Fifth-year University of Victoria Vike Tyler Smith peaked in his final season with the UVic track program leaving the Canada West Track and Field Championship with three gold medals – two individual (600-m and 1000-m) and one relay (4×800-m). Alyssa Mousseau and Thomas Oxland earned silver medals on the final day of the Winnipeg, Man. hosted event.
“Tyler had just an amazing weekend,” said Vikes head coach Brent Fougner. “He came back today and ran the 600 like a veteran. He ran very smart and didn’t get caught up in the early speed of the race. He was patient and just worked his way through. He seemed to know exactly what needed to do to win it. That was one of the best races I have seen him run.”
Smith took gold in the men’s 600-m in 1:19.60 winning his heat just ahead of silver medalist Shane Dillon (1:19.66) from Manitoba. Four other Vikes competed in the men’s 600-m event including Vladyslav Lyesin, Max Serviss, Matthew Thibodeau and Derrick Ushko.
In the women’s 600-m Mousseau had a strong performance to earn silver. Saskatchewan’s Julianne Labach took the top of the podium in a winning time of 1:29.10, while Regina’s Michaela Allen was third in 1:31.51. Vike Caroline Harrell was 13th overall in 1:38.52.
“Alyssa also ran a smart race like Tyler,” added Fougner about the second year. “It is really hard in a 600 not to get caught up in that early fast pace but, like Tyler, she was patient and came through on the last lap and moved right up into second.”
Second-year Chloe Hewitt was the lone Vike to make the Top 5 of the women’s 1500-m event. Hewitt finished in 4:39.41, while Vikes Elena Savidge (14th), Andie Wood (16th) and Chloe Hegland (22nd) finished near each other.
On the men’s side Thomas Oxland stepped on the podium for the 1500-m after finishing in 3:53.78 and nearly chasing down Alberta’s Royden Radowits (3:52.42) who took gold.
“I actually think (Thomas) timed it a little wrong and could have won it but he came through, moved up through the field at the right time and got in there for silver,” added Fougner.
In the final relays of the championship, the Vikes women finished fourth in the 4×400-m in 3:56.25. The Alberta Pandas took gold in 3:51.26, while Saskatchewan earned silver (3:52.53) and Manitoba won bronze (3:54.42).
“That was going to be a hard race for the girls and for Chloe it was her fourth race of the weekend,” noted Fougner. “She was pretty tired but overall, the girls ran the relay well.”
On the men’s side the Vikes got on the podium for the 4×400-m in a time of 3:23.60. Despite winning and edging the Dinos in their heat, the Vikes finished third in the timed final. Alberta took first in 3:16.47 and the Bisons were second in 3:17.03.
“Definitely expectations were and even exceeded because we have such a younger team and yet people – like Alyssa and Thomas – really came through and raced like veterans,” highlighted Fougner about the team’s performances. “It was really great to see and it makes me really look forward to future years with them.”
The Vikes will now turn their attentions to the national stage where they will head to Windsor, Ont. for the U SPORTS Track and Field Championships held Mar. 8-10.
Day 2 UVIC Results
W 600m – Alyssa Mousseau (SILVER – 1:31.50), Caroline Harrell (13th – 1:38.52)
M 600m – Tyler Smith (GOLD – 1:19.60), Vladyslav Lyesin (16th – 1:24.17), Max Serviss (17th – 1:24.18), Matthew Thibodeau (18th – 1:24.93), Derrick Ushko (21st – 1:25.53)
W 1500m – Chloe Hewitt (5th – 4:39.41), Elena Savidge (14th – 4:49.77), Andie Wood (16th – 4:50.82), Chloe Hegland (22nd – 4:56.14)
M 1500m – Thomas Oxland (SILVER – 3:53.78), Tim Longley (7th – 3:57.30), Ben Weir (15th – 4:02.57), Chet Goerzen (17th – 4:03.98), Josh Kozelj (24th – 4:08.29), Alexander Nemethy (25th – 4:08.40), Derrick Evans (30th – 4:12.01), Matthew Noseworthy (31st – 4:12.14), Isaac Penner (35th – 4:15.78)
Day 1 UVIC Results
W 1000-metre: Chloe Hewitt (BRONZE – 2:51.10), Elena Savidge (10th – 3:03.83)
M 1000-metre: Tyler Smith (GOLD – 2:26.84), Timothy Longley (4th – 2:28.49), Thomas Oxland (13th – 2:33.28), Matthew Thibodeau (16th – 2:35.34), Isaac Penner (17th – 2:36.31) Derrick Ushko (18th – 2:36.51)
W 3000-metre: Chloe Hegland (4th – 10:06.60), Andie Wood (9th – 10:31.01)
M 3000-metre: Chet Goerzen (7th – 8:31.81), Ben Weir (8th – 8:40.20), Josh Kozelj (11th – 8:44.39), Alexander Nemethy (16th – 8:52.59), Derrick Evans (17th – 8:53.84), MatthNoseworthy (19th – 9:02.21)
W 4×800-metre relay: Vanessa Sjoberg, Chloe Hewitt, Caroline Harrell, Alyssa Mousseau (GOLD – 8:59.52)
M 4×800-metre relay: Timothy Longley, Max Serviss, Thomas Oxland, Tyler Smith (GOLD – 7:34.83) Canada West Record
Note: All Canada West gold medalists are also Canada West First Team All-Stars, while all Canada West silver medalists are Canada West Second Team All-Stars.