Four-time CIS 600-m champion Francois captures First Star of the Week

Rachel Francois 1

Vikes Communications, with files from Canada West

(ISN) – Canada West announced today, Mar. 17, fourth-year University of Victoria Vikes track athlete Rachel Francois as the conference First Star of the Week after her performances at the CIS championships in Windsor, Ont., this past weekend.

First Star: Rachel Francois, Victoria (Track)

The University of Victoria Vikes women’s track team finished seventh at the 2015 CIS Track and Field Championship, hosted in Windsor, Ont. from March 12-14. Only specializing in the track events, it was a tough feat for the Vikes to go after a championship title but they did collect four medals, three of which can be attributed to the efforts of fourth-year Rachel Francois.

This year, the Vikes were up against a powerhouse Toronto contingent who garnered 15 medals, five of which were gold, leaving the Vikes short of the top of the podium in both relay events. Francois, however, anchored the Vikes 4×800-m relay team to a silver medal in 8:42.30. The next day, Francois anchored the underdog 4×400-m relay team to another silver, crossing in 3:49.31.

Moreover, the St. Albert, Alta. native did something spectacular in the 600-m event. Ousting this year’s CIS Athlete of the Year and the Female Athlete of the Meet, Sasha Gollish, Francois earned her fourth-straight CIS gold in a time of 1:29.17. The 2012 CIS Rookie of the Year has successfully defended her 600-m title and will have an opportunity for a five-peat in her fifth and final season in 2016.

Francois finished the CIS Championship as the most decorated Vike with one gold and two silvers. Previously, Francois was named Canada West Third Star of the Week on Mar. 3 after winning two individual gold medals and one gold and bronze in relay events at the Canada West Track and Field Championships in Winnipeg, Man.

UBC’s Kris Young (Basketball) and Alberta’s Leah Walkeden (Track and Field) were named Canada West Second and Third Stars of the Week respectively.