Leading NZ 800m runner Angela Smit last night won the University of Canterbury’s sportsperson of the year award at the annual sports Blues Awards on campus.
Smit made a dramatic breakthrough on the world scene this year with a personal best 800m in finishing second to Beijing Olympic Games 800m gold medallist Pamela Jelimo of Kenya at a track meeting in Belgium.
Smit from Rangiora sliced over three seconds off her previous best, set two years ago in Canada, in clocking 2m 00.67s, tantalising close to the New Zealand London Olympic qualifying time of two minutes. Smit won the national 800m title in Auckland in March and was second in the 400m and 1500m and is now ranked third on the New Zealand all-time list behind Toni Hodgkinson and Nikki Hamblin.
Crusaders rugby forward Luke Whitelock, athlete Hannah Newould and ice hockey player Jamie Lawrence were the other finalists. All Black rugby player Kieran Read is a former winner University of Canterbury (UC) sportsperson of the year.
The University of Canterbury Blues Awards have been presented annually since the early 1900s and recognises students for sporting excellence whist successfully completing academic studies.
UC students to receive blues honours last night were:
Jess Gibson (aerobics), Malcolm Hicks, Angela Smit, Hannah Newbould, Nikki McFadzien (athletics), Philippa Connell, Rosana Katene (basketball), Haley Mercer, Sharlotte Lucas (cycling), Tenille Burnside, Jennifer Storey, Rachel McCann, Reuben Koorey, Trent Summers, Redvers Wilbur, Hannah Marshall, Bridget Blackwood, Pippa Hayward, Sarah Byers (hockey) , Jamie Lawrence (ice hockey) , Richard Moore (motor sport), Sophie Fenwick, Sarah Hayman (netball), Jamie King (powerlifting), Brendon O’Connor, Sam Lawson, Luke Whitelock, Kurt Davies, Michael Allardice, Olivia Coady, Ruby Tui (rugby), Rebecca Dooley (swimming), Crystal Lenky (ultimate), William Young (cricket).