Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Immaculata's Dream Team all-stars

PUBLICATION: The Ottawa Citizen
DATE: 2005.07.05
EDITION: Final
SECTION: Special Section
PAGE: E3
BYLINE: Martin Cleary
SOURCE: The Ottawa Citizen
ILLUSTRATION: Photo: Kier Gilmour, The Ottawa Citizen / MichaelaKeenan-Pelletier and Dan Bevan were named senior female and male athletes of the year at Immaculata High School. Keenan-Pelletier participated in cross-country running, cross-country skiing, water polo, swimming and rugby. Bevan played basketball, baseball and competed in cross-country running. Both are Ontario scholars.; Photo: (Sara Ung); Photo: (Alexandre Vassiliev); Photo: (Heather Ridgway); Photo: (Ryan Peacock); Photo: (Katie Bifield); Colour Photo: (Venessa Poirier); Colour Photo: (Marc Beriault); Photo: (Claire Sutherland); Photo: (Paul Tremblay); Photo: (Martine Gratton); Photo: (Philippe Beauchamp); Photo: (Stephanie Thompson); Photo: (Phil Lamothe); Photo: (Jocelyne Quane); Photo: (Andrew Duncan); Photo: (Christine Fraser); Photo: (John Delahunt); Photo: (Kyrie Love); Photo: (Ashley Burrill); Photo: (Allan Brett)
NOTE: Athletes of the Year

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Immaculata's Dream Team all-stars: Michaela Keenan-Pelletier and Dan Bevan, Immaculata

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If Immaculata High School had its own version of a Dream Team, Michaela Keenan-Pelletier and Dan Bevan would be automatic co-captains.

Whether it's athletics or academics, two of the pillars of a student's high school life, they were inspirational leaders among their peers in 2004-05.

Keenan-Pelletier, who played an amazing 24 varsity sports during her four years, and Bevan were the respective senior female and male athletes of the year at Immaculata. It was the second straight year that Bevan won the honour.

Academically, they're Ontario scholars with marks in the high 80s or low 90s.

And in one respect, they're already members of the school's Dream Team.

Last March, they were part of a 17-member group of students, teachers and a chaplain who travelled to Consuelo to experience life in a Third World country as part of the school's DREAM (Dominican Republic Experience At MAC) Team. The team also presented the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception with a cheque for $10,000 to assist their educational and health projects.

"It was an amazing week," Bevan says. "It was the best week of my life. It opens your eyes to how the world works, the economy and the imbalance."

Amazing also is a good word to describe their final year at the Main Street school.

Keenan-Pelletier participated in cross-country running, cross-country skiing, water polo, swimming and rugby for 2004-05. She won the most valuable player award for cross-country skiing and swimming, the coaches' award for cross-country running and water polo, and was the school's only gold-level athletic achievement winner.

In the National Capital playoffs, she celebrated a bronze medal in swimming's 50-metre backstroke, went 7-0 in rugby before losing the tier 2 final, and reached the water polo semifinals.

Without volleyball or golf teams on the sports agenda, Bevan was limited to cross-country running, basketball and baseball. Immaculata reached the tier 2 baseball semifinals and the Tier 1 basketball quarterfinals.

He was the baseball MVP and earned a coaches' award in basketball.

In the classroom, a poem he wrote about the Rideau Canal for a writer's craft assignment won the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association provincial young authors award.

Keenan-Pelletier also takes Irish dancing and wants to study the bagpipes this summer, which she calls her version of poetry.

So how do these student-athletes excel in two difficult fields?

"Everyone has a lot of talent inside," says Bevan, who was the valedictorian at the commencement ceremony for his graduating class. "It's a matter of using it and being motivated ... to do stuff with your talents."

"I'm a perfectionist at heart. I can't stand falling behind. I do the best I can," says Keenan-Pelletier, who was nominated by Immaculata for a Spirit of the Capital Youth Award in the youth athlete category.

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