By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications
November 3, 2012, Burnaby, B.C. – After a day of battling some tricky fall weather conditions in the first round of races in the Canadian University Rowing Championships, both the University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s rowing teams qualified boats in all six of Sunday’s finals.
Leading the charge for the Vikes men were Alex Walker (Victoria, BC) and Lee Hall (Victoria, BC), racing in the light men’s double and finishing first in their time trial after clearing the line a full six seconds faster than second-place Brock University.
Racing in the heavyweight pairs event were Will O’Connell (Victoria, BC) and Connor McGuigan (Victoria, BC). The second qualification of the day for the men, the twosome finished fourth with a time of 6:40.04, 11 seconds back of first-place Western University.
The Vikes came in at fourth in the light men’s four and in the light men’s single, Brendan Downey (Victoria, BC) placed fifth. Stroking in the heavyweight singles event Anthony Linton (Winnipeg, MB) just made the cut for tomorrow’s final with a sixth-place finish and a time of 7:19.75.
Rounding out the Vikes’ qualifying contingent was the men’s eights, crossing the finish line in third after a tight race in challenging weather conditions that saw eastern competitors Western and Brock University place first and second respectively.
“We are all looking forward to some great racing tomorrow and all the crews feel confident that podium finishes are possible,” said Howard Campbell, head coach of the Vikes men’s rowing team. “I thought all the crews performed well today and for our fairly young team there has been some excellent progression.”
The Vikes women had two first-place finishes over the course of the day with an especially exciting nose-to-nose race in the eights as the UVic crew crossed the line 16 milliseconds ahead of Brock University. The other number one finish came courtesy of the lightweight women’s pairs as Stefanie Miklosovic (Yellowknife, NWT) and Rachel Dennis (Victoria, B.C.) posted a time of 7:31.79, a solid nine seconds ahead of second-place Western.
Racing in the singles event, Alyssa Weninger (Unity, Sask.) rowed to a fourth-place finish, as did Emily Garry in the light women’s singles. Fifth-place for twosome Renae Barks (Regina, SK) and Bronwyn Lawrie (Prince Rupert, BC) was good enough to qualify for tomorrow’s final and rounding out the Vikes boats in tomorrow’s race is the light women’s fours.
“It’s shaping up to be an exciting Western versus UVic battle,” said head coach of the Vikes women’s rowing program, Rick Crawley. “If all schools finish where they placed in the time trials then we could beat out Western and win our 11th title by a single point.”
Both of the Vikes men’s and women’s rowing crews resume racing tomorrow, Nov. 4, at Burnaby Lake as they compete for the chance to win the Canadian University Rowing Championship title.