The second weekend in November 2023 will go down in history as the most successful in UBC sports history.
The Thunderbirds have excelled on the national stage in events hosted from as far away as Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to the Vancouver campus at Thunderbird Stadium. Over the course of two days, UBC earned an unprecedented four national championship wins, one Hardy Cup title and silver and bronze medals at nationals to top it all off.
“This was an incredible weekend that will be long remembered by the university’s business community,” says Kavie Toor, UBC’s director of athletics and recreation. “It has been exciting to see our varsity student-athletes mature and compete at the highest level on the national stage.”
The winning weekend began Saturday in football with an incredible win in the Hardy Cup as UBC completed an incredible last-minute comeback to defeat the Alberta Golden Bears. On third down with no time remaining and trailing by six points, T-Birds quarterback Garrett Rooker threw to Sam Davenport who jumped to intercept it, tying the game. Kieran Flannery-Fleck converted in a 28-27 comeback win for the ages.
The T-Birds won the Hardy Cup for 17th time in program history. With the win, UBC is one of four teams left standing across the country en route to the Canada Life Vanier Cup. Next up for the T-Birds is the Austrian champions, St Francis Xavier, in the Mitchell Bowl on Saturday, November 18 at Thunderbird Stadium.
The winning momentum carried over into the rest of the weekend, and Sunday proved to be the day to bring home the championship flags.
UBC’s men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in London, Ont., where they were crowned IN SPORTS champions for the first time in program history. UBC’s Katie Newlove won individual gold to lead the women’s T-Birds to their first U SPORTS pennant, while Andrew Davies won bronze, helping the men’s team to their first Canadian title since 1993.
Thunderbird fans got even more reason to celebrate on Sunday, when the UBC women’s soccer team became national champions for a record eighth time. In SPORTS Player of the Year Katalin Tolnai headed the ball into the Trinity Western net to give UBC a 1-0 win in the 120th.th minutes of the game. It was especially sweet for UBC as they avenged their loss in the Canada West final a week earlier to the Spartans. Meanwhile, the UBC men’s soccer team battled Mount Royal for third place at Nationals. UBC came away with the victory, defeating the Cougars 1-0 to win the bronze medal.
On the water in Lake Burnaby, the UBC Thunderbirds men’s rowing team defended their national title after amassing 123 points to finish well ahead of Brock and Victoria. The T-Birds men’s team managed to secure its seventh flag in nine years after three gold and three silver medals in six races. On the women’s side, it all came down to the final race, the women’s eight, with Victoria taking first place for UBC and the Thunderbird women finishing with a silver medal.
“This weekend’s success is a testament to the tremendous commitment and effort our student-athletes, coaches and support staff put in every day, both on the field, in the classroom and in the community,” added Toor. “This year looks set to be special as many teams’ seasons are just getting started.”
With these latest championship victories, UBC further solidifies its title as the most successful university program in Canada.