It was another unforgettable year for university sports in Nanaimo, and those involved got together to celebrate it one more time.
Vancouver Island University’s athletics department held its 42nd annual athletic awards on Tuesday at the Coast Bastion Hotel.
This year’s Athletes of the Year are volleyball player Mikayla Wagner and soccer player Shun Takano. Both had team success to go with their individual accomplishments as VIU’s women’s volleyball team and men’s soccer team both won national championships in 2017-18. Wagner was MVP at nationals last month and was PacWest Athlete of the Year. Takano was also MVP at nationals and was a PacWest all-star.
Freshmen Athletes of the Year were volleyball player Danielle Groenendijk and golfer Wyatt Brook.
Winners of the Mariners Academic Excellence Award were Wagner and basketball player Nick Xylinas.
Golden Boot awards for top soccer scorers went to Moira Brown and Chloe Gummer, who tied as top offensive contributors on the women’s side, and Jordan de Graaf from the men’s team.
Each program saw one athlete selected for a President’s Award. Winners were soccer players Zoe Grace and Ryan McCurdy, volleyball players Emily Munro and Jared Parhar, basketball players Danielle Vanbergen and Brett Christensen, golfer Victoria Ross and badminton player Will Bui.
New this year were Unsung Hero awards for each team. The winners were basketball players Celina Guadagni and Xylinas, v-ball players Vedran Obradovic and Tova Rae, soccer players Brown and Luke Holmes, golfer Tony Trozzo and badminton player Louisa Maciejewski.
VIU International Education Student-Athlete Awards went to Takano and volleyball player Andrea Cankovic.
The awards night also recognized athletes and coaches who had been previously recognized by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pacific Western Athletic Association for their achievements.
Volleyball players Wagner and Braydon Brouwer were CCAA All-Canadians in 2017-18, as were basketball players Usama Zaid and Emma Platner. Zaid was also PacWest Player of the Year.
Athletes previously named as CCAA Academic All-Canadians were Wagner, Danielle Groenendijk, fellow volleyball players Jeff Webb, Andre De Lecerda Pires and Doug Groenendijk, soccer players Katie Rodgers and David Turkstra and basketball player Tyus Barfoot.