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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

WINNIPEG (ISN) – Uvic’s Rachael Francois took home gold and Adam Gaudes grabbed silver in their respective 600 meter races on day three of the CIS Track & Field Championships.

Following an impressive double silver medal win in last night’s 4 x 800m relays, the Vikes stayed on course with two medallists early on in day three of the 2012 CIS track national championships as Canada West champion, Rachel Francois (St. Albert, Alta.), took home the national title in the women’s 600m final in 1:30.19. Despite leading for the majority of the race, Adam Gaudes (Winnipeg, Man.) brought in a silver medal in the men’s 600m final in a time of 1:19.05.

“It feels awesome and it was a lot of fun,” said Francois immediately after the win. “It’s the best way to finish off my season and I was glad I was able to calm my nerves before and just have a lot of fun with it.”

Smart tactics and patience was what Francois implemented on the indoor track today, Mar. 10, as the humanities major took home the CIS national title in the women’s 600m finals. Francois, also the 2012 600m Canada West champion, opened up strong and finished just ahead of Guelph’s Rachel Aubry(1:30.35) and bronze-medal winner Jennifer Perrault, from the University of Ottawa (1:30.68).

“Rachel ran the perfect race and it was all about being very patient,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “After racing two days already… the idea was be patient, make sure you leave something for the last kick of the race and that’s what she did. For a rookie to win the 600m against that competition was pretty outstanding.”

On the men’s side, No. 5 ranked Gaudes earned a silver medal in the men’s 600m. The birthday boy and 2012 Canada West 600m champion crossed the line in 1:19.05. Western’s Scott Leitch took the gold (1:18.57) in a similar last-second steal of the line to yesterday’s 4 x 800m race. Last night, Leitch over came UVic’s John Pratt (Victoria, BC) in the last stretch of the final leg to help Western to a 4 x 800m victory and repeated his performance today in the final stretch past Gaudes. Pratt, who also competed in the men’s 600m final, achieved a personal best in his fifth place finish of 1:19.34.

“[Leitch] from Western is on fire this weekend…Adam ran perfect because he needed to get out and into position,” said Fougner following Gaudes’ race. “He got the silver medal, which is very, very good considering he came in this weekend ranked fifth.”

In the women’s 1500m, senior Brittany Therrien (Victoria, BC) raced her last CIS event as a VIke finishing 11th, in a time of 4:35.60, just ahead of Toronto’s Colleen Hennessy (4:36.13). Thierren was slightly tripped up early in the race and was forced to continue the majority of the race with only one shoe on.

For the men, three Vikes competed in the 1500m finals including Clifford Childs (Kelowna, BC), Karl Robertson (Leduc, AB) and Kyle Irvine (Smithers, BC). Childs finished in fourth (3:51.14) and was followed by Robertson (3:51.70) in sixth and Irvine in 12th (4:02.16).

The final event of the championship for the Vikes was the women’s 4 x 400m relay involving Kendra Pomfret (Roberts Creek, BC), Grace Annear (Hampton, NB), Maureen McCulligh (Campbell River, BC) and Francois. Pomfret and Annear had personal bests in the first two legs as the Vikes finished in an impressive fourth place, three ranks higher than their seeding. The University of Toronto finished in first in a record-breaking time of 3:41.50.

Mar. 10, 2012 Vikes Final Results:

Women’s 600m: 1st – Rachel Francois (1:30.19)

Men’s 600m: 2nd – Adam Gaudes (1:19.05), 5th – John Pratt (1:19.34)

Women’s 1500m: 11th – Brittany Therrien (4:35.60)

Men’s 1500m: 4th – Cliff Childs (3:51.14), – Karl Robertson (3:51.70), – Kyle Irvine (4:02.16)

Women’s 4 x 400m relay: 4th – Grace Annear, Kendra Pomfret, Maureen McCulligh, Rachel Francois