Francois successfully defends 600-m CIS title

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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

March 10, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – University of Victoria Vikes 600-m specialist Rachel Francois (St. Albert, AB) is now a two-time CIS gold medallist while the Vikes’ 4×400-m relay team have won their first CIS medal with a third-place finish.

With her 600-m time of 1:29.69, Francois not only landed at the top of the podium, successfully defending her 2012 title, but she also posted a new UVic record. Competing against 2012 Olympian Sarah Wells from the University of Toronto, Francois proved that she belongs with the best of the best.

Rachel Francois
Rachel Francois warming up at home before heading to the CIS Championships – Photo by Glenn Ivens (ISN)

Taking second place was University of Calgary’s Jenna Westaway, 1:29.91 while in third was University of Guelph runner Rachel Aubry, 1:30.02. Second-year Grace Annear also competed in the 600-m final and crossing the line at 1:33.12 placed sixth.

“It’s nice that everything finally came together,” said Francois. “I had a lot of fun, there’s no greater feeling than running on your home track with all your family and friends around!”

In the first race of the day for the UVic men, Adam Gaudes (Winnipeg, Man.) ran the 600-m final in 1:20.51. Placing fourth, Gaudes fell just short of a medal as third-place runner from the University of Toronto, Michael Trnks, posted 1:19.58.

In the women’s 1500-m, racing her final event as a Vike, fifth-year Brittany Therrien (Victoria, BC) came in eighth with her time of 4:34.93 while in the men’s 1500-m event Thomas Riva (Qualicum, BC) put up a time of 3:58.07 to come in 12th.

One of the biggest coups of the championship for the UVic women came from the 4×400-m team’s third-place finish. It is the first CIS medal for the Vikes women in the 4×400-m event as the combination of Jenica Moore (Victoria, BC), Annear, Kendra Pomfret (Roberts Creek, BC) and anchor Francois also posted 3:48.10.

The men’s 4×400-m relay team of John Pratt (Victoria, BC), Cole Peterson (Edmonton, Alta.), Gaudes and Brendon Restall (Victoria, BC) came in fifth with their time of 3:21.89.

“Our two women’s relays along with both Rachel and Kendra had an awesome weekend,” said Brent Fougner, head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field program. “Brittany also had a great end to her career, that was one of the best races that I’ve seen her run as a varsity athlete and the depth of the team was evident. We have a young group of men this year and I think that they certainly learned a lot this weekend, the future looks very good for them.”

Over the course of the three-day meet the Vikes earned two gold medals and two bronze, landing the women at seventh place and the men at ninth. With the UVic track and field program focused primarily on middle-distance competition the results were impressive.

With gold medallists named CIS First Team All-Canadians, Francois, Annear, Moore and Pomfret were each given the nod.

FINAL RESULTS (DAYS 1-3)

Women’s 1000-m

3. Kendra Pomfret, Victoria 2:52.93*

Women’s 3000-m

8. Brittany Therrien, Victoria 9:59.17

11. Madeline MacDonald, Victoria 10:16.50

Women’s 4×800-m

1. Victoria, 8:51.36*

(Grace Annear, Rachel François, Jenica Moore, Kendra Pomfret)

Men’s 1000-m

4. Thomas Riva, Victoria 2:28.10

Men’s 4×800-m

4. Victoria, 7:37.34

(Adam Gaudes, Cole Peterson, John Pratt, Brendon Restall)

Women’s 600-m

1. Rachel François, Victoria, 1:29.69*

6. Grace Annear, Victoria, 1:33.12

Men’s 600-m

4. Adam Gaudes, Victoria, 1:20.51

Women’s 1500-m

8. Brittany Therrien, Victoria, 4:34.93

Men’s 1500-m

12. Thomas Riva, Victoria, 3:58.07

Women’s 4×400-m

3. Victoria, 3:48.42*

(Grace Annear, Rachel François, Jenica Moore, Kendra Pomfret)

Men’s 4×400-m

5. Victoria, 3:21.89

(John Pratt, Cole Peterson, Adam Gaudes, Brendon Restall)

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