VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes track team picked up their first medals of the U SPORTS Track and Field Championship in style on March 10 in Edmonton, AB.

Thomas OxlandCole PetersonBrendon Restall and Tyler Smith all earned gold medals after beating the best 4×800-metre relay teams in the nation, finishing the race in an outstanding time of 7:30.16.

Not only was that fantastic run good enough for gold, but it also set a new school record in an event that the Vikes dominate, having captured 15 medals since 1986.

The race came right down to the wire: Smith ran an incredible anchor leg to bring the Vikes to victory just .23 of a second ahead of the second place team from the University of Windsor.

Oxland pulled double duty on the day, also competing in the 1000-metre race where the second-year Vike finished ninth in a time of 2:30.38

The Vikes women’s 4×800-metre relay team was also in action, the team of Chloe HewittAlyssa MousseauJulia Greer and Rachel Francois finished in eight place with a time of 9:20.89.

The third and final day of the U SPORTS Track and Field Championships gets underway at 11:30 p.m. on March 11. The first Vike in action will be Francois in the 600-metre final at 12:15 p.m., where she will be aiming to capture her incredible fifth national gold medal at that distance. Smith will take to the track right for his 600-metre final right after Francois, trying to win his second gold medal of the meet. Peterson will also be going for double gold when he competes in the 1500-metre final at 2:00 p.m., before the women’s 4×400-metre relay team wraps up the meet for the Vikes at 3:00 p.m.

Vikes Results:

1000-m: Thomas Oxland – 9th (2:30.38)
4×800-m: Brendon Restall, Thomas OxlandCole Peterson Tyler Smith – 1st GOLD (7:30.16)

4×800-mChloe HewittAlyssa MousseauJulia GreerRachel Francois – 8th (9:20.89)