Vikes women set to reclaim national title on home waters

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By Ali Lee, 

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rowing team got off to a good start on day one, Nov. 1, of the 18th Canadian University Rowing Championship hosted at Elk Lake in Victoria, B.C. The Vikes had five of six crews qualify for A finals, set for Nov. 2.

The 21-team men’s and women’s competition is back out west after McGill hosted in 2013 and next year St. Francis Xavier will host out East. The inaugural event also took place at Elk Lake in 1997 and was last hosted here in 2010 when the Vikes women hoisted their ninth national banner.

Today’s time trials seed the top six in each event for the A Finals on Sunday, while the following six will race in a B final.

Opening the day off third-year Beth McConnell finished 11th in the women’s single falling short of the A final. Fifth yearEmily Garry placed third in time trials in the lightweight single ( 7:18.97) qualifying her for the A final. The senior will be up against Western’s Erin Snelgrove and Ottawa’s Alanna Fogarty who placed first and second, respectively, in the time trials.

The Vikes women’s eight impressed in time trials finishing third in 5:43.44 behind UBC (5:38) and Western (5:41.86). The women’s eight are qualified for Sunday’s A final that will also feature Queen’s, Toronto and Brock. The crew for the Vikes women’s eight consists of Kirsten McKay, Catherine Slamka, McConnell, Maxine Chapman, Jillian Legare, Erin Moen, Madeline Spangehl, Becca Zimmerman and Becky Wilder.

The women’s eight event has only been one by three schools over the past 17 years with Victoria winning nine times, while Western and UBC have totaled five and three times, respectively.

The Vikes lightweight double of Deborah Snell and Cate White also qualified for the A final after finishing second in the time trial (6:39.17) behind Western’s crew of Larissa Werbicki and Jill Moffatt (6:38.04).

In the women’s pair the Vikes finished third in 7:01.35 behind UBC (6:52.9) and Western (6:58.91). Zimmerman and Spangehl will also be up against Calgary, Queen’s and Alberta in the A final on Sunday.

The last women’s boat to race was the women’s coxed four and Vikes Snell, Garry, Amanda Pomphrey, Cate Whiteand cox Cassidy Fernandes finished second in the time trials (6:51.28). Western finished ahead of the Vikes in 6:46.63, while UBC, Queen’s, Toronto and Brock also qualified for the A final. Finals will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Nov. 2 with medal and banner presentations to follow on the docks. For more information and full results visit


11th – Beth McConnell (5:59.87) Qualified for B Final

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3rd – Emily Garry (7:18.97) Qualified for A Final

3rd – Kirsten McKay, Catherine Slamka, Beth McConnell, Maxine Chapman, Jillian Legare, Erin Moen, Madeline Spangehl, Becca Zimmerman, Becky Wilder (5:43.44) Qualified for A Final

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2nd – Deborah Snell, Cate White (6:39.17) Qualified for A Final

3rd – Madeline Spangehl, Becca Zimmerman (7:01 .35) Qualified for A Final

2nd – Deborah Snell, Emily Garry, Amanda Pomphrey, Cate White, Cassidy Fernandes (6:51.28) Qualified for A Final