2017-18 Atlantic University Sport swimming awards announced: Acadia's Brett Liem named AUS swimmer of the year

2017-18 Atlantic University Sport swimming awards announced: Acadia's Brett Liem named AUS swimmer of the year

(SAINT JOHN, N.B.) Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2017-18 AUS swimming major award winners as selected by the conference's six head coaches.

Acadia's Brett Liem of Bedford, N.S., and Dalhousie's Lise Cinq-Mars of Aurora, Ont. were named the male and female AUS swimmers of the year Friday afternoon.

All of this season's AUS major award winners were announced during today's awards luncheon hosted by the University of New Brunswick and held at the Delta Hotel by Marriott in Saint John, N.B.

Dalhousie's Calum Kershaw (Orillia, Ont.) and Memorial's Jasmine Foran (Bathurst, N.B.) earned the male and female AUS rookie of the year awards.

Mount Allison Mounties Geraint Berger (Bedford, N.S.) and Olivia Feschuk (Halifax, N.S.) were the male and female recipients of the AUS student-athlete community service awards.

In his third year at the helm of the Acadia program, Coach Gary MacDonald earned the AUS men's swimming coach of the year honour for the first time in his career.

In his sixth season as head coach of the Dalhousie Tigers, Lance Cansdale once again earned AUS women's swimming coach of the year honours. He has earned the honour in all six of his seasons with the Tigers.


SWIMMER OF THE YEAR (Men's Swimming): Brett Liem, Acadia Axemen

Brett Liem, a second-year science student from Bedford, N.S., had an exceptional season in the pool for the Acadia Axemen and has been named the AUS male swimmer of the year.

He is the first-ever swimmer from the Acadia Axemen to earn the honour.

In his inaugural season last year, Liem also earned AUS rookie of the year nods.

This season, he reached the podium in nearly every race he entered, earning six gold medals, eight silver and three bronze.

At the Kemp-Fry AUS Invitational meet hosted by Dalhousie in November, Liem won gold in the 50m freestyle with a time of 22.80, breaking an AUS conference and Acadia school record and qualifying for the U SPORTS championship. He broke another Acadia school record in the 100m freestyle at the same meet.


SWIMMER OF THE YEAR (Women's Swimming): Lise Cinq-Mars, Dalhousie Tigers

Lise Cinq-Mars, a third-year swimmer for the Dalhousie Tigers, is the 2017-18 AUS female swimmer of the year.

A biology student from Aurora, Ont., Cinq-Mars earned AUS rookie of the year nods in her first season with the Tigers in 2015-16.

This season, she won nearly every race she entered for the Tigers, amassing 15 first-place finishes over the course of the season. She also earned silver in two races and bronze in another.

At the Kemp-Fry Invitational meet hosted by Dalhousie in November, Cinq-Mars earned gold in the 100m butterfly with a U SPORTS qualifying time of 1:01.08.


ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Men's Swimming): Calum Kershaw, Dalhousie Tigers

The 2017-18 AUS male rookie of the year is Calum Kershaw from Dalhousie University.

The first-year psychology student from Orillia, Ont. had a solid freshman season for the defending AUS champion Tigers.

At the Kemp-Fry Invitational meet hosted by Dalhousie in November, Kershaw earned two bronze medals—in the 200m IM and the 200m breaststroke.

At the Dalhousie Winter Invitational meet in January, he swam to a silver finish in the 200m breaststroke event.

He also narrowly missed the podium in the two earlier meets of the season, earning a fourth-place finish in the 400m freestyle event at the Amby Legere Invitational meet hosted by UNB, and three fourth-place finishes (200m IM, 200m breaststroke, 400m freestyle) at the Jack Scholz Invitational meet at Acadia.


ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (Women's Swimming): Jasmine Foran, Memorial Sea-Hawks

The AUS female rookie of the year for the 2017-18 season is Jasmine Foran of the Memorial University Sea-Hawks.

A first-year swimmer from Bathurst, N.B., Foran had an impressive freshman season with the Sea-Hawks, winning six individual events in AUS competition and posting U SPORTS qualifying times in multiple events.

At the Kemp-Fry Invitational meet, she won gold and posted U SPORTS qualifying times in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events, with times of 32.22, 1:11.76 and 2:35.75.

At the Dalhousie Invitational Meet in January, she earned a first-place finish in the 200m IM, as well as the 50m and 100m breaststroke events.

She was also a part of multiple successful relay teams, earning a silver finish in the 400m medley relay and a bronze finish in the 800m freestyle relay at the Kemp-Fry Invitational. Her 400m medley relay team earned another second-place finish at the Dalhousie Winter Invitational in January.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (Men's Swimming): Geraint Berger, Mount Allison Mounties

Geraint Berger of the Mount Allison Mounties is the 2017-18 AUS male student-athlete community service award recipient.

Berger is a fourth-year biochemistry student from Bedford, N.S. He amassed eight individual medals—one gold, three silver and four bronze—in the three AUS invitational meets he competed in this season. He also earned a bronze medal as part of the Mounties 400m freestyle relay team.

He topped the podium in the 50m freestyle event at the Dalhousie Winter Invitational meet in January.

In the classroom, he has managed a cumulative GPA of 3.88 and currently boasts a 4.1 GPA. He is a three-time U SPORTS academic all-Canadian, on pace to repeat this achievement for a fourth time this season.

He is also heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with an array of initiatives including the Sackville Refugee Response Coalition, the International Student Mentorship Program and the Terry Fox Foundation.

Berger volunteers weekly at Sackville's Drew Nursing Home and helps to coordinate events at the home. He is also a member of the Heath Care Outreach Society at Mount Allison which runs a variety of community events in support of public health awareness.

"Geraint has been a wonderful member of the Mounties family and we are very proud of his many accomplishments in the pool and in our community," said Mounties head coach John Peters. "Geraint's humble and generous nature have allowed him to impact our community in countless positive ways. In every way, he embodies what we look for in a Mounties student-athlete."


STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD (Women's Swimming): Olivia Feschuk, Mount Allison Mounties

The 2017-18 recipient of the AUS female student-athlete community service award is Olivia Feschuk of the Mount Allison Mounties.

A fourth-year biology student from Halifax, N.S., Feschuk is in her third year of eligibility and is a co-captain for the Mounties swim team.

In the pool for Mount Allison this season, she captured eight medals in individual events in the three AUS invitational meets she competed in—two gold, five silver and one bronze. She was also a member of two bronze medal-winning relay teams.

Feschuk topped the podium in the 200m IM event at the Kemp-Fry Invitational meet in November. She also posted a U SPORTS-qualifying time of 2:17.53 in the 200m backstroke, capturing the silver medal.

A two-time U SPORTS academic all-Canadian on pace to repeat this season, she boasts a cumulative GPA of 3.84 and a current GPA of 4.00.

Feschuk volunteers her time with several causes both on campus and in the Sackville community. She serves as a student representative both on the Mount Allison Judicial Panel and for the Canadian Association on Gerontology.

She is currently the vice president of intergenerational projects for the executive committee of Health Care Outreach Mount Allison, which coordinates undergraduate student volunteers for Sackville's Drew Nursing Home.

The multitude of other causes Feschuk has volunteered her time with include the Terry Fox Foundation, Enactus Canada and the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

"It has been our distinct pleasure to have Olivia as a member of the Mounties family and we have enjoyed immensely the opportunity to watch her develop as a swimmer and as a citizen of our community during her time here," said Mounties head coach John Peters. "Olivia has a positive energy that she brings to every situation and as a result, she is respected and revered by her teammates, her peers and by all those she supports in our community." 


COACH OF THE YEAR (Men's Swimming): Gary MacDonald, Acadia

Acadia head coach Gary MacDonald has been selected by his peers as the 2017-18 AUS men's swimming coach of the year.

In his third year with the Acadia program, MacDonald coached the Axemen to four second-place team finishes at AUS invitational meets this season.

In the Dalhousie Winter Invitational meet, the Axemen nipped at the heels of the defending champion Tigers, narrowing the gap between their team scores to less than 10 points.

This season, under MacDonald's leadership, Axemen swimmer Brett Liem became the first-ever Acadia swimmer to be named AUS Swimmer of the Year.

Hailing from Mission, B.C., MacDonald is a long-time coach and former Olympian. At the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Que., he captured a silver medal in the 400m medley relay.

Prior to joining the Acadia coaching staff, he served as an assistant coach under David Fry for the Dalhousie Tigers. He also coached the Halifax Trojan Aquatic club for 21 years.


COACH OF THE YEAR (Women's Swimming): Lance Cansdale, Dalhousie

Dalhousie Tigers head coach Lance Cansdale has been selected by his peers as the 2017-18 AUS women's swimming coach of the year.

In his sixth year at the helm of the Tigers' programs, Cansdale enters the Subway AUS Swimming Championships with an unblemished record, having led both the men's and women's Tigers teams to AUS championship banner wins in each of his first five seasons.

This season, Tigers women's swimming (along with the men's team) earned team wins in all four AUS invitational meets they competed in.

This weekend, Cansdale will look to coach his Tigers men's and women's teams to their 20th and 17th consecutive AUS championship banners, respectively.

In school history, Dalhousie has amassed 27 conference titles in men's swimming and another 30 in women's swimming to date.

Coach Cansdale is a former four-time NAIA all-American with over forty years' experience as a competitive swimming professional and athlete. This is the sixth consecutive season he has taken home AUS coach of the year honours on the women's side. He also previously been named AUS men's swimming coach of the year three times, including last season.

Prior to joining AUS, Cansdale was honoured with several other swimming accolades, including being named the British Columbia Swim Coaches Association coach of the year twice and also earning the Canadian Swimming Coaches Association coaching recognition award.

*****

The 2018 Subway AUS Swimming Championships are being hosted this weekend, Feb. 9-11, by the University of New Brunswick at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre in Saint John, N.B.   

For the complete event schedule, click here.

Admission for fans is free all weekend and the entire championship will be webcast live at www.AUStv.ca.

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