VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes Varsity Council is pleased to announce the winners of the athletes and team of the month awards for the month of January, 2018. The council would like to congratulate third-year runner Thomas Oxland, fourth-year basketball player Amira Giannattasio and the Vikes women’s basketball team on being awarded January’s athlete and team of the month awards.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Amira Giannattasio, Basketball
Amira Giannattasio produced the ideal mixture of personal and team success in the month of January, breaking a huge milestone, while also spearheading the Vikes women’s basketball team to a perfect 8-0 record to start the second half of their season. With a 16-point effort in a victory over the UNBC Timberwolves on Jan. 19, Giannattasio broke the 1000-point barrier for her Canada West regular season career, in just her fourth year of action. The guard from Hamilton, ON joins former teammate Jenna Bugiardini above the 1000-point mark, making it two years in a row that the Vikes have had a player reach that milestone. In total, Giannattasio recorded 162 points in January.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Thomas Oxland, Track
Thomas Oxland was named the Varsity Council Male Athlete of the Month for January after the third-year runner reached the top spot in the nation during the month. The native of Nanaimo, B.C. competed in two meets during the month, producing great results at both the Golden Bear Open and the Indoor Twilight Meet in Edmonton, AB. Starting his month with a fifth-place finish in the 1500-metre at the Golden Bear Open, Oxland then went on to claim first-place in the 1000-metre at the Indoor Twilight Meet. His outstanding time of 2:26.52, earned him the top spot in the U SPORTS rankings for that distance.
TEAM OF THE MONTH
The UVic Vikes women’s basketball put together a perfect 8-0 record in the month of January. Entering the second half of their season with a record of 6-4, the team caught fire in the in the first month of 2018, recording sweeps of Thompson Rivers, Manitoba, UNBC and Mount Royal. The Vikes found ways to both grind out close victories as well as secure some blowouts, with exactly four of their eight wins coming by 10 points or more. Their strong play in January led a young team, which was pegged to finish ninth in the pre-season coaches poll, to a record of 14-4 and third-place in the conference entering the final month of regular season play.