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MAJOR AWARD NOMINEES: WOMEN’S T-HOLDERS’ ATHLETE OF THE YEAR will highlight the nominees of U of T’s major awards – men’s and women’s rookies of the year, Dr. Clara Benson honour award, George M. Biggs trophy, as well as the men’s and women’s Frank Pindar and T-Holders’ athletes of the year – to be announced at the Varsity Blues Awards Gala on Saturday, April 1.

The following Varsity Blues athletes were nominated by their coaches and chosen through the awards selection process as finalists for the women’s T-Holders’ athlete of the year, presented annually to the athlete who has exhibited the highest degree of athletic excellence (in alpha order):
Karly Hellstrom – Soccer
Karly Hellstrom led the Varsity Blues women’s soccer team to a third-place finish in the OUA East division with a 9-3-0 record. Hellstrom was named a U SPORTS second team all-Canadian and an OUA first team all-star after leading the Blues points (11) and assists (6) this season. She helped U of T to a 2-0 playoff victory over the TMU Bold before falling to the eventual OUA champion Ottawa Gee-Gees in the quarter-finals.  
Jasmine Lew – Track & Field
Veteran track and field standout Jasmine Lew earned U SPORTS second team all-Canadian honours after a silver-medal finish in the women’s long jump at the 2023 national championships. Lew also placed fifth in the 60-metre dash on the national stage. She was named a first team all-star after winning the women’s long jump at the OUA championships and also reached the podium in the 60m dash, placing third overall. She was an integral member of the Blues OUA bronze-medal team finish at the OUA championships, while also helping U of T to a fifth-place finish at the U SPORTS championships.
Sam McCrory – Field Hockey
Sam McCrory had an exceptional year with the Varsity Blues field hockey team, leading them to a first-place regular-season standing with a 9-0-1 record. McCrory was named a U SPORTS all-Canadian, the OUA most valuable player, as well as an OUA all-star after leading the nation in goals scored with 20, which was 10 more than the second-ranked player. McCrory’s skills earned her a spot on the Canadian indoor national team, where she was the leading scorer and helped the team to their best-ever finish at the FIH Indoor World Cup in 2023. She also represented Canada at the 2022 FIH Junior World Cup in April of 2022.  
Ainsley McMurray – Swimming
Ainsley McMurray had a standout season in the pool, helping the Varsity Blues women’s swimming team to their ninth straight OUA championship banner and second consecutive U SPORTS national title this season.  A U SPORTS first team all-Canadian, McMurray won three gold medals at the national championships, taking the top spot in the 50 and 100 freestyle events and helping U of T to a first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay. She also claimed three bronze medals in the 200 freestyle, 400 medley relay and 800 freestyle relay. At the provincial championships, McMurray earned OUA first team all-star honours after winning five gold medals. She broke the 100 freestyle OUA record and helped U of T to a record-breaking performance in the 400 freestyle relay, while also winning the 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly and 100 butterfly events.
Julia Murmann – Volleyball
Second-year outside hitter Julia Murmann earned OUA first team all-star honours for the second straight season in 2022-23. The Toronto native led the Blues and ranked seventh in the province, averaging 3.6 points per set over 18 matches. Murmann, who represented Canada in Volleyball Nations League play and the world championships in 2022, topped the Blues with 3.18 kills per set, while also ranking second on the squad and sixth in the OUA with 3.45 digs per set. She notched a season-high 25.5 points at Windsor on Jan. 20, while also recording a season-high 21 kills twice at Windsor on Jan. 20-21 this season.
Taylor Trussler – Hockey
Team captain Taylor Trussler returned to the Blues lineup in January following a major injury and picked up right where she left off. Trussler helped the Blues to a program-record 23 regular season wins, their second OUA title in the past three seasons and a fifth-place finish at the U SPORTS championship. She was named an OUA second team all-star after ranking second on the Blues in goals (10) and third in points (15) in only 14 regular season games. She also co-led the Blues in OUA playoffs in goals (3) and points (5).

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