By Ali Baggott, Vikes Communications

[ONLINE STORY]

The University of Victoria Vikes varsity programs are wrapping up the majority of their seasons as the annual Celebration of Champions and UVic Sports Hall of Fame event draws closer. The Apr. 5 evening dedicated to celebrating current and past Vikes athletes, coaches and staff will culminate the 2017-18 season and major award winners for the President’s Cup, Athletes of the Year, Rookies of the Year, Provost Award, Chancellor’s Award and Publisher’s Award will be announced along with the induction of the 2019 UVic Sports Hall of Fame Class.

The Female Rookies of the Year finalists for 2018-19 include field hockey midfielder Anne-Sophie Hannes, cross country and track’s Caitlin Mann and rowing’s Danae McCulloch.

Finalist: Anne-Sophie Hannes, Women’s Field Hockey – Cologne, Germany (Business Administration)

First-year Victoria midfielder Anne-Sophie Hannes was a key addition to the Vikes lineup in 2018 that went on to win both the Canada West conference and U SPORTS national banners. An exchange student from Germany, a country well-known for its success in international hockey and competitive club structure, Hannes’ international experience was evident right from her first game. Despite not getting on the scoreboard, Hannes was a regular starter in all 10 games this season and showed her versatility both on the outside and in central midfield. Hannes’ technical skills were superior, often maintaining possession or trapping difficult passes under incredible pressure, while her ability to turn on attack at speed made her an unpredictable part of the Vikes offence. Defensively, Hannes was the loudest player on the field despite English being her second language.

The rookie was honoured as both the Canada West Rookie of the Year and the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year after the team finished first in the conference regular standings on goal differential with a 6-2-3 record. The Vikes beat York in Toronto in their first two games of the best-of-three U SPORTS championship to hoist the McCrae Cup for the first time since 2008.

Finalist: Caitlin Mann, Women’s Cross country and Track – Melville, Sask. (Science)

Caitlin Mann emerged as one of the Vikes cross country and track team’s leaders and top performers despite only being in her first year. The Science major finished third on the Vikes team at the Stanford cross country meet in the Fall and was in the Top 10 for rookies at a competitive meet that features six of the top NCAA schools competing. At the B.C. Cross Country Championships Mann finished as the top rookie and 21st overall against a field of Canada’s top female distance runners including two Olympians. During the Canada West cross country Championship Mann picked up a Canada West Second Team All-Star nod after finishing as the third-highest rookie for her 14th place finish and she helped the Vikes capture a Canada West silver medal. At the U SPORTS National Championship Mann’s performance caught the eyes of international coaches and she was named an alternate for the Canadian Junior National cross country team for the upcoming Pan American Cup and World Cross Country Championships.

In the winter, Mann switched gears to the track and set personal bests in nearly every competition she raced in. A 1500-m and 3000-m specialist, Mann set personal bests at the Canada West championship and missed qualifying for the U SPORTS championship by one spot in a competitive qualification process for a first year student-athlete.

Finalist: Danae McCulloch, Women’s Rowing – Victoria, B.C. (Engineering)

First year Engineering major Danae McCulloch made quite the impact for the Vikes women’s rowing program in 2018-19. The Glenlyon Norfolk School graduate competed for the varsity eights crew that won a silver medal at the Canadian University Rowing Championships and helped the Vikes to a silver medal team finish at the national championship event. At the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships McCulloch stroked the reserve eights crew to a gold medal in 7:32.0, while she also raced with the varsity eights that won silver at the regional championship hosted in Leduc, Alta. Prior to the fall season McCulloch also represented Canada at the Annual CanAmMex Championships and won a silver and gold medal at that event.

During the indoor season McCulloch finished third in the Under 23 category pulling a 2-km erg time of 7:19.6. A consistent performer, McCulloch’s efforts have often seen her push third and fourth-year Vikes out of the Top 8 ranking among the team. In the Vikes’ final regatta, the prestigious Brown Cup event, McCulloch was named to the varsity eight that will race UBC for what could be a 24th Brown Cup title in Vikes history.

Award finalists will be 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.

Robert T. Wallace Shield
Rookie of the Year – Female
Anne-Sophie Hannes, Field Hockey
Caitlin Mann, Cross Country and Track
Danae McCulloch, Rowing