The University of Victoria Vikes reflected back on a memorable and successful 2016-17 varsity season tonight, Apr. 5, at the Celebration of Champions event. This evening highlights the annual athletics award winners and the UVic Sports Hall of Fame class of 2017.
Fifth-year cross-country and track stand out Cole Peterson took home the prestigious President's Cup, while women's rugby captain Julia Folk and U SPORTS swimming double gold medalist Eric Hedlin were named UVic's Athletes of the Year. Women's field hockey defender Annie Walters-Shumka took home the Chancellor's Award for her leadership and community service, while first-years Emily Wong, of women's field hockey, and Scott Kellum, of men's basketball, were named the Rookies of the Year.
Among those recognized Wednesday evening were UVic Sports Hall of Fame inductees Carol Turney-Loos, for women's basketball, Spencer McKay, from men's basketball and Ulla Hansen, from women's cross-country and track. Turney-Loos played for the Vikes for the 1977-78 and 1979-80 seasons, helping the Vikes win the 1980 championship on the back of her MVP performance. McKay was a dominant player for men's basketball in the late 1980s and early 1990s, finishing as a five-time Canada West All-Star, a three-time All-Canadian and UVic's Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year in 1990-91. Hansen had a storied career with the Vikes that spanned between 1975 and 1987—one that saw her win five individual CIAU medals and two CIAU relay golds between cross country and track competition.
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.
Cole Peterson, Men's Cross-Country and Track
Team captain since 2014, Cole Peterson won 1500-metre gold and 1000-metre silver at the 2017 Canada West Champions to earn the title of 2017 Canada West Track Athlete of the Year. Peterson wrapped up his outstanding five-year university career in March with two gold medals at the U SPORTS Track and Field Championship, winning the 1500-metre race and helping his 4x00-metre relay team to a school record and the second-best all-time performance at the event. The five-time Canada West All-Star entered the season with six Canada West medals—three gold and three silver—to go with two CIS gold medals and four silver. In 2017, he added a gold in the 1000-metre at the Golden Bear Open and another in the mile at the Huskie Classic. The Edmonton, Alberta, native and Engineering major is a six-time U SPORT All-Canadian and was a four-time Academic All-Canadian, graduating with a 7.59 GPA.
The other nominee for the President's Cup was women's field hockey defender and fifth year Annie Walters-Shumka. Walters-Shumka was a 2016 U SPORTS Championship All-Star and named Most Outstanding Contributor.
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.
Julia Folk was a force for the women's rugby team in a historic year for the program. The third-year flank captained the team to a second place finish in the Canada West playoffs, helping the Vikes qualify for nationals on home soil, before playing a key role in the program's first ever Canadian University Sevens Championship in March 2017. She was also a key part of the Vikes team that won silver in the first ever Canada West Rugby Sevens Series, including taking home a first place finish in the opening tournament in Alberta. For her efforts, the Regina, Saskatchewan, native was named a Canada West All-Star, Second Team U SPORTS All-Canadian and was called upon by the Canadian National Fifteens program on more than one occasion during the 2016-17 season.
The other finalists for Female Athlete of the Year were cross-country and track's Rachel Francois, a four-time 600-m national champion, and two-time CIS All-Canadian and Vikes women's field hockey's leading goal scorer, Amanda Kurianowicz.
Male – Eric Hedlin, Men's Swimming
An open water swimmer by trade, Eric Hedlin had an excellent season both in and out of the pool for Vikes swimming in 2016-17. He put the conference on notice by winning gold in the 400- and 1500-m freestyle events at the Canada West championships in November before outdoing himself at the U SPORT Championships in March, breaking three-time Olympian Ryan Cochrane's school record in the 400-metre freestyle on his way to gold before smashing a 1500-metre freestyle record from 1992 on the final day to earn his second gold of the event. Hedlin, who went undefeated in the 1500-metre freestyle this year both in varsity and regular Swimming Canada competition, also travelled to the Australian Open Water Championships in February and won the 10-kilometre race by a large margin before winning the 5-kilometre race by over 50 seconds the next day against international competition.
The other finalists for Male Athlete of the Year were cross-country and track's Cole Peterson, a five-time Canada West All-Star and two-time U SPORTS gold medalist in 2017, and Lawren Rowe, winner of three tournaments in 2016-17 and top-ranked in the NAIA for the majority of the season.
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.
Annie Walters-Shumka, Women's Field Hockey
Truly embodying what it means to be a five-year Vike, Annie Walters-Shumka has not only been one of the strongest and most consistent defenders on the Vikes women's field hockey team but she has also showcased herself as an outstanding contributor on numerous levels. Walters-Shumka is a 2016 U SPORTS Tournament All-Star, two-time Canada West All-Star, four-time Academic All-Canadian and co-captained her team for the past two seasons. On top of her incredible athletic accomplishments, the Victoria native and pre-medicine Science major was awarded the 2016 Gail Wilson Award as the most outstanding contributor out of all Canadian university field hockey programs. In what spare time she has away from school and hockey, Walters-Shumka has been able to volunteer as a research assistant on a project on heart rate variability in Special Olympic athletes, as a physiology lab assistant at the UVic Cellular Physiology Labs and, this past summer, as an undergraduate medical intern in Kathmandu, Nepal at the Norvic International Hospital. The Claremont Secondary grad has also volunteered as a coach in field hockey, as an ambulatory care worker in the BC Cancer Agency, as a project coordinator at CanAssist and as an Active Start Program Leader with the Special Olympics. With no shortage of accolades and commitments to service, Walters-Shumka was also recognized by her team mates being voted as their Varsity Highlight Award winner for the past two seasons.
The other finalists for the Chancellor's Award were women's soccer midfielder and biomedical engineering major Sarah Douglas, and women's basketball point guard and science major Jenna Krug.
Robert T. Wall 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 – Emily Wong, Women's Field Hockey
Eighteen-year-old Emily Wong was the only rookie to start every game during the Vikes women's field hockey team's journey to Canada West silver. The 2016-17 Canada West Rookie of the Year not only started and played major minutes in every game but was also given the most daunting position as the team's central midfielder. Wong was often stacked up against opponents' strongest players, usually of national team calibre. The Vancouver native took on the challenge with great composure and continued that through the Vikes' performance at the U SPORTS national championship, where they finished second in shootouts. Wong spent put in lots of extra hours working with the Vikes coaching staff outside of team practices to perfect her skills and positioning throughout the short season and when the winter months came, Wong became an integral part of the Vikes' defence in their indoor hockey campaign. The Vikes won the eight-team UVIC-hosted indoor championship with Wong stepping in like a veteran despite not having any previous indoor experience.
The other finalist for Female Rookie of the Year was cross-country and track's Alyssa Mousseau.
Male Rookie of the Year – Scott Kellum, Men's Basketball.
Scott Kellum earned a nod as Canada West Rookie of the Year after a strong first season with the Vikes that saw him fall into a key role on a playoff squad. He joined an illustrious group of eight men's basketball alumni who have won the conference Rookie of the Year Award and is the first male to do so in basketball since Jacob Doerksen in 2006. Kellum was solid from the outset for the Vikes this season, starting 16 of Victoria's 20 Canada West games, averaging 13.2 points per game and shooting 44.1 per cent from three-point land—good enough for fourth in the conference. He led Canada West in rookie scoring and will be a key building block for the Vikes as they look to return to the conference's elite.
The other finalists for Male Rookie of the Year rugby player Spencer Cooper and cross-country and track's Chet Goerzen.
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.
Emily Lieuwen, Women's Soccer
Eighty-three student-athletes were named to the Vikes Honour Roll for their academic success throughout 2015-16. Third-year women's soccer player Emily Lieuwen was recognized with the Provost Award alongside women's field hockey player Lindsay Cole. Lieuwen and Cole registered an impressive 8.8 GPA, both in the Faculty of Science. Lieuwen was a big part of a Vikes squad that excelled on defensively this year, allowing just 13 goals in regular season play. The Ladner, B.C. native controlled the midfield and was dangerous in attack when needed, finishing third on the team in goals scored. She was a big part of the team's upset victory over no. 8 ranked Fraser Valley in the playoffs, helping the Vikes to their second-straight Canada West Select Six appearance.
Lindsay Cole, Women's Field Hockey
Lindsay Cole has proven annually that she is able to excel both on the pitch and in the class room. The Victoria native and Mount Douglas Secondary graduate is an integral part of the Vikes midfield line, dynamically anchoring their offensive build up. She is also a member of the Canadian junior national side and while her athletic accomplishments continue to grow, so do her academic achievements. Cole balanced an 8.8 GPA throughout 2015-16 and intends to pursue a career in medicine. The third-year science major wrote her MCAT and was still at training the day before and after.
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.
Armando Tura – Vikes Photographer
There aren't a lot of Vikes moments that have been forgotten over the past decade thanks to photographer Armando Tura, who has captured the best and worst of all Vikes-hosted events since 2007. What started out as an opportunity for Tura to expand his photography portfolio evolved into what would be and is today a partnership between a passionate, creative and committed photographer and an Athletics and Recreation department indebted to Tura's talent. Athletes, coaches and Vikes staff can easily attest to seeing Tura run the sidelines of the soccer pitch for double-header games and then the next morning be out on the field hockey turf and then inside for a basketball game, only to have the photos edited, labeled and posted on the night of. Tura's work ethic and passion for photography is highlighted through all aspects of his life including his "day job" teaching at UVic in mechanical engineering. Driven by his energetic Italian ways, Tura never seems to stop whether he is teaching labs, grading papers, photographing parachuters at a home-opener game, working long hours at a national championship, bundled up on a catamaran at a rowing event or building a studio in our gym for a marketing shoot - whatever the Vikes have needed Tura has stepped up and always with a smile.
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.
Women's Field Hockey: Rosie Beale, Lindsay Cole, Kathleen Leahy
Men's Field Hockey: Brenden Bissett, Harbir Sidhu
Cross Country and Track: Rachel Francois, Brendan Hoff, Alyssa Mousseau, Cole Peterson, Brendon Restall, Tyler Smith, Isaac Penner
Women's Rowing: Layla Balooch, Sarah Craven, Caileigh Filmer, Olivia King, Rebecca Zimmerman
Men's Rowing: Luc Brodeur, Mark Davies, Adam Donaldson, Isaac Donaldson, Patrick Keane, Alexander Matson
Women's Rugby: Jenn Appleby, Pam Buisa, Julia Folk, Chelsey Minter, Jess Neilson, Gabrielle Senft
Men's Rugby: Gradyn Bowd, Liam Chisholm, Spencer Cooper, Guiseppe du Toit, Mostyn Findlay, Lucas Hammond, Isaac Kaay, Conor Keys, Gavin Kratz, Ollie Nott, James O'Neill
Swimming: Eric Hedlin
VARSITY HIGHLIGHT AWARDS
Recognizes the unsung hero on each squad, peer selected for leadership, dedication, community involvement and positive attitude.
Basketball: Jenna Bugiardini, Grant Sitton
Cross Country and Track: Rachel Francois, Cole Peterson
Field Hockey: Annie Walters-Shumka, Riley Tringham
Golf: Laura Ferreira
Rowing: Erin Moen, Adam Donaldson
Rugby: Julia Folk, Kapi Vataiki
Soccer: Sarah Douglas and Meaghan Storie, Adam Ravenhill
Swimming: Taylor Snowden-Richardson, Aidan Thirkell