Athletes of the week

Mike Giffin
Mike Giffin
Sara Buckham
Sara Buckham

Mike Giffin
Football

Running back Mike Giffin ran all over the Guelph Gryphons last weekend at Guelph’s Alumni Stadium. He will be looking to build on his outstanding performance against Laurier this weekend.

In the Gaels’ 41-30 win, Giffin rushed for 214 yards and a touchdown while averaging more than eight yards a carry, bringing Queen’s close to a first down on almost every run. To cap off his strong performance, he caught a short pass from quarterback Dan Brannagan and took it 78 yards for another touchdown.

The Guelph game marked Giffin’s highest-ever rushing yards total in a single game and extended his regular-season streak of rushing for 100 yards or more to 12 games dating back to October 17, 2006 against the York Lions.

“I’m more focused this year and I know my responsibilities and what I’m supposed to do more than I ever have,” Giffin said.

Giffin said he wasn’t at all surprised the Gaels are now ranked fif­th in the country, and said their recent performance was a product of their work over the past few years.

“We’re playing well,” he said. “We had a strong year last year and we’re having a strong start this year. We came out of the gates fast and it’s no surprise we should be where we are.”

Giffin said he expects more out of the Gaels than just an 8-0 perfect regular season.

“Vanier Cup. Nothing else.”

—Amrit Ahluwalia

Sara Buckham
Women’s soccer

Gaels’ right back Sara Buckham has already equalled her goal tally from last season as she cracked home the first and winning goal in Queen’s 2-0 weekend victory over Trent Excalibur.

Buckham is a second-year player on a team made up mainly of first years, has found herself in a leadership position earlier than many student athletes.

“For me it’s an odd situation,” she said. “I’m a co-captain, so I’m a leader, so there are younger players looking up to me, but I’m still looking up to the fourth and fifth-year players.”

Young as the team might be, Buckham is confident in the Gaels’ ability to take advantage of Ontario’s wild card spot to get to nationals this year.

“Our sights are set on nationals,” she said. “We’re a young team but we’re learning not to play like that. We’re all individually talented and we’re learning to play as a team.”

Although Queen’s had mixed results on the weekend, losing 2-0 to Carleton, Buckham is focused on the positives.

“We try to approach every game the same whether it’s against Trent or Carleton,” she said. “We didn’t psych ourselves out. We reacted well against the goals scored against us playing Carleton and it shows the potential we have as a team.”

Buckham and the Gaels play their next two matches on the road as they take on Nipissing and Laurentian this weekend.

—Amrit Ahluwalia

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