By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men and women’s track teams took home a combined five medals, including double gold in the men and women’s 4×800-metre relays, on day one of the Canada West Track and Field Championship on Feb. 26 in Saskatoon, Sask. The Vikes men sit in third place in the overall standings with 23 points – one behind the Calgary Dinos – while the women are in sixth with 10.
Hosts the University of Saskatchewan Huskies sit atop the overall men’s team standings while the University of Alberta Pandas hold a big lead in the women’s team standings. The Huskies posted 31 points in seven scored events on Friday and hold a seven-point lead over the second place Dinos. On the women’s side Alberta built up a comfortable cushion with 65 points through nine scored events.
The Vikes women’s 4×800-metre relay team of Andrea Robinson, Shauna McInnis, Caroline Harrell and Vanessa Sjoberg ran a first-place time of 8:57.69 – five seconds ahead of the Alberta Pandas – to earn the Vikes women their sixth-consecutive 4×800-metre gold medal at the Canada West championships since 2011. On the men’s side of the 4×800, the Vikes team of Tyler Smith, Isaac Penner, Thomas Oxland and Brendon Restall matched their women’s counterparts with a first-place finish of their own in a time of 7:37.68.
“We had a really great day of conference racing today with everybody having solid performances,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “The highlight was definitely the 4x800m relays. We needed everybody to stay strong and consistent throughout and all of our runners gave everything they had to win.”
Fourth year Cole Peterson ran to a silver medal time of 2:31.75 in the men’s 1000-metre, 0.32 ahead of teammate and first year Peter Oxland, who finished with bronze at 2:32.07. Fourth year Cody Therrien earned a bronze medal in the men’s 3000-metre with a time of 8:23.94, wrapping up the podium finishes for the Vikes on day one.
“I was happy to go out and run my race plan,” commented Peterson. “I probably shouldn’t have let my pace slow in the second lap but I’m happy to medal and happy about the way I competed in the heat. Peter (Oxland) ran an awesome race today to come third in his rookie season and I’m excited to see what he can do in his future career as a Vike.”
The Vikes will compete in the 600-metre and 1500-metre events on day two of the Canada West Track and Field Championship on Saturday, Feb. 27. For live results visit trackie.ca, while the event will be webcasted on pay-per-view live at canadawest.tv.
1000-m: Cole Peterson – 2nd, SILVER (2:31.75), Peter Oxland – 3rd, BRONZE (2:32.07), Isaac Penner – 14th (2:34.87), Timothy Longley – 15th (2:35.40), Max Serviss – 21st (2:47.36)
3000-m: Cody Therrien – 3rd, BRONZE (8:23.94), Shoayb Bascal – 10th (8:41.30), Ben Weir – 15th(8:50.28), Derrick Evans – 18th (8:58.32)
4×800-m: Tyler Smith, Isaac Penner, Thomas Oxland, Brendon Restall – 1st, GOLD (7:37.68)
1000-m: Andrea Robinson – 8th (2:59.75)
3000-m: Chloe Hegland – 7th (10:13.68)
4×800-m: Andrea Robinson, Shauna McInnis, Caroline Harrell, Vanessa Sjoberg – 1st, GOLD(8:57.69)
1. Saskatchewan 31
2. Calgary 24
3. Victoria 23
4. Lethbridge 22
5. Regina 21
6. Trinity Western 19
7. Alberta 15
8. Manitoba 13
1. Alberta 65
2. Saskatchewan 37
3. Trinity Western 36
4. Calgary 35
5. Manitoba 21
6. Victoria 10
7. Regina 8
8. Lethbridge 7