By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

VICTORIA, B.C. – Rounding up a sensational first-year varsity season, Rachel Francois (St. Albert, Alta.) raced to a podium finish at the Under-23 North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championship this weekend, July 6-8.

University of Victoria Vikes second-year Thomas Riva (Qualicum, BC) and Francois were the lone Vikes bearing the maple leaf at the championship, hosted in Guanajuato, Mexico.

NACAC Championship Results

In the preliminaries, 800-m specialist Francois qualified for the finals by racing a time of 2:12.62. Francois raced an impressive 2:06.77 in the finals to earn the bronze medal for Canada, after team mate Annie LeBlanc (2:05.61) and first-place finisher Chanelle Price, of the USA (2:04.48).

In the men’s 800-m, Riva, who qualified through the Donovan Bailey Track Classic in a time of 1:48.92, finished in fifth place. Riva cut the tape in 1:52.84, behind Jamaica’s Richard West (1:49.62). Michael Preble, of the USA, took the gold in 1:48.69.

For Riva, this was his first international competition in the Canadian bib, while Francois has picked up experience at last year’s Pan American Junior Championship. Both Vikes competed in this year’s U-23 NACAC championship racing in Guanajuato altitudes of approximately 7000-ft.

Women’s 800-m
1 Chanelle Price (USA) – 2:04.48
2 Annie LeBlanc (Canada) – 2:05.61
3 Rachel Francois (Canada) – 2:06.77
4 G. De La Cruz (Mexico) – 2:10.57
5 Charlene Lipsey (USA) – 2:11.15
6 H. Landaverde (El Salvador) – 2:11.57
7 Thalia Marquez (Mexico) – 2:11.59
8 Asia Henry (Jamaica) – 2:28.60

Men’s 800-m
1 Michael Preble (USA) – 1:48.69
2 Tayron Reyes (Republica) – 1:49.09
3 Casimir Loxsom (USA) – 1:49.35
4 Richard West (Jamaica) – 1:49.62
5 Thomas RIva (Canada) – 1:52.84
6 P., Sandoval (Mexico) – 1:53.96
7 Walter Seymour (US Virgin Island) – 1:57.08
– Sadiki White (Jamaica) – DNF