VICTORIA (from UVic Vikes) – A pair of extremely important meets south of the border await the UVic Vikes track team this weekend, as they travel to Seattle, WA for both the Husky Classic and the University of Washington Open. There is a lot at stake for a Vikes team that is looking to lay down some fast times, as they jockey with athletes from across the Canada West conference for seeding, in what will be their final meets before the conference championships.
“Everybody is certainly moving in the direction that we want them to be,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “We are after performances this weekend because strong performances are going to get you ranked, and higher rankings will get you into the section of the race that you want to be in at the Canada West Championships.”
With top university athletes from both Canada and America competing at the meets, the chance of the Vikes rising to the occasion and posting strong times in what are sure to be fast races is high. A large contingent of over 25 Vikes will make the journey south to compete in races ranging from 600 to 3000-metres.
A number of Vikes have put in times fast enough to rank themselves among the best in the nation throughout the four meets that the team has raced in so far in 2018.
Thomas Oxland and Timothy Longley sit first and second in the U Sports rankings in the 1000-metre and will both be looking to maintain those spots with strong performances this weekend.
Tyler Smith is currently sixth in the country in the 600-metre, while Alyssa Mousseau’s standout start to her track season has her ranked fifth in the 600-metre and sixth in the 1000-metre.
11 athletes will compete in 3000-metre races over the weekend and for them, this weekend holds extra importance.
“The one group that hasn’t had the opportunity to run in as many races are our 3000-metre athletes,” said Fougner. “With them not having as many opportunities to race, this weekend is very important for them.”
“We believe that Chet Goerzen, Chloe Hegland, Derrick Evans and Josh Kozelj are all on the verge of having breakthroughs that will get them possibly ranked nationally.”
With just over three weeks to go until the all-important conference championships, hosted Feb. 23-24 in Winnipeg, MB, the results from this weekend will be essential as the team looks to improve upon the nine medals that they claimed at the Canada West Championships last year.
Brent Fougner, Vikes head coach
“This weekend is all about everybody performing as best they can. We are looking for performances from some of our key people that will get them ranked nationally, so they automatically qualify for the U SPORTS Championships, or at least a performance that is going to guarantee them a fast section at the conference championships.”
“A few of the guys in the mile have the opportunity to come through, and they are all capable of it, this weekend is their opportunity to do that.”
Derrick Evans: 3000-metre, Mile
Chet Goerzen: 3000-metre, Mile
Brendan Hoff: 1000-metre, Mile
Timothy Longley: 1000-metre, Mile
Thomas Oxland: 1000-metre, Mile
Isaac Penner: 1000-metre, Mile
Tyler Smith: 600, 800, 1000-metre
Ben Weir: 1000, 3000-metre
Mitchell Basher: Mile
Josh Kozelj: 3000-metre
Alexander Nemethy: 3000-metre
Matt Noseworthy: 3000-metre
Max Serviss: 600-metre
Matthew Thibodeau: 600-metre
Derrick Ushko: 600-metre
Brandon Vail: 3000-metre
Caroline Harrell: 800, 1000-metre
Chloe Hewitt: 1000-metre, Mile
Alyssa Mousseau: 600, 800, 1000-metre
Emma Bibault: 3000-metre
Georgia Ginther: 3000-metre
Chloe Hegland: 3000-metre
Alison Hooper: 3000-metre
Elena Savidge: Mile
Vanessa Sjoberg: 600-metre
Andie Wood: 3000-metre