by Rachel Francois, 

(ISN) – VICTORIA- The University of Victoria Vikes cross-country teams are set for their trek to St. John’s, N.L., for the 2014 CIS Cross-Country CIS Championships on Nov. 8. The race will take place at Pippy Park, with the women running the 6-km distance at 12:00 p.m. NST, followed by the men racing the 10km at 1:00 p.m. NST.

The CIS championship also determines the titles for the Canada West cross country champions and award winners. The men will be looking to defend their Canada West title for the fourth year in a row, while the women’s team is up against the CIS No. 2-ranked Trinity Western Spartans to battle for the title. The Vikes women finished second behind the Spartans in the 2013 championship.
For the overall CIS title, both teams are up against a strong field, led by the CIS No. 1 ranked Guelph Gryphons on both the men’s and women’s sides.

Leading the women’s team is veteran captain Kendra Pomfret, fourth year Shauna McInnis, and rookie standout Chloe Hegland. Hegland is coming strong off of a solid performance from the B.C. Provincial Championships where she was the first Vike to cross the finish line finishing 7th in a tough field, followed by McInnis who finished 8th. The Vikes ladies are currently ranked No. 6 in the CIS Top-10 Polls.

“The women are ready to do something big. Notably, Kendra in her last year of eligibility is in the best shape of her life,” said head coach Brent Fougner.

On the men’s side, third year Olivier Collin will be continuing the momentum from his strong performance at the Provincial Championships where he finished second overall to national team steeplechaser, Chris Winter. The roster also includes fourth-year Vikes Jackson Bocksnick and CIS first team All-Canadian Ryan Cassidy. The men are currently ranked No. 5 on the CIS Top-10 Polls.

“On the men’s side, they’re running very well tactically as a team, which is exactly what we need for success at the championships,” said Fougner.

A roster of seven men and seven women are sent to CIS National Championship and will compete on a point-based system against the other CIS teams, battling for an overall CIS title. With potential for rough weather and a tough, hilly course of repeated 2-km loops, it will come down to grit and toughness from all members of the team in the final race of the 2014 cross-country season.

The event will be streamed LIVE with video and results at www.trackie.ca


Key Additions: Chloe Hegland
Key Returnees: Kendra Pomfret, Shauna McInnis, Emma Bibault, Rachel Francois, Nicole Soderberg, Olivier Collin,Ryan Cassidy, Thomas Riva, Ben Weir, Jackson Bocksnick, Cole Peterson
2014 CIS Ranking: #7 (women), #5 (men)
2013 CIS Result: 8th (women), 6th (men)
2013 CW Result: 2nd (women), 1st (men)
Last CIS Championship: 2001 (women), 1997 (men)
Last CW Championship: 2012 (women), 2013 (men)

Emma Bibault
Rachel Francois
Chloe Hegland
Brittany King
Shauna McInnis
Kendra Pomfret – Captain
Nicole Soderberg
Jackson Bocksnick
Ryan Cassidy
Olivier Collin
Cole Peterson – Captain
Thomas Riva
Cody Therrien
Ben Weir