Jillian Forsey is shown in this undated photo. — Submitted photo
Jillian Forsey’s foray into distance running has earned her recognition as one of the province’s finest athletes for the past year.
Forsey, a Kippens native who now runs in the United States, was chosen junior female athlete of the year for the province at the annual Sport Newfoundland and Labrador Stars and Legends Awards Gala Saturday night in St. John’s.
Forsey won five gold medals in the School Sports Newfoundland and Labrador program. On the national scene, Forsey won a silver medal at the national cross-country running championships and won two silver medals at the National Standards Athletic Championships. At the international level, Jillian won gold with Team Canada at the NACAC 2013 Cross Country Championships in Jamaica.
Meanwhile, soccer player Malorie Harris and rugby player Ciaran Hearn were named the top senior athletes in Newfoundland and Labrador as a batch of awards were presented and a handful of people inducted into the Hall of Fame, including nordic ski star Lee Churchill of Corner Brook.
Owen Daly, a swimming sensation who lives in the capital city, got the nod as the junior male athlete of the year.
Jake Stanford of soccer took the coach of the year honours while his St. John’s Under-18A girls’ soccer side took team of the year honours.
Soccer’s Jeff Babstock was chosen the executive of the year, while the volunteer of the year went to baseball’s David Coates.
Hearn, a native of Conception Bay South, who was also named Canadian rugby 15s player of the year Friday night in Victoria, B.C., dominated 2013 on the international rugby pitch playing with Team Canada as they placed respectively in eight World Cup competitions. Hearn is also a member of Canada’s 7s squad.
Harris, from Mount Pearl, was the Jubilee Trophy women’s senior soccer league’s MVP, all-star striker and top scorer in the 2013 with C.B.S. Holy Cross Kirby Group. She scored 27 goals in 23 games. At the 2013 Sportchek National Jubilee Championships in Nova Scotia, Harris won the Golden Boot top scorer award for the tournament.
Daly, of St. John’s, had an exceptional 2013 in swim competition highlighted with a silver medal at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec. At the East Coast Championships, Owen had four first-place finishes. Nationally, he placed fourth and sixth place at the Canadian Eastern Nationals.
Stanford, from St. John’s, was able to put together two teams to compete in this country’s highest soccer competitions — the Canada Games and the National Club Championships. His Under-18A Girls team took home a silver medal at the National Club Championships, gold at the Under 18A Provincial Tournament, while the Canada Games team placed seventh in Sherbrooke.
Babstock, of St. John’s, was technical advisor for the St. John’s Soccer Club, Vice President of Guards Athletic Society, and Director of the St. John’s Soccer Heritage Society. Provincially, he was chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Associations technical committee, Hall of Fame committee, alumni fund committee and a member of the manager’s committee. On the national level, Babstock was chair of the Under-18 Club Nationals Tournament.
The St. John’s Under 18A Girls Soccer Team had a phenomenal 2013 on the field. At the 2013 Under 18 Club Nationals the team went to the finals undefeated with victories over Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador 2 and after 120 minutes of play they came up short to Quebec in penalty shots, winning a silver medal. They won gold at the 2013 Under 18A provincial tournament.
Coates, of Conception Bay South, coached the C.B.S. Raiders in the Avalon Midget League, the Raiders intermediate team, and the Queen Elizabeth Pioneers high school team. As a member of the C.B.S. Minor Baseball Executive he was instrumental in securing municipal funding to construct a batting cage at Stony Hill field. He also led the way in the purchase of a new pitching machine and his latest project is trying to secure funding for lights at Stony Hill.