Last weekend, student-athlete rowers from eight universities across Western Canada gathered at Telford Lake in Leduc, Alberta for the Western Canadian University Rowing Championships.
It was very much Canadian fall rowing conditions, with snow on the docks and a challenging cross wind, bringing with it a chill of -8 C. However, the 107 athletes pushed through to deliver a great competition.
The University of British Columbia (UBC) won the total point score banners on both the men’s and women’s sides, showing great depth in their junior varsity and varsity crews.
The men won the banner with 185.5 points, ahead of the University of Victoria (UVic), who was in second with 151. On the women’s side, UBC was 42 points ahead of UVic with 165 points. This was the second consecutive win for the UBC men, and the second banner in three years for the women.
The UBC men won gold in the varsity and junior varsity four (4-), lightweight quad (4+), varsity and junior varsity pair (2-), and junior varsity and varsity eight (8+). The UBC Thunderbird women won gold in the lightweight and heavy single (1x), the lightweight 4+, the pair, the lightweight double (2x), and junior varsity and varsity eight (8+).
UBC and UVic are the typical powerhouses of the Western Canadian university circuit, and they dominated the medal standings.
There were also notable performances from the smaller teams. University of Fraser Valley won the women’s junior varsity 4-. The University of Calgary, who, due to weather and water restrictions are confined to indoor training for eight of the ten university competing months, won the women’s four, and the novice women’s and men’s 8+. Mount Royal University in Calgary, which was granted university status in 2009, had its first rower ever compete at the event, Adam Mills in the men’s single.
The next event for the university rowers is the Canadian University Championships, November 3-4 in St. Catharines, Ontario.