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.  

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