Jordan Korol, a Philosophy, Politics and Economics major and women's basketball record setter, and Mike Mitchell a trail-blazing cross country runner and Engineering student, receive the top award for graduating players at UBCO.
In this time of physical distancing and self-isolation, the UBCO Heat varsity sport program has continued along with their 29th annual awards banquet that is hosted through social media.
The virtual banquet, in the form of stories posted to both the @ubcoheat Facebook and Instagram channels forges on, and for the second straight Friday UBCO announced a pair of major award winners.
Today, the Heat are awarding the Male and Female Graduating Players of the Year, honouring graduating Heat athletes who have demonstrated superior athletic achievements, leadership, and academics over the course of their UBCO Heat career.
Earning the school's first-ever major Canada West conference award last season, Jordan Korol, from the women's basketball team is the female graduating player of the year for the Heat. Mike Mitchell, from the men's cross country team, raced through a very strong field of candidates to earn UBCO's male graduating player of the year.
Male Graduating Player of the Year – Mike Mitchell (cross country)
Mitchell is the first men's cross country runner at UBCO to win a major school athletic award. His growth as a runner coincided with the growth of the program that took him from competition at the collegiate level to U SPORTS — the highest level of post-secondary sport in the country — that earned him recognition as the top male graduating Heat athlete in his final season.
In his final year running at UBCO, Mitchell was the top Heat finisher in every event he competed in. In fact, he was the top Heat runner across the line in every race the past three years. The pride of Kimberly, BC, his accomplishments as a runner were highlighted by his performances at the Canada West championship the past two seasons. Not only did Mike earn the distinction of being UBCO's first Canada West All-Star in the sport of cross country last season, he repeated the feat again this season on the snowy course in Calgary. A four-time CCAA National Scholar / USPORTS Academic All Canadian, the three-year team captain will graduate this spring with his Bachelor of Applied Science (Engineering).
"Over the past five years, Mike has demonstrated the very best of a student athlete, from standout performances in competition, to academic achievements and strong leadership outside of competition. However, what defines Mike as an exceptional athlete are not these accolades, but his unwavering dedication, grit and work ethic demonstrated day in and day out these past five years. Mike's 'lead by example' style to leadership and captaincy has instilled these qualities into his fellow teammates and the culture of the team. It is fitting that Mike will end his storied career as the graduating athlete of the year, the first men's cross country runner to earn a major athletic award for UBCO."
- MacKenzie Wong
Female Graduating Player of the Year – Jordan Korol (basketball)
After capturing UBCO's outstanding athlete of the year last season, Korol followed up her record setting 2018-19 season with a strong final year in the blue and gold to seize the graduating athlete award.
Korol is the first women's basketball player to win the award for graduating players at UBCO, and did so with an incredible body of work on the court, and as a leader for the Heat. The leading rebounder in the school's history with 752 boards, Korol also hit top five in scoring at UBCO with 840 total points. Last year, not only did she become the first UBCO player to average a double-double but Korol also took home the school's first Canada West major award. For her outstanding athletic achievement along with academic success, and community service, Korol was the 2018-19 recipient of the Sylvia Sweeney Award. Last April's student speaker at the annual scholarship breakfast, Korol will graduate this spring with honours, collecting her BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and she has already received offers to attend law school at several universities across Western Canada.
"Over the last two seasons, Jordan has done everything on and off the court to leave the program in a better place than when she arrived, something she has really done. The coaching staff couldn't be more proud of her, it is a fitting way for Jordan to end her career at UBCO."
- Bobby Mitchell
Don't forget to follow and share the Heat's virtual banquet. You can do so with the Instagram and Facebook account of @ubcoheat, and feel free to join in the fun or congratulate the finalists and winners with the hashtag #NoBanquetNoProblem.