By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s and women’s cross-country teams had strong showings in their first meets of the season in the 44th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational and they will get a chance to repeat that performance this weekend, Oct. 10, in Bellingham for the Western Washington Classic. The Vikes women start the morning off with the 6-km race at 9:00 a.m., while the men race the 10-km event at 11:00 a.m.
The Vikes men finished first last weekend, Oct. 3, at the Charles Bowles 8-km race with 34 points, while the women started out their season off with a second-place performance in their 5-km event. Three Vikes on both the men and women’s sides finished in the Top-10.
Fifth-year Vike Forrest Simpson was full value in his return to the Vikes side after sitting last year for injury. Simpson finished first in the men’s race with a time of 24:17.6. On the women’s side, third year Alison Hooper made her mark, also after a year away from the Vikes but due to training for triathlon, with a sixth-place time of 17:42.9.
A total of 23 Vikes will make the journey to Bellingham for this weekend’s event including 21 Vikes that featured on Oct. 3 at the Charles Bowles Invitational. The Vikes will look to build on last weekend’s results this weekend by racing with a strategic plan and as a team. Hooper will not be on the roster this weekend requiring Vikes head coachBrent Fougner to lean on the likes of third year Emma Bibault, fifth year Shauna McInnis and rookie Andie Wood.
“This is an important meet for the athletes and the teams ahead of the final team selection for CIS,” said Fougner, whose squad is gearing to peak for the 2015 CIS Cross-Country Championship, Nov. 14, in Guelph, Ont.. “It’s our only race before the selection at the same distances as CIS 10-km and 6-km races.”
Among the competition includes the University of Alaska and Windsor, as well as Canadian counterparts the UBC Thunderbirds and Simon Fraser University.
Men’s Cross-Country – Travelling Roster