Following the fall season’s Mountie successes, the winter teams have been equally successful in their pursuits of conference victories and accolades. The badminton, basketball, hockey, swimming, and volleyball Mounties all made their respective championships, and several of the individual team members were selected as all-stars or conference champions.
The basketball Mounties held their own with the top teams all year. Recently competing at the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) championships in Fredericton, and attending the year-end awards banquet, the Mounties’ 6’5” senior forward Ben Chisholm (Fall River N.S.) was not only recognized as a first-team all-conference player but as the league’s best player, winning the MVP honours for 2012-13. Now an All-Canadian nominee, Chisholm was the conference’s leading rebounder (10.10 per game) and was second in league scoring, averaging 18.65 points per game. At the national level, he ranked fourth in rebounds per game and sixth in scoring points.
Mackenzie Gray (Woodstock, N.B.) was selected as a first-team all-conference player as well, and led the Mounties all year statistically, despite many times being double-teamed. Scoring 305 points for an average of 14.52 per game, and grabbing 191 rebounds for an average of 9.10, Gray scored double-double stats in almost every game she played this season and finished third in ACAA scoring and rebounding.
The badminton Mounties hosted the playoffs and won their fifth-straight ACAA championships, dominating their opponents and taking every category. On day-two at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) qualifying tournament, four Mounties clinched their respective titles and ACAA All-Conference awards, and represented Mount Allison on the Atlantic team that competed at the national championships in Barrie, Ont., from Feb. 28–March 3. Along with first-year coach and former Mountie all-star Brent Barkhouse, second-year Greg McGuire (Summerside, P.E.I.) and senior Eric Freeman (Kingston, Ont.) represented Mount Allison at the nationals in men’s doubles. Two rookies, Gillian Tetlow (Port Williams, N.S.) and Michael Miller (Memramcook, N.B.) were Team Atlantic reps in the mixed doubles category. Tetlow was honoured as the ACAA’s female player of the year, while Miller was selected as the conference’s male rookie of the year. This pair beat the host team two straight sets to win fifth place at the national championships. Team Atlantic finished sixth overall.
Two Hockey Mounties were recognized at the recent Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s hockey awards banquet held at Mount Allison on February 22. Ashlyn Somers (Murray River, P.E.I.) was named for the second time as the league’s most sportsmanlike player, while fellow Islander Emily van Diepen (Morell, P.E.I.) was selected a second-team all-star.
Somers, a fourth-year commerce student, wrapped up her career as the Mounties’ active leader in assists (33) and points (43), and had her best season in 2011-12 when she accumulated seven goals and 17 assists. That season, the first year she won the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player award, she had only 10 minutes in penalties, while this season she sat in the penalty box for only six minutes despite playing an important role in even-strength, powerplay, and penalty kill situations.
Somers was also a force in the faceoff circle, and was one of the better faceoff artists in the AUS over the past few seasons. She was the first Mountie player to ever win the prestigious Sportsmanship Award a year ago. The award recognizes an individual who maintains the standards of fair play and treats those around her with respect at all times.
Van Diepen built off a strong rookie season a year ago to earn a spot on the second-team all-star team this season. A member of the AUS all-rookie team in 2011-12, van Diepen missed a pair of games early in the season due to her commitments with the soccer Mounties, but the dual-sport athlete did not miss a step when she returned to the lineup full time.
Majoring in biology, van Diepen tied for the team lead in powerplay goals (two) and was consistent in the defensive zone all season long. The second-year defender has accumulated six goals and 14 assists in two seasons in the garnet and gold, and constantly jumps up into the offensive play from the blueline.
At the recent ACAA women's volleyball championships awards banquet at Université Sainte Anne, N.S., two senior Mounties won honours. Erica Cronkhite (Fredericton, N.B.) captured her second Libero of the Year award, and was once again selected as a first-team all-star for her outstanding 2012-2013 season. Teammate Caitlin MacDonald (Sussex, N.B.) won second-team all-conference honours.
Cronkhite led the Mounties’ defense to a 10-8 record over the year, and was selected the player of the match in the semi-final berth against the St. Thomas Tommies on Feb. 23 at the ACAA playoffs. She collected 251 digs throughout the regular season (average of 3.92 digs per game over 64 games), with a reception rating of 0.908. In her three years at Mount Allison, the Fredericton resident’s reception rating averaged 0.926.
MacDonald, a 5’8” power hitter and Mount Allison’s athlete of the month for January, led the team in kills over the season (103). The tenacious captain served up 21 aces and made 89 digs over the year. In her fourth year of a BA degree (history), MacDonald is a former player with Sussex High School and coach Mike Swift.
Mount Allison swimmers made big waves and swam personal bests at the AUS championships held in Charlottetown, with six Mounties swimming away with AUS all-star conference honours and breaking 12 Mount Allison records. The Mounties’ men’s team worked hard to finish second, and the charge was led by the men’s 4X100-metre free relay who surprised all (except themselves) by winning. The Mounties won gold, beating out the Tigers after their 10-year reign of the event. Third-year swimmer Colin Vale (Moncton, N.B.) led the group, followed by rookies Joseph Blackwood (Chesapeake, VA) and Jeff Loewen (Montreal, Que.), and anchored by fifth-year Mitch Peters (Sackville, N.B.). Peters himself won seven medals out of his team’s combined total of 10. Peters individually won gold in the 100-metre free, silver in the 200-metre free, and bronze in the 50-metre free and 100-metre fly, and anchored in the bronze-winning 4X200 free relay, and a silver in the 4X100-metre medley relay.
Swimming sibling Marya Peters (Sackville, N.B.) led her team to a fourth-place finish, and swam to bronze medals in both the 100 and 200-metre free events, qualifying for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships, along with her brother Mitch. Marya’s other brother, Mikhel Peters (Sackville, N.B.), was also an AUS all-star when he turned in a gold-medal performance in the 50-metre fly, and won silver in the 200-metre fly. Marya, Mitch, and coach-father, John Peters (Sackville, N.B.), put in some gritty performances at the national championships, which were held in Calgary at an event that hosted over 340 athletes, including 12 Olympians.
The athletic competitions have ended after a successful 2012-13 season in all sports. With every passing year Mount Allison loses members of its Mountie family to graduation on Convocation day. It is hoped that each Mountie will experience thriving future careers, and that some of these are mirrored by the successes experienced while playing with their Mountie teammates over the years.