The Q’s Victoria Run Series – Featured the UVic Vikes and a Nanaimo-fa​mily affair

By Chris Kelsall

The second track meet of The Q’s Victoria Run Series took place Saturday, May 25th at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium, under partially cloudy skies with a light winds.

The number two ranked team in Canada, The University of Victoria Vikes, took in the 800m distance races. The men’s race saw Thomas Riva run 1:50.1 for the win, over team mates, Adam Gaudes and John Pratt, who finished in 1:51.1 and 1:52.8, respectively. “We are pretty happy with our performances, leading into Canada West Championships next week,” said Riva. Riva sat back and appeared to draft Gaudes for much of the race. After the front stretch, where they passed the stadium while running into strong headwind, Riva pulled the trigger into the final turn to take advantage of the prevailing tail wind, using a final sprint finish for the win.

The field was rounded out by Vikes Karl Robertson who finished in 1:53.6, Kyle Irvine with his1:53.7, Thomas Oxland’s 1:55.3, while Trevor Schiavone finished in 1:56.7. Chris Voth finished ahead of Nanaimo’s Peter Oxland in 1:57.7 to his time of 1:58.4. Jin Quan made the trip from Vancouver to finish in a respectable 2:09.3.

In the women’s 800m race Vike Kendra Pomfret accomplished a good, early-season win in 2:07.8. She said, “I am happy with the time, not a personal best, but a good performance for this time of season.” Second went to team mate Grace Annear who finished in 2:08.2, accomplishing a new personal best time. Trinity Western University’s Fiona Benson ran a season best 2:09.8 for third place overall. Fifth, sixth and seventh went to Vikes Shauna McInnis (2:12.9), Brittany Therrien (2:13.8) and Jenica Moore in 2:14.8. Nanaimo high school phenoms Miryam Bassett and Marita Deschiffart battled hard for a very close finish in 2:16.6 and 2:16.7, respectively.

The men’s 3000m race featured eventual winner Nathan Wadhwani, who finished in 8:42.3 to Trinity Western University’s Joel Deschiffart’s 8:44.80. The two battled for six of the 7.5 laps before Wadhwani prevailed. Third overall and first master went to Craig Odermatt. The former Vike, at the age of 41, continues to run better than he has in a decade finishing in 8:54.70. Second master was Laurence Coogan who finished in 9:51.2, while top-50-year-old finisher was Gary Duncan of the Prairie Inn Harriers.

In the 1500m race Isaac Wadhwani won over former Vike Nick Walker in 4:14.7 to Walker’s 4:25.9. Jim Barwise finished third overall and was the first master finisher in 4:47.4. Erica Deschiffart won the women’s race in 4:50.60, she said after the race, “yeah I started a little too fast.” When asked about her running with the men in the first lap. For the Deschiffart’s it was a family affair as brother Joel, who raced the 3000m event competes for Trinity Western University, while twin sister Marita took in the 800m and mom, Sue Deschiffart is a BC Athletics Officials who was busy trackside timing the events.

In fact it was a Nanaimo-family affair as accompanying the Deschiffarts, was the Bassetts, including Yosef Bassett, who won the 800m open race over Cody Schneider and Performance Running’s Julien Marceau. The top female was Michelle Bernardo in 2:36.5 Bassett made the trip down island with sisters Miryam and Rebecca. A third set of siblings from Nanaimo raced as well including Peter and Thomas Oxland as well as Vike-brother Doug Oxland.

The Q’s Victoria Run Series next event happens Saturday, June 1st at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium at 6:30 PM.

The series includes track, cross-country and road race opportunities for all abilities. Check for all the details at the series’ website: http://www.victoriarunseries.com.

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