Rugby’s Goodwin, Duke named Applebee’s Athletes of the Month

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Ali Lee

VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes Varsity Council is pleased to announce the peer-nominated October athlete and teams of the month awards, which are sponsored by Applebee’s Restaurant.

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH – Abby Goodwin, Women’s Rugby

Raised on potatoes, this PEI native has exploded on to the rugby scene in the last year. Abby Goodwin was named the Most Improved Forward for the Vikes Womens Rugby team last season. This summer, she played for the British Columbia U-23 rugby team and was selected from the National Festival to compete with the Canadian U-20 team in Santa Barbara, this past July. There was little rest for Goodwin following that tour though, as the fourth-year Business student had one night back in Victoria before flying across the continent to New York with the CIS All-Canadians. Abby is the only Canada West All-Star for the Vikes in the 2011 season and it is her second time receiving this award. In 2011, Goodwin lead the Vikes in tries but unfortunately for the Vikes, she will not be available for the post-season. Goodwin has elected to study abroad in the second semester in Singapore, where she hopes to find a local club to train with.

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH – Sean Duke, Men’s Rugby

Sean Duke, currently in his fourth year studying Kinesiology at UVic, has always been a rugby powerhouse. Duke has been a member of the Senior Men’s National Rugby Program since 2008 representing Canada in both Rugby 7’s and 15’s, the skill and expertise he brings to the Vikes program is matched by few. With four tries under his belt already this season in the VIRU Elite Division, especially when taking his absences with the national team into account, Duke is on track to have another phenomenal season with the Vikes. Most recently Duke represented Canada at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October. A massive contributor to the team, Duke returned not only as Canada’s leading try-scorer but also a gold medalist after Canada defeated Argentina in the final to capture the first ever Pan American Rugby Sevens title. Duke will be present to represent the Vikes in their upcoming 41st annual “Boot” Game against UBC in Vancouver on November 5th. Sean Duke is sure to play a key role in helping UVic come away with a win, and hopefully capture their 15th consecutive “Boot” title in January.

TEAM(S) OF THE MONTH – Women’s Rowing Team

The University of Victoria Vikes rowing teams won the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships at Burnaby Lake on Oct. 23. The UBC hosted event, was swept by both the men and women’s UVic crews. The women won every event at the fourth annual championship. In particular, the varsity eight was a dominant 16 seconds up on UBC powering across the line in 6.43.00 to cap a day of extensive victories. The varsity eight was boated as coxswain Anna Braunhizer, stroke Kayla Smith, seven Erika Shaw, six Antje von Seydlitz, five Lara Kemp, four Alyssa Weninger, three Teresa Berkholtz, two Ruby Walser and bow Claire McCormick. Shaw won an impressive four races, taking the single, the pair (with Weninger), the four and the eight. On the lightweight side, after a very dominant performance in the doubles winning first and second place, they faced stiff challenges from UBC in the single and four before prevailing for about a one-length victory in both races.

TEAM(S) OF THE MONTH – Men’s Rowing Team

The University of Victoria Vikes rowing teams won the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships at Burnaby Lake on Oct. 23. The UBC hosted event, was swept by both the men and women’s UVic crews. On the final day, it was a see-saw battle. It came down to the final race for all the glory. The Vikes pulled out all the stops to come from behind to nip rivals UBC by 0.4 seconds in the varsity eight and thus take the race and recapture the overall title. The Vikes took the men’s single, lightweight double and a close lightweight four race, setting up the tie coming into the last event. From there, the UVic novice men won their race as did the second varsity eight, but the 2Vs succumbed to UBC’s top boat in the 2V four race leaving the Vikes with six victories out of the 10 events for men.

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