It was a bittersweet evening for the University of Victoria Vikes varsity teams that celebrated a highlight 2017-18 season, while also reminiscing on another year past and several graduating student-athletes. The evening also featured the announcement of the UVic varsity major award winners and the UVic Sports Hall of Fame class of 2018.
Fourth-year women’s soccer captain and two-time Provost Award winner Emily Lieuwen took home top honours after she was named the President’s Cup winner. Double Canadian University rowing gold medalist Caileigh Filmer and U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian soccer goalkeeper Puck Louwesshared Female Athlete of the Year honours, while Patrick Keane, who swept the lightweight single in almost every race this year was named Male Athlete of the Year. Long-time men’s rowing Adam Donaldson‘s contributions were recognized as he was named the Chancellor’s Award winner and Rookie of the Year honours went to Brandon Vail, from men’s cross country, and Brea Christie, from women’s soccer.
Among those also recognized Wednesday evening were UVic Sports Hall of Fame inductees MacKenzie Downing, from women’s swimming, and the athletes from both the 1987 women’s cross country championship team and the 1994-97 men’s cross country championship teams. MacKenzie Downing was a five-time CIS All-Canadian, two-time UVic Athlete of the Year, President’s Cup Winner and three-time FISU World Universiad games athlete. The 1987 women’s cross country team won the program’s fourth overall CIAU national title after sweeping the Top 7 spots and winning their fourth Canada West title while having all six runners in the Top 10 at nationals for a highlight championship. The men’s cross country dynasty from 1994 to 1997 set the bar for men’s university runners. The 14 athletes from this time span won four-straight cross country national and conference banners setting incredible records and milestones along the way.
The President’s Cup is given annually to the outstanding student-athlete in fourth or fifth year who best combines scholastic achievement and athletic ability.
Emily Lieuwen, Women’s Soccer – Ladner, B.C. (Science)
An important contributor in all four of her years with the Vikes women’s soccer team, Emily Lieuwenhas also been an Academic All-Canadian in all four of her university seasons. The two-time Provost Award for Excellence winner, Lieuwen holds a cumulative GPA of 8.75 in Science and intends to pursue a career as a Veterinarian. Selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-American team this year, Lieuwen is a shining example of someone who achieves both on and off the field. A starting central midfielder since her second season with the Vikes, Lieuwen is a dominant force in the middle of the pitch for a team that has qualified for the post-season in the past five-straight seasons. In 20 regular season and playoff games in 2017-18, Lieuwen played less than the full 90 minutes just once, when she was subbed off once the game was out of reach in the Vikes’ 7-0 win over Fraser Valley. Her constant presence in the midfield helped the Vikes achieve an outstanding record of just six goals against through 14 regular season games, while also chipping in offensively with two goals and four assists. The native of White Rock B.C. was named a Canada West First Team All-Star for her outstanding play on the field in 2017-18.
The other nominees for the President’s Cup were 2017 U SPORTS women’s field hockey’s Most Outstanding Contributor and Canada West All-Star Lindsay Cole and six-time U SPORTS track medallist and 2018 U SPORTS Student-Athlete Community Service award winner Tyler Smith. Read more.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
This award is given annually to one male and female student-athlete based upon their outstanding achievements in university competition only over the past 12 months.
FEMALE Co-Athlete of the Year: Caileigh Filmer, Women’s Rowing – Victoria, B.C. (Science)
In her first full year as a member of the Vikes women’s rowing team, Caileigh Filmer absolutely dominated the competition. The Science major and 2016 Rio Olympian, picked up three golds at the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships, leading the Vikes to the conference championship title. Filmer then followed that up with an outstanding two gold medals at the Canadian University Rowing Championships, helping the Vikes earn a second place finish in the nation. Filmer rowed stroke seat for the Vikes eight that won gold at both WCURC’s and CURC’s while also putting down dominant performances in the single to also claim gold in both of those events. At the Elk Lake Spring Regatta, Filmer stroked the Vikes eight to victory by over 11 seconds, while also setting a time that was the fastest any women’s eight has ever raced on Elk Lake. Internationally, Filmer had an outstanding 2017-18. She was named World Rowing Rising Star for the month of December and stroked the Canadian eight to both a gold medal and a world record at the U23 World Championships. At the National Rowing Championships, Filmer won gold in the U23 single and silver in the open single.
FEMALE Co-Athlete of the Year: Puck Louwes, Women’s Soccer – Utrecht, Netherlands (Humanities)
In her first year as the starting goalie for the Vikes women’s soccer team, Puck Louwes not only took command of the role but also put in one of the best seasons in conference history. The Humanities major allowed just six goals through 14 regular season games, while also tying the Canada West record for ten shutouts in a single season. From a regular season game on Sept. 16 through to the Canada West Semifinal on Nov. 3, Louwes allowed just one goal in 1080 minutes of action. The third-year Vike started the season by shutting out last season’s U SPORTS silver medalists, the UBC Thunderbirds, and only got better from there with the highlight of her season coming in the U SPORTS Consolation semifinal. Louwes made two saves in a penalty shootout to send the Vikes on to the Consolation finals where the team beat Manitoba and finished fifth in the nation. Louwes was named a U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian and singled out as the top goalie in the country. Also an Academic All-Canadian, Louwes finished the year with just 11 goals against in 20 games played.
MALE Athlete of the Year: Patrick Keane, Men’s Rowing – Victoria, B.C. (Social Sciences)
Patrick Keane racked up the accolades at both the international and university level in an incredible year as a 2017-18 member of the Vikes men’s rowing program. The Social Sciences major won six medals from major regattas throughout the season competing for the Vikes. The carded Canadian National Team member won gold in the lightweight men’s single at both the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships as well as the Canadian University Rowing Championships. Keane also earned silver medals in the lightweight men’s coxed four at both WCURC’S and CURC’S. At the National Rowing Championships in 2017, Keane captured gold in both the U23 and the Sr. lightweight men’s single. At the Elk Lake Spring Regatta Keane finished fourth in the open single where he was bested only by Olympians and the U23 World Champion. Internationally, Keane raced at the World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland, the Senior World Championships in Sarasota, USA and finished fourth at the U23 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
The Chancellor’s Award is presented to a student-athlete, who is an outstanding contributor to his or her team, both in and out of the competition venue. They provide leadership and vision exemplifying the goals of the team.
Adam Donaldson, Men’s rowing – Victoria, B.C. (Humanities)
Long-time captain of the Vikes men’s rowing team Adam Donaldson exemplifies all the qualities of an outstanding student-athlete. The 2017 Tony Zasada Award recipient has been instrumental in developing initiatives throughout the men’s rowing program. A humanities major, Donaldson has developed leadership roles and mentored assistant captains in areas of recruitment, alumni engagement as well as equipment fundraising. He has been vital in the hosting of many major regattas and events throughout his five years in the program while also establishing the Vikes Men’s Champions Fund Video and webpage while developing the Captains BBQ into a freshman parent and athlete welcome to Victoria. On the water the native of Victoria has also racked up the accolades. Donaldson is a two-time Brown Cup champion, a four-time medalist, two of those gold, at the Canadian University Rowing Championships and four-time medalist at the Canadian Henley Regatta where he is also a member of a Canadian men’s eight that won gold for the first time in 15 years. An outstanding ambassador for the Vikes in the community, Donaldson has generously given his time to a number of important initiatives. A volunteer coach with the Greater Victoria Youth Rowing Society for two years, Donaldson has also coordinated his team to volunteer at the both the MacDonald House and the Cridge Centre for Family. Donaldson facilitated the Vikes in supporting the Freedom 55 Make a Wish Fundraiser as well as finding time to volunteer weekly at Our Place.
There was an incredible group of finalists for the Chancellor’s Award including women’s basketball point guard and outstanding team leader Kristy Gallagher, as well as long-time team captain from men’s rugby James Pitblado.
Robert T. Wallace Shield Award
The Robert T. Wallace Shield recognizes the outstanding female and male student-athletes in his or her first year of competition in intercollegiate sports.
FEMALE Rookie of the Year: Brea Christie, Women’s Soccer – Victoria, B.C. (Social Sciences)
With the Vikes season riding on her shoulders, Brea Christie stepped up to the penalty spot at the U SPORTS National consolation semifinal and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net, sending her team into exultation and on to the National consolation finals. In her first year of university play the right back from Victoria not only started all 20 regular season and playoff games, but was also an integral component of one of the stingiest defenses in conference history. Christie and the Vikes defence allowed just six goals against in their 14 game regular season schedule while also compiling 10 shutouts, tied for the most in Canada West history. Christie and the Vikes finished fifth at nationals, went 9-1-4 in the conference regular season to tie for first in the Pacific Division and second overall, and finished second in the Canada West Final Four. Not just a defender, the Social Sciences major was always a threat moving forward, whipping in crosses to register nine shots on goal and two assists. At the conclusion of the season Christie was selected to the Canada West All-Rookie team.
The other finalists for Female Rookie of the Year include Canada West All-Rookie women’s basketball team member Ashlyn Day and Canada West Rookie of the Year for women’s field hockey Anna Mollenhauer. Read More.
MALE Rookie of the Year: Brandon Vail, Men’s Cross Country – Edmonton, Alta. (Engineering)
Brandon Vail accomplished just about everything he possibly could during an extremely successful first year with the University of Victoria Vikes men’s cross country team. An Engineering major, Vail was the top Vikes finisher at the 2017 U SPORTS Cross Country National Championships on home soil at Beacon Hill Park. Crossing the line in a time of 32:01.79, Vail finished 21st overall in the nation while his fifth-place finish among Canada West runners, earned him a nod as a Canada West First Team All-Star. Along with the conference all-star spot, Vail who is originally from Edmonton, Alta., was also the Canada West Rookie of the Year and posted the second-best time of any rookie in the nation. Outside of his amazing run at nationals, Vail was the 2017 B.C. Junior Cross Country Champion, the top Vikes finisher at the provincial championships, and also qualified for the Canadian Junior Men’s Team to race at the Pan American Cup in El, Salvador.
Provost Award for Excellence
The Provost Award is presented to a returning student-athlete with the highest academic average in the previous year. This year two recipients were named as the Provost Award co-winners.
Christopher Lee, Men’s Field Hockey – Victoria, B.C. (Sciences)
It was a record year as the Vikes celebrated 94 Vikes Honour Roll Recipients, who all achieved 80 per cent or higher in the 2016-17 academic year. Third-year forward and men’s field hockey player Chris Lee had the highest GPA of that group boasting a flawless 9.0 GPA in the Faculty of Sciences. Lee was honoured at the Vikes Honour Roll Luncheon on Nov. 22 and again at the Celebration of Champions event. Lee has balanced a heavy class schedule with regular training and weekly travels to Vancouver for games, while also being a regular volunteer at Vikes events and with varsity council. Read more.
TIMES COLONIST PUBLISHER’S AWARD FOR COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS
The Times Colonist Publisher’s Award for Community Contributors is awarded to those individuals within the community who have made an outstanding volunteer contribution to a varsity program.
Vikes Cross Country Alumni Committee
This year’s Pulisher’s Award winners have been pivotal to the recent successes of the Vikes cross country and track programs. The alumni committee of Keith Butler, Claire Clarke, James Davison, Eric Findlay, Andrea Minter, Karl Robertson, Alicia Roske and Nick Walker worked collaboratively to organize a number of events and raise close to $250,000 in endowments for Vikes cross country and track athletes. This group led a big reunion at the Vancouver Sun Run in May 2017 that provided the spark for an incredible culmination of alumni engagement at this past November’s UVic-hosted U SPORTS Cross Country National Championship. The committee hosted an event at Frontrunners downtown on the evening prior to the national championship and then at the championship hosted an alumni tent and had 30-plus volunteers assisting with course set-up, take down, marshalling, timing and cheer leading!
CIRCLE OF CHAMPIONS
Recipients are varsity student-athletes who have competed as a member of a national team or played professionally over the past year.
Cross Country and Track: Tyler Smith, Brandon Vail
Field Hockey: Lindsay Cole, Leina Dueck, Anna Mollenhauer
Rowing: Ty Adams, Piper Battersby, Luc Brodeur, Morgan Cathrea, Tanya Christie, Caileigh Filmer, James Gjervin, Patrick Keane, Olivia King, Taylor Perry, McKenna Simpson, Avalon Wasteneys
Rugby: Madi Aberg, Jenn Appleby, Emily Belchos, Gabriel Casey, Guiseppe du Toit, Chanelle Edwards-Challenger, Paige Farries, Julia Folk, Hunter Grant, Sasha Guedes, Ethan Hager, Conor Keys, Gavin Kratz, Logan Martin-Feek, Jackson Matthews, Jess Neilson, James O’Neill, Austin Pinnell, James Pitblado, Brennig Prevost, Mckenzie Pusch, Shaye Tudor, Tyler Wong
Swimming: Eric Hedlin, Danielle Hanus, Josh Zakala
VARSITY HIGHLIGHT AWARDS
Recognizes the unsung hero on each squad, peer selected for leadership, dedication, community involvement and positive attitude.
Basketball: Kristy Gallagher, Jordan Charles
Cross Country and Track: Alyssa Mousseau, Tim Longley
Field Hockey: Delaney Booker, Chris Lee
Golf: Hannah Diamond
Rowing: McKenna Simpson, Daan Arscott
Rugby: Maddy Graham, James O’Neill
Soccer: Emily Lieuwen, Mackenzie Rigg
Swimming: Taylor Snowden-Richardson, Jon McKay