After a remarkable run of stunning victories that took them all the way to the pinnacle of Canadian university football, the UBC Thunderbirds football team was honored Thursday night with the prestigious Sport BC "Team of the Year" award.
The historic season for UBC culminated with a thrilling last second field goal to beat the Montreal Carabins in the 2015 Vanier Cup game. The UBC Thunderbirds flipped their record in 2015 to 6-2 after going 2-6 the season previous. 2015 was their first season under the guidance of head coach Blake Nill.
"I'm honored to accept this award on behalf of the UBC Thunderbird football program," said Nill "This award is a testament to how hard our players and staff worked both on and off the field. We look forward to building on our success of 2015, as the 2016 season quickly approaches."
Also honored was UBC track and field student-athlete Maria Bernard. Maria was awarded the prestigious "University Athlete of the Year" award. The Calgary native earned a double gold at the NAIA Track and Field Championships winning both the 3000-metre steeplechase and 5000 metre races.
"Wow!! Shocked but super honoured," said Bernard over Twitter. "Thanks so much. Wish I could have been there."
The night was not only a look back at UBC's athletic success, but also a glimpse into the future. Prized UBC swim team recruit and Canadian National swim team member Emily Overholt took home the "Junior Female Athlete of the Year" award. Overholt will begin her career as a Thunderbird in fall of 2016.
Marcus Thormeyer, considered on of the brightest young talents in Canadian swimming and also an incoming UBC recruit, took home the prize for "Junior Male Athlete of the Year". It was barely a week ago Marcus decided to choose the UBC swimming program over the University of Southern California.
The late Randy Bennett, a much revered swim coach who worked with the UBC Swim Club, was honored with "Coach of the Year". Bennet passed away last April after a battle with cancer.
This was the 50th year of the Sport BC Athlete of the year awards.