All eyes on Riva at Vikes third meet of season

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by Kendra Pomfret, Vikes Communications

January 29, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – Eighteen Vikes will look to continue their early season success when they compete in the UW Invitational, February 1 in Seattle Wash.

All eyes will be on fourth-year local standout Thomas Riva as he pushes to break the iconic four-minute 1600-metre barrier in the men’s one-mile race. Riva will be in good company alongside teammates Olivier Collin, Kyle Irvine, and Cole Peterson.  

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Last weekend’s McGill Team Challenge saw the Vikes set three new meet records, four CIS auto qualification standards and several personal-best runs. After breaking the 1000-metre record held by Alberta’s Jaden Ostapowich, Riva’s new meet record and personal-best time of 2:23.63 in the 1000-metre has him currently ranked first overall in the current CIS standings. Moving up in distance, he will look to improve upon the CIS auto-qualifying time of 4:08.33. Riva will be joined in the race by Canada’s 2011,1500-metre national champion Collin, as well as fifth-year captain Kyle Irvine, Cole Peterson and Karl Robertson.
 
With injuries sidelining him for portions of the past two seasons, Collin will be a dark horse in this men’s one mile race. Teammate Peterson, a 2013 second team All-Canadian, will hope to meet the CIS standard after racing to a personal best time 2:25.85 in the men’s 1000-metre last weekend, just missing the men’s CIS standard of 2:24.99. 
 
First-year Vike and Canadian junior 800-metre record holder, Tyler Smith along with fourth-year John Pratt, ranked second and third respectively in the 600-metre CIS standings, round out the men’s team in the 600-metre race.
 
Second-year Vike Brendon Restall will be the lone Vike in the men’s 400-metre race, looking to hit a sub-48.41 second finish to punch his ticket to Alberta to the CIS championships converted 600-metre in March. 
 
On the women’s side, two-time CIS 600-metre champion Rachel Francois will compete in her second 800-metre of the year in preparation of defending her third consecutive 600-metre CIS title.
 
Perhaps Francois’ stiffest competition stems from teammate Grace Annear, who raced to a blazing personal-best time last weekend of 1:30.73 in the 800-metre that placed her ahead of Francois and Nicole Soderberg. 2013 CIS First Team All-Canadian Jenica Moore will also compete in the women’s 800-metre as well as the 4×400-metre relay alongside Annear, Francois and Soderberg. 
 
Third-year Vike Shauna McInnis will compete in the one-mile race, while second-year Emma Bibault, and senior Madeline Macdonald will compete in the women’s 3000-metre.
 
“Our team will have potential for six more auto-qualification standards this weekend,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “We could possibly have a sub four-minute mile by one of our men’s competitors as well.”
 
The UW Invitational takes place Feb. 1 at the University of Washington. For more information please visit the links above or visit govikesgo.com.

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