By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

VICTORIA, B.C. – Several of the University of Victoria Vikes are booking tickets to Guadalajara, Mexico to compete in the Pan American Junior Championship for field hockey Sept. 10-23. Both the men’s and women’s junior teams will be vying for spots to compete at the 2013 Junior World Cup, which the women last appeared at in 2005.

The Vikes women will be solely represented by Kathleen Leahy (Victoria), who made a tremendous return back to play after undergoing knee surgery just prior to the start of the Vikes season. Leahy was unable to compete for the Vikes last fall but still travelled with the team and trained in the Spring. Since her recovery, Leahy has spent the summer training and competing with the Junior National team.

The Canadian junior women hosted the USA junior team for a series in early April in Vancouver, traveled to Argentina for games in late May, hosted Mexico in June and spent almost the entire month of July in Europe competing against Germany, Holland, Brazil, Belgium and Spain. There is no shortage of experience for Leahy, who will only miss the opening Canada West games against the Calgary Dinos, Sept. 15-16.

FHCThe Vikes men are also well-represented in current Vikes Brendan Bissett (New Westminster, B.C.), Sam Jones (Vancouver), James Kirkpatrick (Victoria), Matthew Sarmento (Vancouver) and former-VikeKeegan Pereira (Ajax, Ont.). All five Vikes have been prominent for the Canadian junior national program, with Pereira having a larger role in the men’s senior program.

The Vikes men have also been busy throughout the summer after hosting a series against Mexico in June and a three-nations tournament with Chile and the USA in July.

In order to qualify for the 2013 World Cup, the Canadian sides must finished in the top two at the Junior Pan American Championships. The third-place team will be granted a primary spot as a reserve country.

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