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Andy Watson

The University of Victoria Vikes track athletes continued their record-breaking ways, establishing two more school records and earning five automatic CIS championship qualifying marks at the Bison Invitational in Winnipeg on Saturday.

Sophomore runner John Pratt broke his own school record in the 600-metre run, erasing his mark of 1:20.00 set last year with a nation-leading time of 1:19.59.

His UVic teammate Adam Gaudes set a new personal best of 1:20.16 to move to No. 5 in the national rankings.

On the women’s side, freshman standout Rachel Francois set her second individual school record of the season in the women’s 600-metre distance, winning the event in 1:30.15 and breaking the old mark of 1:31.43 set in 1992 by Kirsten Lundgren in the process. Francois is currently ranked No. 1 in the CIS over the 600-metre distance.

Meanwhile, junior runner Kendra Pomfret set a new personal best of 1:31.57 to move to No. 3 in the CIS rankings. Rookie Grace Annear ran a personal best 1:33.29 and ranks No. 8 in the nation. Francois, Pomfret, Annear and senior Laura Mitic teamed up to win the women’s 4×800-metre relay in 9:00.50, under the automatic CIS championship qualifying time and the best time in the CIS so far this year.

Not to be outdone, the men’s 4×800-metre relay team of Pratt, Gaudes, Thomas Riva and Kyle Irvine finished first in 7:43.46 to move to No. 3 nationally and earn the automatic CIS championship qualifier.

Full results for the Bison Invitational are available at

A separate group of Vikes track athletes traveled to the Richmond Olympic Oval to compete in the Jerome Indoor Classic. Rookie Halley Cote was second in the women’s 800-metre race in 2:21.97 followed by junior Jenica Moore who clocked time of 2:22.13 to finish in third spot. Junior Trevor Schiavone was second in the men’s 800-metre in 1:58.14.