Vikes lay claim to Barnard Cup

Taking a closer look at sports action around Oak Bay

The University of Victoria Vikes rugby squad celebrated a 35-17 victory over the Castaway Wanderers Nov. 29, reclaiming the Barnard Cup on their home turf, Wallace Field.

The Vikes’ cup win – their first since 2008 – ended the James Bay Athletics Association’s five-year win streak from 2009 to 2013. The Wanderers have not appeared in the Barnard Cup final since 2006, when they lost to the Vikes.

The Vikes now head off-field for December break, returning to face the University of British Columbia Jan. 17 for the second game of the Wightman Boot series. Kick-off will be at 2:30 p.m. at Wallace Field.

Strap on your jingle bells and lace up your running shoes. The 35th annual Oak Bay Merrython Fun Run comes to Henderson Rec Centre this Sunday. Participants can choose from three categories (8km run, 4km walk and a 1km children’s event), with the fun starting at 9:45 a.m. with a Jazzercize warm-up in the Henderson Gym.

The Vikes men’s basketball team finished what they started last Friday night, dropping the visiting Alberta Golden Bears 76-52 Nov. 29 at McKinnon Gym. With the weekend sweep, the CIS No. 8-ranked Vikes improve to a 6-2 record as they head into the holidays. The team next hits the floor Dec. 29 and 30 in an exhibition California tour.

UVic’s women weren’t quite as successful last weekend, conceding their second-straight loss to the CIS-ranked No. 2 Alberta Pandas on Nov. 29. With the 77-50 loss, the Vikes drop to a 2-6 record.

Head to Commonwealth Place this weekend to catch the Vikes swimming squad racing in their last competition of the year. The 12th annual PCS Christmas Cracker meet begins Friday (Dec. 5) and continues through Sunday.

The University of Victoria Vikes Varsity Council has named its November athletes of the month, with women’s rower Becca Zimmerman and men’s field hockey midfielder Brenden Bissett taking the individual titles and the Vikes men’s cross-country squad the team title.

Bissett was vital to the Vikes’ draw with West Vancouver, which gave the Vikes their first point of the season, and was also called up to the Canada men’s national team roster for a New Zealand Tour in December. Zimmerman helped contribute two medals to the Vikes’ tally at the Canadian University Rowing Championships Nov. 1 and 2. The next week, Zimmerman, who is a captain with the Vikes, raced for Team B.C. in the women’s pair at National Rowing Championship.

The men’s cross-country team successfully defended their Canada West banner after a second-place finish at the CIS cross-country championships in St. John’s N.L. Fourth-year Ryan Cassidy (seventh overall, but first among 50 Canada West athletes) was named Canada West Male Athlete of the Year for his performance and was the lone Vike named a CIS First Team All-Canadian.

While the Vikes may be heading into winter break, there’s plenty of action on the local soccer pitch. The Vancouver Island Premier League’s Oak Bay/Peninsula U17 boys hit the turf against a strong Saanich Fusion/Prospect Lake squad Sunday, Dec. 7. Among the U16 premier girls’ teams, the Bays/Peninsula squad takes on Saanich/Prospect Lake Saturday, Dec. 6. Game times and fields were still being determined at press time, but for details visit www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=vipl

After splitting last weekend’s games, Victoria Minor Hockey’s top team, the Midget T2 Ice Hawks, travel to Oceanside Sunday. The team is next on home ice Saturday, Dec. 13, welcoming Cowichan to Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena.

Victoria Eagles Baseball, whose Bantam AAA teams have been hosted at Carnarvon Park the last few seasons, raised more than $2,000 in a Saturday bottle drive for a South Island woman in need of a double lung transplant. Tami Walker, a 47-year-old wife and mother of three, has severe and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, or CTEPH and must remain in Vancouver for three to six months following the transplant.

“Eagles baseball players receive a lot of community support in playing the game that they love. Helping Tami Walker and her family in their time of need helps our young men learn the value of giving back,” said Eagles chairman Martin Winstanley.

‘Tis the season: The annual UVic Vikes Cross Country team’s Christmas tree fundraiser is at Centennial Stadium through Dec. 22. Tree chipping will also be available Jan. 3 and 4.

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Grade 12 student Devon Gall is an avid sports fan, athlete and former Carnarvon baseball player. Send your sports events news to jocktalk@telus.net.