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RODE: Red Deer Polytechnic hands out 2023-24 athletic awards

Jacob Wozney and Loami Rautenbach took home top honours
Red Deer Polytechnic Queens indoor track athlete Loami Rautenbach was the RDP Female Athlete of the Year. (File photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Jacob Wozney capped off his RDP hockey Kings career in style, winning the Red Deer Bottling RDP male athlete of the year award at the Arts Centre Tuesday.

“It was special, a great way to finish my year and my career,” said Wozney, who shared the limelight on the evening with Loami Rautenbach who received female athlete of the year honours.

“It was an hon0ur with the three of us standing up I wasn’t sure who would win,” said the cross-country and indoor track star. “It’s an honour as there’s so many great athletes.”

Wozney was more excited about the team accomplishments this season as much as his own.

“This was especially rewarding coming off the season we had as a team,” he said.

The Kings, who finished second in the regular season, won their second straight Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championship, sweeping the Augustana Vikings and then the Concordia Thunder in the playoffs.

“I can’t say enough about the group of guys I played with,” he added. “Trevor (Kings head coach Keeper) not only recruits great hockey players, but as important he puts great people first. I think that’s why it makes this team so special.”

Wozney also recognized Kings volleyball star Noah Carlson and cross-country and track star Ben House for their year.

“It’s an honour to be up here and win an award so many other great athletes have won before,” he continued. “There are so may great athletes we have at the school.”

Wozhey finished tied for third in ACAC scoring this season with teammate Erik Miller with 30 points in 23 games.

As captain he was a leader on the ice and in the dressing room and played a key role in the team’s run to the title.

Carlson led the Kings in a number of offensive categories during the regular season and then was dominate in the playoffs, finishing with 80 kills in three matches.

The Kings, who lost 3-2 to the eventual Canadian champion NAIT Ooks in the ACAC semifinal, won bronze.

House was captain on the team.

He placed fifth in the ACAC cross-country championships while on the track he was second in the 1,000-metres and third in the 3,000.

Rautenbach was named the female indoor track runner of the year.

“I’m super excited (about winning both awards). I love cross-country and track and I think that’s why I had success in it. I poured all my time and dedication into it.”

She finished 19th in cross-country, but then stood out on the track. She won the 300m was second in the 600 and firfh in the 60, but within split seconds of winning a medal.

Rautenbach was a bit surprised her season went so well.

“I had several injuries,” she said. “But looking back that may have been a blessing as I rested my legs a bit for the races.

“As for the awards I knew I worked hard and thought maybe something good would come of it.”

ACAC female curler of the year Cassidy Blair and volleyball Queens outstanding outside hitter Emma Holmes were also finalists.

Blair led her mixed team to a pair of first place finishes in the regionals before placing second at the ACAC finals. She was named the ACAC all-conference skip in mixed curling.

Holmes returned to the Queens this season after spending two years with the University of Alberta Pandas.

She was named team captain and played in 65 of the 66 sets during the season, leading them in kills.

She was named to the ACAC South Division All-Conference team.

In one other major award category, the Al Ferchuk Leadership Award went to hockey Queens captain and offensive leader Avery Lajeunesse.