and female rookies of the year.
In her rookie campaign with the Rams figure skating team, Smith participated in three events at her first OUA championship. In the novice short program, her individual event, Smith earned the OUA bronze medal. She also helped the synchro team earn points on its way to a fifth-place finish.
Devlin, a defenceman on the men’s hockey team, finished third in the division in goals by defencemen, with six, and was named to the OUA West all-rookie team. He laced up for all 28 regular season games and tallied 13 points in the process. In the post-season, he had seven points in five games, including two goals.
There were also two awards given out for community involvement. The G.L. Dobson award for female community contribution went to fourth-year women’s volleyball player Erica Naccarato. The D.H. Craighead award for male community contribution went to third-year men’s soccer player Kyle Stewart.
The Jim Peffers award, which is given to a staff member with the most dedication to interuniversity sports, was given to Dustin Reid. It was a long and successful year for Reid, as he coached both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams to OUA silver medals.
Kristine Yan, a second-year women’s volleyball player, took home the Claude LaJeunesse Award for her combined contributions in academics, athletics and leadership.