By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – Fourth year University of Victoria Vikes women’s track runner Rachel Francois has a chance to defend her fourth-straight gold in the 600-m at this weekend’s CIS Track and Field Championship hosted Mar. 12-14 at St. Denis Centre in Windsor, Ont. Six student-athletes will represent the Vikes women’s track team across five different events at the three-day championship.
Francois enters this weekend as the Canada West Athlete of the Year after the St. Alberta, Alta. native raced to gold in the 600-m and 1000-m, while anchoring the 4×800-m relay team to gold and the 4×400-m relay team to bronze. The three-time defending CIS 600-m champion reclaimed gold in the Canada West 600-m event on Day 2 of the championship finishing in 1:30.17. Francois won the event at the conference level in her rookie season in 2012 but has since had to settle for second place in both 2013 and 2014.
Francois also anchored the Vikes women’s 4×800-m relay team to their fifth-straight Canada West gold medal. The team of Shauna McInnis, Kendra Pomfret, Nicole Soderberg and Francois won in 8:46.91 and set a new Canada West record. The Vikes women are the two-time defending gold medalists in this event with Francois the only one to have been on both the previous winning teams.
Racing in the 1500-m will be defending CIS silver medalist Shauna McInnis, as well as fifth yearKendra Pomfret. At this year’s Canada West championship Pomfret was 5th overall in 4:31.42, while McInnis was sixth in 4:35.44.
Francois and Pomfret along side rookie Caroline Harrell and fourth year Nicole Soderberg will team up for the 4×400-m relay. The Canada West bronze medalists will look to improve on their CIS silver medal in 2014, won in a time of 3:46.46.
Soderberg will also race the 1000-m, looking to improve on her CIS fifth-place finish in 2014 (2:52.97).
The Vikes will begin with preliminaries in the 600-m on Mar. 12, while the 3000-m and 4×800-m will take place on Mar. 13. The Vikes will wrap up on Mar. 14 with the 600-m, 1500-m and 4×400-m relays. The event will be streamed live online at cis-sic.tv.
Victoria Vikes – Travelling Roster
Rachel Francois – 600m, 4x400m, 4x800m
Caroline Harrell – 4x400m, 4x800m (alternate)
Shauna McInnis – 1500m, 4x800m
Kendra Pomfret – 1500m, 4x800m, 4x400m
Andrea Robinson – 4x400m (alternate)
Nicole Soderberg – 1000m, 4x800m, 4x400m