Champagne competes nationally on both the pitch and the ice rink

Since her freshman year, Vanessa Champagne has won three national titles. What is amazing is, she’s only a sophomore.

As a member of both the women’s rugby team and the women’s ice hockey team, Champagne rules both the pitch and the rink, mastering two varsity sports on top of college. Champagne is from St. Nazarie, Quebec, and studies biology at Norwich University.

During her freshmen year, Champagne traveled to Texas with the women’s rugby 7’s team to win the D-I national title. That winter, she put on her ice hockey jersey and was competing nationally on the D3 team. That next spring, she traveled to California to win the D-2 women’s rugby title. Her sophomore year has continued the success as she and the rugby team claimed the D-I 7’s title yet again.

On top of being such a superb athlete, Champagne holds herself to a high academic standard. The ability to balance academics and athletics is a challenge for any collegiate student athlete, but according to some teammates she has literally been able to play two sports at once.  Champagne athletic season’s overlap. Hockey playoffs go through rugby spring season.

“I don’t know how she did it but she has literally been playing two sports at the same time. I would talk to her and she was just getting out of (hockey) practice and heading to our (rugby) practice, and then would head to open skate, and taking 21 credits on top of all of that.” said senior lock, Meghan Weppner from Williamsville, N.Y.

“Her legs are so strong she is hard to bring down. And she can see lanes out on the pitch others of us can’t. When she is running with the ball she glides almost like she is skating on the grass,” Weppner said.

Weppner points out the skills for rugby, but hockey teammates also see how great she is. “She is a good player, definitely the hardest worker on the team,” said freshman Taylor Cross from Saugus, Mass. “She is smart, has good speed, and is able to make up for kids like me.”

“She is amazing at rugby,” said freshmen Ariana Amodeo. “She is really dedicated and you can really tell that. We wouldn’t be the same team without her.”

Not only is Champagne a hard worker and talented athlete, but she is considered one of the nicest people on her teams. “Her nickname is Bubbles because it describes her personality, she brings a bubbly personality,” Weppner said.

Champagne is an excellent example of what a Norwich student athlete should be.

On May 3, Champagne and the rest of the women’s rugby team will   travel to California top play against Stanford in the Final Four. If the ladies win against Stanford, they move on to the finals where Champagne could bring back another national title for the rugby squad.

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