Red Deer’s top athletes honoured at sports awards

A pair of national calibre athletes shared the spotlight at the annual Red Deer Community Sports Awards Banquet at the Sheraton Sunday. RDC Kings basketball star Robert Pierce and Lisa Dahlke of the Red Deer Synchronized Swim Club were named the Red Deer open male and female athletes of the year.

A pair of national calibre athletes shared the spotlight at the annual Red Deer Community Sports Awards Banquet at the Sheraton Sunday.

RDC Kings basketball star Robert Pierce and Lisa Dahlke of the Red Deer Synchronized Swim Club were named the Red Deer open male and female athletes of the year.

The award was a perfect way for Dahlke to finish her competitive career.

“I’m finished after last year,” she said. “Last year I had some health problems, which kept me out of the pool for a lot of the season.”

She finally got back for the provincials and despite not being able to train she won gold in the solo technical, was third in the solo freestyle and third overall. At the Western championships she placed third in the solo free, was fourth in the solo technical and fourth overall. She then turned in an outstanding effort at the national finals, placing fourth in the free, technical and overall.

“I was most proud of what I accomplished at the nationals,” she said. “The East usually kicks our butts so it was a big deal to place up there.”

The 19-year-old Dahlke was named the 2012 National senior (18-and-over) athlete of the year by Synchronized Alberta at the Alberta Aquatic awards.

“That was a great award to win for the club as there’s a lot of stiff competition. Red Deer never won anything like that before.”

Dahlke has been involved in synchro for nine years after breaking her leg in gymnastics.

“I started gymnastics when I was six and after breaking my leg my mom put me in the pool for rehab and I fell in love with it.”

Despite the fact she’s no long competing, she won’t be far from the pool.

“I started coaching four years ago and last year I coached the masters team and worked with little, little girls and basically tried to make it look like they weren’t drowning,” she said with a laugh.

Dahlke edged a pair of RDC athletes — volleyball power hitter Brooke Sutter and Queens hockey netminder Camille Trautman — for the award.

Pierce has been a key player as the Kings built their program into one of the best in the country.

Last season Pierce averaged over 20 points and 12 rebounds per game as the Kings finished second in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and fourth in the nation. They went into the Canadian finals ranked eighth.

Pierce was named to the first all-star team in the ACAC and at the nationals.

The Windsor, Ont., native was recruited by Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger after receiving his name from a coach in Windsor.

“I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but Jacob Cusumano’s father told me about Red Deer and Clayton contacted me. I was unsure about it, but decided to give it a try and it’s been great. RDC has been so helpful academically and on and off the court. It’s been a great career choice,” said Pierce, who doesn’t want to take all the credit for rebuilding the RDC program.

“I can’t take credit, there’s a strong cast behind me,” he said. “I was put into a position to contribute with a lot of hard work from a lot of others.”

Red Deer Riggers star Jason Chatwood and Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mathew Dumba were also in the running.

• Cross-country runner Kieran McDonald and multi-talented Kelsey Caine received the junior (19-and-under) athlete of the year awards.

McDonald is the top junior aged runner in the province. He won the high school 3,000-metre championship at the track and field finals then joined RDC where he placed second in the ACAC finals and fourth at the nationals. He was the top U19 runner and top Albertan at the Canadians.

He also competed at the Athletics Canada cross-country championships, finishing 21st, and was once again the top Albertan.

Alan d’Assumpcao-Ng of the Exelta Gymnastics Club and world class martial artist Nick Marchuk were also in the running for the award.

Caine was a member of Canada’s junior (U19) national ringette program, competing for Team Canada West at the world finals. She finished seventh in scoring, was a second team all-star and helped her team win bronze.

She also competed at the Canadian U19 AA championships for the Central Alberta Sting. She also competes in volleyball, soccer, tennis and track and field. She was the Notre Dame Grade 10 female athlete of the year.

Cross-country runner Jordanna Cota of Hunting Hills and softball’s Kaylee Domoney were also up for the award.

• Ultra marathon runner, Jeff Stokoe, and Mary Gardner of the Red Deer Tennis Club shared the masters athlete of the year awards.

Stokoe, who is heavily into cross-fit, has spent his career running, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, cycling and rock climbing to name just a few of his accomplishments.

Gardner, who has been a long time member of the local tennis club, won gold at the Canada 55 Games last year, her third medal at the Games. She previously won gold and bronze.

Nicole Elliot of the Synchronized Swim Club was also up for the award.

Just Posted

RCMP looking for these two suspects
Police looking for suspects who stole truck in central Alberta

A Ford F350 was stolen out of Blackfalds on June 9. Two… Continue reading

An excavator is tearing up old parking lots at the Michener Centre north site. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Demolition gets underway at Michener Centre’s north site

Some people are nostaligic, but not everyone is sad to see it go

The Red Deer Indian Industrial school stood off Burnt Lake Trail and across the Red Deer River from Fort Normandeau. The residential school is known to have lost at least 70 students through illness, poor sanitation and nutrition. (Advocate file photo)
Some Indigenous leaders say SNC-Lavalin can’t make up to First Nations people with offer of help

Quebec company is connected to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould allegations

RCMP are looking for this 30-year-old missing woman.
Red Deer RCMP looking for missing woman

The Red Deer RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance to locate… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

(Photo contributed)
Red Deer’s Ernco Braves go 4-0 in opening weekend games

Braves shot out Edmonton Padres in four straight games

Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings in many drinkers. For some, there are bad memories. But today’s premium tequilas are changing some of those perceptions. (Photo by The Associated Press)
Rethinking tequila: Premium brands aim to change perceptions

LONDON — Love it or hate it, tequila conjures up strong feelings… Continue reading

This image provided by Glenorangie shows Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. To enjoy the occasional beverage and also help wildlife, consider Glenorangie's Giraffe Tin. The Highland Scotch maker's stills are the tallest in Scotland, as tall as a giraffe, and the collectible tin is patterned like the animal's coat. Each purchase supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. (Glenorangie via AP)
Father’s Day gifts that celebrate interests old and new

After a pandemic year in which the shape of work and play… Continue reading

Pumpjacks are shown pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., on June 20, 2007.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Canada’s crude oil exports have increased 15-fold in 30 years: report

HALIFAX — The value of crude oil exports from Canada has increased… Continue reading

Everlasting Wind, aka Dawn Goodwin, joins others by raising her fist in the Mississippi River near an Enbridge pipeline construction site, on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Clearwater County, Minn., to protest the construction of Enbridge Line 3. Goodwin is a co-founder of RISE Coalition. More than 2,000 Indigenous leaders and "water protectors" gathered in Clearwater County from around the country. The day started with a prayer circle and moved on to a march to the Mississippi headwaters where the oil pipeline is proposed to be built. (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)
Minnesota court affirms approval of Line 3 oil pipeline

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday affirmed… Continue reading

Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, speaks during a news conference held by the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable, a coalition of airports, airlines, hotels, boards of trade and chambers of commerce, to urge the federal government to implement a reopening plan for travel and tourism, at the Ottawa Airport in Ottawa, on Monday, June 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadian business leaders demand plan to reopen borders, economy now

OTTAWA — Business leaders are calling on Ottawa to immediately lay out… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021.  The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

The national spotlight on residential schools is also highlighting a difficult question… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister, not shown, and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland joins Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they participate in a virtual discussion from Ottawa on Monday, May 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals move to cut debate, force vote on bill to implement 2021 budget

OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals moved on Monday to force an end… Continue reading

Most Read