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Story, Mahe, Skip take top Viking honours

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

Curler Lynnelle Mahe and basketball player Hayley Story were named University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings female Athletes of the year at Colour Night in Camrose on April 13. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian

Curler Lynnelle Mahe and basketball player Hayley Story were named University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings female Athletes of the year at Colour Night in Camrose on April 13. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian

Hayley Story and Lynnelle Mahe ended their sporting careers at the University of Alberta-Augustana in style at the Vikings colour night. 

The two graduating seniors were named co-female athletes of the year on April 13, joining male athlete of the year Curtis Skip on stage for the evening’s highest honours. 

Mahe lead the Vikings women’s curling team to nationals, hosted by the school, from the second and third positions. She was very much in a mentorship role as the team broke in freshman skip Nikki Smith.  

“It means so much, my four years here have been incredible and I have met so many people and having Roger (Galenza) here as a coach has been crazy, my skills have improved so much,” Mahe.  

She graduates from Augustana with a degree in kinesiology and will be looking to continue her education after taking a year off from school. She plans on moving on to NAIT and taking diagnostic medical stenography. Her on ice days are far from over as well. The Beaumont native has dreams of playing at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and has made it as far as the semifinals at the Alberta Scotties with her Jessie Kaufman rink in 2016. 

Her legacy at Augustana may end up being in the knowledge she passed on to Smith, who was fresh out of high school but showed the potential to be one of the top skips in the province. 

“It was lots of fun, I think we worked real well together and we learned a lot from each other and our personalities fit real well together,” said Mahe. 

Story spent five years at Augustana and worked her way from role player in her first three seasons as a Viking to one of their biggest weapons. In the 2015-16 season she was their second leading scorer and this year she led everyone with 11.4 points per game while imparting leadership on a young roster that just missed out on the playoffs. 

She couldn’t imagine a better way to cap her career with the Vikings. 

“It’s been an amazing year with the highs and lows and I wouldn’t have it any other way, this is something that I’m very grateful for to cap off the year,” said Story. 

It was a frustrating season for Story. After a slow start, the Vikings battled their eay back into playoff position after Christmas. A late season slide, however, left them on the outside looking in. 

Story will take much more than how this season finished with her as she moves on into the next stage of her life as she takes a year off before going after a masters in social work. 

“It was a true testament to who we are as Vikings we stuck together, no matter what, through adversity and we didn’t allow our win-loss record to phase us,” said Story. “We gave our all every game and no matter what the outcome we stuck together as a family.” 

Curtis Skip is the only Athlete of the year who will be back next year. The second-year goalie out of Grande Prairie emerged from a three-headed goaltending battle to not just be the best net minder on the team but arguably the best in the league. 

In the playoffs he showed his mettle by stopping 105 of 108 shots he faced in a three-game win over the Red Deer College Kings in the first round of the ACAC playoffs. 

“This means the world to me,” he said. “I was at a close family friend’s funeral this morning and I’m shaking right now. This isn’t just me up there winning that, it’s everyone who supported me, my teammates, my mom and dad and brother, everyone who has been there for me since day one.” 

This season he was third in the ACAC in goals against average (2.45) and second in save percentage (.927). Most impressively, he steady a Vikings ship in the first half of the season that was taking on water, and then was their backbone down the stretch as they made up ground and worked their way back into contention for home ice advantage in the playoffs. 

Skip is not content with getting close as a team, he is already focused on getting back to the finals next year. 

“When I’m training in the summer time, I don’t envision individual awards … I envision a ring for every guy in the room, I envision a banner and a championship,” said Skip. “It’s what drives me the most, it’s what drives my teammates. I’d trade it all for a championship, any day of the week.” 

NOTES – Winning rookie of the year awards were women’s volleyball’s setter Karen Wagner and men’s basketball’s Eddie Nkerabahizi; the Leadership Award went to Story and men’s hockey’s Dylan Coupal; the Dr. Roger Epp Scholarship Athlete of the year went to Coupal and women’s volleyball’s Nicole Brockman; Team GPA award went to the Nordic Team; Jerry Iwanus was named Volunteer of the Year; Coaching Recognition Award for community coach of the year went to Andy Thompson. 

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