Bacco and de Groot named 2015-16 Brock Athletes of the Year
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Brock University Athletics celebrated another year of athletic accomplishments Wednesday night at the Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Conference Centre.
“We are very proud of all our student-athletes for their to dedication and commitment to Brock University Athletics,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation Neil Lumsden. “We have not only been successful in competition but have excelled in the classroom. Our student-athletes are true ambassadors of the University and we are very proud of them.”
The 2015-16 Brock University Male and Female Athletes of the Year are men’s rower David de Groot (St. Catharines, ON) and women’s wrestler Olivia Di Bacco (Orillia, ON).
David de Groot had an outstanding final season for the Brock men’s rowing team.
He led the Badgers to silver medals at both the OUA and CURC Championships.
At the OUA Championships, de Groot captured gold in both the men’s eight and men’s pair and was named the OUA Male Rower of the Year.
At the CURC Nationals, de Groot captured double gold placing first in the men’s eight and men’s pair.
For his performance, he was named an OUA first team All-Star and CURC first team All-Canadian.
Internationally, de Groot captured bronze in the men’s four at the U23 World Championships. He also captured bronze in the men’s eight at the World University Rowing Championships and was a double medal winner at the Commonwealth Regatta taking home a silver medal in the men’s four and bronze in the men’s pair.
Olivia Di Bacco had an outstanding final season for the Brock women’s wrestling program.
She helped lead the Badgers to their 15th OUA Championship over the past 17 years and their fifth straight CIS National Championship.
Di Bacco finished the 2015-16 season with five golds, which included winning the Senior Provincials, Brock Open, Western Open, OUA Championships and CIS Championships. She also captured a silver medals at the 2016 Senior Nationals and a bronze at the Olympic Trials.
At the 2015 OUA and CIS Championships, she went a perfect 8-0 at 67kg. At the CIS Nationals, Di Bacco became the first women’s wrestler to lead her team to five straight National titles.
For her performance, she was named an OUA first team All-Star and first team CIS All-Canadian.
In the classroom, Di Bacco has been a five-time Academic CIS All-Canadian and OUA All-Academic holding an 88% average.
In the community she had been highly active in Athletes in Action, SeniorFit and Brock Junior Badgers Wrestling. She has also been a guest speaker at many sporting conferences talking about her experiences as an athlete.
Other major award winners included men’s wrestler Sam Jagas (Kitchener, ON) who received the R.M. Davis Surgite Award and women’s wrestler Olivia Di Bacco who was a double award winner, taking home the Dr. David Atkinson Surgite Award. Both these student-athletes have excelled in the classroom throughout their university careers. Jagas has been a two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian while Di Bacco ends her career as a five-time academic award recipient.
The Dallas Beaton Award winners were curlers Jonah Mondloch (St. Catharines, ON) and Joanna Francolini (London, ON). This award is named after former Brock men’s hockey captain Dallas Beaton because of the dedication he showed towards academics, athletics and the community during his time as a Brock student-athlete.
The Wally Barrow Memorial Brock Coach of the Year award was awarded to Brock men’s basketball head coach Charles Kissi. Kissi led his team to 27-11 overall record, including victories over nationally ranked McMaster, Windsor and Ryerson. He had three OUA All-Star selections and one CIS All-Canadian.
The inaugural Marilou Iusi Awards, were presented to former coaches Bill Millar and Todd Erskine for their dedication and commitment to Brock University and the athletics program. This award is named after Marilou Iusi who worked for the department of Athletics and Recreation for 39 Years. Marilou was a tireless worker who cared deeply for the athletes and the people she worked with and Brock University.
The inaugural David S. Howes Spirit of Brock Athletics Awards were presented to men’s rower Jacob Thomas (St. Catharines, ON) and women’s fencer Hannah Pass (Mississauga, ON). The Spirit of Brock Award is named after David S. Howes, who was committed to Brock University and the community. It is presented to students who best embody the spirit of Sir Isaac Brock – leadership, courage, innovation, inspiration and community service.
The Tom Kearney Athletic Therapy Award was presented to student therapists Omer Suhrawardy and Holly Maher.
The 2015-16 Brock Women’s Team of the Year was the Brock women’s wrestling team who captured their sixth CIS National title and 15th OUA title in school history.
The Brock women dominated both the OUA and CIS Championships. They qualified all eight weight classes at the OUA Championships, highlighted by six gold medal performances. At the CIS National Championships, they had six All-Canadian selections.
Marty Calder was named both the OUA and CIS Women’s Coach of the Year.
The 2015-16 Brock Men’s Team of the Year was the Brock men’s wrestling team who captured their 16th CIS National title and 18th OUA title in school history.
The Brock men were also dominant this season winning both the OUA and CIS Championships. They qualified 10 of 11 weight classes at the OUA Championships, highlighted by six gold medal performances. At the CIS National Championships, they had eight All-Canadian selections.
Marty Calder was named both the OUA and CIS Men’s Coach of the Year.