Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sanguin, Pierce Take RDC Honours

With all due respect to the other (outstanding) nominees... last night's
announcement of the 2011-12 Red Deer College Female Athlete of the Year was rather anti-climactic.

After winning a national title and ACAC Female Athlete of the Year honours, Cross Country Runner Jodi Sanguin was named as RDC's top female athlete at their year-end awards banquet last night.

It marked the perfect end to a brilliant five-year career which Sanguin admits almost never got started.

"I actually didn't plan on running until [RDC coach] Brian Stackhouse called me every day for a week. And, yeah, it all started from there."

To say her decision to join the team was a good one would be like saying Led Zeppelin was 'just alright.' Sanguin went on to become a 5-time CCAA All-Star. This past season she led the RDC Cross Country Running team to gold at provincials and bronze at nationals. She says her individual gold medal win at nationals was most definitely her career highlight.

"It had been my goal early in the season. So I started training early July. Put in some more mileage and ended the season with what I had planned."

Chatting with legendary Red Deer Advocate scribe (and Alberta Sports Hall of Famer) Danny Rode, Sanguin leaves RDC as perhaps their most decorated female athlete of all-time. And Danny's been around long enough to know exactly what he's talking about ;)

The remarkable turnaround season for Kings Basketball helped land Forward Robert Pierce RDC's Male Athlete of the Year honours.

After sitting at the bottom of the standings at the holiday break, the Kings made a number of roster changes and then rallied to make their first appearance at nationals since 1998. Individually, Pierce established himself as one of the ACAC's top scorers and rebounders. But not before the Windsor, Ontario native went through quite a culture shock.

"They told me it was gonna be cold. I didn't really expect is was gonna be this cold," Pierce joked after receiving his award. "I had to get an extra parka, you know. Leggings and all that other stuff. But it was great. Great group of guys and everything. Everyone at the school, Red Deer as a whole, Alberta. Everyone's real kind. It was great."

As good as was Red Deer was to him, Pierce did his best to give back as well.

"Helping in the community, it's been a while since I've volunteered for stuff. And it's good to see the youth and teachers. Little kids looking up to the college kids. It's great"

Pierce has yet to make a decision when it comes to his plans for next year but says RDC is definitely high on his list of options.

Other highlights from last night's year-end awards banquet...
- RDC tied NAIT for the most Academic All Canadians in the entire country
- The Academic Excellence awards are given to student-athletes who have a minimum GPA of 3.0. RDC honoured 72 students-athletes who achieved this standard... that is over half of their entire Student-Athlete population
- 6 RDC teams competed at ACAC finals, 4 also went on to compete at CCAA nationals

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