VICTORIA, B.C. – On Jul. 10 a parade of Canadian athletes will walk behind Olympian and 2015 flag bearer Mark Oldershaw to mark the opening of the world’s third largest international multi-sport Games, the Pan American Games. The Jul. 11-26 event will include competition for 48 events, while Aug. 7-15 will see 17 sports take place for the Parapan Am Games.
The University of Victoria Vikes will have 22 athletes competing, while four former Vikes will be traveling as staff. The largest contingent is in rowing where current Vike Jacob Koudys will cox the men’s eight alongside former Vike Kai Langerfeld. Langerfeld will also compete in the men’s four, while alumni Saul Garcia-Alvarez will race the lightweight double and Nicolas Pratt will race the lightweight four.
Former long-time Vikes men’s rowing head coach Howie Campbell will be with the team as the National men’s assistant coach and alum Al Morrow will be there as the National lightweight men’s coach. Former Vike Adam Parfitt will be the program’s team manager.
On the women’s side, Smithers, B.C. native Antje von Seydlitz will compete in the double and quad. Von Seydlitz was part of the 2014 quad crew that came second at the World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.
In Swimming Olympians and former Vikes Ryan Cochrane, Hillary Caldwell and Alec Page will be after a spot at Rio 2016. In 2012, Page was the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic men’s swimming team at the age of 18 and races the 400IM and 200IM.
Cochrane, a two-time Olympian, will be looking to top the platform after his bronze in 2008 and silver in 2012 in the 1500 m freestyle. Cochrane is the Canadian record holder in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle.
Caldwell competed at the 2012 Olympics, finishing 18th in the 200m backstroke, and was the bronze medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in the same event.
In field hockey, current Vike Brenden Bissett and former Vike Matthew Sarmento, will kit up team Canada’s men’s squad to secure their Rio 2016 spot. Following an impressive fourth place finish at the Hockey World League Semi Final, Canada almost guaranteed their spot at next summer’s Olympics after beating higher-ranked Spain (11th) and New Zealand (7th).
On the women’s side, the trio of Thea Culley, Danielle Hennig and Kaitlyn Williams continue to lead a young field hockey group with one last chance to qualify for the Olympics. Culley, the highest current capped player with 136 internationals, will lead the forward line, while vice-captain Hennig will hit the 100th cap mark in her third game of the tournament. White Rock, B.C. native and standout goalkeeper Williams has amassed 64 caps since her start in 2011 and will back stop the team in net. Former Vikes field hockey player Carrie Trumpy is travelling with the women’s team as manager.
In rugby former Vikes trio Phil Mack, Nathan Hirayama and Sean Duke will kit up for the sevens team alongside Vikes John Moonlight, Mike Fuailefau, Lucas Hammond and Justin Douglas. Mack has been a mainstay on the HSBC Seven Series in recent years and at the end of the 2013-14 season, where Canada finished sixth, Mack was named to the World Series Dream Team. This past season, Mack played in only two events as he battled injury. Canada’s men’s team is the defending gold medalists after beating Argentina 26-24 in the 2011 final. Canada is drawn into Pool B with Argentina, Brazil and Guyana.
Former Vikes cross-country and track runner Ellen Pennock will be competing in triathlon alongside team mate and five-time World Triathlon series winner Paula Findlay. Pennock, a World Cup silver medalist, represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and was CIS cross-country rookie of the year with the Vikes in 2011.
At the Parapan Am Games, wheel chair basketball’s Janet McLachlan will undoubtedly be one to watch. The two-time Olympian helped Canada win gold at the 2014 World Championship, also hosted in Toronto, while with the Vikes she was a two-time CIAU National Champion (1998 and 2000).
The 2015 Pan Am Games will mark the third time Canada has hosted the event after Winnipeg held the games in 1967 and 1999. Opening ceremonies begin on Jul. 10, while events begin Jul. 11. For a full schedule, results and more visit the event website at http://toronto2015.org.
VIKES AT THE PAN AM GAMES
Carrie Trumpy (Staff)
Antje Von Seydlitz
AL Morrow (Staff)
Howie Campbell (Staff)
Adam Parfitt (Staff)