The University of Victoria Vikes conclude the week of major awards announcements by releasing the nominees for the President’s Cup.
The President’s Cup is awarded to a fourth- or fifth-year student-athlete that best combines scholastic achievement and athletic ability. This year’s finalists are fourth-year lock Zoe Goodwin-Sutton from women’s rugby, long-distance swimmer Eric Hedlin and forward Kiara Kilbey from women’s soccer.
Finalist: Zoe Goodwin-Sutton, Women’s Rugby – Ottawa, Ont. (Engineering)
Zoe Goodwin-Sutton anchored the 15s team this season by playing every minute. As a lock solidifying the second row, she was a powerhouse in the scrum and was one of the Vikes’ top targets during lineouts. The fourth-year Ottawa native was a vice-captain this season and helped the Vikes end the Canada West regular season in second place with a 4-1 record.
Goodwin-Sutton’s production goes way beyond the sidelines.
She is everywhere in the community. She manages to hold down a full-time counsellor position at Operation Trackshoes, an overnight track program for people with developmental disabilities. There, Goodwin-Sutton is paired with a group of competitors, shares a dorm with the athletes and facilitates their competition in a variety of events.
This past year, Goodwin-Sutton was the head coach of the Mount Douglas Secondary, where she held practice three times a week from April to June. Last season, her team won bronze at the city championships.
She also is responsible for organizing meetings and team events, such as the Vikes Blood Drive last spring. Goodwin-Sutton can also be found around campus volunteering at a variety of UVic events.
For her efforts, not only was she the Canada West recipient of the Student-Athlete/Community Service Award, she went on to win the award at the U SPORTS National Rugby 15s Championship.
Even with all the volunteer work and dedicated time with the Vikes, Goodwin-Sutton pulled off an 8.75 Grade Point Average (GPA) last fall in software engineering.
Finalist: Kiara Kilbey, Women’s Soccer – Victoria, B.C. (Education)
Kiara Kilbey has been a goal-scoring threat each time she stepped on the pitch for the Vikes for the past five seasons.
From Day 1, she had no problem finding the back of the net.
Her freshman year, she tied for sixth in the Canada West with six goals. In 2017, she finished second in the conference with nine markers. That same year, it was her snipe in the Canada West Final Four against the Grant MacEwan University Griffins that sent the Vikes to the U SPORTS National Championship. She led the Vikes in points the following two seasons despite missing four games this year with an ankle injury.
She has always been incredibly dedicated and committed to her team. The local sniper is one of the hardest workers in the offseason and toughest competitors on the pitch. Those attributes made her an obvious selection to be a co-captain this season.
Off the field, she is very organized and plans team events such as the Meet and Great and team donation initiatives.
In the classroom, she posted an 8.50 GPA as she works through a lab-heavy portion of obtaining her degree in Kinesiology.
Finalist: Eric Hedlin, Men’s Swimming – San Diego, Calif. (Engineering)
Eric Hedlin is one of the most dominant long distance swimmers the Vikes have ever produced.
The Calgary-born swimmer produced seven U SPORTS medals over his time with the Vikes. He owned the 1,500-metre freestyle with three golds, one silver and one bronze. Hedlin’s U SPORTS record in the 1,500m free that he set in 2017 still stands today. He has also won gold in the 400m free in 2017.
Away from the Vikes, he has turned into a phenomenal open water distance swimmer.
His breakout season occurred in 2018, when he took home silver at the Pac-Pacific Championships in the five-kilometre race. Later that season, he won bronze at the World Championships.
He was named the Swim BC Open Water Swimmer of the Year for 2018 and 2019.
Hedlin is empathetic, caring and willing to work for the betterment of the program and never focuses on individual results.
His dedication to the sport is endless, as he logs anywhere from eight to 11kms per training session. The long hours in the pool hasn’t effected his grades, as he has posted an 8.0 GPA in his first year in the Masters program.
2019-20 Vikes Award Nominees
Chancellor’s Award – Presented by bubly Sparkling Water
James O’Neill, Men’s Rugby
Puck Louwes – Women’s Soccer
McKenna Simpson – Women’s Rowing
Robert T. Wallace Shield – Presented by Hot House Pizza
Female Rookie of the Year Award
Aida Lissel-DeCorby, Women’s Rowing
Lauren Crisp, Women’s Swimming
Nikki Virk, Women’s Soccer
Robert T. Wallace Shield – Presented by Dairyland
Male Rookie of the Year Award
Diego Maffia, Men’s Basketball
Sajjan Sarai, Men’s Cross Country and Track
William Simpson, Men’s Rowing
Male Athlete of the Year – Presented by Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza
Vaughn Taylor, Cross Country and Track
Isaac Koch, Soccer
Gavin Kratz, Rugby
Female Athlete of the Year – Presented by the UVic Alumni Association
Paige Farries, Rugby
Danielle Hanus, Swimming
Anna Mollenhauer, Field Hockey