Riva Aces 800m at Annual Track Classic

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Ali Lee, Vikes Communications, Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

July 9, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – University of Victoria Vikes men’s track runner Thomas Riva stole the show, winning the men’s 800-m Gary Reed Elite event at the 26th annual Victoria International Track Classic on Tuesday night at Centennial Stadium in Victoria.

UVic’s Thomas Riva would not know immediately if he had won the men’s Gary Reed 800m, as it came down to a photo finish (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Riva crossed the line in 1:47.02, a photo finish ahead of fellow Canadian Anthony Romaniw, who was later disqualified anyway, as the two jostled at the line for position.

“I got out at about fifth or sixth, tried to stay patient and move up at the home stretch,” said Riva. “I really used the crowd to finish strong. It feels awesome being on home track. You know everything here and it feels just like practice so, it’s really fun out there.”

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Anthony Romaniw looked to have the Men’s 800m all sewn up down the homestretch, but a final kick from UVic’s Thomas Riva (trailing here), would give Riva the win, as the two runners jostled for position at the line and a photo finish was needed (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

All eyes were also on three-time defending CIS 600-m champion Rachel Francois, who despite finishing seventh in the women’s 800-m event was still positive about her result.

“I wish I could have done more but I made a couple of mistakes,” said Francois, who crossed the line in 2:03.22. “I went for it though. There have been a lot of races the past few weeks so I’m kind of feeling tired but it was a fun experience. It was one of my last races with Diane (Cummins). It was amazing to be with her and I definitely felt the energy so I can take some good things from that race.”

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UVic’s Rachel Francois (left) would finish seventh in the woman’s 800m event, while Diane Cummins (right), acknowledging the crowd when she was honored just before the race, would run to the silver medal (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Canadian 800-m hero Diane Cummins was honoured just before her 800-m race, where she finished second in 2:01.38. Cummins, who has called the island home for many years, will hang up her spikes following this season.

Also competing tonight in elite events were John Pratt and Brendon Restall, who raced the 400-m.  Pratt finished seventh in 48.70, while Restall trailed in 48.92. The Vikes women also had strong results in the women’s 1500-m national development race as Shauna McInnis finished second (4:27.81), while fifth-year Vike Kendra Pomfret finished third (4:31.15) in her first track race since last August.

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UVic’s John Pratt (left) and Brendan Restall (right) would finish 7th and 8th respectively in the Men’s 400m Elite race (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“It definitely feels good to be out there healthy and strong,” said Pomfret, who battled major back injuries causing her to miss most of the last season. “I definitely think I had more in the tank and I could have been quicker. It was hard because I was running alone after about 500 metres but I am happy with the time and just wanted to go out there and compete.”

Jenica Moore finished 12th in the women’s 800-m national development race in a time of 2:17.43, while Trevor Shiavone clocked in at 4:00.98 in the men’s 1500-m national development event.

For more information on the Victoria International Track Classic visit trackclassic.com. 

FINAL VIKES RESULTS:

Men’s 800-m Elite
1 Thomas Riva 1:47.02

Women’s 800-m Elite
7 Rachel Francois 2:03.22

Men’s 400-m Elite
7 John Pratt 48.70
8 Brendon Restall 48.92

Men’s 1500-m Elite
10 Karl Robertson 3:46.30

Women’s 1500-m Nat. Dev.
2 Shauna McInnis 4:27.81
3 Kendra Pomfret 4:31.15
4 Madeline MacDonald 4:37.11
7 Brittany King 4:39.73

Women’s 800-m Nat. Dev.
12 Jenica Moore 2:17.43

Men’s 1500-m Nat. Dev.
8 Trevor Shiavone 4:00.98

 

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