Three emerge from august list
A pair of Olympians and one of the country’s best golfers are the finalists for the 2016 Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year.
Soccer star Melissa Tancredi, fencer Eleanor Harvey and golf sensation Mackenzie Hughes were selected from a group of 21 nominees by a committee of local athletes, media personalities and business leaders.
Handed out annually, the Bill Sturrup Award recognizes the best Hamilton or Burlington athlete at any level of sports. Since its inception in 1995, winners have come from pro and amateur sports at national and international levels, and have included such names as Kia Nurse, Laura Fortino, Ryan Ellis, Kyle Quinlan, Jesse Lumsden and Joanne Malar.
Tancredi, the Ancaster native who won the award in 2012, was a member of the Canadian Women’s Olympic soccer team that won bronze at the Rio Olympics last summer. She scored two goals in the group stage in her third Olympic Games, to go along with six CONCACAF championships and three World Cups. The 35-year-old announced her retirement in January and will play her final game for Canada Saturday in a friendly against Mexico at B.C. Place in Vancouver.
Eleanor Harvey also competed in Rio, finishing seventh in the women’s individual foil. It was Canada’s best-ever result in the event, and Harvey defeated the No. 1 seed to advance to the quarter-final. The 22-year-old Hamilton native won the 2016 national title and became the first Canadian fencer to win an NCAA individual championship while competing for Ohio State.
Dundas’ Hughes became the first Canadian to win a PGA Tour
event since 2014, earning an invitation to the Masters. He is the top-ranked Canadian on the PGA Tour (105th) and was named the Golf Journalists Association of Canada Male Professional Player of the year. The 26-year-old won the Golden Horseshoe award in 2013.
The winner will be announced at the 32nd annual Catholic Youth Organization children’s fundraiser dinner March 2 at the Hamilton Convention Centre. For more information, see goldenhorseshoeathleteoftheyear.com. The full list of nominees: In addition to Tancredi, Harvey and Hughes, Sally Anderson, Special Olympics alpine skier; Heather Bansley, Olympic beach volleyball; Danielle Boiago, McMaster basketball; Michael Ciccarelli, snowboarding; Kathryn Clewley, retro (backwards) running; Reid Coolsaet, Olympic marathon; Myles Misener-Daley, track and field; Ryan Ellis, hockey; Michelle Fazzari, Olympic wrestling; Stephen Maar, McMaster volleyball, Olympic alternate; Lauren McKay, snowboard racing; Kia Nurse, NCAA and Olympic basketball; Mark Oldershaw, Olympic canoeing; Chris Pezzetta, McMaster football; Anthony Romaniw, Olympic track and field; Alena Sharp, Olympic golf; Cam Talbot, hockey; Shona Thorburn, Olympic basketball.