VICTORIA – Current and former University of VictoriaVikes that are representing Canada have had a successful week ininternational competition. Women’s rugbyplayers JessNeilson and TiffanyPicketts helped the Under 20 Canadian women’srugby team win the CanAm Championship series, while former Vikesswimmer Ryan Cochrane picked up a silver and gold at the PanPacific Swimming Championships. Five Vikes rowers are alsocompeting at the World Rowing Championships, which commenced onAug.
Women’s rugby players Neilson and Picketts were key toCanada’s victories in the two-game Can-Am series hosed at London,Ont. The under-20 women defeated the USA Junior All Americans side51-5 in the first leg of the series and repeated the victory nextgame with a 43-6 score line.
Neilson who will enter her second year with the Vikes inSeptember proved to be pivotal for the team with her place kicking,which put pressure on the American team.
At the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships hosted at GoldCoast, Australia, Ryan Cochrane looked to repeat his successfollowing a great showing at the Commonwealth Games a monthprior.
In a very close 1500-m, the two-time Olympian battled withUSA’s Connor Jaeger for the majority of the race but the Americanswimmer edged out Cochrane by touching in 0.18 seconds faster thanCochrane at 14:51.79 to take first place.
Cochrane bounced back two nights later and swam to the top ofthe podium in the men’s 800-m freestyle with a time of 7:45.39.Mack Horton of Australia and Jaeger of the United States followedto take second and third-place. Canada claimed a total of sevenmedals, with Cochrane’s medals being the lone gold andsilver.
On the open waters at the World Rowing Championships inAmsterdam, Netherlands, Vikes alumni Kai Langerfeld, Antje vonSeydlitz and Teresa Berkholtz secured semi-final spots in the men’sfour, women’s quadruple sculls and women’s single sculls,respectively.
Also competing is former two-time UVic athlete of the YearLindsay Jennerich, who will race in the women’s double sculls andcurrent Vike Alex Walker willcompete in the men’s double sculls.
The World Rowing Championships runs form Aug. 24-31. For moreinformation and full results,visit: http://www.worldrowing.com