Ali Baggott, University of Victoria
The fifth and final day of announcements for the annual Vikes varsity awards culminates with the President’s Cup finalists. The President’s Cup is awarded to a fourth or fifth-year student-athlete that best combines scholastic achievement and athletic ability. This year’s finalists are fifth-year men’s rower Daan Arscott, fourth-year rugby fly half Gradyn Bowd and cross country All-Canadian Alison Irvine.
Finalist: Daan Arscott, Men’s Rowing – Buckhorn, Ont. (Social Sciences)
Fifth-year men’s rower Daan Arscott has come full circle with the Vikes in his final season. From an assistant captain from 2015-17 to the team’s captain in 2017-18 to shaping the program’s next leader through 2019, Arscott has played an integral part in all aspects of success for the Vikes men’s rowing program whether it is competition, alumni engagement, fundraising or team cohesion. On the water, Arscott has represented Canada at the FISU games in the open men’s four, while with the Vikes his achievements have included gold with the men’s eight at the Head of the Gorge, three-straight Brown Cup titles and two silver and one gold with the eights at the Canadian University Rowing Championships.
Arscott will stroke the varsity eights at the 2019 Brown Cup, while he boasts an impressive erg score indoors with a time of 6:00.00 for 2000-m. Outside of his leadership in training, Arscott has driven fundraising as a focus and culture within the program, personally selling three and a half tables for the Vikes Championship Breakfast. He has worked hard to help build and foster alumni relationships kick starting a dialogue for Vikes rowing alumni to help create employment opportunities for current Vikes. Arscott has led the men’s rowing programs recruitment strategies, while on the side he has also volunteered his time to support organizations like the Cridge Center for Family, Ronald McDonald House and at events like the Canadian National Masters Road Cycling Championships.
Finalist: Gradyn Bowd, Men’s Rugby – Red Deer, Alta. (Education)
Gradyn Bowd has been a dominant player for the Vikes men’s rugby player for the past four seasons. Already a finalist for Vikes Male Athlete of the Year, Bowd’s academic excellence also makes him a strong candidate for the President’s Cup. The Education major has led by example throughout his time as a Vike, working with the younger players on the squad and setting the tone for the importance of coaching the next generation. As the varsity team’s captain, Bowd sets up the training schedules for the varsity players and is balancing his training and team commitments while on his final teaching practicum.
In the men’s premier league, the fourth year has been a constant threat. On Jan. 26 Bowd totaled four tries and nine converts for 38 points scored, a feat not done by a Vike in over 30 years. Heading in to the final games of the season Bowd totalled 190 of the Vikes’ 430 points. Bowd has made several sacrifices over the past few seasons, putting off national team program calls to concentrate on the Vikes and his education degree. Bowd has also volunteered for a number of community club teams in Victoria as a head or assistant coach and he has spent a number of summers in his home province of Alberta working with high school and provincial age-grade players. Bowd is a catalyst to make sure the Vikes also gets out to other events and has undoubtedly been a leader by example for his team.
Finalist: Alison Irvine, Women’s Cross Country – Victoria, B.C. (Masters of Public Health)
Alison Irvine has always found a way to be a part of the Vikes cross country program despite national team commitments with Triathlon Canada and completing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. In 2019, Irvine was the top Canadian at in the Top-30 of 165 athletes at the prestigious Stanford Invitational cross country race that included six of the top NCAA schools. Irvine was ninth overall at the BC Cross Country Championship, an open event that included Olympians. At the Canada West Championships Irvine won a silver medal and was named a first team all-star, while at the U SPORTS National Championship Irvine was eighth overall and named a U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian and the U SPORTS Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner.
At the open National Cross Country Championships, Irvine was 19th overall and just six spots back from qualifying for Canada’s team for the World Cross Country Championship. With an 8.63 GPA, Irvine has also been an important leader for one of the youngest Vikes teams the program has had for years. Irvine has led by example academically and athletically, while she is an important conduit between the team and the coaching staff. As the top cross country athlete in the program she is often a key mentor for her team mates and recruits. Her experience as a national level triathlete and runner has enabled her to provide the wisdom and perspective for younger athletes to find success as a Vike. Irvine also finds time to work with a First Nations organization, Carrier Sekani Family Services, developing an exercise promotion program, and has worked with the Duncan First Nations’ Youth Community for fundraising and community events.
Award finalists were announced in a staggered fashion beginning with Rookies of the Year on Mar. 25, and followed daily with Athletes of the Year finalists on Mar. 26-27, Chancellor’s Award finalists on Mar. 28 and the President’s Cup on finalists Mar. 29. All award winners will be announced at the banquet on Apr. 5. For a description of each award and list of past recipients click here.
The Provost Award, already announced in November at the Vikes Honour Roll Luncheon, along with the Publisher’s Community Award winners will not have finalists announced and will be given out at the Celebration of Champions banquet. For more information on this year’s UVic Sports Hall of Fame inductees please click here.
2018-19 Vikes Varsity Award Finalists
Finalists are listed in alphabetical order by last name.