Strong Vikes presence at Rowing Canada Western Development Trials

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By Ardy Ramezani, Vikes Communications

April 23, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – University of Victoria Vikes rowing oarsmen, past and present, performed well in strong headwind conditions at the Rowing Canada Western Development Trials on the Burnaby Lake Rowing Course in Burnaby, BC this past weekend.

The entire squad qualified for the A finals. The RCA Development Trials are held in the East and West each spring to provide a venue for selection to the Canadian National Team. Over the weekend, several Vikes gave the rowing national team coaches something to think about.

In the first men’s final of the day, the pair, former Vikes, Kai Langerfeld, and teammate Will Crothers outclassed the field, finishing first and well ahead of the UBC Thunderbirds crew, who took second place. Langerfeld was a member of the 2011 Vikes CURC national championship team and has been rowing with the RCA National Training Centre in Victoria since 2011.

In the men’s open single final two Vikes competed in a field of six competitors. Vikes alum, Josh Morris, finished a close second after leading the race in the early going. Current Vikes team captain and UVic Male Athlete of the Year, Will O’Connell, finished in sixth and received an invite to the Under 23 selection camp to be held in Victoria in May. Both Morris and O’Connell were also members of the Vikes 2011 national championship squad with Langerfeld.

First year Vike, Alex Walker had an excellent performance in the lightweight men’s single final as he showed great strength in a deep field with an outstanding row over the 2-km course.

“It was a really rough start and I was down for the first 500-m but then I looked around and saw I had a length to get to the front,” said rookie Walker. “I was bit nervous about going for it so early but after 10 strokes I was in first.”

Walker finished five seconds in front of former Vike, Saul Garcia. Also in the field was Thomas Walker, an up-and-coming member of the Vikes lightweight squad, who finished in fifth place.

“It was very exciting from my perspective to have two current Vikes in the final field and also, half of the field of rowers have previously worn the Vikes blue and gold” said Howie Campbell, UVic men’s rowing head coach.

In addition to his outstanding performance in the lightweight men’s single, Walker will be heading to the Under 23 selection camp in Welland, Ontario.

With an excellent weekend of racing and learning for the Vikes squad, they now head into summer training. Their next major event will be the B.C. Championships in early July.

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