By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s track teams have been preparing all season for the CIS Track national championships. This week, Mar. 8-10, the Vikes will compete in the 2012 CIS indoor Championships, hosted for the first time since 2005 at the University of Manitoba.
Though the Univerity of Windsor Lancers are repeat banner hopefuls, the Vikes will have their eye on medals in five men’s and five women’s track events. On the men’s side, senior Clifford Childs (Kelowna, BC) is expected to excel in his final races as a Vike after his gold medal performances at the Canada West Championship, Feb. 24-25, in the 1500m and 3000m races.
Following the conference championship, second-year Adam Gaudes (Winnipeg, Man.) was named a first team all-star for his first place finish in both the 600m and 4x800m relay. Gaudes was also honoured as the Canada West men’s outstanding track performer of the year and the most outstanding male performance of the meet.
Other competitors for the men include the 4x800m relay team of Gaudes, John Pratt, Thomas Riva and Karl Robertson. Double Canada West silver medallist Kyle Irvine, in the 1000m and 1500m, is also expected to make a good appearance.
On the women’s side, the Vikes are lead by 600m rookie specialist Rachel Francois (St. Albert, Alta.), who has been on a very successful campaign towards her first CIS medal since she first put on her Vikes bib. The humanities major captured gold in the women’s 600m race at the Golden Bear Open earlier in the year, besting the automatic CIS championship standard. Francois’ time of 1:32.05 put her ranked as No. 1 in the country heading in to the Canada West Championship. Earlier in the season, the rookie also set a personal best in the women’s 300m distance (40.09) and set a new UVic school record in the women’s 800m distance at the University of Washington meet with a time of 2:07.70. At the Canada West Championship, Francois held on to her 600m title as she finished first in a time of 1:31.38 and was later named the 2012 Canada West women’s track rookie of the year.
The Vikes women’s 4x800m relay team also has high expectations after their incredible finish in 8:55.43, almost 16 seconds faster than the second place Saskatchewan Huskies. The 4x800m relay team, of Shauna McInnis, Grace Annear, Kendra Pomfret and Francois, was awarded the Canada West outstanding female performance of the meet. Maureen McCulligh, along with Annear, Francois and Pomfret, were also conference silver medallists in the women’s 4x400m after a 3:52.66 race, which is now the all-time UVic school record to beat.
Other individual racers to watch include Pomfret, voted the UVic Varsity Council’s February athlete of the month, who is the conference’s 1000m champion, as well as seniors Alicia Roske, in the 3000m, and Brittany Therrien, in the 1500m, who both qualified in events prior to the Canada West Championship.
Vikes Athletes qualified for CIS National Championship
- Cliff Childs – 1500m, 3000m
- Kyle Irvine – 1000m, 1500m
- Karl Robertson – 1500m, 4 x 800m
- Thomas Riva – 1000m, 4 x 800m
- John Pratt – 600m, 4 x 800m
- Adam Gaudes – 600m, 4 x 800m
- Rachel Francois – 600m, 4x400m, 4x800m
- Kendra Pomfret – 600m, 1000m, 4x400m, 4x800m
- Shauna McInnis – 4 x 800m
- Maureen McCulligh – 4 x 400m
- Grace Annear – 4 x 400m, 4 x 800m
Athletes ranked in the top 12 in their event by performance following the conclusion of the CIS championships also qualify.
Vikes women athletes in this position are:
- Alicia Roske – 3000m
- Brittany Therrien – 1500m