Paul MacLellan of the StFX X-Men and Caitlin Vail from the Victoria Vikes were recognized as the U SPORTS Cross Country Student-Athlete Community Service Award winners on Friday morning
The annual awards were handed out at a welcome breakfast ahead of the 2019 U SPORTS Cross Country Championships, hosted by the Queen’s Gaels at Fort Henry Hill in Kingston, Ont.
The remaining award winners – the Athletes, Rookies and Fox 40 Coaches of the Year – for both men and women are based on race results and will be announced following both championships on Saturday.
MEN’S STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Paul MacLellan, StFX
MacLellan, a fifth-year accounting student from Antigonish, N.S., has had both academic and athletic success this season and throughout his AUS career. He boasts a current academic average of 87 per cent and is a three-time AUS cross country all-star. He earned individual silver in the conference championship race.
MacLellan is heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with such initiatives as Fit 4 Tots, the StFX Student Food Resource Centre and the St. Martha's Regional Hospital Hope and Dreams event.
“Paul is as dedicated a student-athlete as they come,” said StFX head coach Eric Gillis. “On top of his studies and running, he's always up for helping at a moment's notice. This spirit of giving back to his community and school is admired by many, including this team.”
- CW: Eric Lutz, calgary
- OUA: Craig Klomp, Toronto
- RSEQ: No nominee
- AUS: Paul MacLellan, StFX (winner)
WOMEN’S STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Caitlin Vail, Victoria
Vail, a fifith-year masters of civil engineering student, is a talented athlete, scientist, and an active community member.
On the course, she won the individual bronze medal at the Vikes Invitational held at Victoria’s Elk Lake in September.
In the community, Vail is passionate about mentoring girls to become confident leaders, and finds her role as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters to be especially meaningful. Connecting with girls through the Go Girls program is a rewarding experience, as Vail leads girls to feel empowered to be their best selves and follow their ambitions.
Additionally, Vail is an avid encourager of the sciences to both boys and girls, and encourages scientific interests in youth through Scientists and Innovators in Schools (SIS) – leading hands-on experiments in elementary and middle school classrooms all across British Columbia in both English and French. She is also involved with Science Venture, giving lab tours where she conducts research for her masters’ thesis.
Vail also volunteers at various engineering conferences and serves as a floor emergency coordinator in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology on campus.
“Caitlin is not only an excellent Vikes leader on our varsity team; she is also an amazing mentor and leader in our community,” said Victoria head coach Hilary Stellingwerff. “Caitlin sets an amazing example for young women in the science and engineering field, showing you can be a leader in academics, sports and community. She is dedicated to giving her time to help young students find their passion and be confident, contributing members of society, as Caitlin is herself.”
- CW: Caitlin Vail, Victoria (winner)
- OUA: Kiana Gibson, Guelph
- RSEQ: No Nominee
- AUS: Madalyn Higgins, Acadia