A runner-up finish in the B final for the men’s pair of Stephen Wall and Kyle Krahn was the highlight for the University of the Fraser Valley rowing program at the Canadian University Rowing Championships.
The regatta was hosted by St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., on Saturday and Sunday, and drew representatives from 21 Canadian universities.
In qualifying on Saturday, Wall (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Krahn (Chilliwack, B.C.) finished seventh out of 16 boats in the men’s pair, falling just shy of advancing to the six-boat A final.
They turned in a tremendous performance in the B final, leading for much of the race and then dueling with a McGill boat down the stretch. McGill ended up nipping the UFV duo at the line, edging ahead over the last four strokes of the race, but both boats ended up clocking faster times than the fifth- and sixth-place finishers in the A final.
“It was really exciting,” recounted Cascades head coach Liz Chisholm. “It was bow ball to bow ball all the way down the course. One would make a move, and the other would respond. People were cheering for UFV all over the place.
“Both the McGill guys and our guys got off the water shaking hands, really excited about how they’d pushed each other to PBs over that distance on the water. It was good.”
In other qualifying action on Saturday, UFV’s lightweight women’s double crew of Arden Holmes and Emily Klootwyk battled windy, choppy conditions and did not advance to Sunday’s finals. But just two hours later, Holmes authored a strong performance in the lightweight women’s single and made the B final, where she finished 12th.
In the open men’s single, UFV’s Brad Jones was up against some stiff competition, including a number of Row the Podium national development program athletes. He rowed quite well in Chisholm’s estimation, and finished 13th, just shy of the B final.
“None of our athletes have been to this event before, so it was a great experience,” Chisholm said.