Cole Peterson earned bronze in the 1500m race at Nationals (Ottawa, Ont.)

VICTORIA – Following an outstanding finish to his five-year university athletics career, University of Victoria Vikes track runner Cole Peterson pushed two Olympians through 1500m to reach the podium for a bronze medal at the Canadian Track and Field Championships on Jul. 8 in Ottawa. Recent Vikes Tyler SmithBrendon Restall and former Vike Thomas Riva were also strong competitors throughout the week-long event.

“Cole unleashed a blistering kick in the final 100m to match the gold and silver medalists,” adds Vikes assistant coach Hilary Stellingwerff who was on site coaching at the event. “Cole showed he belongs at the top with the best in Canada given he raced to the line with these two guys who are both 2016 Olympians. We’re looking forward to seeing what Cole can do with an international field this summer.”

Peterson finished in 3:45.60 behind gold medalist Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (3:45.32) and silver medalist Nathan Brannen (3:45.49), both Olympians in Rio. Peterson’s time also meets qualifying standards for the Canadian team set to compete at the 29th FISU World University Games hosted in Taipei from Aug. 19-30. Former Vike and U SPORTS (then CIS) stand-out Thomas Riva competed in the 1500m finals and finished in a time of 3:56.65.

In the men’s 800m event Vike Smith finished fifth in the men’s final, also a qualifying time for a spot on the Canadian squad heading to the FISU games.

“Tyler has shown great maturity and growth this year, which is starting to come through in his racing,” said Stellingwerff on the Alberta native who still has one final year of eligibility left with UVic. “He faced a very tough field of runners in this final and stepped up to get the job done to qualify for FISU. He’s in shape to run a personal best this summer and we look forward to seeing what he can do in his races over in Europe this month and later in Taipei in August.”

Brandon McBride took gold in the 800m final in 1:45.23. Smith’s time was 1:49.60 in the finals. Vikes team mate Restall also competed in the 800m but didn’t qualify for the finals after a preliminary race time of 1:53.35.

“Brendon suffered an injury in his foot this Spring and missed quite a bit of training so he’s planning some catch up but in just a few weeks of training Brendon has shown he is on the upswing and moving in the right direction to have a good summer or racing, which is a testament to his hard work while cross training and his pure talent as an athlete,” added Stellingwerff about the recent Vikes graduate. “He has been selected for Team Canada going to Francophone Games this month in Ivory Coast.”

The official FISU Games team for athletics have yet to be named by Athletics Canada but a full media release will come once all Vikes FISU participants have been confirmed.