The University of Victoria Vikes swim team will complete a busy fall and winter schedule when they take to the pool for the PCS Christmas Cracker on December 2-4 in Victoria.The team comes into the event on the heels of some very impressive performances at the Canada West Championships on November 25-27.

First-year Vike Danielle Hanus led the way for the women’s team as they finished in fourth-place at the event. Hanus finished the meet with three silver medals, picked up in the 50-m, 100-m and 200-m backstroke events.Second-year Vike Eric Hedlin was the top finisher for a men’s squad that also finished in fourth-place. Hedlin travelled home from the event with a rainbow of medals, winning gold in 1500-m freestlye, silver in the 400-m freestyle and bronze in the 4×100-m freestyle relay.

The 14th-annual Christmas Cracker will take place at Saanich Commonwealth Place and contains multiple age-groups: 12 & under, 13-14, and 15 & over. Multiple Vikes will hope to post times that are fast enough to qualify them for the U Sports national championships, taking place February 24-26 in Sherbrooke Quebec. Among the Vikes hoping to book their ticket to Quebec is Bailey Espersen, who missed the qualifying time in the 200-m breaststroke by just 0.08 of a second at the Canada West Championships.

The team has had a reduced schedule since the Canada West Championships and will look for good results from all swimmers participating. Some swimmers have had to reduce their meet schedule in order to prepare and/or write exams, but they all should be competing this weekend,” says Ryan Clouston, Vikes Assistant Coach.

“This is the best chance for the swimmers yet to have made U Sports qualification times to try and qualify before the winter break. With an extra week of reduced training, the swimmers often perform better at the Christmas Cracker than at the Canada West Championships.”