Annual Athletics Banquet Honours Thunderbirds

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Karissa Kajorinne and Aksel Pollari Named Student-Athletes of the Year

On Saturday night, Algoma University and the Algoma University Thunderbirds Varsity Athletics Program recognized the hard work, dedication, skill, and academic achievements of their student-athletes at their annual varsity Athletics Banquet.

For the second year in a row, Thunder Bay native women’s basketball player Karissa Kajorinne earned the title of Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Captain of her squad, Kajorinne is the points leader, finishing out the season with 542 points. She averaged 94.1 per cent from the charity stripe, and 35 per cent from both the field and beyond the arc. She is a proven leader and active in supporting youth basketball within the community, coaching in the 705 Basketball League and with the Algoma Thunderbirds summer camps.

Echo Bay rookie Askel Pollari earned the title of Male Student-Athlete of the Year. A duo-sport athlete, Pollari competes in both cross-country running and in wrestling. Pollari earned fourth place in the OUA Championships this season, an incredible feat for a first-year athlete. Outside of sport, Pollari tutors other student-athletes, and demonstrates great respect for his teammates, coaches, faculty, and community.

The Algoma University Students’ Union (AUSU) was inducted into the Thunderbird Wall of Fame in the builder category. In 2015, AUSU made a onetime donation of $50,000 to help support the men’s and women’s soccer program. Their financial support helped cover the cost of travel as well as the lease agreement with Superior Heights. Their donation has also helped the program recruit high-calibre student-athletes from across the province, the nation, and around the globe.

The following awards were also handed out:

Dr. Lukenda Thunderbird Service Award

Carriera Lamoureux (women’s basketball)

Academic Achievement Awards (highest academic achievement for their sport)

Rebecca Wylie (women’s basketball)

Sean Clendinning (men’s basketball)

Aksel Pollari (wrestling)

Danielle Bernardo (women’s soccer)

Caleb Charlebois (men’s soccer)

Lauren Rogers (women’s curling)

Keiko Larocque (women’s curling)

Jonathan Lalonde (men’s curling)

Shawna Small (women’s cross-country running)

Lucas Luciani (men’s cross-country running)

Shawna Small (Nordic skiing)

 

Women’s Basketball

Coaches Award – Karina Cole

Most Improved– Sydney Resch

Best Defensive Player – Carriera Lamoureux

 

Rookie of the Year – Karly Fracalanza

MVP – Karissa Kajorinne

 

Men’s Basketball

Coaches Award – Reng Gum

Coaches Award – Cailum White

Most Improved – Jermaine Lyle

Best Defensive Player – Nathan Riley

Rookie of the Year – Brandon Dwyer

MVP – Sean Clendinning

 

Women’s Cross-Country Running

Coaches Award – Marissa Ditoro

MVP – Anna Stilin

 

Men’s Cross-Country Running

Most Improved – Lucas Luciani

Rookie of the Year – Aksel Pollari

MVP – Zach Buchan

 

Women’s Curling

Coaches Award – Julia Simon

Most Improved – Keiko Larocque

MVP – Shae-Lynn Dupuis

 

Men’s Curling

Coaches Award – Chas Dalton

Most Improved – Vince Lalande

MVP – Jonathan Lalonde

 

Nordic Skiing

Coaches Award – Marissa Ditoro

Rookie of the Year – Shawna Small

MVP – Roberto Alex Lake

 

Women’s Soccer

Coaches Award – Sarah Van Boerdonk

Most Improved – Bailie Malmloff

Best Defensive Player – Olivia Bruni

Rookie of the Year – Alexis Trigiani-Kirkwood

MVP – Alexis Trigiani-Kirkwood

 

Men’s Soccer

Coaches Award – Daniel Heydrich

Most Improved – Warren Joseph

Best Defensive Player – Alex Fera

Rookie of the Year – Riley Thompson

MVP – Ryan Marchan

 

Wrestling

Coaches Award – Aksel Pollari

Most Improved – Farhang Nouri

Rookie of the Year – Stephen Kreyenbuhl

MVP – Earl McKinney

 

Thunderbird Award (to graduating student-athletes)

Karissa Kajorinne (women’s basketball)

Sydney Resch (women’s basketball)

Carriera Lamoureux (women’s basketball)

Sean Clendinning (women’s basketball)

Anna Stilin (women’s cross-country running)

Brody-Allen Evans (wrestling)

Roberto Alex Lake (Nordic skiing)

Nadine Paul (Nordic skiing)

Daniel Heydrich (men’s soccer)

Maher Alharbi (men’s soccer)

Nicholas Palazzi (men’s soccer)

Joseph Iferi (men’s soccer)