Cascades rowers excel at Western Canadians

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The University of the Fraser Valley rowing team turned in a series of solid performances at the Western Canada University Rowing Championships (WCURC) in Calgary on Saturday.

The Cascades took a smaller contingent than usual to the event, which was hosted by the Alberta Rowing Association on the Glenmore Reservoir and drew seven university and college rowing programs from across Western Canada. It was the first time in the seven years of the WCURC’s that the championships had been held outside of B.C. Warm temperatures and blue skies abounded, and so did rowing’s nemesis – the wind.

“UFV Rowing’s goal was to identify those teammates coming into this season with the best chance of going fast – fast enough to row and compete against the A final group, which is almost entirely made up of UVic and UBC athletes,” Cascades head coach Liz Chisholm said. “This season our rosters are down to half of the athletes we had before graduation and completing eligibility last spring. The last seven weeks didn’t seem like enough time, but this young group of rowers has taken to the challenge with determination.”

In time-trial racing over a 1500-metre course, three UFV boats advanced to the A finals – the women’s coxed four (Ashley Bilodeau, Janelle Tucker, Suzanne Kubat and Arden Holmes), the men’s pair (Kyle Krahn and Stephen Wall), and Arden Holmes in the lightweight women’s singles. The women’s four placed third, behind UVic and UBC, while the men’s pair was fifth and Holmes finished sixth.

“The wind indeed affected our rowers – experience is what we’re lacking, but going after it is the plan,” Chisholm said.

Up next for the UFV rowers is a dual meet with Simon Fraser University at Burnaby Lake this weekend.