Strong second half lifts Vikes over Gryphons at nationals in Toronto

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VICTORIA—The Vikes men’s and women’s rowing teams have their biggest weekend of the season ahead of them. The teams travel to Welland, Ontario to compete in the Canadian University Rowing Championships from November 4-6.

Both of the teams come into the event with momentum on their side having recently performed well at the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships where the men took the banner for the second year in a row and the women finished second, just behind UBC.

About the Event 

The event is one that has been circled on every university rower’s calendar since the start of the season.

“It’s nationals, the culmination of the years worth of work. This has been the goal for us all year long,” said Vikes head coach Aalbert Van Schothorst.

The men will be looking to build on their performances at National Rowing Championships and Western Canadian’s.

Patrick Keane and Adam Donaldson both return to CURCs as medallists from last season. Keane captured a gold medal in the lightweight men’s double while Donaldson took home bronze in the pair.  Both these athletes look to build on these performances, with Keane returning from his second summer on the Canadian U-23 team and Donaldson partnering  with Mark Davies over the summer and competing at Henley, FISU and placing first in the U23 pair at National Rowing Championships.

The men’s eight has been gaining momentum through the year with a win over arch rivals UBC at the Brown Cup in one of their their most recent spring clashes. Western Canadian’s was a great battle with UBC and the crews went to the wire with key athletes Mark Davies and Daan Arscott missing from the lineup.

“I think we are in a good place for strong performances across the board on the heavyweight side without taking anything for granted,” said Van Schothorst.

The women also will be looking to use stong showings at the National Rowing Championships and Western Canadians to send them into the event with momentum.

It was a second place showing for the Vikes at this event last year, as they finished just nine points back of the three-time defending champions from Western.

The team medalled in all six events including a bronze for an eight crew that returns Becca ZimmermanBecky WilderKirsten McKay and McKenna Simpson.

“The eight’s been going really well. Western and UBC in particular are very quick. Whether we can gain enough speed to catch them is the question,” said Vikes head coach Rick Crawley.

Coach’s Take 
Rick Crawley Vikes women’s head coach

“I’m optimistic. We have had some setbacks, we are down two of our top people for various reasons. We’re pretty young so we are working on a few things, I would say this is kind of a building year for us. It will be interesting to see how we perform across the board and see whether we can duplicate last year’s success.”

Scott Swinkels- Light Men’s Coach 

It’s an exciting time for lightweights at UVic with momentum carrying through from their 2nd place performance at the San Diego Crew Classic in the eight this spring.  Moving forward from that, the Vikes CURC’s lightweight crew is young and filled with challengers. Three of them will get their first taste of CURCs and that will help to build the resolve and the mental toughness to really perform at this event in future years.

Aalbert Van Schothorst Vikes men’s head coach

“Brock and Western will be very strong, UBC has a very strong lightweight crew so the goal is to get enough points between lightweights and heavyweights to take home the banner.”

Event Info

November 4-6, 2016 – Canadian University Rowing Championships @ Welland, ON

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