Sarah Ali-Khan, a McGill University doctoral student in pharmacology and therapeutics, has won a Woman of Distinction award from the Montreal YWCA in the Sports & Wellness category.
She becomes only the third McGill athlete to win this award, which recognizes outstanding contributions by a woman to the field of sports, physical fitness, recreation or general fitness.
Ali-Khan, originally from Baie d'Urfé, Que., but raised in New Zealand, is the most decorated female athlete in McGill history.
From 1997 to 2003, she dominated the Quebec university circuit in both cross-country and track & field. She competed for Canada at the 2003 IAAF world cross-country championships in Lausanne and in 2004, became the first McGill-trained athlete to receive federal carding status from Athletics Canada.
Ali-Khan won an unprecedented total of three consecutive Gladys Bean trophies as the McGill female athlete of the year from 1999-00 to 2001-02. (Only one male athlete has accomplished a comparable feat: Percival Molson, between 1898-99 and 1900-01.)
She entered postgraduate studies at McGill in 1997 and went on to earn Academic All-Canadian honours five times for maintaining an academic average over 80 per cent. She was also a five-time honoree on the McGill Principal's student-athlete honour roll, accorded to students who earn a cumulative grade-point average over 3.5 on a scale of 4.0.
Ali-Khan earned CIS All-Canadian honours five times in track & field and four times in cross-country. She has won athlete-of-the-week awards 20 times at McGill, 12 times at the QSSF conference level and four times at the CIS national level.
McGILL ATHLETES TO WIN PREVIOUS WOMAN OF DISTINCTION AWARDS
2000 — Julie Payette (athlete; cross-country)
2003 — Geraldine Dubrule (athlete, coach, official; synchro swimming)
2006 — Sarah Ali-Khan (athlete; cross-country, track & field)