Vikes Communications/Athletics Illustrated
The University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium will be filled with talent on Thursday evening as the campus hosts the inaugural Vic City Invite on Jun. 8. Olympian Jessica O’Connell, four current Vikes and five alumni will be competing with the hopes of qualifying for the World Championships and World University Games.
The annual Victoria International Track Classic is taking a hiatus this year. The 28-year-old meet was part of the National Track League (NTL) and was a popular opportunity for Canadians to fit in a domestic race with good competition and pacers. Some of Canada’s best 800m performances took place in the Track Classic including runs by Olympians and national record holders Diane Cummins, Melissa Bishop, Gary Reed, Zach Whitmarsh and Anthony Romaniw.
The new meet will be a short, two-hour program featuring the 800m, 1500m and 3,000m and will provide the opportunity for community runners to run and then watch the elite races. Current Vikes track athletes competing include U SPORT silver medallist Tyler Smith and Canada West medallist Max Serviss. There is also a large roster of notable alumni including multiple U SPORTS (CIS) medal winners Grace Annear, Thomas Riva, and the U SPORTS gold medallist and 2017 UVic President’s Cup winner Cole Peterson.
Canadian Olympians Jessica O’Connell and Jessica Smith will also be among the athletes competing. Both O’Connell and Smith are looking to run fast times leading into nationals, set to take place early June in Ottawa.
The Jun. 8 meet will run from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at UVic’s Centennial Stadium and development races beginning at 5:30. Entry is free.