VICTORIA ­– For the first time in five years the UVic Vikes women’s cross country team can call themselves the champions of Canada West after they finished tops in the conference at the U SPORTS National Championships, hosted at Beacon Hill Park on Nov. 12.

Individual Results | Team Results

“It was exactly how we wanted it to go,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “The girls did exactly what we wanted them too, they all had a great second half of the race and moved up around seven points in the last lap.”

With the meet doubling as both the Canada West conference and U SPORTS National Championship, the Vikes not only were the top Canada West team but they also finished fourth overall in the nation,

“We fell a little short of our dream goal of getting on the podium, but finishing fourth and beating Guelph (the 12-time defending champion) was awesome,” said Fougner. “We are really proud of the girls.”

The Vikes finished with 124 points at the meet, just 12 points behind the third-place Universite Laval and an outstanding 135 points clear of the next-best Canada West finisher, the Alberta Pandas.

Third-year athlete Alison Hooper led the team by finishing the 8-kilometre race in a time of 29:02, a result that earned her a spot as a Canada West First Team All-Star as well as U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian.

Joining Hooper as Canada West First Team All-Stars were both Chloe Hegland and Emma Edmonds. Hegland crossed the line 12 seconds behind Hooper to finish the race in 15th while Edmonds time of 30:13 earned her a 28th place finish.

Hot on Edmonds’ heels and in 29th place was Chloe Hewitt. Hewitt was joined by Emma Bibault, who finished 39th overall, as Canada West Second Team All-Stars.

The hardware continued to pile up for the team as first-year Georgia Ginther was the top Canada West freshman at the meet to earn her the Canada West Rookie of the Year.

With the rain bucketing down throughout their race, the Vikes were able to deal well with the slippery conditions of their hometown course to record their best finish at the national level since 2012.

“There were some big smiles in our tent when it started raining, that was exactly what we wanted,” said Fougner. “It was a perfect day for them, they all ran 100 per cent and gave everything they could.

Canada West Team Results
1. Victoria / 124 / 4th
2. Alberta / 259 / 8th
3. Trinity Western / 260 / 9th
4. Calgary / 294 / 10th
5. MacEwan / 393 / 16th

Canada West Awards:

First Team All-Stars:
Regan Yee / Trinity Western University / 5 / 27:54.95
Melissa Jones / University of Calgary / 3 / 28:24.69
Courtney Hufsmith / University of Saskatchewan / 2 / 28:52.88
Alison Hooper / University of Victoria / 3 / 29:02.18
Paula Findlay / University of Alberta / 3 / 29:07.85
Chloe Hegland / University of Victoria / 4 / 29:14.37
Emma Edmonds / University of Victoria / 2 / 30:13.27

Second Team All-Stars:
Chloe Hewitt / University of Victoria / 2 / 30:18.38
Hannah Leggatt / MacEwan University / 3 / 30:19.33
Jouen Chang / Trinity Western University / 1 / 30:25.68
Emma Bibault / University of Victoria / 4 / 30:27.96
Mikaela Smart / Trinity Western University / 3 / 30:30.06
Anushree Patel / University of Alberta / 3 / 30:32.10
Joanna Williams / Trinity Western University / 3 / 30:41.91

Athlete of the Year: Regan Yee, Trinity Western
Rookie of the Year: Georgia Ginther, Victoria
Coach of the Year: Brent Fougner, Victoria

U SPORTS Team Results
1. Toronto / 73
2. Queen’s / 92
3. Laval / 112
4. Victoria / 124
5. Guelph / 142

U SPORTS First Team All-Canadians
1.     Sasha Gollish, Toronto
2.     Claire Sumner, Queen’s
3.     Branna MacDougall, Queen’s
4.     Regan Yee, Trinity Western
5.     Kristina Popadich, Western
6.     Lucia Stafford, Toronto
7.     Aurelie Dube-Lavoie, Laval

U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadians
8.     Melissa Jones, Calgary
9.     Stef Smith, Windsor
10.  Danielle Jossinet, Guelph
11.  Courtney Hufsmith, Saskatchewan
12.  Savanna Jordan, Dalhousie
13.  Meggie Dargis, McGill
14.  Alison Hooper, Victoria

Athlete of the Year: Sasha Gollish, Toronto
Rookie of the Year: Savanna Jordan, Dalhousie
Coach of the Year:  Ross Ristuccia, Toronto
Student-Athlete Community Service: Christiana Agustin, Toronto