Vikes shine at athletics banquet

The Victoria Conference Centre played host to the Vikes Athletics Awards Banquet on April 1, held each year to honour the achievements of hundreds of UVic’s varsity athletes.

The gala event was MCed by Jordan Cunningham and Mira Laurence from CTV Vancouver Island sports. Those of us lucky enough to attend were treated to Laurence’s trademark humour, while also enjoying Cunningham’s flawless rendition of the Gangnam Style dance.

There was, however, plenty of serious business on the evening’s agenda, from the awards themselves to the induction of three former Vikes athletes into the UVic Sports Hall of Fame.

Jan Crook was inducted for her tireless work advancing the women’s field hockey program at UVic as both a player and coach. The other inductees, David Docherty and Bruce Howe, both of whom coached the UVic men’s rugby team from 1978–1991, were acknowledged together for their successful tenure, which featured three Barnard Cup titles.

The prestigious athlete of the year awards highlighted the night, and were awarded to two worthy recipients. On the men’s side, Terrell Evans captured the title in his final year representing UVic. During his basketball career with the Vikes, he helped lead the team to multiple CIS Final Eight appearances, and was also named a First Team CIS All-Canadian.

The women’s top award was won by track star Rachel Francois. Francois capped another stellar year by winning the 600-metre race at the CIS championships, and was also part of the gold medal UVic team in the 4×800-metre relay. She was given CIS First Team All-Canadian honours for her efforts.

Andrew Ravenhill of the men’s soccer team also won big that evening, taking home the Chancellor’s Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership and contribution to a sport, which Ravenhill certainly exemplified.

Ravenhill played five seasons with the Vikes soccer team, a run that included capturing the CIS national title in 2011. One of the undisputed leaders on the team, Ravenhill was noted for his strong play that earned him MLS attention, along with his work in developing younger players on the team.

The evening celebrated dozens of other recipients as well, each of whom demonstrated not only UVic’s standout athletic talents, but also the dedication embodied by the best of UVic.

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