University of Victoria Vikes cross country runner Caitlin Vail won the women’s Student-Athlete Community Service Award earlier this morning at the All-Canadian Gala in Kingston, Ont.
Vail is fifth-year masters of civil engineering student, is a talented athlete, scientist, and an active community member.
On the course, she won the individual bronze medal at the Vikes Invitational held at Victoria’s Elk Lake in September.
In the community, Vail is passionate about mentoring girls to become confident leaders, and finds her role as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters to be especially meaningful. Connecting with girls through the Go Girls program is a rewarding experience, as Vail leads girls to feel empowered to be their best selves and follow their ambitions.
Additionally, Vail is an avid encourager of the sciences to both boys and girls, and encourages scientific interests in youth through Scientists and Innovators in Schools (SIS) – leading hands-on experiments in elementary and middle school classrooms all across British Columbia in both English and French. She is also involved with Science Venture, giving lab tours where she conducts research for her masters’ thesis.
Vail also volunteers at various engineering conferences and serves as a floor emergency coordinator in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology on campus.
“Caitlin is not only an excellent Vikes leader on our varsity team; she is also an amazing mentor and leader in our community,” said Victoria head coach Hilary Stellingwerff. “Caitlin sets an amazing example for young women in the science and engineering field, showing you can be a leader in academics, sports and community. She is dedicated to giving her time to help young students find their passion and be confident, contributing members of society, as Caitlin is herself.”
CW: Caitlin Vail, Victoria
OUA: Kiana Gibson, Guelph
RSEQ: No Nominee
AUS: Madalyn Higgins, Acadia
As nice as earning this national recognition is, it’s a shame that Vail is unable to suit up tomorrow with her Vikes teammates for the national championship meet.
Earlier this week, Vail broke a small bone in her foot while training for nationals. It was an unfortunate end to her cross-country career. Stellingwerff has her fingers crossed that everything will heal properly in time for the indoor track and field season this winter and spring.