The spring season was another exciting one for UVic athletics. From varsity to club sports to the many Vikes athletes that were recognized for their individual success, the past term saw UVic build upon its rich athletic traditions.
We start on the court, where the men’s basketball team made an impressive run to the CIS Playoffs. After going 16-6 in Canada West play, UVic came second in the Canada West playoffs to punch their ticket to nationals. The Vikes were faced with a merciless draw, however, as they were pitted against perennial favourite Carleton Ravens, winners of the last two national titles. Carleton would defeat UVic en route to their third consecutive national title. However, UVic was able to win an emotional game against rival UBC and ended an impressive sixth overall in the country. Forward Terrell Evans was the standout player for the team, averaging 16.2 points per game, 7.3 rebounds and an astonishing .509 shooting percentage over the season.
UVic also had a string of strong results from its men’s and women’s rowing teams. In the Elk Lake Spring Regatta, the varsity four crew of Madeline Spangehl, Elizabeth McConnell, Rebecca Zimmerman and Claire McCormick, led by coxswain Kim Hawker, rowed to victory by edging out the boat from UBC. At the Egg Cup, UVic’s annual showdown against the Oregon State Beavers, the men’s junior varsity four emerged with a win in the final race. The accolades continued to roll in when Will O’Connell was honoured not only as Vikes Outstanding Rower of the year, but was also named male athlete of the year by UVic.
The Vikes swim teams put up solid results in the pool this term. Individual efforts included Zack Parker winning gold in the 400-metre freestyle at the Canada West Swimming Championships, Keegan Zanetta claiming a bronze in the 200 metre at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championships and Canadian Olympian Stephanie Horner winning gold in the 200-metre butterfly, also at the CIS Championships. The CIS hardware didn’t stop there: Eric Hedlin, Will Brothers and Canadian Olympian Richard Weinberger won gold, silver and bronze in the 1500-metre freestyle, respectively. The men finished the CIS Championships in fourth place, with the women coming 12th overall.
The track provided another venue for Vikes success this term. Kendra Pomfret shone in the Bison Classic to emerge first place in the one-kilometre race. Track star Adam Gaudes captured two gold medals in the Canada West Track and Field Championships, one in the 600-metre race, and another with teammates John Pratt, Cole Peterson and Karl Robertson in the 4×800-metre relay. 2012 rookie athlete of the year Rachel François took home three medals of her own, a gold in the 4×800-metre relay with teammates Grace Annear, Jenica Moore and Pomfret, a silver in the 4×400-metre relay with the same team of four, and an individual silver in the 600-metre race. Overall, the UVic track teams brought home a haul of five golds, four silvers and five bronzes. Pomfret was honoured by UVic with the Chancellor’s Award for her leadership role on the team.
In men’s rugby, the Vikes continue their fight for a playoff spot, with post-season hopes boosted by a 40-27 win over Meralomas on April 6. The squad has already been victorious this year though by winning the National University Sevens Rugby Championship. Going a perfect 7-0 in the tournament, UVic beat the Western Ontario Mustangs 35-5 in the final to become the top school in Canada. The team also saw individual awards handed out. Sean Duke won the UVic President’s Cup for his combination of athletic and academic success. Nathan Yanagiya was awarded male rookie athlete of the year for his efforts.
Several other Vikes athletes were honored for their achievements on and off the field. Women’s basketball star Debbie Yeboah was the female recipient of the President’s Cup for her success on the court and in the classroom. Megan Woodland won her second consecutive UVic female athlete of the year award, after she continued to dominate on the golf course. Jenna Bugiardini of the women’s basketball team won female rookie of the year, while Olivia de Goede of the women’s soccer team was awarded the Provost Award for Excellence for her outstanding GPA from the 2011–12 season.
In club sports, the UVic sailing team claimed the top three spots at the Sea to Sky competition this spring. They were again victorious at the Western Canada Cup, placing teams in first and third on the podium.