UVic top recruit named to Province’s Head of Class

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By Ali Lee, with files from the Province

June 17, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rugby team will entertain one of British Columbia’s top recruits in the Fall of 2013. Jess Neilson has been selected as part of the Province Newspaper’s 14th annual Head of the Class special section, which was released online and in print this morning.

Neilson, who attended Carson Graham Secondary, in North Vancouver, led her school to four BC high school AAA rugby titles over the past five seasons.

“Jess has been one of the most special and unique athletes I have had the chance to write about over the 2012-13 sports season,” said Howard Tsumura, high school and university sports reporter at The Province newspaper.

“Incredible doesn’t even begin to describe the strides she has made in the game, all coming well ahead of the age-group curve, including most recently being named to Canada’s U20 women’s rugby team at the age of 17.”

Neilson joins an elite list of seven other Vikes names to the Province’s annual Head of Class with the most recent being cross-country and track athlete Brendon Restall in 2012.

The Province’s Head of Class Website

“But there is so much about her, including her high-achieving ways off the pitch,” added Tsumura. “But maybe what I like most is the big-picture view of life she carries with her. Go to @jessneilson13 and her page contains the following: “Martin Luther King Jr. said, I have a dream He didn’t say, I have a good idea.”

Here’s a look at the UVic Head of the Class alumni:

2000 — Chris Trumpy — Rugby/basketball (Victoria-Oak Bay)

2001- — Natalie Ward — Field Hockey (Duncan-Cowichan)

2004 — Eva Stredulinsky — Field Hockey (Richmond-Hugh McRoberts)

2005 — Jacob Doerksen — Basketball/Football (Abbotsford-Rick Hansen)

2009 — Dylan Haight — Track and Field (Victoria-Oak Bay)

2011 — Vijay Dhillon — Basketball (Richmond-R.C. Palmer)

2012– Brendon Restall (Victoria-Oak Bay)