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Four SFU Red Leafs chosen as finalists for Sport BC Athlete of the Year awards

Finalists to be honoured in March.
[From left to right] SFU Red Leafs athletes Alison Andrews-Paul, Jimmy Zaborniak, Brit Townsend and Aaron Ahl are all nominated in their respective categories for the 55th Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards.

Several Burnaby-based athletes are among the finalists for the 55th annual Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards. 

Aaron Ahl (Track and Field - University Athlete of the Year), Alison Andrews-Paul (Track and Field - University Athlete of the Year), Brit Townsend (Athletics - Female Coach of the Year) and Jimmy Zaborniak (Basketball - Male High School Athlete of the Year) represent the Red Leafs in NCAA Div. II play for track and field, cross-country running and basketball. 

"The Athlete of the Year Awards is a true celebration of sport in our province," Sport BC president and CEO Rob Newman said in a news release. 

"The finalists will be honoured at the event and represent exceptional efforts and accomplishments in 2021 and 2022. We congratulate our finalists and the organizations they represent." 

In 2021-22, Ahl was named the GNAC Indoor Track and Field men's athlete of the year, the GNAC Indoor Championships  track athlete and performance of the meet, and a 2022 US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association west region athlete of the year. 

Andrews-Paul was named the GNAC's overall female athlete of the year, winning the 800-metre NCAA Div. II indoor title. She also won the conference's female athlete of the year award in indoor track and outdoor track and field. 

Townsend captured four GNAC coach of the year awards for the 2021-22 season in women's cross country, women's indoor track, men's cross country and women's outdoor track and field. 

She was named the 2021 US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association west region coach of the year in women's cross country. 

Former Burnaby South Rebel Jimmy Zaborniak helped lead his senior boys basketball team to the B.C. AAAA title last March, earning tournament MVP with an average of 22.5 points per game. 

Zaborniak then inked a contract with the Red Leafs and has appeared in all 17 games this season, which he has also been named a starter for six. 

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