By Ardy Ramezani, Vikes Communications
June 24, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Eight members of the University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s track team posted strong results against the country’s top athletes at the Canadian Track and Field Championship in Moncton, N.B. from Jun. 20-23.
Third year Vike Thomas Riva raced well in the preliminaries to qualify for the highly competitive 800-m finals and was the lone Vike to compete in a final event at the Championship. Riva finished sixth overall with a time of 1:49.11, while 2012 Canadian Olympian Geoffrey Harris took first in 1:47.75.
Fellow Vike Adam Gaudes also competed in the 800-m and finished 10th in the preliminaries, failing to meet qualification for the final by just 0.48 seconds.
Two Vikes were contenders in the very competitive 3000-m steeplechase including second year Ryan Cassidy, who finished in 9:00.08. In the same event, second-year Patrick Pstoka picked up a personal best as he ran a time of 9:04.17.
Competing in his first national championship, second-year Cody Therrien made a good appearance, finishing in the preliminaries with a time of 3:57.01.
CIS first team All-Canadians Rachel Francois, Kendra Pomfret and Grace Annear all competed in the women’s 800-m semifinals. Francois, freshly returned from injury, raced the event in 2:08.88, while Pomfret and Annear finished with times of 2:11.82 and 2:16.31, respectively.
Through a combination of achieved standards and top-three placings at the 2013 Canadian Track and FIeld Championships, 32 athletes qualifed for the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships and another 32 qualified for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World championships.
Up next for the Vikes is the 25th annual Victoria International Track Classic, hosted at Centennial Stadium on July 5. Several of the Vikes will have the opportunity to race against the World’s best as the prestigous event is the finale in the cross-Canada National Track League (NTL) series, which features five major events. For information or to purchase tickets, visit the website at www.trackclassic.com.