In his final year of eligibility, James Krantz took home the big prize for the male side at the tenth annual UOIT Athletics banquet. The golfer, won male athlete of the year, after his fifth season as a Ridgeback.
Krantz was honoured with the recognition. “My last year to cap it off as athlete of the year, its pretty special,” he said.
The banquet was a hit amongst the full crowd at the Oshawa Regent Theatre.
A routine performed by the school’s dance team to “Uptown Funk” with a light show and confetti kicked off the evening to celebrate the accomplishments of the student athletes of UOIT.
The banquet has grown since the university’s inception.
The Ridgebacks’ first season as a member of the Ontario University Athletics, back in 2006 featured just a tennis team, rowing team and fewer than 50 athletes. The March 31 show featured 13 teams and more than 100 athletes.
Hosted by Scott Barker, the manager and coordinator of UOIT Athletics, the banquet featured awards in categories such as leadership, male and female freshman of the year, team of the year and female and male athlete of the year.
Krantz won the Queens’ Invitational in September, shooting a five-under 65. He added four more top 12 finishes and helped the Ridgebacks to an eight place, plus-43 at their first ever appearance in the OUA Golf Championship. The Engineering major put away the clubs for now to focus on his career next year, he said.
Kylie Bordeleau took home the big prize on the female side, winning female athlete of the year. Bordeleau became the first Ridgeback soccer player to be a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-star. She added the third OUA all-star appearance of her career at UOIT. Anchoring the Ridgeback defense, Bordeleau held her opponents to just seven goals in 16 regular season games. The Health Science major will be returning for her fifth and final season in the fall.
Team MVPs on the male side included Brendan O’Niell (hockey), Nik Vantfoort (rowing), and Trushar Gaur (tennis). O’Neill manned the net for the Ridgebacks’ hockey team, leading them to the program’s first ever series win against Queen’s. O’Neill posted a 3.18 goals against average and a .899 save percentage during the regular season.
“Obviously it’s a good feeling, we had a good year, the guys in front of me helped me a lot,” he said. O’Neill will return to UOIT in the fall.
MVPs on the female side included rower Daria Ruginis (rowing), Jessica Cohan (dance) and Mikaeli Cavell (hockey). Ruginis finished second in the C Finals at the Canadian University Rowing Association (CURA) national championship, as well as sixth at the OUA National Championships.
The show also featured a video tribute to soccer head coach Vaso Vujanovic. Vujanovic started coaching the Durham Lords in 1973. He racked up 12 Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association (OCAA) medals while with the Lords. Vujanovic was named OCAA head coach of the year in 1988. In 1999, Vujanovic returned to Durham, coaching the women’s team where he won five provincial titles. Vujanovic has been coaching the UOIT soccer programs for the past six years.
The banquet was a success in the eyes of Barker. “Being able to sit back and enjoy the accomplishments and hard work they put in throughout the year, it’s a really special night,” he said. The UOIT athletics program continues to grow from where it began in 2006.