BC Athletics congratulations association members who were winners and nominees for the 2013 BC Athlete of the Year awards, presented last night at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel.
Athlete with a Disability – Winner, Michelle Stilwell
Michelle is the number one ranked BC, Canadian, and International T52 racer in 100m, 200m, 800m and 10K. In 2013, she also broke her own world records in both the 200m and 800m events at the International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships. She is the only female Paralympic athlete to have ever won gold in two summer sport events: gold in wheelchair basketball and two gold medals in the women’s T52 200m and 100m. Michelle was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia as a BC Liberal candidate for Parksville-Qualicum in the 2013 provincial election.
Female High School Athlete – Winner, Asianna Covington
In 2013, during her final year at Little Flower Academy, Asianna reached her full potential and maintained a strong lead in both the hammer and discus events provincially and nationally. She set the Canadian high school record in discus at the Fraser Valley Invitational and in the 3kg hammer throw. Asianna helped lead Little Flower Academy to the 2013 BC Provincial Championships, was team MVP and earned the Top Female Athlete Award at the BC High School Championships. She was the BC high school champion in discus throw breaking a 42-year record, along with winning the hammer throw, and placing second in shot put. Asianna is currently attending the University of Georgia.
Female Junior Athlete – Winner, Georgia Ellenwood
Georgia has improved over 200 points in the heptathlon since 2012 and has the BC High School and BC Junior records. In 2013, Georgia set a new BC high school heptathlon record; winning the event for a fourth straight year. She also picked up another two gold medals in the long jump and 100 metres as well a silver medal in high jump. In addition to her high school achievements, Georgia also won gold in heptathlon and long jump at the 2013 Canadian Junior Championships and brought home a bronze medal in heptathlon from the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships. Georgia is ranked number one in BC and number two in Canada for heptathlon, long jump and high jump. She is currently attending the University of Wisconsin.
Masters Athlete – Winner, Christa Bortignon
In 2013, Christa broke seven world records in 100m, 200m, 400m, 80m hurdles, 200m hurdles, heptathlon and triple jump, winning eight gold medals at the World Championships and five gold medals at the World Master Games. Christa is ranked 1st in the world in the WMA rankings in all of her seven record events. She was named the World Masters Athletes Female Athlete of the Year. Christa was also named the Canadian Masters Athletics Female Athlete of the Year and BC Athletics Female Track Athlete of the Year.
Male Senior Athlete – Nominee, Dylan Armstrong
After sustaining an injury in 2012, Dylan rose back to prominence in the men’s shot put event. In 2013 he placed no less than third at 11 of 14 international competitions, including a silver medal at the Canadian Track & Field Championships and culminating in a bronze medal at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships. Dylan finished the year ranked 1st in BC, 1st in Canada, and 5th in the world and has reclaimed his spot as one of the top shot putters.
Female Coach – Nominee, Kim Chapdelaine
Kim has been instrumental in the success of Georgia Ellenwood (heptathlon/long jump), a national Junior and BC High School champion, and a finalist in this year’s Junior Female Athlete of the Year category. Kim has earned her spot amongst the top coaches in Canada for her sport and has worked hard to create a strong training environment for her athletes in Langley. Kim pioneered the Gold program for the Langley Mustangs and has coached a number of athletes to provincial, national, and international rankings. Her athletes have benefitted from her technical expertise and hands on personal approach.
President’s Award – Recipient, Bob Reid
Bob Reid has been running since 1976, after suffering a broken collar bone playing rugby. He is an accomplished masters athlete, having set BC and Canadian records, excelling at ultra-marathon distances. He joined the Prairie Inn Harriers shortly after it was founded in 1978, and for the last 35 years has been a director of the club, including 5 terms as President, and many more as membership registrar and treasurer. He has been instrumental in building the Harriers into one of the most successful and enduring running clubs in British Columbia. Bob was one of the organizers of the inaugural Victoria Marathon in 1980, and spent the next 31 years on the organizing committee, including 5 of those years as President of the Marathon Society. He has also served on the boards of the Vancouver Island Runners' Association and the TC10K, and been race director of countless events. When not organizing races himself, he can often be found emceeing at events. More visibly, Bob has inspired and coached many Victoria runners by regularly leading training sessions and runs at Thetis Lake and around the city. Bob’s dedication to the sport he loves has helped establish Victoria’s reputation as the fittest city in Canada.