CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Six stars who are household names on the Island sports scene will be recognized with the province’s best next week.
Emma Jinks (squash), Alexa McQuaid (swimming) and Hannah Taylor (wrestling) are the finalists for the DP Murphy Hotels and Resorts junior female athlete award while the male finalists are André Boudreau (biathlon/road cycling), Noah Dobson (hockey) and Ligrit Sadiku (wreslting).
The winner will be announced Feb. 7 during the annual awards ceremony at Holland College.
Here is a short bio of the three male and three female finalists provided by Sport P.E.I.
Emma Jinks continued her dynasty in 2017, taking home her fourth straight Canadian squash championship. At the ripe age of 16, Emma was crowned champion in the Canadian under-19 division.
But she didn’t stop there, Emma travelled to New Zealand for an international competition where 35 countries were represented. Playing against the best competition in the world, she finished an incredible ninth overall.
Capping her year off, Emma took home gold at the Canadian junior open, a competition containing 18 different countries and 273 athletes. It’s important to note Emma was the only Canadian to win a division at the largest squash event held in Canada.
Jinks has won the award the past two years.
Emma Jinks is a squash superstar and continues to take her game to the next level year after year.
It had been 32 years since P.E.I. medalled in a swimming event at the Canada Games, but that didn’t stop Alexa McQuaid from equalling her mom’s silver medal at this year’s event.
It’s a script almost too hard to believe, but P.E.I.’s lone medallist at the Games kept a podium finish in the family. Alexa’s achievement didn’t go unnoticed, as she was recognized by the province and selected to be flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies.
An Island swimming powerhouse, the young competitor broke 18 provincial records in 2017 alone. Without a doubt, Alexa McQuaid has a bright future in the swimming pool.
If her collegiate wrestling results weren’t enough to impress you, Hannah Taylor also competed in provincial, national and international events outside of school.
In 2017, Hannah managed to retain her fifth straight Canadian junior championship and was named the tournament’s most outstanding female wrestler. Months later, in Lima, Peru, Hannah took home a silver medal at the PanAm junior championships. She followed this up with another silver medal at the Commonwealth Games senior trials, which placed her as an alternate for the national team.
Taylor is also nominated in the intercollegiate category.
At the incredibly young age of 19, the sky is the limit for Hannah Taylor.
André Boudreau had a busy year in 2017, competing in both biathlon and road cycling.
Impressively, Andre captured his first individual gold medal, and team bronze, at the Canadian Biathlon Championships in Canmore, Alta. His overall point tally from competitions throughout the year earned him the junior men’s overall North American Cup title.
Then, in only his second year of competition, André competed at the 2017 Canada Games in road cycling.
André Boudreau’s multi-sport talents will surely take him to new heights in the coming years.
Noah Dobson is certainly making a name for himself in the Canadian and international hockey world. The 17-year-old Summerside native is a talented two-way defenceman, currently playing with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Last summer, Noah made a splash with the under-18 Canadian team as they captured a gold medal in Breclav, Czech Republic, at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.
Upon return from Europe, he was named to the QMJHL all-star team and played both games during the CIBC Canada Russia Series. Noah then played in the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Jan. 25 in Guelph, Ont.
Noah’s future as a superstar is imminent, as he is expected to go in the first round of June’s NHL Draft.
Ligrit Sadiku is becoming a household name in Island sport excellence. His accomplishments during the past few years are second to none in Island wrestling and 2017 was no exception.
Ligrit tasted gold three times this year, twice at the national level, including the Brock University Open and the York University Open, and once at the Ontario senior provincial championships.
His year was capped off with a fourth-place finish at the Commonwealth trials in Vancouver.
Looking ahead, the possibilities are endless for Ligrit Sadiku in Canadian and international wrestling.
A look at the recent winners of the DP Murphy Hotels and Resorts junior athletes of the year.
2016 - Emma Jinks, squash
2015 - Emma Jinks, squash
2014 - Lorena Ellis, wrestling
2013 - Hannah Taylor, wrestling
2012 - Sarah Steele, hockey
2011 - Shannon MacAulay, hockey
2010 - Ryan Drum, kickboxing
2009 - Veronica Keefe, wrestling
2008 - Stephanie Ramsay, hockey
2007 - Alicia Wilbert, judo
2006 - Ashley MacIntyre, rugby
2016 - Lucas Boudreau, biathlon
2015 - Martin Sobey, triathlon
2014 - J.P. Stevenson, baseball
2013 - J.P. Stevenson, baseball
2012 - Carsen Campbell, biathlon
2011 - Robert MacMillan, boxing
2010 - Brandon Gormley, hockey
2009 - Matthieu D'Amour, gymnastics
2008 - Brandon Gormley, hockey
2007 - Patrick Knox, judo/wrestling
2006 - Logan MacMillan, hockey
Got to go
2017 Amateur Sport Awards
What – The annual awards presented by Sport P.E.I.
When – Feb. 7. Reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with the awards ceremony starting at 7:15 p.m.
Where – Holland College's Florence Simmons Performance Hall.
Tickets – $25 and available by calling 902-368-4110.
Editor’s note – This is the fourth in a series of articles looking at the winners and finalists for the various awards.