Crystal Poland is finishing her NCAA field hockey career in style.
The Cowichan Secondary grad was just named an NCAA First Team All-American after leading her Boston-based Northeastern University team to the NCAA championship tournament for the second straight season. Poland, a senior who's studying business, was also named the Northeast Region player of the year on Monday after she led her team in scoring and finished tied for third in the NCAA in goals per game (1.4).
Poland, a Crofton resident, finished this season with 28 goals and seven assists and was named Colonial conference player of the week three times.
VIKES RUNNER CRACKS TOP 10
University of Victoria Vikes cross-country runner Ryan Cassidy impressed in his first test against senior athletes at the Canadian championships in Vancouver last weekend.
The 2011 Canada West rookie of the year finished seventh in a field of 82 runners in the senior men's 10-kilometre event. The winner of the 10K race was Black Creek native and Canadian Olympian Cameron Levins.
Cassidy and the rest of the Vikes now break for Christmas before returning in January for the start of the track and field season at the University of Washington Invitational on Jan. 11.
CHARGERS EARN WEEKLY HONOURS
Two Camosun Chargers volleyball players finished the first half of their season on high notes.
Andy Inglis and Carly Hilliard have been named Pacwest athletes of the week after leading the Chargers to victories last weekend.
Inglis, who hails from Red Deer, helped the Chargers to a pair of victories over College of the Rockies. The 6-foot-5 leftside player racked up 23 kills in Sunday's 3-1 win.
Hilliard, a second-year leftside player from Delta, led the Camosun women to a pair of wins over College of the Rockies. She had 14 kills on Saturday, followed by another eight on Sunday.
The Chargers are off for the Christmas break. They return to action Jan. 4-5 when they visit Douglas College.
HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS TO TIP OFF
The official start of the high school basketball season on the Island is just days away.
And this weekend, several senior boys teams will be taking part in pre-season tournaments. Spectrum Community School is hosting their annual Saanich Slam on Friday and Saturday. The round-robin event sees teams from Claremont, Lambrick Park, G.P. Vanier, Kwalikum, Stelly's and Spectrum taking part.
The Brentwood College senior boys are also hosting an eight-team event with Shawnigan Lake, St. Michaels University School, Southridge and Collingwood among the teams taking part. Action begins Friday at 11 a.m. and wraps with the tournament final Saturday at 5: 15 p.m.
The Lower Island High School Basketball League begins Tuesday at various schools.
RUNNERS, ON YOUR MARK
The Frontrunners Island Race Series is gearing up for the 2013 season.
With the first race set for January, early bird registration is now taking place. Until Saturday, registration fee for the eight-race series is $120. After that, the cost rises to $150.
The series runs January until April with races ranging from five kilometres to half marathons.
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