By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – Following Day 1 of the Canadian University Rowing Championships in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, on Oct. 31, the University of Victoria Vikes women qualified crews for all six of the A final races, while the men will race four A finals and two B finals. The Nov. 1 final races, held at Lochaber Lake, will ultimately determine this year’s national champions after total point tallies and the Vikes will be poised to return a championship banner, last won in 2010 for the men and 2012 for the women.
Following time trials Vike Layla Balooch qualified first in the women’s single in a time of 8:21.94, while the women’s lightweight single, raced by Deborah Snell, qualified second in a time of 8:24.76. The Vikes also qualified second in the women’s double and four in times of 8:24.76 and 7:56.27, respectively. The women’s double crew of Snell and Cate White and the women’s four crew of Lauren Goforth, McKenna Simpson, Snell, White and coxswain Cassidy Fernandes will all compete in the A finals tomorrow.
The women also qualified third in the eights and fourth in the pair in times of 6:35.35 and 8:41.26. The women’s eight was raced by Maixine Chapman, Kirsten McKay, Emma Durham, Jillian Legare, Rebecca Zimmerman, Madeline Spangehl, Becky Wilder, Simpson and Goforth and they will be looking to improve on their bronze medal win last season in 2014. The women’s pair, consisting of Zimmerman and Spangehl, crossed in 8:41.26 behind UBC, Brock and Western but will still race the A final tomorrow to challenge for a medal.
“The battle is between us, UBC and Western,” said Vikes women’s rowing head coach Rick Crawley, who has the Vikes on target to bring home what would be the program’s 12th national title. ‘Like always, it should be down to the wire for the points and the trophy.”
The Vikes men had a stand out performance from their light men’s double, of Patrick Keane and Alex Walker, qualifying first in 6:51.84, 10 seconds ahead of second place Brock and 15 seconds ahead of third place Trent. Entering this weekend Walker is a three-time defending champion in this event after winning gold in 2014 with team mate Lee Hall in 6:44.82. Walker will have a chance to make that four golds, this year with crew mate Keane, in the A Final tomorrow.
The Vikes men also qualified for the A finals in the, pair, lightweight coxed four and the eights. The men’s pair of Adam Donaldson and Christopher Marshall, will face UBC, Brock, Western, McMaster and Queen’s in the finals, while the lightweight coxed four of Graham Connell, Andrew Hendrickson,Bailey Kulman, Walker and Keane will race Trent, Western, Brock, UBC and Queen’s.
The men’s eight are geared up to defend their 2014 title and will have to beat fellow A finalists Trent, Brock, Western, UBC and Queen’s to do so.
In 2014 the Vikes men also took home double bronze in the men’s pair and the lightweight coxed fours. This year’s crews will be looking to improve results in those events, while challenging for their first banner under second-year Vikes head coach Aalbert Van Schothorst.
Final races begin tomorrow, Nov. 1, with the men’s single starting things off at 9:00 a.m. Atlantic time. The men’s eight are set to race at 11:00 a.m., while the women’s eight launch at 2:30 p.m.
Full results can be found at regattadata.com.
Qualified A-Final: Lightweight Double, Eight, Pair, Lightweight coxed Four
Qualified B-Final: Single, lightweight single,
Qualified A-Final: Single, Lightweight Single, Pair, Lightweight Double, Lightweight coxed Four, Eight