UVic announced its finalists for Athletes of the Year. For the Male Athlete of the Year, the finalists for 2017-18 are rower Patrick Keane, rugby player James O’Neill, and track athlete Thomas Oxland.
Male Athlete of the Year finalists
Patrick Keane, from Victoria, B.C., is a Social Sciences major and a member of the Vikes men’s rowing program. Keane won six medals from major regattas throughout the season. The carded Canadian National Team member won gold in the lightweight men’s single at both the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships as well as the Canadian University Rowing Championships. He earned silver medals in the lightweight men’s coxed four at both championships as well. At the National Rowing Championships in 2017, Keane captured gold in both the U23 and the Sr. lightweight men’s single. Internationally, Keane raced at the World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland, the Senior World Championships in Sarasota, USA and finished fourth at the U23 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
James O’Neill, from Cochrane, Alta., is a Social Sciences major and a member of the Vikes men’s rugby team. O’Neill has been the Vikes’ most valuable rugby player throughout the 2017-18 season. He was named a Canadian University All-Star for his part in leading the Vikes to a silver medal at the Canadian University Championships. Constantly in the mix for Team Canada at the junior level, O’Neill possesses international calibre skills. Head coach Doug Tate cites O’Neill as the only player who brings such fierce preparedness and competition to his daily training regime.
Thomas Oxland, from Nanaimo, B.C., is an Education major and has just finished his third year with the Vikes men’s track team. Oxland won a gold and silver medal at the U SPORTS National Championships. His gold medal win in the 1500-metre race at nationals was the highlight of the Vikes men’s track season. Oxland helped his team secure the silver medal in the 4×800-metre relay race. At the conference championships, Oxland and his team won the gold for the 4×800-metre relay team, in a conference record time. Oxland was ranked near the top of the table in the U SPORTS rankings for both the 1000 and 1500-metre races.
All award winners will be announced on April 4.