Nominees named for Advocate’s athletes of the year

Rodeo and soccer star Sydney Daines and multi-sport competitor Kelsey Lalor are among the nominees for the Red Deer Advocate female athlete of the year award for 2014. Meanwhile, the likes of former Rebels standout goaltender Patrik Bartosak and RDC Kings volleyball star Tim Finnigan have been nominated for the male award.

Rodeo and soccer star Sydney Daines and multi-sport competitor Kelsey Lalor are among the nominees for the Red Deer Advocate female athlete of the year award for 2014.

Meanwhile, the likes of former Rebels standout goaltender Patrik Bartosak and RDC Kings volleyball star Tim Finnigan have been nominated for the male award.

Daines and her horse Flame attended 29 events during the 2014 Canadian Pro Rodeo Association season, winning $14,805 in the process, including a runner-up total of $44,209 at the Canadian Finals in Edmonton. She finished the season with $59,015.83, leaving her third in Canada. She also flourished in soccer, scoring five goals in eight games with the RDC Queens and six in 12 games with the Alberta Major League Red Deer Renegades. She played high school basketball in Innisfail but dropped out because of her other sporting commitments.

Lalor starred with the Lindsay Thurber senior girls volleyball and basketball teams and was also a member of the Red Deer bantam AAA baseball team and played for Team Alberta at the Canadian senior women’s baseball championship. She posted a 1-0 pitching record at the senior nationals, along with a .333 batting average, and led the team in RBIs and was third in runs scored as Alberta captured the Canadian title with a 5-0 mark.

Lalor went to suit up with Team Canada at the World Cup in Japan, producing two doubles, scoring five runs and driving in four. She was third on the team in RBIs and runs scored and first in doubles.

Gymnast Kalena Soehn, swimmer Rebecca Smith and speed skater Maddison Pearman are the other female athlete nominees.

Soehn took top honours in the trampoline event of the Canadian championships in Ottawa and was fourth in double mini trampoline (DMT). She also placed 11th in the DMT event of the World Age Group competition in Daytona Beach, Fla., seventh in the individual trampoline and third in the DMT at a Canada Cup meet in Newmarket, Ont., and recorded several wins in provincial meets.

Smith achieved top provincial rankings in 13 events in the 14-year-old division, and recorded a top time national long course ranking in the 50m backstroke and was second in five events, fourth in one and seventh in one. In the short course nationals, she was first in the 50m freestyle, 200m back, 100m butterfly and 100m individual medley, and won numerous medals in provincial meets across Canada.

Pearman, a member of the Canadian junior team, posted two 1,500m distance wins in the Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association open competition, while placing second (first among Canadians) in the 1,000m, fourth in the 500m (first among Canadians) and ninth in the 500m. In addition, she qualified for the Canadian junior team by finishing second overall in the nationals, then attended the Junior World Cup and placed fourth in the 500m as the top Canadian, sixth in the 3,000m, seventh in the 1,500m and eighth in the 1,000m.

Pearman also competed in three Canada Cup competitions in 2014, posting a pair of runner-up placings in one meet and winning the 500m event at another. She was ranked as high as third — in each of the junior 500m and 1,000m events — at year end.

• Bartosak, who enjoyed two and a half outstanding seasons with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League, was named an Eastern Conference second-team all-star in March of 2014 after recording a goals-against average of 2.80, a save percentage of .924 and a 33-26-5 record with eight shutouts.

Finnigan, meanwhile, was the RDC Kings leader as the team won the Alberta and Canadian Colleges volleyball titles in 2014. Accordingly, he was named All Conference player and ACAC volleyball player of the year as well as an All Canadian. He was an all-star at both the provincial and national finals, was named RDC male athlete of the year for the second straight year and picked up the Scott Boulders leadership award.

Joining Finnigan and Bartosak as nominees for the Advocate male athlete of the year honours are basketball player Lloyd Strickland, gymnast Keegan Soehn and Brayden Posyluzny of the Red Deer Titans Track and Field Club.

Strickland was a key member of the 2014 ACAC championship basketball Kings, who went on to finish second at nationals, where he nailed four three-point baskets in 28 seconds in the team’s 88-86 loss to Langara College of Vancouver in the championship final. Strickland, whose three-point exploits went viral on YouTube, had 34 points in the final.

Soehn competed in the world championship in Daytona, Fla., where his best finish was a 12th in synchronized trampoline. He was 11th in the synchro event and 40th in the trampoline at a World Cup meet in Belarus, and at the senior Pan-AM championship he placed second in the trampoline competition and fourth in the synchro event.

Soehn also competed in Japan and Switzerland and in a Canada Cup meet in Ontario he was first in synchro and second in the DMT and trampoline events. In addition, he placed first in DMT and second in trampoline at the nationals at Ottawa, was fourth in each of the trampoline and synchro in the Pacific Rim Championship at Richmond, B.C., and was first in synchro and DMT and second in the trampoline event at the Elite Canada meet in Kamloops.

Posyluzny, 17, was a gold-medal winner at the Canadian Legion track and field championships, won the Alberta Indoor Games pentathlon title and earned numerous medals in provincial meets.

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