The UVic Vikes track team will get an early opportunity to see how they stack up against some of the top competition in western North America when they travel to Seattle to participate in the University of Washington Indoor Preview on January 14.
Nine male and five female athletes will be competing for the Vikes, with a goal of shaking off the rust and getting back into the racing groove.
"We use this meet in two ways," said Vikes assistant coach Hilary Stellingwerff. "One is to get a good hard effort in, a lot of athletes are running two races and so it's used as a workout but also as a callousing mentally and physically for the rest of the season."
"We want to see where everyone is at and move forward from there."
About the Event
The UW Indoor Preview annually plays host to some perennial powerhouses in the world of track. Record holders at the meet include Summer Youth Olympians, Canadian Olympians and record holders as well as NCAA Division 1 Champions and record holders.
The meet features not just university athletes but also top competitors from clubs in the area.
"It's an open competition, that's why it is so great, there is a lot of opportunity for high level competition," said Stellingwerff. "It's good for tactics, because we will be in a competitive field with people from all over, so this is a good chance for them to get used to different types of racing."
The Vikes are regulars at the Indoor Preview, having competed at the meet every year since the 2010 season. Last year the meet was a successful one for the Vikes with the men's 4x800-m relay team of Peter Oxland, Thomas Oxland, Timothy Longley and Isaac Penner winning their event in a time of 7:43.30.
Hilary Stellingwerf, Vikes assistant coach
"It's a great competition. It's good because it's a 300-metre track so it's forgiving on the body in terms of starting out the season. The competition is great, it's close to home and we know what the competition will be like."
"To have everyone compete within one per cent of where we want to see them at the U Sports Championships, if they're one or two per cent off of that then we can peak them in time for Nationals."
Brent Fougner, Vikes head coach
"For our rookies we just want to get a look at them on the track, see how they race and what event they are most comfortable with."
"Getting the rust off after Christmas and getting them focused on racing. For our rookies this is new and we can get a lot of information out of this meet going forward."
VIKES ATHLETES AT THE UW PREVIEW:
Derrick Evans: (3000-m)
Chet Goerzen: (3000-m)
Brendan Hoff: (3000-m)
Thomas Oxland: (4x800-m, 1000-m)
Isaac Penner: (4x800-m, Mile)
Ben Weir: (3000-m)
Cole Peterson: (4x800-m, Mile)
Brendon Restall: (600-m, 4x800-m)
Max Serviss: (600-m)