No trophies, but boatloads of medals for UVic rowing team

When the Vikes rowing teams returned to Victoria after the Canadian University Rowing Championships, they did so with heavier suitcases. The men’s and women’s teams won eight medals at the championship, finishing fourth and second overall respectively.

The championship, hosted by St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, featured rowing teams from universities across the country, with the Vikes participating in their fifth regatta of the season.

The women’s team improved on their third place finish at the national championship in 2014,  when they claimed two bronzes, three silvers, and a gold medal to finish in third.

The men’s team unfortunately dropped two places from their second place finish at last year’s championship, finishing fourth with one bronze and one gold medal.

The lone gold for the women’s team came in the women’s single, with second-year Layla Balooch claiming the gold. In the men’s races, UVic’s Patrick Keane and Alex Walker won their gold in the men’s doubles, making Walker a four-time winning gold medalist at the competition.

Balooch, a transfer student from UBC, finished 4.3 seconds ahead of the second-place boat. Keane and Walker’s race was even more tightly contested, with the duo finishing first by a margin of just 2.92 seconds.

The Vikes women’s team also came second three separate times in the championship. The Vikes’ Deborah Snell featured in all three silver medal-winning sides, competing with the lightweight doubles teams, lightweight coxed fours, and the lightweight single, finishing 12.92, 8.81 and 3.77 seconds behind first place in their respective races.

The women also took home two bronze medals, with their women’s eights and doubles teams each finishing third.

The men’s second medal came from the men’s pair, as Adam Donaldson and Christopher Marshall claimed bronze by finishing just 4.08 seconds behind the silver medalists and 8.91 seconds behind the gold medalists.

This was the 18th Canadian University Rowing Championship, with the men’s team looking for their seventh title and the women for their eleventh. The last time UVic won a university rowing title was in 2012, with the women’s team winning the

regatta hosted in Burnaby. The men last took home gold in 2010, winning the championship hosted in Victoria.

The Canadian University Rowing Championship is a competition that the Vikes have dominated in the past, with both the men’s and women’s teams winning the title more times than any other university. The men have won six titles and the women have claimed eleven, with the latter winning every championship between 1997 and 2003.

The women’s rowing team will now head to Seattle, Wash., before reconvening with the men’s rowing team to participate in the Canadian Indoor Championship, or “Monster Erg” in February.

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