Who will reign at Sports Awards?

Pictured from left: Volleyballer Jason Octave, footballer Ellaisa Marquis and swimmer Siona Huxley.

Who will be the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year? That question will be answered at Saturday’s National Sports Awards at the Gaiety, Rodney Bay.
After being shortlisted the finalists for Sportswoman of the Year are: Levern Spencer (athletics), Danielle Beaubrun (swimming), Ellaisa Marquis (football).
No pun intended, but high jumper Spencer has a leg up on the other nominees. A bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the CACSO Games in Puerto Rico is more than enough for another Sportswoman of the Year title. And if that’s not enough, Spencer, a professional, racked up eight gold medals, two silver and five medals at international competitions against world class competition. Tough to beat.
Danielle Beaubrun: She also competed at the Commonwealth Games representing St Lucia in the 50 metres (m), 100 m and 200 m breaststroke and later at FINA World Championships. At the CAC Games, she just missed medalling in two of her events. Swimming for Florida Gulf Coast University (FCGU), she broke the school record in the 100 yard breaststroke and became the first St Lucian from her school to make an NCAA cut.
Ellaisa Marquis: A very unique and special athlete. Although she is nominated for the award by the St Lucia Football Association (SLFA), keep in mind she was also the nominee of the St Lucia Basketball Association (female). Marquis is a member of the Nemesis football club of Castries who won the National Female Championship. On the regional scene she represented St Lucia at the Windward Islands Inter-Schools Tournament in athletics, basketball and volleyball. Internationally, she played in the Under-20 Women’s World Qualifiers in St Lucia (topping the Group); and the Women’s World Cup Qualifier (Senior) in Trinidad & Tobago.
For Sportsman of the Year the finalists are: Darren Sammy (cricket), Julien Brice (swimming), Jason Octave (volleyball), Valentius Alphonse (dominos).
Darren Sammy: He is the obvious choice. In much the same way a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games elevated Spencer’s status even more, being appointed Captain of the West Indies Cricket Team is a prestigious honour than cannot and will not be overlooked by the selection panel. Regionally Sammy captained the Windward Islands in three competitions in the West Indies domestic season. Internationally he represented the West Indies in three Tests, 14 One Day Internationals and 10 T20’s. Sammy also captained the West Indies during the 2010 T20 invitational in Jamaica.
Julien Brice: He made his mark in national competitions competition especially at the “Go the Distance” and “As Fast as you Can” swim meets where he obliterated the competition. At the RHAC Invitational, Brice won three events and placed second in two others. In regional competition, at the Barbados Long Course National Championships, Brice entered six events and captured five gold medals and one silver. He also competed at the CARIFTA Championships, Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships and CAC Games. On the international scene, Brice took part in the Youth Olympic Games and FINA World Championships.
Jason Octave: He plays for the Tombstone Volleyball Club (St Lucia), Club Creole (New York) Rhein-Main Volleyball Germany and Plantaneros de Corozol Puerto Rico. Octave was a formidable force at the 2010 ECVA Championship in Tortola where he was named best player in the following categories—spiker, scorer, receiver and followed that up with the Tournament MVP, as St Lucia qualified for the 2011 NORCECA Senior Men Intercontinental Championship. Octave led Club Creole to third place and two second places in the Top Open Division of the US Open in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Valentius Alphonse: Nationally, he was a key player as his side placed second in the Scott’s Sports and Awards Club Three Hand Tournament. Alphonse led his team to victory in the Richard Frederick Team Four Hand Competition and received the Most Valuable Player Award along with his partner Thomas Casimir. At the World Council of Domino Federations World Championships here, Alphonse placed second in male pairs, reached the quarter-finals of the King Domino segment and was the top scorer for the home side in the male three hand competition, enabling the team to retain their title. In that competition he was named Most Valuable Player for Team St Lucia.
Here you have it the finalists for Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year and as I see it Sammy and Spencer should finish on top.
The race for Junior Sportsman of the Year is a tougher call. The finalists are: Audy Alexander (cricket), Julian Biscette (volleyball) and Joshua Runako Daniel (swimming).
Audy Alexander: Scored 87 not out and took four wickets for 18 runs against Dominica in a comeback victory, in the two innings version of the Windward Under-19 Tournament. This was the catalyst that led to St Lucia winning the tournament. He also captained Choiseul to victory in the National Under-19 Tournament as well as the Senior National Level. That’s not all. Alexander was also at the helm when the National Under-19 team won both versions of the WindwardsUnder-19 Championship and the West Indies TCLG Under-19 Tournament and League Title. Alexander was named the Windward Islands Under-19 MVP, scored the highest personal score (87 not out) and was among the leading wicket takers with 15.
Joshua Runako Daniel: He competed in a number of competitions locally, regionally and on the international scene. Following are results from local competitions. Won all six of his races at the Secondary Schools Swim Meet, placed first in all six races entered;  Short Course (25 m Pool Competitions, won eight of nine individual events.    BASA Invitational (Barbados), captured three gold medals and two silver with a national record in the 100 m fly and age group record in the 100 m freestyle.  National Long Course Championships (Trinidad), silver medal in the 100 m fly and bronze in the 50 m freestyle. Aruba Dolphins Invitational, gold in the 50 m fly, 50 m back, 100 m free. Silver in the 50 m breast, 50 m free, 100 m fly and bronze in the 200 m IM.
Julian Biscette: On the local scene he played a major role helping his club Jet Setters retaining the BOSL Guy Brown Memorial League trophy along with the Independence Classic and the Presidents Cup, with dominating blocking and thundering powerful attack down the middle. Biscette was also outstanding playing for St Lucia in the Windward Islands Secondary Schools Volleyball component of the games. He led St Lucia to the ECVA Junior Championship in Antigua and was named Best Spiker, Best Scorer and MVP.
Making the final cut for Junior Sportswoman of the year are Siona Huxley (swimming), Petal “Skyla” Isidore (volleyball) and Sandisha Antoine.
Siona Huxley: Following are her achievements at the various competitions: Secondary Schools Meet, won all six events she competed in.   CARIFTA Swimming Championships, gold in the 50 m fly (national record), silver in the 200 m back (national record). The Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships, gold 50 m fly (national record), silver 50 m back. Huxley also competed but did not medal at the CAC Games, Youth Olympic Games (Singapore) and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
Petal “Skyla” Isidore: This player enjoyed another great year of volleyball at the national level, even though St Lucia lost out in the semi-finals of the ECVA Championship and eventually finished third. She is determined and improved the various aspects of her game. Isidore plays for Le Club who were female Champions in the Independence Classic local tournament after going undefeated. She was one of the top players in the Independence Classic tournament. Isidore is a determined young lady who is ambitious, hard working and takes her game very seriously.
Sandisha Antoine: This versatile athlete who resides in Martinique, won a total of seven triple jump, four long jump and three sprint medals while competing in major competitions in Fort-de France and Lamentin. At CARIFTA, she retained her title with a gold medal performance in triple jump, becoming  the only St Lucian to win back to back at this competition. She was one of ASCO Inter Atlas’s Most Improved Athletes in 2010. Antoine is ranked among the top five junior triple jumpers in the region.

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