VICTORIA – On the fourth of five days of announcements for University of Victoria Vikes major award finalists three outstanding team contributors have been highlighted as Chancellor’s Award finalists. Men’s basketball senior Jordan Charles, men’s soccer striker Isaac Koch and women’s swimming’s Taylor Snowden-Richardson are finalists for the award that recognizes student-athletes that provide leadership and vision exemplifying the goals of their team.
Finalist: Jordan Charles, Men’s Basketball – Duncan, B.C. (Education)
After six long seasons, including one medical red shirt, fifth-year Vikes basketball guard Jordan Charles capped his career with a Canada West Third Team All-Star nod for 2018-19. Charles was a key cog to the Vikes qualifying for the U SPORTS National Final 8 in his first two seasons. In his second year Charles was a starter on the team that went all the way to capture the 2014-15 Canada West banner, the first time for the program since 2005-06. Following his third season, Jordan suffered a back injury that took him away from the game but not the team. He returned to the floor to play out his final two seasons in CARSA.
In his last season the Vikes posted a 10-10 record and were knocked out in the Canada West Play-in round of the playoffs and the season was a grind. The Vikes suffered injury after injury this season but one thing that was consistent was Charles. The Duncan, B.C. native was the only player to start and play all 20 regular season games, while his final season was his greatest offensive output in his collegiate career. Charles averages 16.6 points per game including a career high 31 points, including five three pointers, on Jan. 11, 2019 against Fraser Valley in a thrilling 98-94 victory at home. A leader on and off the floor, Charles has become a fixture face for the Vikes men’s basketball program and has been the glue that has held a young team together over the past few seasons.
Finalist: Isaac Koch, Men’s Soccer – West Kelowna, B.C. (Humanities)
One week before the pre-season of the 2018 Vikes men’s soccer season, fourth-year Vikes striker Isaac Koch suffered a season-haulting ACL tear in his knee. The loss was devastating for coach Bruce Wilson‘s team as Koch was on track to be the team’s top offensive contributor. Despite not competing at all this season Koch was at every single home game, hustling down to the change room to part take in half time talks, while he was still one of the first ones at the game while the team was getting ready and warming up. Koch found a way to still put the team first and between rehab and team commitments volunteered and worked for the Athletics and Recreation department in any way he can. An integral part of the Vikes Varsity Council and a social media rep for his team, Koch was intertwined in anything he could do to help the Vikes.
In addition, Koch traveled to Vancouver to cheer the team on at away games against Trinity Western in Langley and against Fraser Valley in Abbotsford. Koch is a recognized face among the Vikes Summer Camp campers, a dedicated member of the Vikes events team, a coach of the Mount Douglas Secondary School high school teams, a volunteer at the Kids Church at Glad Tidings Church and a volunteer with the Special Olympics at UVic.
Finalist: Taylor Snowden-Richardson, Women’s Swimming – Nanaimo, B.C. (Science)
As one of just two fifth years on the Vikes women’s swimming team, Taylor Snowden-Richardson has been a natural leader throughout her time at UVic. She leads by example on a daily basis rarely missing workouts or events for the team, constantly working to improve her swimming, working with recruits or new athletes on the team, while she consistently maintains one of the best academic standings on the team. This season Snowden-Richardson was recognized as the U SPORTS and Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service Award winner. Snowden-Richardson has won the conference honour the past three seasons.
A consistent student on the Faculty of Science’s Dean’s List and the Vikes Honour Roll, Snowden-Richardson was also awarded the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award in the department of Medical Sciences. Beyond her commitments at UVic, Snowden-Richardson worked to create a project known as Tay’s Team that started in 2017. The biology and psychology major personally knits and crochets fun recognizable character hats such as Disney or Pixar princesses for children staying in hospitals. Tay’s team has donated 173 hats to hospitals throughout B.C. and in Calgary and San Diego. In addition, Snowden-Richardson has organized the Vikes swimming team to run an annual food drive for the Victoria Mustard Seed, while in 2018 she also started volunteering weekly at the UVic Brain and Concussion Research Lab. Her volunteering also extends to the UVic research project on psychosocial adjustment in the siblings of young homicide victims and she also gives her time at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in the summer.
Award finalists are announced in a staggered fashion beginning with Rookies of the Year on Mar. 25, and followed daily with Athletes of the Year finalists on Mar. 26-27, Chancellor’s Award finalists on Mar. 28 and the President’s Cup on finalists Mar. 29. All award winners will be announced at the banquet on Apr. 5. For a description of each award and list of past recipients click here.
The Provost Award, already announced in November at the Vikes Honour Roll Luncheon, along with the Publisher’s Community Award winners will not have finalists announced and will be given out at the Celebration of Champions banquet. For more information on this year’s UVic Sports Hall of Fame inductees please click here.
2018-19 Vikes Varsity Award Finalists
Finalists are listed in alphabetical order by last name.