Women T-birds bring home the gold

by Don Wells

It was a golden autumn for the UBC women's field hockey team, thanks to a goal by Leslie Magnus in the national championship final against the University of Victoria.

Magnus's winning goal gave the T-Birds their first gold medal finish in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) Women's Field Hockey Championship since 1990. It was also UBC's 41st championship in CIAU history and the highlight of the fall season in Thunderbird athletics.

Magnus, a third-year Arts student and a three-time Academic All Canadian was also the 1998 winner of the Gail Wilson Trophy.

The trophy is awarded annually to the Canada West Conference player who best exemplifies outstanding team leadership, loyalty, athleticism and deportment.

Coach Hash Kanjee was named 1998 Canada West and CIAU Coach of the Year.

UBC's women's rugby team also made an entry into the history books by competing in the first-ever CIAU Championship at McMaster University where they won bronze medals.

UBC's Cherlyn McKay, a second-year Arts student, won individual honours as the inaugural CIAU Player of the Year.

The Thunderbird football team came up just three points short of winning the Canada West conference championship against the Saskatchewan Huskies. The 31-28 loss ended UBC's bid to repeat as Vanier Cup champions, however, their impressive 7-3 record, which included a win over SFU in the annual Shrum Bowl, serves as a tribute to the team and to ailing head coach Casey Smith.

The 1998 UBC football campaign, dubbed "Courage for Casey" by the players, was devoted to Smith who was diagnosed with liver cancer last spring.