Kelly French as a grade 8 student at Assikinak Public School was the Simcoe County Champion in cross-country running. While she was a student at Innisdale Collegiate, she was a GBSSA champion in both track and cross-country. She also won a bronze medal competing in the 1500 m at OFSAA. Kelly was honoured as both the female Junior and the Senior Athlete of the Year at Innisdale. For the last five years, Kelly was on a full scholarship at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. At SIIJC, Kelly was a member of the cross-country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field teams. Kelly was the team’s top runner in the 1500 and 3000 (outdoor) and the mile and 3000 (indoor). In 1998, Kelly won the SIU Cross-country meet with the school’s second fastest time ever. She was twice named “Athlete of the Week” for the Missouri Valley Conference and was the team captain for the SIUC’s cross-country team. Kelly graduated “Cum Laude” in December 1998 and continued to compete in local races.
Other nominees for the 1998 Athlete of the Year were:
David Schulze: A competitive swimmer with the Barrie Trojan Swim Club for 12 years. He is four time Ontario Champion and Ontario Record holder. A member of the Canadian Junior National Team, he was the 1997 Canadian Swimming Nationals Silver Medalist in the 200 breaststroke. (David Schulze was the 2002 Athlete of the Year. See that page for more up to date information)
Bryon Taylor: In rugby, Taylor was the captain and the MVP of the Central Collegiate’s Senior Rugby team that won the “AAA” OFSAA silver medal in 1998. He was a member of the Ontario U18 team that won the Eastern Canadian Championships. He was selected to the 1998 Canadian U19 Rugby team. He captained Central’s Senior Boys Basketball team to a bronze medal at OFSAA this season. He was also on the Barrie Royals “AA” team that won gold in the 1998 provincial Championships. (Bryon Taylor was the 1999 athlete of the year see that page for more up to date information)