Day 2 of nomination week features both groups of finalists for the male and female Robert T. Wallace Shields for the respected Rookies of the Year.
Starting with the women, Hot House Pizza presents this year’s finalists Aida Lissel-DeCorby from rowing, Lauren Crisp from swimming and Nikki Virk from soccer.
Finalist: Aida Lissel-DeCorby, Rowing – Saskatoon, Sask. (Social Sciences)
Aida Lissel-DeCorby was already a well-known name in Canadian rowing before she entered the Vikes program. Last August at the Junior World Rowing Championships in Tokyo, Japan, she placed fourth in the women’s quad.
On campus, she made her stamp on the program in November during the Canadian University Rowing Championships, where she won silver in the lightweight coxed quad and lightweight single.
Her stock continued to rise, as she earned a seat on the open weight varsity 8+ for the Brown Cup – an incredible feat given her age and lightweight frame. It is rare for first year athletes to come in and win a spot in the 8+ for the Brown Cup.
For the safety of all competitors, staff and fans, the Brown Cup was cancelled due to the global progression of the coronavirus. She will certainly be a focal point of that crew when the race returns next season.
Finalist: Lauren Crisp, swimming – Victoria, B.C. (Social Sciences)
After high school, there was a significant amount of time where Lauren Crisp thought she was done competitive racing.
Three years later, she found the joy in the sport once again and the Vikes are a better program because of it.
She progressed as the year went on and appeared in ‘A’ Finals for each of her events at the Canada West meet in November. She picked up a bronze in the 200-metre back and bronze in the 4x100m medley relay.
Crisp stepped up on the biggest stage, when the U SPORTS National Swimming Championship arrived at her home pool. In the first two days of the meet, she earned a pair of ‘A’ Final berths, but didn’t medal. On Day 3, she thrilled the hometown crowd by winning silver in the 200m back and paced her team with a brilliant start to the 4x100m medley relay, where they won bronze and set a new Vikes record by nearly seven seconds.
Finalist: Nikki Virk, soccer, Surrey, B.C. (Social Sciences)
Nikki Virk won the starting job at centre midfield for the Vikes coming out of the preseason and she never looked back. The only games Virk didn’t start for the Vikes were the final two because of injury.
In her first game as a Vike, Virk launched a strike from 25 yards out against the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades and scored on her first shot. The Vikes won 1-0.
A few weeks later on the road against the always challenging Trinity Western University, Virk supplied both markers in a 3-2 loss to the powerful Spartans.
When the U SPORTS National Soccer Championship rolled around, Virk wasn’t 100 per cent, but battled through some nagging injuries and helped the Vikes to a 1-2 record at Centennial Stadium.
2019-20 Vikes Award Nominees
James O’Neill, Men’s Rugby
Puck Louwes – Women’s Soccer
McKenna Simpson – Women’s Rowing