By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
The University of Victoria Vikes men’s cross-country team entered the 2015 CIS Men’s Cross-Country Championships in Guelph, Ont. in search of their first national banner since winning four straight championships from 1994-97. The Vikes jumped in between the CIS rankings fifth and seventh all season, and had put together strong performances in the build up to nationals at the Charles Bowles Invitational and BC Cross-Country Championships.
Led by fourth and fifth-place finishes from fourth-year Vike Olivier Collin and fifth-year Ryan Cassidy, the Vikes earned their fifth national banner in program history by winning with a team score of 69. The Vikes ended a nine-year reign for the Guelph Gryphons at the top of CIS cross-country with the victory. Vikes head coach Brent Fougner was named CIS and Canada West Coach of the Year and Cassidy also earned the CIS and Canada West Student-Athlete Community Service Award. Cassidy and Collin were named CIS First-Team All-Stars and Bascal and Simpson were named Second-Team All-Stars. Collin earned Canada West Male First Star of the Week honours for his performance.
The Vikes also brought home their fourth-straight and 16th Canada West championship in the process. The Vikes swept the podium and more in the Canada West standings, with Olivier Collin, Ryan Cassidy, Forrest Simpson and Shoayb Bascal taking home gold, silver, bronze and fourth place, respectively.
For a full list of team history, award winners, athletes and additional information, download the full year in review from the link above.