Freshman Francois Fantastic: Vikes rookie sets PBs in 600, 300 to lead UVic at Golden Bear Open


Andy Watson

Rookie Rachel Francois won the women’s 600-metre race, besting the automatic CIS championship standard, to lead the University of Victoria Vikes track team at the Golden Bear Open in Edmonton, Jan. 20-22.


Francois, who grew up in St. Albert, Alta., not far from Edmonton, beat a strong field, including national team member Carline Muir of Edmonton, to set a new personal best time of 1:32.05 to take over the No. 1 CIS ranking in the event.

The freshman also ran a personal best of 40.0110 in the women’s 300-metre race and now ranks second nationally behind Sharai Siemens of Saskatchewan. Francois is closing in on the Vikes school record of 1:31.43 set in 11101102 by Kirsten Lundgren.

UVic junior Kendra Pomfret finished fourth in the women’s 600-metre race, and her personal best of 1:33.77 now ranks her fifth in the CIS national rankings and within range of the automatic CIS qualifier of 1:32.81.

The Vikes women’s 4x400m team established a new school record of 3:56.15 finishing second in the varsity race behind CIS No. 1 ranked Saskatchewan. The team members are young with rookies Francois, Grace Annear and Halley Cote teaming with Pomfret to move to No. 3 in the national rankings.

On the men’s side, second-year runner John Pratt moved to No. 2 in the national 600-metre rankings as he won his heat in a time of 1:20.51.

Senior Kyle Irvine set a new personal best in the 1000-metre of 2:32.85 to move to No. 6 in the Canada West rankings, and junior Doug Oxland finished third in the men’s 3000-metre in 8:54.65 to rank No. 4 in the conference.

Next up for the Vikes track team is the University of Washington Invitational on Jan 28 in Seattle.

Your sports. Your teams. The ISN Daily Digest.

Sign up to the ISN Daily Digest and sit back while we pick the previous day’s best headlines and speed them straight to your inbox every morning.
Email address
First Name*
We abide by all applicable emailing laws including 100% CAN-SPAM/CASL/US CAN-SPAM Act compliance. No spam!