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 2019. The council would like to congratulate fifth-year women’s basketball guard Amira Giannattasio, fourth-year men’s rugby player Gradyn Bowd and the Vikes swimming team on being awarded January’s athlete and team of the month awards.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Gradyn Bowd, Men’s Rugby
Fourth-year fly half Gradyn Bowd had a game to remember on Jan.26 against the Capilano RFC. Bowd scored four tries and kicked nine conversions to score 38 points by himself, leading the Vikes to a 83-31 victory over the Caps. The Red Deer native also tallied 13 of the Vikes 23 points in their narrow loss to UBC on Jan.12 by a score of 28-23. Bowd has been a mainstay in the Vikes backline all season long and is a constant threat with his boot, legs and vision on the pitch. Bowd has represented Canada with both the U-20 and Senior programs and spent last summer with the Prairie Wolfpack competing at the Canadian Rugby Championships. Victoria will continue to rely heavily on Gradyn as they continue to try and climb up the BC Premier League standings and secure a playoff spot
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Amira Giannattasio, Women’s Basketball
Fifth-year Amira Giannattasio has been a powerhouse for the Vikes women’s basketball team in January. Giannattasio record double-digits in points in all eight of the games she played in during the month including a four game run where she tallied 20 points or more. The Hamilton native has scored 402 points so far this season and currently is the third-highest Vike in career scoring and sits in the top 15 of Canada West record books with a total of 1539 points throughout her career. Victoria posted an even record of 4-4 during the month but key victories over No.3-ranked Regina and Fraser Valley helped the Vikes clinch a playoff spot for the Canada West playoffs.
TEAM OF THE MONTH
The Vikes men’s and women’s swim teams will head into the U SPORTS National Championships on Feb.21 with hopes for a high medal count after a strong performance at the Canada West Championships back in November. Victoria brought home a total of 14 medals including five gold. Third-year women’s swimmer Danielle Hanus was part of every single medal won by the Vikes women at the Canada West Championships with a total of seven. Hanus also broke the record for 100-metre fly event posting a time of 58.89. As a team, the Vikes women finished in fourth with 388 points. The Vikes men finished third in the team standings at Canada West, also capturing a total of seven medals. Fourth-year Eric Hedlin won gold in both the 1500m and 400m freestyle events while Josh Zakala took home a silver in the 200m individual medley. Hedlin remains to be the men’s biggest medal favourite, as he will enter the U SPORTS Championships as a four-time medalist, including a silver and gold in the 1500m freestyle. The Vikes women finished the month of January ranked No.6 in the country and the men at No.7.