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SFU's Marie-Eloise Leclair named 2023-24 GNAC Female Athlete of the Year

"Her success stems from her passion, focus, work ethic, of course talent and character."
SFU's Marie-Eloise Leclair has been named the 2023-24 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Female Athlete of the Year.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) track and field standout Marie-Eloise Leclair's record-breaking season has earned her conference recognition. 

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) announced on Tuesday, June 25, that Leclair has been named its 2023-24 Female Athlete of the Year — voted by the conference's athletic directors. 

“Marie has always shown maturity and composure before and during competitions,” SFU track and field head coach Brit Townsend said in a news release. 

“She is able to focus while still being a leader with her teammates. A great smile greets anyone who comes to talk to her. She is genuine and down to earth which is refreshing for an athlete of her ability and success.”

During the most recent season, Leclair was able to break her own conference records in the indoor 60 and 200 metres, and outdoor 100 and 200 metres. 

The Montreal sprinter's medal haul was also impressive, bringing home four gold medals and three silvers at GNAC events throughout the year while being named "Athlete of the Meet" at the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships. 

Leclair was also awarded the 2024 GNAC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year award. 

At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Leclair held the top preliminary time of the 200-metre race before finishing as the runner-up with a time of 23.46 seconds. 

She was also able to hit the podium in the 60-metre race with a time of 7.36 seconds. 

“She is hardworking and challenges herself every day,” Townsend added. 

“She is pleasant to be around and treats everyone around her with respect and compassion. Tom Dickson (our sprint coach) and Marie have a great working relationship and he has been instrumental in her progress and success over the last four years. We worked hard to make sure we kept up the annual plan even during Covid and we are enjoying the success of that now.”

Since joining the GNAC in 2010-11, four SFU female track and field competitors have been awarded Athlete of the Year including Helen Crofts (2012-13), Burnaby's own Lindsey Butterworth (2014-15) and Alison Andrews-Paul (2021-22).