VICTORIA – For the first time the iconic Monster Erg indoor rowing regatta was held in the CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria and the atmosphere did not disappoint. The Vikes women’s rowing team’s performance paralleled the excitement of the new competition environment, set up and organized entirely by the Vikes rowing community.
Highlights from the event included having the live results visible to spectators on the large digital screens in the performance gym, while the blue and gold atmosphere brought the competition to life.
“The varsity rowing programs are now running this event in a new era of the Monster Erg,” said Vikes women’s rowing head coach Rick Crawley about the 31st event not being held in McKinnon Gymnasium for the first time.
In terms of results the popular coxswains crawl was won by Vikes varsity coxswain Becky Wilder(1:52.6) who pulled out a win over national team member Kirsten Kit (1:56.8). Fellow Vike Andrea Chan (1:57.1) and Cassidy Fernandes (2:00.2) followed behind in third and fourth place, respectively.
Injury and illness dampened the Vikes women’s participation in this year’s event; however, those that were able to compete still had strong performances on the day. Second-year Vike Layla Balooch won the Under 23 Senior B final in a time of 7:10.3 and she was followed by team mates Courtney Smith(7:18.2) and Kirsten McKay (7:21.7). Smith had a strong performance after returning from a long break due to injury. Vike Erin Moen missed most of the fall training due to injury but was able to make a reappearance in this event finishing 7:23.6, while also playing a big role in event organization.
Former Vike Alyssa Weninger took first place in the Senior A final in a time of 6:52.9, while CRC’s Colleen Nesbit took second in 6:56.3. The Top Vike in this category was Madeline Spangehl who finished fifth in 7:24.3.
“A highlight from today was definitely in the novice women’s event,” described Crawley of Danielle Vrielink, Avalon Wasteneys and Roza Kalashnikoff’s performances. “Three girls pulled in the 7:30 range going one, two and three in the results with Danielle Vrielink winning it overall.”
Vrielink finished first in 7:32.8, while Wasteneys was second (7:35.8) and Kalashnikoff took third (7:37.7).
In addition Sarah Craven, a key Vikes recruit for next year from Saskatoon Rowing Club, paced the junior lightweight women’s event with a personal best of 7:30.1.
“I think we still have some work to do,” said Crawley of his varsity crew’s performance. “We have goals to continue bring our team average down so we can continue to compete with top crews including our rivals UBC. We had several bright lights at this year’s event and we had some strong performances from athletes returning from long-time injury but overall I think we are going to continue to focus on improving our consistency and, of course, getting our full team back and healthy.”
Up next the Vikes women will compete outdoors again at the Head of the Shawnigan, Feb. 21, while the UVic-hosted Elk Lake Spring Regatta and Brown Cup are around the corner on Mar. 5-6 and Mar. 26, respectively. For more information on these events visit govikesgo.com/regattainfo.
2016 Monster Erg (Top Finishes)
Novice Women (Final)
1 – Danielle Vrielink (7:32.8)
2 – Avalon Wasteneys (7:35.8)
3 – Roza Kalashnikoff (7:37.7)