Championship season!

rachelFor the Vikes, March is championship season!

The McKinnon (athletic facility) building is buzzing with excitement as the majority of our teams are in the midst of preparing for big competitions that are taking place every weekend. Things are very, very busy…

On Sunday, I flew back from Winnipeg for a quick, week-long touch down on the island before jetting off again. This past weekend, the Vikes track team was competing in the Canada West Conference Championships! No, we do not race outside – if this was the case I probably wouldn’t do it. Cold and I do not get along very well, hence my moving away from Edmonton to our comfortably mild island…

The races took place on one of the best indoor tracks in Canada (yes, this is a very redeeming quality when traveling to Winnipeg in the winter months). It’s 200 meters and banked (think of a cycling track but far less steep). The running joke among our conference is how fragile the Vikes are when going to cold places such as Winnipeg, Edmonton or Saskatoon. Not going to lie, it felt all too true when we stepped out of the vehicle to make the thirty second walk to the building, all the while grumbling complaints about being “so cold, “freezing” or “dying”. We were a tad dramatic.

My coach decided that this weekend would be a good time to push the group into racing a lot, to get a good training effect and some valuable points for the team. Track, as individual as it is, is very much a team effort as well. Each placing earns points – whoever gets the most overall points wins the championship! Unfortunately, in this regard, our team is pretty small, comprised only of distance runners. We are strong in the events that we compete in but lack sprinters, throwers and jumpers.

I came out of the weekend with golds in the 600m, 1000m, 4x800m relay and a bronze in the 4x400m relay. I also won Canada West Track Athlete of the Year – it was such an honour! I am so lucky to have a team who constantly and endlessly inspires me: watching the determination and grit they show in races brings tears to my eyes. Special mentions to:

  •  Nicole Soderberg, who was able to get a personal best in the 1km after 5 years (PERSISTENCE people…that is grit!),
  • Emma Bibault, who smashed her 3km pb and throughout the season has knocked off 45 seconds off her time in only 2 races,
  • Kendra Pomfret, who was bedridden ill previous to this weekend was able to recover and come back with a gutsy performance and will be ready for battle in a couple weeks time, and
  • Thomas Riva, who was awarded the Canada West Male Track Athlete of the Year and Male Performance of the Meet.

It was such a joy to race the 4×400 with Nicole, Andrea Robinson, and Caroline Harrell, where Andrea and Caroline received their first CanWest medal!

I could go on and on about how much I love this team and I’m excited for what is to come next week at the University National Championships  (Canadian Inter-university Sport – CIS) in Windsor, Ontario. To me, this means don’t get too comfortable – the ride has just begun.

Rachel

UVic Vikes Ladies Track Team

UVic Vikes Ladies Track Team

UVic Vikes win

UVic Vikes win

UVic Vikes

My teammate Thomas who won Canada west athlete of the year, performance of the meet and broke a Canada west record in the 1000m.

UVic Vikes

UVic Vikes

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1 Response

  1. Crystal says:

    Wow!!!! Awesome job Rachel! Congratulations on a wonderful season to date! Best of luck at Nationals! We’ll be watching and cheering from the coast! 🙂 #yougotthis