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Braeden Willis, University of Victoria
The University of Victoria Vikes men’s cross country team finished first overall in the team standings of the 10K race at the Vikes Invitational on Oct.13 at Beacon Hill Park, topping their rivals from UBC and Trinity Western.
Alex Nemethy was the top Vike on the day, finishing in fifth place with a time of 32:39. He was followed closely by three more of his Vikes teammates, Derrick Evans, Joshua Kozelj, Jonathan Toombs and Ben Weir who finished sixth through to eighth. Having four runners finish in the top ten gave the Vikes the times they needed to secure first place in the team standings.
“The team was quick off the start and we kept up our pace throughout the race,” said Nemethy. “ As a group, I thought we all stayed mentally focused and with solid speed through the first four kilometres we were able to finish the race on top.”
Nemethy found himself in the second and third positions throughout the race before ultimately finishing in fifth.
“I know with my fitness I am able to keep up with the leaders,” commented Nemethy. “With the training will we be doing over the next month in preparation for nationals I know I will be able to stay at the front of the pack. I will need to make a few adjustments but I am confident going into my next couple races.”
The Vikes’ depth showed in this race with four runners finishing in the top ten and Ben Weir (33:30), Brendan Hoff (33:40), Mitchell Basher (34:24) and Chet Goerzen (35:33) all finishing in the top 26.
“It was an awesome display of team work today,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “They learned from their last race, packed up well, followed the game play and ultimately came through with the victory.”
Jackson Bocksnick had the best time in the men’s 8K race posting a time of 27:06.
The Vikes will compete at the B.C. Championships in Abbotsford on Oct.27 before heading to the U SPORTS National Championships in Kingston on Nov. 10.
Results (Men’s 10K)
5 – Alex Nemethy (32:39)
6 – Derrick Evans (32:46)
7 – Joshua Kozelj (32:53)
8 – Jonathan Toombs (33:03)
14 – Ben Weir (33:30)
16 – Brendan Hoff (33:40)
21 – Mitchell Basher (34:24)
26 – Chet Goerzen (35:33)
Results (Men’s 8K)
1 – Jackson Bocksnick (27:06)
3 – Gabe Van Hezewijk (27:25)
4 – Sam Wetzel (27:44)
8 – Derrick Ushko (28:08)
11 – Ross Henderson (28:52)
13 – Vladyslav Lyesin (29:00)
17 – Owen Wright (30:09)
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The University of Victoria Vikes women’s cross country team finished second overall in the team standings of the 8K race at the annual Vikes Invitational held at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria on Oct. 13.
Fourth-year Vike Alison Irvine finished in first place overall with a time of 29:49 with teammate Chloe Hegland (30:00) finishing in third place, only 11 seconds behind her.
“The goal coming in today was to win,” said Irvine, who finished just three seconds ahead of the Thunderbird runner Sarah Macarthur. “I knew I needed to execute the race perfectly to do so, I am really happy with the outcome today.”
“I would have liked to finish behind Alison in second but cross country is a tough sport predict,” commented Hegland, running in her second race of the season. “ I am happy with my performance today, I had a strong first two laps which was key in finishing in the top three.”
Hegland and Irvine were at the front of the pack, running side-by-side for the majority of the race before UBC runner Sarah Macarthur nudged Hegland out of the second spot in the latter stages of the race.
“We both seem to perform so well when we are running next to one another,” mentioned Irvine, speaking about her teammate Hegland. “ We have worked so well together over the past few years and we always are pushing each other to do the best we can.”
“I find all of my best races have been while running beside Alison,” said Hegland. “We train really well together and find it translates to strong performances for both of us when we get into a race situation.”
Andie Wood (31:29), Georgia Ginther (31:58), Chloe Hewitt (32:10) and Caitlin Vail (32:43) rounded out the times for the Vikes in the eight-kilometre-long race. Their times helped lead the Vikes to second place in the team standings.
“As a group, our team ran a very strong race overall,” commented Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “This race will go a long way in our preparations for the nationals in Kingston next month.”
Alyssa Mousseau (23:34) and Bridget Mateyko (24:33) finished with the top two times in the women’s six-kilometre race.
Up next for the Vikes are the B.C. Championships being held in Vancouver on Oct. 27. That will be their last race before heading to Kingston for the U SPORTS National Championships on Nov.10.
Results (Women’s 8K)
1 – Alison Irvine (29:49)
3 – Chloe Hegland (30:00)
16 – Andie Wood (31:29)
19 – Georgia Ginther (31:58)
21 – Chloe Hewitt (32:10)
28 – Caitlin Vail (32:43)
Results (Women’s 6k)
1 – Aylssa Mousseau (23:34)
2 – Bridget Mateyko (24:33)