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Cole Peterson qualifies for the 2017 World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan at nationals in Ottawa

From U Sport indoor championships. Supplied by Cole Peterson

© Copyright - 2017 - Victoria Sports News

University of Victoria 2017 graduate, Cole Peterson competed in the 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships with the purpose of qualifying for the 2017 World University Games, also known as FISU 2017.

In the 1500m distance event he was up against long-time Canadian veteran Nathan Brannen as well as 2016 Canadian champion and Rio Olympian Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, who won in the time of 3:45.32, in a tactical effort.

Brannen from Cambridge, Ontario finished in the time of 3:45.49. The two needed to finish the race 1-2 as part of the qualification process for the 2017 IAAF World Track and Field Championships.

Peterson was third in the time of 3:45.60, it was a close race. The University of Windsor’s Corey Bellemore was 1.05 seconds back for fourth.

Peterson was close behind Brannen on the bell lap and closed the final 400m in the time of 54.109, which was faster than Brannen’s final lap, but wasn’t enough to capture silver, but was enough to qualify for FISU.

“I am very happy with my performance,” shared the Edmonton native.” My goal for the weekend was to make the FISU team, and with only two spots available and most of the field eligible and with standard, I figured one might need to medal to make the team.”

Asked if he was surprised to finish a close third to Brannen and Philibert-Thiboutot, Peterson said, “I wasn't surprised with the placing as I knew it was possible and had my sights set on it, but I'm certainly thrilled to have my best race of the season (so far) when it counted most. To know that I'm running competitively with Chuck and Nate is a confidence boost heading into the remainder of the season.”

Peterson navigated himself close to the front early and managed to get a little time on the rail and wait for the eventual move.

“Rob Denault, who finished fifth, started to push the pace with about two laps remaining, and Nick Falk joined him, as the pace continued to ramp up after the bell. On the back-straight I could see Bellemore in my peripherals and knew that I needed to hold him off going into the corner because there could be more FISU guys lining up behind him for the final straight. I had clear path ahead of me on the homestretch but only enough for third, but I was elated to cross the line and know I had booked a ticket to Taiwan and made my first national team.”

Denault had closed in 55.481.

The 29th annual 2017 FISU Games take place in Taipei City, Taiwan from August 19 to August 30th.

Peterson capped off his Vikes final indoor season earlier this year exactly the way he wanted, by winning double gold.

The 23-year-old won nationals in front of his hometown crowd at the University of Alberta on Friday, March 10 in the 4 x 800-metre event, setting a school record. Setting the record is a big accomplishment considering UVic’s long tenure as a strong 800-metre distance school. The team also included Brendon Restall, Tyler Smith and Thomas Oxland. They crossed the line in 7:30.16. Windsor finished second with a 7:30.39 performance, while the bronze medal team was Guelph who are credited with the time of 7:31.92.

On the Saturday, Peterson toed the line in the 1500-metre event and won in a new personal best of 3:50.86.

After several injuries and many second place finishes, the computer science graduate finished on a high note. For his performances, he was honoured as Canada West Male Track Athlete of the Year.

Personal bests

800m – 1:50.90

1500m – 3:45.32

1500m – indoors – 3:50.86

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