By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – Seventeen-year-old Brendan Hoff of Campbell River, B.C. has announced his commitment to the 2016-17 University of Victoria Vikes men’s cross-country and track program. The 1500-m and 3000-m specialist will definitely be a boost to the Vikes who capped off their 2015 fall season as CIS cross-country national champions.
At five-foot-nine Hoff is no stranger to island life having attended Reynolds Secondary School in Victoria and also attending the Canadian Sport School at the Pacific Institute for Sport and Excellence. Hoff has competed nationally and internationally including a 14th place in the 1500 metre event at the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships, first place in the 3000-m event at the 2015 Canadian Youth Championships and winning both the 1500-m and 3000-m events at the BC High School Junior Championships in both 2013 and 2014.
“I’m very excited to join the program at the University of Victoria,” exclaimed Hoff. “I am proud to be able to contribute to an already amazing program. I love everything about UVic and I look forward to representing the Vikes on an international and national level.”
In 2015 Hoff was nominated as BC Athletics Athlete of the Year and has ambitions to race for Canada at the Olympics. Hoff moved to Victoria in Grade 11 to train with coach Heather Hennigar, current Canadian national team coach, while the middle distance runner has also been training alongside the Vikes ever since.
“We are very excited to have Brendan joining us next year,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner, recently named CIS Cross-Country Coach of the Year. “Brendan comes in with the same potential as Geoff Martinson and Thomas Riva, two of Canada’s top middle distance runners. Brendan has made a choice to stay in Victoria over many US offers as he see’s Victoria’s program and support from the National Training Hub has the best environment to reach his running goals.”
Both Martinson and Riva excelled at both the varsity and international level and are still competing heavily to date. Martinson capped off his five years in 2009 as UVic’s Male Athlete of the Year after leading the 4×800-m relay team to a CIS four-peat. The Prince George native defended his national title in the 1500-m and ended his career with six CIS gold medals. Riva, who capped his last season off in the Spring of 2015, was recently the 1500-m Canadian national champion. With the Vikes the 2015 UVic Male Athlete of the Year smashed a 19-year-old Canada West record to win gold in the 1000-m and was named a CIS All-Canadian.
Hoff has the legacies of Martinson and Riva to build off of and will get his first chance at that beginning in the Fall of 2016