The Ontarion names its first Gryphon Sportsperson of the Year


Third-year rower Carly Zanatta takes the inaugural title

Carly Zanatta is a third-year food science student, an accomplished rower for the Guelph Gryphons, and The Ontarion’s first Gryphon Sportsperson of the Year.

This recognition is awarded to an athlete who embodies what it means to be a Gryphon and has excelled in their sport individually and/or as part of a team.

Zanatta, originally from Fort Erie, Ont., transferred to Guelph from a school in the United States.

“When I came here, I immediately felt a sense of belonging, something I had never had before,” said Zanatta in an email interview with The Ontarion.

“The team here at Guelph is incredibly welcoming and they are all genuine people which makes it easy to want to work hard for the team. […] I love what I’m learning, I love training here, and I love being a Gryphon.”

As a member of the Gryphon rowing team, Zanatta received a whole host of accolades in the 2016 to 2017 year:

  • Champion in the open single and lightweight single at the Guelph Invitational
  • Ontario University Athletics (OUA) gold medalist in lightweight single
  • OUA silver medalist in open single
  • OUA all-star
  • OUA rowing female athlete of the year
  • Silver medal in open single at the Canadian University Rowing Championships
  • Bronze medal in the lightweight single at the Canadian University Rowing Championships
  • OUA peak performer in November
  • Nominated for female athlete of the year at the 2017 Gryphon Athletic Banquet
  • Carded athlete for the national rowing team on the lightweight women’s squad
  • Broke the world record for the marathon (42.2km) in the 19- to 29-year-old lightweight women rowers category on the Ergometer

Zanatta credits much of her success to the support system she has around her.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of my coaches,” she said.

“They have to put in as much work as the athlete, taking hours out of their day to go out on the water with me. You can’t be a great athlete without coaches behind you to provide their knowledge and support. They are the ones that taught me everything I know about the sport and who will continue to help me grow as an athlete.”

After a successful 2016 season, Zanatta will be back competing for the Gryphons in the fall and will be looking to defend her OUA title.

Photo supplied by Carly Zanatta.