The University of Victoria’s women’s rowing team successfully defended its national title in Burnaby on Nov. 11 and 12.
The Vikes women took gold at the 2023 Canadian University Rowing Championships as they edged out the host University of British Columbia’s club in the final race at the Burnaby Lake regatta.
Only three points separated the first-placed Vikes, UBC and Queen’s going into the final event, the women’s eight race, which would decide the national championship.
The team of Sofie Hof, Danica Ariano, Maggie Hemphill, Nicole Cusack, Mikaela Holthuis, Belen Reed, Gabby Kieser, Sarah Stormont and Kaliya Javra crossed the line first to secure the Vikes women going back to back as Canadian champs.
The gold finish also marked the best race for UVic as Vikes rowers reached the podium in five out of six medal races.
Cusack and Holthuis also took silver in the women’s pair event, while the duo of Sophia Regosa and Paige Letham rowed to bronze in the lightweight pair division.
UVic had two other silver finishes as Hemphill placed second in the women’s single and the team of Regosa, Letham, Helen Ross, Elena Masyte and Sai Sai Faubert was the runner-up in the lightweight four-plus.
The women’s program has now won 13 national titles, including two under head coach Jane Gumley, who earned coach of the year honours for the third-straight year.
On the men’s side, two medals helped the Vikes place third overall. Giancarlo DiPompeo captured gold in the lightweight men’s single race, while the men’s eight-plus boat added a silver. That team included Nicholas Murray-Coplen, Spencer Lewis, Quinn Storey, Connor Attridge, Kai Bartel, Michael Caryk, Victor Lefebvre, Aidan Carr and Jesse Harold.